60 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. Thus, syllablessuch as ab, ac, ad, ib, ic were practiced for the sake of masteryof the language. When a child could name all of a determinednumber of combinations, he was said to know his ABC's.

      When did phonics start as a practice historically? Presumably after Mortimer J. Adler's note here?

      The great vowel shift and the variety of admixtures of languages comprising English make it significantly harder to learn to read compared to other languages whose orthography and sound systems (example: Japanese hiragana) are far simpler and more straightforward.

  2. Sep 2022
  3. Aug 2022
    1. https://twitter.com/_35millimetre/status/1556586974928068611

      Turns out the world’s greatest drawing of a frog was done in 1790, by Itō Jakuchu pic.twitter.com/GttSfHA7Kl

      — Charlie (@_35millimetre) August 8, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Makes me want to revisit some of the history of early haiku and frog references. What was the literacy level within Japanese culture at this time? Were there more methods entwining elements of orality and memory into the popular culture?

    1. Bloodcurdling war cries are a universal way of striking terror in foes. Maori war chants, the Japanese battle cry "Banzai!" (Long Live the Emperor) in World War II, the Ottomans' "Vur Ha!" (Strike), the Spanish "Desperta Ferro!" (Awaken the Iron), and the "Rebel Yell" of Confederate soldiers are examples. In antiquity, the sound of Greek warriors bellowing "Alala!" while banging swords on bronze shields was likened to hooting owls or a screeching flock of monstrous birds.
  4. Jul 2022
  5. Mar 2022
    1. Wanta JampijinpaPatrick, a Warlpiri Elder, teaches that north corresponds to ‘Law’,south to ‘ceremony’, west to ‘language’ and east to ‘skin’. ‘Country’lies at the intersection of these directions, at the centre of thecompass: Westerners conceptualise it as ‘here’.

      In Warlpiri, the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west associatively correspond with the ideas of "Law", "ceremony", "skin", and "language" respectively. The idea of "Country" lies at the center of these directions in a space that Westerners would describe as "here".

      This directional set up underlines the value of each of the related concepts and provides pride of place to "Country" and one's being "in Country".


      Compare these with the Japanese pattern of こ (ko), そ (so), あ (a), ど (do) which describe a location with respect to the speaker.


      Western readers should notice here, that the author centers the name and position of the origin of this knowledge at the start of the sentence. While it is associated with him, it is also certainly associated with all his preceding ancestors and Elders who passed this information down.

      One might suspect that this practice isn't as common with base-level cultural knowledge, but that it becomes more important at succeeding levels of intimate area-based restricted knowledge. Placing the origin of the knowledge here at a more basic level of knowledge may help to instruct Western readers slowly and more surely understand how this foreign culture works.

      How closely does this practice generally look like the Western idea of citing one's sources which only evolved slowly over history and became more common with the flood of information in the 1500s?

  6. Jan 2022
  7. Nov 2021
    1. http://countryoftheblind.blogspot.com/2011/10/product-review-remembering-traditional.html

      Review of Remembering Traditional Hanzi, by James W. Heisig and Timothy W. Richardson which is related to Heisig's similar Japanese book.

      While Heisig's book in Japanese is interesting, it's interesting and feels less useful than a similar and more contextualized book by Kenneth Henshall.

    1. [Mingquan] Wang has compiled a list of resources to assist teachers with [Chinese] radicals, and hopes that the work of Li and Huang, along with other curriculum developers, teachers, and specialists will further map radicals so that specialized courses can become more widespread, and students can be inducted into the fascinating world of radicals earlier in their studies.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Heather Clydesdale </span> in Radicals Reveal the Order of Chinese Characters | Asia Society (<time class='dt-published'>11/22/2021 08:37:23</time>)</cite></small>

      I'd love to have similar sources in Japanese.

    1. https://asiasociety.org/china-learning-initiatives/radicals-reveal-order-chinese-characters

      Article about the importance of radicals in Chinese (and by extension Japanese) with hopes that pedagogy will change to make the teaching and remembering of kanji easier.

    2. Huang, who has a background in paleography, warns that many characters do not function as a “signific,” a linguistic term indicating a relationship to the word’s meaning. Additionally, the meanings of numerous characters changed over time, or they were “loaned” to other words with separate meanings. Even though more than 86 percent of characters have radicals that also function as significs, Huang encourages teachers to understand some of the exceptions, saying, “It is all right for Chinese teachers not to lecture on these, but they have to know them because students may ask.”

      More than 86% of characters in Chinese function as significs, a linguistic term indicating an association to the word's meaning. Sometimes these meanings can change with time and drift from original meanings.

      The drift can be interesting and important from the perspective of historical linguistics as well as to give clues to changes in culture.

      An example in English might be the use in computer user interfaces that include telephone handset images or old 3.5" floppy disk images used to respectively indicate "call" or "save" despite the fact that these items have either changed shape or are no longer commonly used.

    3. Huang, speaking in Chinese, agrees that radicals can facilitate the mastery of characters while also building cultural understanding, yet he also encourages teachers to become versed in common inconsistencies.

      Learning radicals in languages like Chinese and the related Japanese can not only help vocabulary and literacy, but build cultural understanding of the language and culture.

    4. The radical on the left is 言, and is itself a free-standing character meaning “speech.”

      There's also the word 口 which means "mouth" hiding in here.

    5. Mingquan Wang, senior lecturer and language coordinator of the Chinese program at Tufts University, insists that radicals should be a part of the curriculum for teaching Chinese as a foreign language. “The question is,” he says, “how that should be done.” In spring of 2013, Wang sent an online questionnaire to 60 institutions, including colleges and K–12 schools. Of the 42 that responded, 100 percent agreed that teachers of Chinese language should cover radicals, yet few use a separate book or dedicate a course to radicals, and most simply discuss radicals as they encounter them in textbooks.

      This has been roughly my experience with Japanese, but I've yet to see an incredibly good method for doing this in a structured way.

    1. Over the years in academic settings I've picked up pieces of Spanish, French, Latin and a few odd and ends of other languages.

      Six years ago we put our daughter into a dual immersion Japanese program (in the United States) and it has changed some of my view of how we teach and learn languages, a process which is also affected by my slowly picking up conversational Welsh using the method at https://www.saysomethingin.com/ over the past year and change, a hobby which I wish I had more targeted time for.

      Children learn language through a process of contextual use and osmosis which is much more difficult for adults. I've found that the slowly guided method used by SSiW is fairly close to this method, but is much more targeted. They'll say a few words in the target language and give their English equivalents, then they'll provide phrases and eventually sentences in English and give you a few seconds to form them into the target language with the expectation that you try to say at least something, or pause the program to do your best. It's okay if you mess up even repeatedly, they'll say the correct phrase/sentence two times after which you'll repeat it again thus giving you three tries at it. They'll also repeat bits from one lesson to the next, so you'll eventually get it, the key is not to worry too much about perfection.

      Things slowly build using this method, but in even about 10 thirty minute lessons, you'll have a pretty strong grasp of fluent conversational Welsh equivalent to a year or two of college level coursework. Your work on this is best supplemented with interacting with native speakers and/or watching television or reading in the target language as much as you're able to.

      For those who haven't experienced it before I'd recommend trying out the method at https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/course1/intro to hear it firsthand.

      The experience will give your brain a heavy work out and you'll feel mentally tired after thirty minutes of work, but it does seem to be incredibly effective. A side benefit is that over time you'll also build up a "gut feeling" about what to say and how without realizing it. This is something that's incredibly hard to get in most university-based or book-based language courses.

      This method will give you quicker grammar acquisition and you'll speak more like a native, but your vocabulary acquisition will tend to be slower and you don't get any writing or spelling practice. This can be offset with targeted memory techniques and spaced repetition/flashcards or apps like Duolingo that may help supplement one's work.

      I like some of the suggestions made in Lynne's post as I've been pecking away at bits of Japanese over time myself. There's definitely an interesting structure to what's going on, especially with respect to the kana and there are many similarities to what is happening in Japanese to the Chinese that she's studying. I'm also approaching it from a more traditional university/book-based perspective, but if folks have seen or heard of a SSiW repetition method, I'd love to hear about it.

      Hopefully helpful by comparison, I'll mention a few resources I've found for Japanese that I've researched on setting out a similar path that Lynne seems to be moving.

      Japanese has two different, but related alphabets and using an app like Duolingo with regular practice over less than a week will give one enough experience that trying to use traditional memory techniques may end up wasting more time than saving, especially if one expects to be practicing regularly in both the near and the long term. If you're learning without the expectation of actively speaking, writing, or practicing the language from time to time, then wholesale mnemotechniques may be the easier path, but who really wants to learn a language like this?

      The tougher portion of Japanese may come in memorizing the thousands of kanji which can have subtly different meanings. It helps to know that there are a limited set of specific radicals with a reasonably delineable structure of increasing complexity of strokes and stroke order.

      The best visualization I've found for this fact is the Complete Listing of the 214 Radicals and Major Variations from An Introduction to Japanese Kanji Calligraphy by Kunii Takezaki (Tuttle, 2005) which I copy below:

      A chart of Japanese radicals in columns by number, character, and radical name & variations with a legend for reading the chart

      (Feel free to right click and view the image in another tab or download it and view it full size to see more detail.)

      I've not seen such a chart in any of the dozens of other books I've come across. The numbered structure of increasing complexity of strokes here would certainly suggest an easier to build memory palace or songline.

      I love this particular text as it provides an excellent overview of what is structurally happening in Japanese with lots of tidbits that are otherwise much harder won in reading other books.

      There are many kanji books with various forms of what I would call very low level mnemonic aids. I've not found one written or structured by what I would consider a professional mnemonist. One of the best structured ones I've seen is A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters by Kenneth G. Henshall (Tuttle, 1988). It's got some great introductory material and then a numbered list of kanji which would suggest the creation of a quite long memory palace/journey/songline.

      Each numbered Kanji has most of the relevant data and readings, but provides some description about how the kanji relates or links to other words of similar shapes/meanings and provides a mnemonic hint to make placing it in one's palace a bit easier. Below is an example of the sixth which will give an idea as to the overall structure.

      I haven't gotten very far into it yet, but I'd found an online app called WaniKani for Japanese that has some mnemonic suggestions and built-in spaced repetition that looks incredibly promising for taking small radicals and building them up into more easily remembered complex kanji.

      I suspect that there are likely similar sources for these couple of books and apps for Chinese that may help provide a logical overall structuring which will make it easier to apply or adapt one's favorite mnemotechniques to make the bulk vocabulary memorization easier.

      The last thing I'll mention I've found, that's good for practicing writing by hand as well as spaced repetition is a Kanji notebook frequently used by native Japanese speaking children as they're learning the levels of kanji in each grade. It's non-obvious to the English speaker, and took me a bit to puzzle out and track down a commercially printed one, even with a child in a classroom that was using a handmade version. The notebook (left to right and top to bottom) has sections for writing a big example of the learned kanji; spaces for the "Kun" and "On" readings; spaces for the number of strokes and the radical pieces; a section for writing out the stroke order as it builds up gradually; practice boxes for repeated practice of writing the whole kanji; examples of how to use the kanji in context; and finally space for the student to compose their own practice sentences using the new kanji.

      Regular use and practice with these can be quite helpful for moving toward mastery.

      I also can't emphasize enough that regularly and actively watching, listening, reading, and speaking in the target language with materials that one finds interesting is incredibly valuable. As an example, one of the first things I did for Welsh was to find a streaming television and radio that I want to to watch/listen to on a regular basis has been helpful. Regular motivation and encouragement is key.

      I won't go into them in depth and will leave them to speak for themselves, but two of the more intriguing videos I've watched on language acquisition which resonate with some of my experiences are:

    1. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2296962-origins-of-japanese-and-turkish-language-family-traced-back-9000-years/

      Martine Robbeets et al have used linguistic, archaeological and genetic evidence to show that millet farming communities in north-east China 10,000 years ago may have given rise to the Transeurasian language families that became Japanese, Mongolian, Korean, and Turkish.

      Journal reference: Nature, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-04108-8

  8. Sep 2021
  9. Aug 2021
  10. forum.saysomethingin.com forum.saysomethingin.com
    1. In doing some work with Japanese, I’ve come across a Chrome browser extension called Mainichi which shows me a flashcard-like image and the related word in English and Japanese (with both associated kana) every time I open a new browser tab. Because I open dozens to hundreds of browser tabs a day it’s an easy way to review and even learn new words. (It also reminds me that I ought to be working on my next lesson instead of surfing the internet. :smile:)

      I’m curious if anyone has seen anything like this for Welsh beyond the more focused use of flashcard technologies like Anki, Mnemosyne, et al?

    1. To create furigana in your posts, use the following syntax: [漢字](#fg "かんじ") will display 漢字 The quotation marks are not optional. Read more here.

      This is a cool feature. I'm sort of hoping that major markdown tools might support furiganadown out of the box!

    1. Mainchini is a clever looking Chrome extension that does spaced repetition for learning Japanese by showing words every time one opens a new browser tab.

  11. Jun 2021
    1. 語 is the suffix which means 'language'. Unlike English which needs two different nouns for a country and its language, in Japanese, you can simply add 語 after the name of a country to mean the language spoken in that country. (e.g. ドイツ = Germany, ドイツ語 = German, フランス = France, フランス語 = French)
  12. Apr 2021
  13. Mar 2021
    1. An answer to Mr. Bendetsen's testimony came from Milton S. Eisenhower, former president of Johns Hopkins University, who in 1942 directed the Federal War Relocation Authority.In a written statement, Mr. Eisenhower, who was unable to attend because of illness, called the internment of Japanese-Americans ''an inhuman mistake.'' Moreover, he said, the threat of Japanese forces' invading the West Coast was ''extremely remote.''He said that the relocation furor could have been avoid, ''had not false and flaming statements been dinned into the people of the West Coast by irresponsible commentators and politicians.''
  14. Nov 2020
    1. "zhèngmíng 正名" ("rectification of names")

      I see this and my limited Japanese knowledge translates this as "up" "mouth" with some additional subtlety missing for further lack of knowledge.

  15. Oct 2020
    1. My attempt is rather to relate, firstly, the origin and sources of our chivalry; secondly, its character and teaching; thirdly, its influence among the masses; and, fourthly, the continuity and permanence of its influence.

      author's purpose

  16. Jun 2020
  17. Mar 2019
    1. Plants and worn, aged materials are generally used by Japanese garden designers to suggest an ancient and faraway natural landscape, and to express the fragility of existence as well as time's unstoppable advance.

      Description of elements that compose and give atmosphere to the gardens.

    2. Japanese gardens (日本庭園, nihon teien) are traditional gardens[1] whose designs are accompanied by Japanese aesthetic and philosophical ideas, avoid artificial ornamentation, and highlight the natural landscape.

      Brief definition of a Japanese Garden.

  18. Apr 2018
    1. Since September 27, 2004, the jinmeiyō kanji (人名用漢字, kanji for use in personal names) consist of 3,119 characters, containing the jōyō kanji plus an additional 983 kanji found in people's names.

      人名用漢字(じんめいよう・かんじ)literally means "person's-name-use kanji" or "kanji for use in peoples' names."

      Kanji have been added and (re)moved from the list several times throughout its history. See the page Wikipedia: Jinmeiyoo Kanji

    2. The jōyō kanji (常用漢字, regular-use kanji) are 2,136 characters consisting of all the Kyōiku kanji, plus 1,130 additional kanji taught in junior high and high school[9].

      常用(じょうよう)漢字(かんじ)means "daily use" kanji.

    3. The grade-level breakdown of these kanji is known as the gakunen-betsu kanji haitōhyō (学年別漢字配当表), or the gakushū kanji. (ja:学年別漢字配当表)

      Also known as Kyōiku kanji (教育漢字, literally "education kanji"). see Wikipedia: Kyouiku Kanji

  19. Mar 2018
    1. Becauseでしょう indicates guess, it can be used for current events and past events that we are not certain.

      This is like the subjunctive in English and Spanish, but instead uses a form or the copula, です, instead of conjugating the verb into another form.

    1. ています can be used to mean an action (instantaneous or continuative) takes place on a regular basis.

      For example, "Every year, many people die," or "Every day, he goes to work."

    2. For English, telling the difference between instantaneous and continuative verbs is easy, because we seldom, if ever, use “be +ing” form for the former. For Japanese, however, the situation is complicated, as ていますcan be used with both kinds of verb.

      There is no way to tell the continuity of a verb by simply looking at it. One must understand the concept before knowing the full meaning when paired with ています.

    1. use ‘本を貸していただけませんでしょうか’ to make it even politer.

      book PRT-OBJ lend/give-TE_FORM it-is-acceptable-NEG COPULA-SUGGESTIVE PRT-INTERROGATIVE. "Is it not acceptable to give me your book?"

    2. ‘本を貸してくださいませんか’ (Can’t you lend me your book?)

      (your) book PRT-OBJ give-TE_FRM please-NEG (cannot) PRT-INTEROG (?). "Can't you give/lend me your book?"

      Using くださいません is the negative of ください which, when coupled with か makes a polite order in the form of a question: instead of "Please give me your book," it is "Can't you lend me your book?"

    3. when you ask the same people to do something FOR you, e.g. lend you a book or sign a recommendation letter for you, you can’t just use ください.

      This is like a homeless person saying "give me money, sir." It is still an order.

  20. Feb 2018
  21. Nov 2015
    1. まぶた)

      Testing a highlight on Ruby text.

      Highlight is meant to wrap this image: kanji

      Highlight is also meant to include the super-script hiragana characters: まぶた

      Actual highlight includes the hiragana characters "まぶた" as well as ")"