Confessions of a researchaholic

March 19, 2017

The shape of the words

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:31 pm
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Recently, I contacted Ken Anjyo via his email account, which is spelled in English. When he replied, his Japanese name 安生健一 appeared in front of his email address.

If you can read Chinese alphabets, including Kanji for Japanese and Hanja for Korean, you can probably see the meaning of this name before you hear its sounds. (A direct Chinese translation would be: safe-birth-health-first, and overall the name looks very healthy/stable/safe.) I actually do not know how to pronounce the name in Japanese; fortunately that does not prevent me from comprehending the semantics. (There is some phonetic similarity among some Chinese/Japanese/Korean words and phrases, but not much.)

This is a key difference between Asian and European languages.
When I read Chinese, I see.
When I read English, I hear.

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