Japanese culture (was: Re: basic vocab)
|From:||Marcus Smith <smithma@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, September 17, 2000, 23:00|
Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
>> How can you not pick up on the significance of dozens of words for "I"
>> and "you"? Or the various honorifics and the like?
>That's what boggled me. I would think that the cultural significance of
>things would be Really Easy to see in Japanese for an
>English-speaker...and heck, even I could see the tu-vs.-vous thing in
>French, which is a lot closer to English. <puzzled look>
He must have been even more clueless than that. The expression to invite
someone into your house is to say, "Step up" because the floor is higher than
the ground level. The way you answer the phone "Moshimoshi" means "I am
talking, I am talking" where the form of the verb shows that you are speaking
to someone of higher social status. How can you miss things like that?!
"When you lose a language, it's like
dropping a bomb on a museum."
-- Kenneth Hale