Re: NATLANG: Dravidian langs really *are* cool!
|From:||Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 9:57|
On 19/03/2008, Ollock Ackeop <ollock@...> wrote:
> Maybe not, though ISTR that some of the katakana *are* very similar. I only
> looked at it for a little bit, but I know that there are a couple characters
> there that are distinguished only by the direction of the stroke -- and in a
> way that isn't all that apparent if you're not writing with a brush.
You must be talking about the characters "shi" vs. "tsu" and "so" vs.
"n", the first pair with two dots and a stroke, and the second pair
with a dot and a stroke each. the direction and alignment of the dots
are different, and Japanese handwriting norms generally mean the
existence of, say, a hook at the bottom of "shi" to indicate the
upstroke, cf. "tsu".
シ shi ツ tsu
ソ so ン n
Seasoned readers (all native Japanese included) will be able to tell
them apart even in handwriting much as English-readers can b and d, or
p and q. Or all four. Or handwritten "a" vs. "d" which differ only by
the length of the right vertical stroke.
> Overall, though, I think the kana are a good writing system. I don't
> particularly like the kanji. I'm studying Mandarin now, and I see how
> logograms work beautifully for Chinese -- though even there it has some
> kinks and a few disadvantages -- but from what I know of their application
> to Japanese, it just seems like would make reading quite complicated, since
> AFAIK nearly every character will end up with multiple readings, and the
> already enormous memorization task of learning it just gets that much more
> complicated as you add more readings.
> That's MHO, of course. The Japanese seem to get along fine with their
> writing systems, so if it works, it works. Far be it from me to tell them
> how to write -- I don't even speak their language.