Monday, March 16, 2009

Half A Cup of Japanese

I have no complaints;) Today is...

Getsuyoubi = Monday

As my computer doesn't support Japanese writing system, I wanted to use my old learning cards as above. Japanese has a few different writing systems since most were derived from brushes (or woodblocks) rather than pens. I love all about Japan, but mostly its writing as it's a kind of lifelong art for me.

For interested ones, above is Kanji system which is my most liking way, though I know all of other writing systems fairly. You might try by yourself following the brush numbers 1-2-3-... to write down your first japanese word, Monday:) An important tip, always up to down and left to right.

Artwork by Nadia Radulescu

Painting- Geisha dance

Asian countries take a lot of pride in their culture, values and language. And, as a part of that, they love to inform the world about it. One such country is Japan, that I've spent a serious time of my life working with them. While studying their language and unique culture, made me also a slanted-eye;)

Let me throw in one more question to understand you better. I'm wondering which language(s) can you? Does anyone speak to Japanese? In other words, how many people can you be at the same time? Me, I will say mine in the comments board:)

Wishin' you all sorts of good things today.


  1. I'm sorry to say I don't speak any other languages. I took French in high school but didn't learn much. I recognize a few phrases and a few words but that is all I retained.

    One of my sons is very interested in Japanese and he has taught himself some. He used to read handbooks for some kind of Japanese model he like to make.

  2. Nihal, I would LOVE to go to Japan one day. I dont speak japanese but over here, everyone speak at least 2 languages, Malay and English, and throw in their own mother tongue..another language with a few different dialect. The Japanese writting is very close the the Chinese and both can cross read some of the simple and common words. Have a good week ahead ;p

  3. That painting is breathtaking!
    Have you seen the film, "The Makioka Sisters"? I think you would love it.

    I have a huge Japanese wooden fan with a brush painting of birds on it. It is something I treasure.


  4. I only speak English and French, apart from my own languages. Only European languages close to home. I learned Latin and Greek in school but I wan't very good, and I learned the basics of German but I am very bad at it. In Japanese I only know one character, I think it is the Kanji character for "river", one short line between two longer lines, the water flowing between the river banks, it is the only one I can remember!

  5. Do you speak Japanese?
    I've always wanted to learn new languages.

  6. I'm really only fluent in English, but I do speak a tiny bit of Spanish and French.

    The Japanese culture and design is so intriguing.

  7. Once long ago I enjoyed a class in Japanese brush painting. I can understand your love of all things Japanese.
    It's interesting how you say "How many people can you be at the same time?" Never thought of it that way.
    English is my mother tongue. Hebrew is now my daily language, plus a little bit of Arabic. In college I studied German and Russian (in America).
    Thanks for this nice post. Shalom!

  8. Beautiful art work.

    I wrote a post awhile back where I talked about the teacher who introduced me (and the rest of the sixth grade) to Japanese culture when I was eleven.

    I have never been, and would love to go, and this summer it turns out we may be able to go....crossing my fingers.

  9. @ Thyme: Your memory recalls correctly:) Lets see now.
    3-strokes forms the word of 'water', flowing between two banks. As said, one short line together w/ two long lines. Here's your Kanji treat about it:
    Kawa is Kun-reading, and Sen is On-reading. Both give meanings as river (=kawa) and stream.
    Be happy, even only "one-word" makes you special and different than others:)

  10. Ohh I wish I could speak other languages - working on that!

  11. Konichiwa, Nihal,
    I have never studied another language but.......I have lived in Japan. My husband was stationed near Tokyo from 1969 to 1972 and while we were there our daughter was born. My husband picked up more of the language than I did but I picked up just enough phrases to shop in the market street near our housing complex. I could greet you in the morning with "Ohayou Gozaimasu" (good morning). If you were kind enough to invite me to lunch, I would say Arigato Gozaimasu (thank you very much) but if I had an appointment and could not go to lunch I would say "Gomen Nasai" (I'm very sorry) I will not be able to join you for lunch. After my appointment, I might pass you on the street on my way home and my greeting to you would be "Konbanwa" (good evening). I remember how lovely the words sounded. We traveled about on weekend trips to the Ginga, to Asaksabashi, Akihabara, to shrines and temples, picnic with our daughter and friends at the base of Mt. Fuji (at a later time my husband and friends would make the trek up Mt. Fuji and return with their stamped walking stick). There has been much talk this past few months of making a return trip there someday to revisit some of those places. We shall see if that ever happens. And now I must sy "Sayonara" until I visit you again. :-) (I remembered all the phrases I used but I must admit, I googled them to make sure I spelled each one right.)

  12. I am attracted to many things Japanese. I love this post.

  13. Last week I read "The Last Samurai" by Helen De Witt.

    The boy learned Japanese too.

    I had in school English and French.


  14. Shalom Nihal and thank your for your nice comment just now. It always warms my heart to hear that my blog touches someone.
    Soon Passover/Pesach holidays will be here and thousands of Israelis will make their annual exodus to Turkey. I hope to visit someday too.
    Enjoy your green-ness. :)

  15. Nihal, I speak Italian, which of course is my language, French and English, and also Piedmontese, our regional dialect that here is considered a real language.
    I have enjoyed a lot this beautiful post. The painting is so fine!

  16. Thank you for this lovely post Nihal.
    I am a big fan of all things Japanese, especially people! I relate & understand many things ~~~
    BUT not the language!!!
    Thank you for brightening my day with your visit today!


  17. @ Sandi: Impressed very much by your Japanese, WoW! All the words you correctly placed. Only one thing about sayoonara, let me see:
    As you know it means goodbye and may you always be in a good health. We use this word for somebody if you think you'll not see again in your life.
    However if s/he is a person that you'll see/visit again in a certain periods then we prefer to say "Ja mata, or Dewa mata, or Mata aimashoo" that all means the same like "See you again, Until then".
    As we are connected to eachother, sayoonara would make no sense:) Now I must say "Ja mata" until I see you again here:)

    @ Dina: Shalom:) Should you. Visit Istanbul as soon as possible.

    @ Pietro: Sounds great! You're from northwestern Italia, no. Yes, Piedmontese is part of the wider western group of Romance languages incl. French, Occitan, and Catalan.
    I enjoyed seeing your language talents:)

    Here's my public announce:
    As stated in an icon on my sidebar, I can speak 5-languages: english, italian, japanese, french and (my mother tongue) turkish. One language means one person, and it can folded for 5-times if it's me:)

    Your feedback is our communication. I thank you so much for your kind comments upon my request.


  18. Hello Nihal,

    Japan is a fabulous country that I’d like very much to discover with its history, culture and language. Since you speak French, I’d like to recommend you a good photoblog of a young French woman dedicated to Japan:

    (her new blog)

    (her old blog)

    I speak and write in four languages: French, English, Italian and Turkish. While I was working as research assistant at Istanbul University Law School I studied also German and can read and understand it a bit but I’ve never practiced this language really because it seems too complicated to me and I didn't like it.

    Have a great week-end my dear,



    p.s. The Bosphorus postcard with lobsters; I bought it for 1 YTL in Beyazıt Sahaflar Çarşısı.

  19. Well, I can speak Dutch, lol, a little English and more little German.
    I think that will do, I'm too old for learning other languages.