February 21, 2008

日 This is the Kanji for the word, Sun. Words that use radicals1 containg this ji2 日are related to or usually have something to do with things of the sun, bright things, things that give off light, things that glow. Do you get the point? Japanese isn’t that difficult to read, but it is our predisposition to believe that it is so that is why we fail before we even try. We look at the mess of Kanji or the Hieroglyphs and cower in self stupidity. If someone could just show others as I had learned on my own. The learning of another language wouldn’t be such a daunting or formidable task. having in someway a connection with the light, bright etc. These words too have also have the kanji hi in them.
There seems to be so much more meaning contained in an ideograph than do letters that represent sounds that together represent meaning. Here is one example of a kanji that looks fairly difficult. This kanji is made in 9 strokes of the pen and after learning that 日means the sun, or signifies words related to the sun then we could make a fairly good estimate at what this next kanji means . 星 has the sun kanji in it as well as the kanji for the word birth, or to give life to. 生 is the kanji sei which means depending on tense of the word, life. In its future use tense this it contains one other syllable mu む、Put 生and mu or む together and you have Umu or in Japanese 生む which according to Sanseido’s Daily Concise Japanese- English Dictionary means 1. to bear a child, to give birth to a baby. 2 to lay eggs or spawn.(49) Now before reading the answer on pg 8 take an educated guess at what the meaning is. Think or ponder for a second how these two kanji put together make a different yet totally logical word out of two other words. Just like Englishes prefixes and suffixes in words like lithograph, literally stone write, or engraving . The words birth of something and the word hi fused together make the word star. Now next time you see a couple of kanji just take a guess, your chances of being right are better than 50%.
Better than 50% chance is usually all that linguists worry about when tring to find the similiarities of language. if you can guess more than 50% of the words given some system like the above then the language is said to be related to your own family.
There are 6 main language families from whence all other languages stem. These are the Indo-Eurasiatic, the Urallic, the Anuit eskimo, the and the ..
Since it has never been proven that there was one all powerful might mother tongue, which by the way is called nostratic tongue, it is fair to assume that there was one. The languages of the world although apparently can seem so different, and it is true that we are confounded by them, one culture are confounded by the words of another. The problem is, is that there is no proof because there is no evidence of the writings or digital recordings of ancient peoples to tell us that there really was only one language. One thing we can say for fact is that there were less people. That is fairly obvious. Therefore on that assumption, we can assume that there were less languages than there are now. Can’t we further say then that the further back we go there were still less and less people.Therefore as x ( the number of people on the earth at any certain time) approaches 2, y =1. Because there is no communication without two person. There isn’t much need for a language if there is nobody to communicate with. From 2 people perhaps came 16 others, children of those 2 people therefore now it is possible to start having different languages.
Take for example the days of the week. First off in almost every single language in the world there is a day denoted as the Sun’s day or the day of the Sun, and a moon day, or day of the moon. the words for the days of the week in Japanese, we are liable to pass it off as mere coincidence, the similarities are striking. The following table shows the words for days of the week in Japanese and in English.
Kasei are made of two kanji, ka and sei, or fire and star. Kasei translates as fire day. In English our equivalent of fire’s day is Tuesday, named after the Tiu the god of war and the sky. But before the Germanic peoples renamed the second day of the week Tuesday, the Romans had a system of naming the days of the week after their god and had called it dies martis ‘day of mars’, after the war god (source of French Mardi ‘Tuesday’). (Ayto, 544)
The kanji for Saturday being read do or basically the term for dirt or dirt’s day but is also the root of the Japanese word for Saturn, which is Dosei.
As for the third day of the week, some languages call it the 3rd day or day 3(Vietnamese) In Japanese this day is denoted as Suiyobi or day of the water, water’s day. The Germanic peoples called this day woden’s day or day of Odin after one of their mightiest gods. It seems that Wednesday got all screwed up being filtrated through the evolution of languages. It makes sense because Wednesday is in the middle of the week and if there are going to be corruptions from the pure form from whence the original words came from then the word for the middle of the week makes sense. In Japanese the word for mercury is kasei which would find its relations to our Tuesday. The Japanese Suisei is the planet
Now Thursday was named after the god Thor (where our English thunder comes from) but in the Roman system of naming the days of the week the fourth day was names dies jovis or day of Jupiter. In Japanese the fourth day is denoted Moku sei or day of the tree which is from the same root as that for their word for Jupiter, and that word being Mokusei.
Now Friday is denoted as Kinsei or day of gold in Japanese which is the same root for the word for planet kinsei which is Venus. The Germanic peoples called it after Odin’s wife Frigg (Ayto, 241) ‘Frigg’s day’ was a direct adaptation of Latin Veneris dies “Venus’s day’ (whence French vendredi ‘Friday’)