Re: WW2 Island Hopping
- From: Gernot Hassenpflug <gernot@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 14:19:20 +0900
Dennis <tsalagiNOSPAM@xxxxxxxx> writes:
Brad Meyer wrote:
Who cares? It was an error of one of the military blokes who couldn't
pronounce the kanji that let it be referred to as Iwo Jima in the
first place. The name was never changed from Iwo-tou, the spelling is
Do you mean that the kanji can be pronounced either way?
Exactly!! Most Kana have more then one pronunciation and often more
then one meaning, often depending on context.
??? Kana denote syllables. I assume you meant "kanji" there. I
wasn't aware that kanji symbols had more than one meaning. Is it that a
kanji may denote part of a compound word?
Well, here the idea was that there is more than one reading - the
reading approximating the sound in the original imported Chinese word
the character entered the country as part of, and a Japanese language
reading for a word with the same meaning as the character.
But yes, characters do have more than one meaning, or at least more
than one shade of meaning. Many characters have a main recognized
meaning, and several other meanings in specific contexts.
And also, the characters can have many Chinese readings, as the same
character entered the country as part of different words in different
eras of Chinese history: the language changed depending on the ruling
dynasty, so the characters ended up being pronounced differenty.
Even in Japanese, the character has many readings, as its differing
meanings and/or shades of meanings are used to write many different
Japanese words. The character for 'fresh' with the main reading 'nama'
has over 27 different readings, and meanings encompassing such wide
concepts as 'life', 'fresh', 'to be born','original' and so on.
Let's not even go into how Japanese names can take on any sound one
chooses and assciate that with any character one chooses...!
Another example is IJN
carrier Shoho which was being mistranslated as Ryukaku for several
months by the USN intel people. Written Japanese (Kanji) is much
harder to get a grip on then spoken Japanese.
That's odd. The Japanese say that they need kanji to disambiguate
the spoken language when it's written, that romaji or pure kana wouldn't be
Yes, Japanese is sound-poor, there are only 47 syllables, and
intonation is not used to separate meanings as in Chinese and
Vietnamese (Korean and Japanese are both tonal and the differences do
matter critically, but there are variations -- for instance Western
and Eastern Japan use virtually opposite conventions). So if one uses
only kana (pronounciation syllables, there is no alphabet in Japanese)
one has disambiguation of the many words that would be written with
the same syllables (a tonal differentiation would help but not resolve
the problem 100%, and since it is not standardized...) Romanization is
sort of like syllables but worse since there is no one-to-one
correspondence of the alphabet to the Japanese syllables.
In the above case, the issue is not disambiguation of meaning, but of
reading. The kanji are unambiguous w.r.t. meaning.
BTW, I am not sure of the Ryukaku thing -- I'll have to check the
kanji dictionary later, but it may be the intel people simply mistook
one similar kanji for another, or got the order wrong, since pre-war
names were written right to left. Or perhaps gave Japanese readings
rather than Chinese ones. However, in the example Ryu could mean
dragon, kaku could mean crane, and both are Chinese readings. As far
as I can tell, in Shou-hou (light carrier sunk at Coral Sea, and
written in Kanji as: 祥鳳 ) the characters have no such readings,
neither as Chinese or as Japanese.
Um, if you have a link to the mistake, I'll try to explain it...I'll
look on the weekend, but since I'm getting married...!
BOFH excuse #334:
50% of the manual is in .pdf readme files
- Re: WW2 Island Hopping
- From: Dennis
- Re: WW2 Island Hopping
- Prev by Date: Re: Nuclear submarines as museum ships?
- Next by Date: Re: WW2 Island Hopping
- Previous by thread: Re: WW2 Island Hopping
- Next by thread: Re: WW2 Island Hopping