Archive for the ‘japonés’ Category

Un embarazo japonés

Miércoles, 2008 marzo 12

Marie y Tetsu ya tienen churumbel. Hablando con ellos, ha surgido una pregunta de cole:

¿Cuánto dura un embarazo?

Respuesta correcta: 十月十日 (Totsuki Tooka).

El significado es curioso: “Mes 10, Día 10” en un japonés un tanto arcaico. Lo gracioso es que, cuánto es eso y por qué, está abierto a interpretación.

Muchos japoneses te dirán, como si no pudiera ser más obvia la cosa, “10ヶ月間” (Jukka getsu kan; 10 meses). La primera vez que lo oí se me pusieron los ojos como platos, aunque no menos que a ellos cuando les dije que ni hablar, que son 9, como cualquier otro occidental les respondería sin pestañear.

Sirva de apunte que, lo de “9 meses”, así me lo dijeron en el cole, y ahí puse punto final a la investigación.

Parece que existen dos explicaciones para tal malentendido:

  1. Por lo visto, ni pa ti ni pa mí, a nivel riguroso, un embarazo dura (como media) unas 40 semanas, que equivale más o menos a 9 meses y una semana.

    Visto de otro modo, redondeando, el 10º día del 10º mes es la fecha más probable del parto. Muchos japoneses malentienden el dicho popular y se quedan con que el embarazo dura 10 meses enteritos. Como las embarazadas lo controlan por semanas, nadie se molesta en echar cuentas y ver que no encaja.

  2. En Japón se usa el calendario gregoriano desde hace relativamente poco: 1873. Antes se basaban en el calendario lunisolar chino, dividido en meses de 28 días, y todavía hoy, en muchos aspectos de la cultura y la tradición oral, siguen tomándolo como referencia (por ejemplo, el Setsubun es una fiesta del antiguo calendario).

    40 semanas son exactamente 10 meses de 28 días, y así siguen repitiendo lo que decían sus tatarabuelas como borregos.

Como obsequio final, he aquí una ilustración de 1882, mostrando la evolución de un embarazo en sus 10 meses de duración.

Knowing the blessings of one's parents; 1882; shows 10 months of views pregnancy

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Ichi go, ichi e (一期一会)

Viernes, 2007 noviembre 30

Ichi go, ichi e
: En japonés, “una sola vez en la vida”. La traducción literal es “una vida, un encuentro”.

Como tantas cosas japonesas, el significado no está tanto en lo explicito, sino en lo que no se dice: vive el momento, disfruta intensamente de las oportunides, de las experiencias, de las amistades que te rodean, como si fuera la última vez que estás con ellas.

「一期一会の
     有名花火!
ここで踊らにゃ
     いかんちや!
東京花火!セーノ!
     ドッカーン!」

いつも、ありがとう!

First contact with Japanese language learning at SOAS

Sábado, 2006 noviembre 25

About two weeks ago I came from the 6 day intensive Japanese learning at SOAS.

The pace was quite insane and we did in just a week (6 hours a day) pretty much everything I have been doing in one full year at Casa Asia in Barcelona (~70 hours), and then some more (kanjis aside).

SOAS structured the classes in three levels, with about 8-10 people per class, except for the higher level which was just about 5 people. In case you want to have a look at what we faced with:

  • Beginner level: Most people went here. Just three weeks before, they had been handed Hiragana and Katakana drill books, and were supposed to know them pretty well by the time we got to SOAS. (those are indeed pretty easy to learn, but keep in mind this people had a job during those three weeks and had to do and understand everything on their own, so most of them could read like a word per minute…).

    From then on, pace was breathless, going from absolute zero to lesson 12th of textbook Minna no Nihongo (darn good textbook IMHO, specially its grammar notes), for those that know it.

  • Non-beginner I: Started kanji from scratch, having 10 of them a day (that’s not a typo) using Basic Kanji Book, and went from Lesson 13th to 22nd of Minna no Nihongo I.
  • Non-beginner II: Just a handful of guys of mixed skills (from someone having lived for some years in Japan, to some others that studied it for quite a few years). This was too much for my body, so cannot tell, but I do know they could read far more kanji than the ones I more or less know (~150). They were supposed to know pretty much everything from both volumes I and II of Minna no Nihongo.

Since it was pretty insane to think that people assimilated anything from such a squeezed timetable, we will be doing review on our own from now until the beginning of february, through SOAS e-learning program and by having 1 hour one-to-one live classes (through Skype, MSN, phone or whatever everyone has at hand). I’m talking to Noriko-sensei tomorrow morning for the second time. I actually have to say that last time was quite fun.

Unfortunately for me, though, at non-beginner I, everything at SOAS was just a review, for the third time (it was not new to me at Casa Asia either), so was somewhat boring T_T. There was quite a huge gap between non-beginner I and II, so the smart guys really went quite far from my reach. That means, then, that until February I will be re-re-reviewing. Oh well, still, at the pace classes go, everything will start to be new by the time we go back to London next February…

Note: You can download flash cards matching vocabulary from Minna no Nihongo, compatible with JFC, at japandiary.ch