The Japanese language is composed of three main alphabets: hiragana, katakana and kanji. There is also an alphabet known as romaji but this is used for certain words borrowed from Indo-European languages (ex. CD, DVD) and for use in advertisements, company names, etc. Hiragana is composed of 46 symbols; each of which represents a different syllable. Certain smaller symbols can be added to these symbols to create additional syllables. See charts below. Katakana utilizes different symbols that each correspond to the pronunciation of the Hiragana symbols, but Katakana is mainly used to write loan or foreign words whereas Hiragana is used for words of Japanese origin. The third alphabet is kanji which is composed of logographs that are borrowed Chinese characters. These kanji are used in Japanese writing based on the pronunciation of words or their meanings and are generally used for nouns, adjectives, and verb stems. There are approximately 2000 commonly-used kanji. When reading kanji, if it maintains the Chinese pronunciation for a word its pronunciation is called on’yomi, but if it is the Japanese pronunciation of the word it is called kun’yomi.
Culture Shock Blog
(c) Silvine Photography
Many of my photographs are taken during my travels through Europe, Asia and Africa. I'm continually seeking inspiration in the architecture I see, the local customs I engage in and the vibrant lifestyles of the people I meet. I see each photograph as a candid shot of someone's life in another country. Through my photography I want to erase borders that may exist because of distance, language or misunderstanding.
|Tim on An Ode to the Dead|
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|Shelia Carson on Spring Break in Israel|
|Marc Bower on Climbing Sinai|
Last night was my last night teaching at Better World and I’m rather sorry for that. My favorite experience being in Egypt was teaching English and Spanish at the Better World NGO classes in Heliopolis every Tuesday. My students were fun and energetic and always eager to learn. Even my duties as a daily manager […]
A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Luxor with a friend of mine. It was a nice diversion from classes at AUC and very much welcomed. We took the cheapest option for getting to Luxor, an 11 hour train ride in second class. We left Cairo around 1 AM and arrived in Luxor […]
A few weeks ago my friends and I decided to climb Mt. Sinai supposedly where Moses received the commandments from God. We left late from Cairo so we would be able to reach Mt. Sinai and climb before the sunrise which actually turned out to be perfectly planned. The trip took around 7 or 8 […]
After living in and traveling around Egypt for a few months, I’ve come to realize that there is a certain art to bargaining here. For starters, Egyptian store clerks seem to think the fastest and most effective method of getting sales is hitting on any female that walks by. This certainly shocked me the first […]
This year I spent the first of my two weeks of Spring Break in Israel. We traveled from Eilat to Jerusalem and then to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea before heading back to Cairo. The trip from Cairo to Taba wasn’t bad at all, only six hours or so and I remembered to pack […]