Chinese "kanji"

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Oct 7 02:07:46 UTC 2005

Some other uses of katakana are at: I should perhaps add
items 5 and 6 below, though I'm not sure about what 4 refers to. Any

"Raion" IS the word for lion in Japanese. I've found that the traditional
word, shishi, is generally unknown to Japanese people today, though it is
still found in some words such as shishimai ([Chinese] lion dance).

Benjamin Barrett
Baking the World a Better World

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Wilson Gray
> Back in the '50's and '60's in  L.A. - or perhaps still; I
> haven't been there in decades - there were three Japanese
> bars: the Papa Lion, the Mama Lion, and the Baby Lion, with
> the names spelling out in neon Japanese characters that I
> assumed  for over a decade were the Japanese words equivalent
> to the English words.
> After a couple of courses in Japanese at U.C.L.A., I was
> disappointed to discover that the characters were katakana
> and merely spelled out "pa-pa-ra-i-on," "ma-ma-ra-i-on," and
> "be-bi-ra-i-on." Oh, well.
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> > Subject:      Re: Chinese "kanji"
> >
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ---------
> >
> > >Isn't katakana used only for writing foreign words, somewhat as
> > >though, in English, we used italics only to write words
> like "angst,"
> > >and "a la carte"?

> > (4) katakana/italics are used to indicate a special or
> unusual sense
> > of a word sometimes;
> >
> > (5) katakana/italics can be used to distinguish words of a certain
> > arbitrary class [e.g., my Nelson kanji dictionary italicizes the
> > kun-yomi (native Japanese pronunciations) in the index to
> distinguish
> > them from the on-yomi (Chinese-ish pronunciations), while
> my Japanese
> > kanji dictionary uses katakana for on-yomi, hiragana for kun-yomi];
> >
> > (6) katakana/italics can be used for a whole block of text for an
> > esthetic purpose or at the whim of the author or publisher.

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