Finishing up the first column of the kana chart with: ‘o‘. It is pronounced pretty much like the name of the letter ‘o’, and is represented by the hiragana お and the katakana オ.
おい (oi), also written in kanji as 甥, means nephew; a word I rarely get to use because I have three nieces and no nephews. I notice that a lot of textbooks don’t include niece and nephew in their lists of relatives. Both aunt and uncle appear consistently, so I would naturally expect the opposite relationship to be taught. I had to use the dictionary to figure out how to talk about my amazing nieces.
オウム (oumu), also written as 鸚鵡 (albeit rarely), means parrot. Every time I show a picture or stuffed animal of a parrot to kids (or adults) and ask them, “What is this?”, they reply that it is an inko (鸚哥). That is actually the word for parakeet. Parrots seem to be extremely rare and not very popular nor well known in Japan. Parakeets on the other hand are very common.
Arrgh! I wanted to link to an old story about a parakeet that kept running away and telling his address to whomever found him; however, it is in my original corrupted blog. That’s it! I must make the time to upload the recovered data.