Sunday Soundcheck 7


The second sound in the second column is ‘ki’, which sounds roughly like the English word ‘key’, and is represented in hiragana as き and katakana as キ.

So many choices exist for foreign loanwords starting with ki. Several English choices are very obvious like ‘kiipancha’ (キーパンチャ keypuncher), ‘kiipointo’ (キーポイント key point), and ‘kiiwaado’ (キーワード key word). However, let’s go with a useful Korean word for today’s selection.

‘kimuchi’, written as キムチ, is the Korean food we refer to as kimchee in English. I’ve never made it myself, but I think it is basically made by fermenting bok choy cabbage with lots of red Chinese peppers. Many recipes also include carrots or other greens. Typically Japanese people don’t go in for spicy foods, but kimchee is enjoyed by many.

Perhaps this is a good point to mention that sounds – onomatopoeia (擬態語) – are also written in katakana. ‘Kii’, written as キー, is like ‘screech’ – from hard braking – in English. ‘Kiikii’, written as キーキー, is like ‘creak’ – from a loose floor board; or like ‘squeak’ – as a mouse or such. ‘Kinkon’, written as キンコン, is like ‘ding-dong’; the ringing of a bell.

An abundance of Japanese words beginning with ki also exist. I will choose the word ‘ki’, written as き or, in kanji, as 気. Generally this can mean: mind; disposition, or nature; intention; feeling; care, or attention; and interest. I have sometimes seen it translated as spirit. I chose this because it is used in so many phrases.

  • ‘Ki ga aru’ (気がある) – “come on strong” or “have strong interest in”
  • ‘Ki ga omoi’ (気が重い) – “to feel depressed”, literally: heavy feeling
  • ‘Ki ga kawaru’ (気が変わる) – “change one’s mind” or “change of heart”
  • ‘Ki ga tsuku’ (気が付く) – “to regain consciousness” or “to notice something”
  • ‘Ki ni naru’ (気になる) – “be inclined toward”, literally: become interested
  • ‘Ki ni iru’ (気に入る) – “to like”, literally: put interest into
  • ‘Ki no doku’ (気の毒) – “sorry”, as in “I’m sorry to hear that.” Literally: poisoned feeling
  • ‘Ki no ii’ (気のいい) – “good-natured”

There are so many; these are just a few.


2 Responses to “Sunday Soundcheck 7”

  1. Sunday Soundcheck 11 « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] second column of the phonetic sound chart. That row contained the sounds ‘ka‘, ‘ki‘, ‘ku‘, ‘ke‘, ‘ko‘. (Remember that the vowel sounds are […]

  2. Sunday Soundcheck 35 « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] sounds (擬態語) are written out in katakana as I mentioned back in Soundcheck 7. Several of those start with do, so let’s take a […]

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