Sunday Soundcheck 17


The second character in the third column is shi, represented by し in hiragana and シ in katakana.

Shiatoru (シアトル) is the Japanese name for my hometown: Seattle. Many people think it is funny that Japanese people can’t pronounce a lot of English words and so, names like Seattle get butchered. Just a little reminder here that Seattle is actually named after an Indian chief, but white folk couldn’t pronounce his name and changed it from Sealth. This word technically meets my two standards for the Soundcheck: not commonly taught in textbooks; and useful in everyday conversation. I guess the second condition is met because I think people should talk about Seattle everyday. In Japan a lot of folks do because the greatest baseball player, who happens to be from near here, is playing and living in Seattle.

Shikaku (しかく, written in kanji as 資格) is a word I have been hearing a lot lately. It really means ‘qualification’, but people use it almost like ‘license’. When someone gets a teacher’s license they usually say they got their qualification. I noticed it when I was telling people about my license and then I heard them explaining to others using qualification. I am also amused because it sounds like ‘square’ (四角), ‘assasin’ (刺客), ‘blind corner’ (死角), and a few other words.


2 Responses to “Sunday Soundcheck 17”

  1. titus2woman Says:

    HA HA HA HA! SO TRUE about white folk pronouncing Indian names! When I lived in South Dakota I found that Pierre, SD is pronounced by the locals, “Peer”. ???? (((((HUGS))))) sandi~This gave me a good chuckle~been there, done that mahself! ~smile~

  2. びっくり Says:

    Washington is full of wonderful Indian names: Puyallup, Spokane, Toutle, Lummi, Samish, Sammamish, Duwamish, Stilaguamish, … What a great place to grow up. Thanks for commenting, I forgot that I had commented on your blog in January. I think I will be adding it to my blogroll so I remember to read it, because “I’m a secret aaaaging man!” 🙂

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