Sunday Soundcheck 28

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The second exception in the ‘t’ column is tsu, typically pronounced without a hard ‘t’ sound. Please note; however, that like sounds in English (e.g., ‘about’), sounds in Japanese can vary: indeed, I have heard native speakers pronounce this similar to ‘two’. But, whatever you do, remember not to move your lips so much.

We write this sound in hiragana as つ, and katakana as ツ. Additionally, this character when written in lower case, as っ or ッ, serves two other important purposes. First, to add a beat of time to the next consonant. Second, to terminate a sound before its normal meter in time.

Tsubaifuoo (ツバイフォー) can be seen everyday at the hardware store, the western 2×4 is coming into use here for various types of construction. It is a little disappointing that we call it by this name, since it represents a spread of non-metric measurements outside of the US (and they aren’t actually 2 inches by 4 inches anyhow). It would be better to call it a 4-by-9, which is closer to the actual size in centimeters. Televisions are now sold here in inches, if only America had stuck to the plan of converting to metric in 1976; sometimes we can be so weak-willed.

Tsumeato wo Nokosu (つめあとをのこす) is a phrase meaning ‘to make your mark’. It is very descriptive since it literally is ‘to leave behind your fingernail marks’, which would take a lot of tenacity. We can write it with kanji as: 爪痕を残す.

I will write about the lower case tsu in a later post, since it is already Thursday morning here.

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2 Responses to “Sunday Soundcheck 28”

  1. fightingwindmills Says:

    Great insight, Bikkuri! Thanks for the lesson and the humor.

  2. びっくり Says:

    Oh, I didn’t think I said anything that funny. 🙂 I guess I should have marked my humor category as well. Thanks for reading.

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