Sunday Soundcheck 31


After a long break, let’s get things rolling with the second pass through the ‘T’ column. When we accent these sounds, it makes the ‘D’ column. First up is the sound da, in hiragana it is だ and in katakana, ダ. The katakana character, in some fonts, looks exactly like the kanji character 夕; which can be confusing, if you’re not careful.

Daia (ダイア), sometimes written daiya (ダイヤ), is really two words; or, rather, it is short for two words: daiyaguramu (ダイヤグラム), and daiyamondo (ダイヤモンド). Daiyamondo simply means ‘diamond’. Daiyaguramu comes from the English word ‘diagram’, and generally refers to the train schedule charts which are carried by station employees. They have a grid with time moving across the page from left to right and station locations listed down the side. Trains are indicated by diagonal lines moving across the page, making it easy to see: which train is next; what time and where to transfer; and arrival times. Train schedules or time tables should not be confused with daia and, hence are labeled jikokuhyou (時刻表・じこくひょう).

Apparently the charts are considered confidential and typically the only time you’ll see them is if you ask a worker on the platform for directions. While they won’t stop you from looking over their shoulder, I sometimes get furtive glances in exchange for my curiosity. One day, sitting at the counter of my favorite restaurant with flat Sally, we had a nice chat with a stationmaster. He was so interested in our discussion about helping the Girl Scouts and my seeming railfan status, so he laid his chart out on the counter for me to see. Later the restaurant owner expressed his amazement that I had that opportunity. I’d like to see it now that I can read so much more.

Dakko (だっこ) is to pick up a child or small animal. This is something I haven’t seen in textbooks but I hear almost everyday at the schools. Japanese kids love being picked up, and although they tease me about my weight, they quickly realize I have the shoulder strength to toss them in the air. We write this with kanji as 抱っこ. Dakiageru (だきあげる), written in kanji as 抱き上げる, has a similar meaning with a little more focus on the lifting than the holding.


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One Response to “Sunday Soundcheck 31”

  1. Pages tagged "railfan" Says:

    […] bookmarks tagged railfan Sunday Soundcheck 31 saved by 4 others     roby4cap bookmarked on 12/05/08 | […]

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