Sunday Soundcheck 41

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On to the ‘H’ column of the Japanese sound table, the first sound is ha, written in hiragana as は and katakana as ハ. We’ll take three trips through this column because there are two accents which can be applied here.

Haroowaaku (ハローワーク) is taken from the English words ‘Hello Work’, and is Japan’s version of an employment bureau. Apparently when I left my position with the school board to start my own school, I could have drawn unemployment. I kind of wish I’d looked into that even though I don’t want to be ‘on the dole’, but I ended out retroactively paying a lot of taxes and such, that I wouldn’t have been obligated for, had I filed there. There is a Japanese name for the offices, shokugyouanteijo (職業安定所), but that’s probably used more on paperwork than in conversation.

Hanten (はんてん・半纏・袢纏) is a piece of clothing for the wintertime. It is typically a slightly more than waist-length garment, similar to a haori (はおり・羽織), but with packed cotton between the layers. I believe it is considered fairly casual and should just be worn around the house. My girlfriend has one made from silk which is sleeveless, making it ideal for wearing in a cold kitchen; the normal sleeves would constantly be getting in the food during preparation.

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