Sorry, this week’s post is actually getting put out on Monday, regardless what the timestamp says. Spent the weekend running around looking at apartments, checking train and bus schedules, and taking care of a few other things. The Soundcheck totally slipped my mind until I was trying to keep my eyes from rolling back in my head, so I went to sleep.
He is the sound of the week. Be sure to note that isn’t like the English word ‘he’, the ‘e’ sound is similar to egg, but don’t draw your mouth back, or open it, just leave your lips in a fairly neutral position when you speak. Remember, we don’t move our lips much to speak Japanese. We represent this sound in hiragana as へ and in katakana as ヘ; yes, that’s right: they look almost identical. Actually, in some fonts they are identical. Sometimes this can cause confusion, but generally the characters after this one will give a strong clue as to whether it is hiragana or katakana.
Herutsu (ヘルツ) is on my mind lately. This is the word for ‘Hertz’, a measure of frequency. Along with deshiberu (デシベル) the word for ‘decibel’, a measure of sound intensity. After taking medicines for a week and returning to the Otolaryngologist, we have found that the ringing in my ear is about 4000Hz and is now only masking other sounds to about 40db, as compared to 70db a week ago. Oddly, much higher frequencies seem to be fine.
Hekomu (へこむ・凹む) is a verb meaning ‘dent’, but in past tense it can mean ‘hollow’ and gets used when casually talking about being very hungry. Note the kanji – 凹 – is very descriptive; the opposite meaning can be represented with – 凸; how cute is that?