Yo is the last sound in the Y column. It is written in hiragana as よ and in katakana as ヨ. Oddly, the number of available foreign words starting with this sound are limited.
Many scientific words find their way into Japanese from languages other than English because science has a history of being documented in German, among other languages. When I started college I was a Chemistry major and we were required to study a foreign language with German being the recommended choice. Iodine is no different; in Japanese we say Yoodo (ヨード), from the German ‘Jod’. In America, salt is often Iodized, so most Americans have heard about Iodine. In Japan, salt rarely has Iodine, so the average person rarely has contact with Iodine. When I first started using a Rhino Horn, I needed to search for non-Iodized salt. I was troubled because I couldn’t find mention of Iodine anywhere on the labels and, since Japanese labeling often lags American nutrition and safety standards, I didn’t want to assume it wasn’t there. Fortunately my sister, who did some research at Kyoto U., was able to enlighten me.
Yomikonasu (よみこなす・読み熟す) is to read something difficult and be able to understand it. Many Japanese people feel English is something mysterious and virtually impossible to grasp. I’ve heard people use this word – in the negative sense – when describing their experience with English books or documents. This word is made of two parts: to read, and to bring something to fruition or to ripen.
Next week we hit the last full column of the chart.