Sunday Soundcheck 73


As promised, this week is a simple one: today’s sound is n, written in hiragana as ん and katakana as ン. It sounds pretty much like one might expect; however, in the middle of words it is more like an ‘ng’ sound with the ‘g’ being weak.

So why would this week be so simple? The answer is that this sound never appears at the beginning of a word in Japanese. Sunday Soundcheck lists words commonly used, but not commonly found in language texts which start with whatever character we are discussing. Okinawa dialect varies dramatically from common Japanese and there is an amusing souvenir shirt which lists words starting with n.

Interestingly, I found a foreign word Njamena (ンジャメナ) which is N’Djamena, the capitol of Chad, formerly Fort Lamy.

There is a game in Japanese called shiritori (尻取り) in which players – usually children – take turns making words which start with the last character of the previous person’s word. The game has a natural end when a player accidentally says a word ending in n, earning that player a bad point.


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4 Responses to “Sunday Soundcheck 73”

  1. titus2woman Says:

    Just letting you know that I notice your absence and miss your writing! 😀

  2. びっくり Says:

    As always, thank you. I’m glad I finally took the (minimal) effort to hunt down your facebook page. I can be so lazy. I disappear from WordPress for two reasons: being too busy; and being in distress. I am working on fixing the things that distress me. Fixing the too busy is impossible. A friend once noted that when he has lots to blog about, he has no time to blog; and ironically, when he has time to blog, it is because he is doing nothing blog-worthy. 🙂

  3. titus2woman Says:

    I actually did try to find you on fb but couldn’t, and that seems to happen a lot to me~even with direct links! Weird… I SO understand having a plethora of subjects to blog about~only to not remember them clearly when there’s time to share it. Praying over your distress!!!!!

  4. びっくり Says:

    Thank you. Facebook’s database is a bit of a mess and sometimes it is very hard to find people from a different geographical region. I had trouble finding you at first, but I entered your full email address in the search and you appeared.

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