Weekly Classic Computer Trivia Question (20150105)
RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org
Mon Jan 5 19:22:57 CST 2015
From: Noel Chiappa
Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2015 2:04 PM
> From: Chuck Guzis
>> I suspect that other languages have similar exercises, though
>> I don't know what the Japanese do in Kanji.
> Err, think you mean kana, right? (Kanji are the ideograms, there are over a
> thousand in common use.) ...
No, they are not. Kanji are *LOGOgrams*, expressing *words*, not *ideas*.
(In fact, in Japanese they can express more than one word, given whether
they are read as Japanese or one of several different Chinese pronunciations,
of which kanon and goon are most common.)
> ... There is something called the 'iroha':
> which is a poem which uses every element of the Japanese syllabary - and
> exactly once! It was used to teach writing, no idea if it's used for the
> keyboard thingy.
A fellow graduate student in linguistics, a young lady from Japan, told me
35+ years ago that this poem was no longer used in schools, and that kana
were taught with reference to a grid layout. She also characterized it as
not very good poetry.
 "Han pronunciation", where orthographic <h> represents a velar fricative
like the German ach-laut
 "Wu pronunciation", where the reconstructed Middle Chinese pronunciation
of the character read as "wu" in Mandarin is [gwou] or [gwouə].
Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
Living Computer Museum
2245 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98134
mailto:RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org
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