Learning a new language is sometimes fun and sometimes a real pain.
Japanese is one of the harder languages to take on – not the worst, but getting there. Having to memorise a completely new alphabet as well as words and phrases makes it tougher. At least with languages like French, Spanish and Italian you're using letters you already know.
As I learn more and more Japanese, I'm finding more words and phrases I enjoy. They're not all natural for daily conversations, but I like them.
Jidouhanbaiki - 自動販売機 - vending machine
Ah, the 'automatic sales machine'. One of my favourite phrases, for little other reason than it sounds nice to say. I do like vending machines themselves, as well. Especially Japanese ones, which can be found stocked with a huge range of things.
u-pa-ru-pa- - ウーパールーパー - axolotl
The word 'axolotl' is pretty interesting in itself. As is how the 'Mexican salamander' looks. Gosh, that things is creepy. When I found out the Japanese word for it, I almost cried laughing. Oompa Loompa? Nope. Nowhere near as orange.
poroporo - ぽろぽろ - in large drops
Onomatopoeia in Japanese is often repeated sounds, like fuwafuwa, garagara, zaazaa, etc. 'Poroporo' is no different. It's usually a way of describing heavy, sad tears falling.
hotchkiss - ホチキス - stapler
Contrary to widespread belief, probably not named after the machine gun. It's a nice, confusing story, but how do you get from a machine gun to a stapler? There was a Hotchkiss stapler company around in the late 1800s, let's go with that.
kuinshinbou - 食いしん坊 - a glutton
My appetite, and the general public reaction to it, forced me to learn this one sharpish. Saying 'kuishinbou' puts across a stronger sense of 'reason for living' than simply going with "I like food" and hoping they get the inference.
darui - だるい - sluggish, listless
To me, this word sounds appropriately apathetic. I hope we incorporate it into English, like we've done with 'anime', 'karaoke' and 'ramen'. "Oh, I feel really darui today." I think it could catch on.
konsento - コンセント - plug socket
It shouldn't be hard to see how I've struggled with the idea of this word. I was shocked - shocked, get it - to discover that this borrowed word comes from English. It's a shortening of 'concentric plug', the type used around the turn of the 20th century.
I'm sure more of these will turn up the more I learn...