The end? Not yet. (on nuance)
Learning Japanese kanji is difficult. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again several times in future. It's difficult! Stroke order, number of lines and squiggles needed, umpteen ways to pronounce a character...
"But, Kady, some of them have only got 5 lines! Surely they can't be that tough?"
This week, I've got some new kanji to learn. Some I sort of knew already, and some are much less familiar. In amongst the batch, we have:
末 (matsu) - the end
未 (mi) - not yet
Both of them are written with 5 little lines. Can you spot the difference between those 2 kanji? I even made them bigger, so it's a little simpler.
Yeah. The lengths of the horizontal lines. That's all that separates matsu from mi.
This is the point where someone helpfully pipes up about how similar 'b' and 'd' are. It's not a totally different kettle of kanji, I grant you. How can two words that look alike have such contrasting meanings? Well, look at 'bough' and 'dough' for a start...
Learning the shape of letters and characters is a massive obstacle to learners and trivial to everyone else. A native English speaker would never confuse a 'b' for a 'd' unless they were a naff ventriloquist. I imagine people fluent in Japanese would find my inability to tell a couple of kanji apart bizarre.
Struggling with 2 lines has reminded me just how far I have yet to go. There is still so much that I don't know how to read or say. Nowhere near matsu, mi.