Sunday, July 15 2007

Forget the answer, what’s the question?

I’m still plugging away at my kanji study, mostly using Kakitorikun for the DS. Since it’s intended for Japanese children, I’ve gotten used to looking up vocabulary related to baseball, school life, and traditional culture, but I still run into trouble occasionally. Sometimes I stop and figure these oddballs out right away, but this one sat on a post-it note for a week before I finally got back to it:


The answer is しらうお. I knew the answer had to be a kind of fish, and I knew it was a long, thin, small fish, but even if I had correctly parsed mushoku-hantoumei as “colorless, half-transparent”, I wouldn’t have known which fish, because I don’t know anything about Japanese fish. Not even the ones you find in sushi bars.