Sunday, November 22, 2009
Beginning Japanese: Lesson One - Bonus One
The photos are from the wood block prints of Gengi Monogatari. Original documents do not exist, but several copies survived, and an excellent wood block artist recreated an excellent copy. Isn’t that wonderful? You can’t tell if it’s a woodblock print, can you?
The below photo, you read right to left and top to bottom. Can you find あ on the first line? あ is “a” of aiueo. Remember? It says あたらしきもふるきもwhich means “New as well as old.” But you’re looking at only あたらしき (new). I just wanted to show it to you so that you know that with guidance, you’re able to read how it’s like to read ancient Japanese texts.
Isn’t that exciting?
Once you learn all the hiraganas, you can read aloud many books written in hiragana. And they’re not only children books but adult books with furigana. Furigana is hiragana written in small prints next to kanji so that they help readers with not much knowledge of kanji. You can also read newspapers written in hiragana. But I mean you can only read aloud knowing all hiragana. Understanding what you read is another matter, of course. But reading is easy, right?