My most popular blog is “Kana Shodo,” and the second is “Hiragana in Ballpoint Pen.” I’m glad and surprised about that. This week, I returned to my shodo class, and showed Iida sensei and classmates those blogs. I told them some people around the world have been looking at their graceful brushstrokes. They stared at the screen. Then, Iida sensei said that her husband has also been blogging. She wrote in red brushstrokes, “Letters from Paraguay.” I told her I was interested in Spanish and would take a look at it.
Next day, I happened to see a new and wonderful book displayed in the library: “Spanish Language in South and North America.” It is written by Miyoshi Junnosuke. I am fascinated to read the history of the Spanish Language and its development. I’ve been always curious about it.
I didn’t know one hundred or so native languages existed not too long ago in America, probably before 1400 or so, and sixty or so are still spoken today. I’m excited to find out that the word “chocolate” originated from Nahuatl Language of Mexica tribe. Thank you! And I stared at the page about Paraguay. Guarani language not only survived, but has prospered along with Spanish. I’m surprised to know that 90% of the people in Paraguay speak Guarani. Only 10% in the cities speak Spanish, and 5%, outside the cities. I wonder if Guarani has some similarity to Japanese.
And I found the word “Jaguar” originated from Guarani. I’m interested in the sounds of ja and gu of jaguar, and Gu of Guarani. Right now, I’m writing a story relating to b, d, and g sounds in Japanese. In the ancient Chinese, there was a distinction between pure and murky sound elements in the language. In the past, I blogged on the pure and impure (murky) sounds. We call them, seion and dakuon. I don’t know when it changed, but today, Chinese language contains only seion. So, even we see b, d, and g in pin yin, they are pronounced softly, unlike Japanese.
Throughout the book, “Spanish Language in South and North America,” the author mentions that there is a tendency in the sounds of b, d, and g weakening such as cansado becoming cansao. D dropped. It sounds like the ancient Chinese, I thought. I don’t know what it is, but there must be some psychological reasons behind that tendency. Some people might say it laziness, but others, aesthetic reason.
Lately, my interest in Spanish has gone up. Daniel Dragomirescu of CHMagazine sent me the following Spanish site. http://www.suite101.net/content/revista-horizonte-literario-contemporneo-1a-parte-a26066
And Hipatia Argüero Mendoza (Mexico) has edited my short stories and translated into Spanish. She explained to me about the usage of usted and tu. I read her messages with much interest because of their social and psychological and perhaps political elements.
As an ending paragraph of this post, I’ll paste the blog site I mentioned above. It used to be “Letters from Paraguay,” but now, it is “日々是好日,” everyday is a good day.
The author of the blog is Iida Kazuhiko. I think he is a retired civil engineer who had lived in Paraguay for two years to teach about concrete processing and building. I think you’ll enjoy his beautiful photos mainly of Japan, and I think, the photos are self-explanatory. Please click each item on the left column. The top of the center column contains advertisements. I think he has travelled to Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentine, and Chile as well as other countries which I found out at the bottom of the right column.