Know Your Picture Characters Entry #10

June 21st, 2010 by Wordsman

A. 加 B. 独 C. 仏 D. 米 E. 蘭 F. 露

First of all, KYPC would like to welcome Theoman to the fray and salute him for taking a different approach.  That being said, his guess as to what B might sound like is roughly the same as his letter grade would be if this was a traditional test.  In this case, the sound it produces is do.  Say it all together now: “D’oh!”

If this were any other game, A Fan would presumably know better than to hedge his bets by guessing every single answer.  That being said, his intuition provided him with some very useful hints this time around, though he could use some work interpreting them.  A is a country legendary for the rudeness of its citizens . . . Canada (kanada).  The character means to increase, as in, “We went to Canada, and the temperature just kept increasing . . . negatively.”

B, the German tank taking its favorite shortcut through Belgium, is, in fact, Germany (doitsu, like “Deutschland”).  The character means “alone,” running the full range of connotations from “independent” to “isolated.”  D is not a Frenchman but an American, who has even more reason to celebrate that goofy goal (amerika, though in modern Japanese it is usually pronounced bei).  It means rice, which could mean that we love our grains, or it could mean that we’re rich, since for many years rice was synonymous with wealth in Japan.  Also interesting to note is that the Chinese use a different character to represent the U.S., one that means “beautiful.”  So the Japanese think we’re rich and the Chinese think we’re pretty.

Now we come to our two friends on the far right, including F, A Fan’s “official” guess, perhaps because he thought that I had slipped up and subconsciously made France choice F.  However, it is in fact the great sleeping bear of the East, good old Russia (roshia).  The character means neither sleep nor bear but “dew” or “tears,” which I think Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy would appreciate.  And E is Holland (oranda), represented by the symbol for orchid.  A tulip would have been better, I suppose, but hey, they were close.

The only true answer was hit upon by our dynamic duo, Dragon and her inexplicably psychically linked partner Shirley, who saw through the orchids, the rice, and the dew to France, letter C (furansu, though the character is more commonly pronounced bu or butsu).  This one probably his the least explicable definition of all: Buddha.  So let’s stick to the explanations you came up with.  If you remember DeGaulle’s nose and that Gaul was divided into three parts (which, as I’m sure we all remember, were Gallia Cisalpina, Gallia Narbonensis, and Gallia Comata) you’ll have no trouble finding France.

Phew!  That was a lot to get through.  But we’re not done yet.  Since I know you must be tired from reading all that, let’s stick to a simple subject this week: counting.  We’ve already covered the easy part, the numbers one through ten, but sometimes that’s not enough.  Think about counting bread.  You can’t say, “two breads”; it’s “two slices of bread” or “two loaves of bread.”  Lettuce is the same way, as is paper, as are cattle.

Most counting in Japanese works this way, pairing a number with the appropriate counter word.  There are counters for cylindrical objects, flat objects, and various kinds of animals, but I’m a writer, so I want you to find the counter for books.

A. 冊 B. 台 C. 杯 D. 匹 E. 本 F. 枚 G. 羽

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 4 Comments »

4 Responses

  1. Dragon Says:

    I’m going to have to go with B. (You may not have slipped up and put F for France, but everyone has their off days.) Some of you may be inclined to pick A, the bookshelf, but B displays the ancient method of operating books: to find one that’s only slightly smaller than your entire body and then levitate above it in a yoga pose. And also to decapitate yourself.

  2. A Fan Says:

    A. It just looks like a bookshelf with lots of books in it. Also, picking A. means I don’t have to look at the rest of them. Always pick the first answer.

  3. Shirley Says:

    “Books” all by itself is definitely an indefinite number, so I am confused about how the fact(?) that we have covered the digits 1-10 is much of a hint. If it is in fact a hint. A red herring maybe? Also, WW’s example of states in which bread finds itself seems to have some relevance, but I think I am missing something here. So I’m weaseling out and going for E. The little lines go off in all directions and you can’t get much more indefinite than that.

  4. Shirley Says:

    Can I edit my guess? I meant to say something like “we know” rather than “have covered” It’s much more what I meant to say. I usually wish I had put something differently when I read my already posted comment.

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