I have recently been looking at a method pioneered by Professor James Heisig for Japanese Kanji and also taken further by Professor Alan Hoenig for Chinese characters. It basically uses memory building stories that do not concern themselves with being necessarily faithful to the original etymologies of the kanji/hanzi which simply offer ways for people learning Chinese symbols, for Japanese and Chinese respectively, to accelerate their learning of these hard-to-remember symbols.
Professor Hoenig has produced in his book snappily entitled “Chinese Characters: Learn & Remember 2,178 Characters and Their Meanings”, little apocryphal stories for enough characters to cover 95% of a typical text. If you want a taste of Hoenig, to coin a phrase, his website Eezychineezy.com, or something, offers bits of his book for free, but it is not expensive anyway, and there are copies available on Amazon, easy to find. In it, Hoenig freely acknowledges that he is building on foundations laid by Professor Heisig.
Professor Heisig, apart from his sterling work “Remembering the Kanji”, has also published “Remembering the Kana” but it only covers the Hiragana and Katakana. Strangely, it has been left to another professor, this time Professor Hulig (anov) to complete the work with “Remembering the Romaji”.
The work is seen below.
This letter stands for apple, and indeed it can be thought of as a rosy apple – the round part is the fruity bit, the bit at the bottom represents where the blossom was, but died, and the overhanging part at the top (not there in all fonts) represents the leaf you sometimes get with the apple if it was picked that way from the tree. In the capital form “A” you can see a ladder which is used to pick the apples from the tree. Continue reading ““Remembering the Romaji” by Professor Hulig (anov)”→
Many people trying to work out an understanding of what languages are, where they come from and where they are going experiment with conlangs or constructed languages. They often try to learn one of the many available, especially on the internet, of which the most “successful” – a relative term here – is the famous construct of Dr L. L. Zamenhof, namely Esperanto, but there are at least a thousand others, each with a handful of speakers or less. Sometimes these experimental linguists try to write their own artificial language, which is a very instructing thing to do. I did write an English based conlang myself once called “fucatok” which, in the alphabet it had, was supposed to be pronounced in a way not far off the modern international English pronunciation of “futuretalk”, but then I realised that a lot of people were calling it “f*ckertalk” and so I called the project off.
The Tower of Babel
I’m in correspondence because of my YouTube activities with one modern-day Zamenhof-style naive idealist, who wants to create from all the languages of today a perfect language that will solve humanities problems. It will not work, as I explained to him, and to see why we need to look at the origin of the many forms of speech we have today, and the reason why things are the way they are. Continue reading “On the Origin of Speeches”→
Production date: 19 June 2006
Playout date: 19/6/2006
Camera: Logitech webcam
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker with effects
Location: Strategia Office on Jazdow, Warsaw.
This is a random piece of mucking around in the office with Sophie, incorporating a bit of Chinese and a bit of Romanian, and showing for the first time the office fish tank. As many viewers actively disliked this as liked it, so not exactly my finest hour, but still more than a thousand a year have seen it. It was an attempt to jump on the numa bandwagon, which may account for the views, as I do understand that Chinese people per se don’t actually go on YouTube…
Actually, the high viewer number is probably due to my expolitation of the central scene where I added in a small film I had made in the Dominican republic when I had a miniscule memory card. It was part of a local samba show. People probably expected to see a leggy dancer and saw me messing about instead, and voted it down.