16 April 2012


April 16 marks my 2nd anniversary here in Japan, and the 2nd anniversary of The Japan! Japan! Blog (version 2.0). I hope to stay just 1 more year here and earn my degree by March 2013, but that is unless I could find a nice job here afterward. Fittingly enough, after 2 years here, it is only today that I learned that "arigatou" ("thank you" in Japanese) actually has a Kanji, although in most cases I only see the Hiragana version of it:
ありがとう (Hiragana)
有難う (Kanji)
Apparently the first Kanji means "possession" and the second one means "difficulty," and combined it becomes "in trouble" (in Chinese) or "grateful" (in Japanese) and is actually pronounced something like "yuunan" or "arigata."  The う is Hiragana obviously, not a Kanji character, and instead it is placed to make sure the "arigata" is pronounced as "arigatou."  This is just my speculation but I think "arigatou" might be short for "arigata wo," that together with "gozaimasu" literally means "There is gratitude" or "Gratitude exists."  In any case, you'll probably see "arigatou" in Kanji in very limited instances, and if it would be written in Kanji, it would be in a situation where politeness is necessitated and you would usually see it with "gozaimasu," which generally turns greetings into polite form, like "ohayou gozaimasu" (good morning), and so on:
To all readers of The Japan! Japan! Blog as well as viewers of The Japan! Japan! Video Blog, and to all the people I've met in Japan who has made my stay here so far a very enjoyable experience, どうもありがとうございます / Dōmo arigatōgozaimasu / Thank you very much po. ("Po" being the Filipino equivalent of "gozaimasu," in terms of turning an ordinary sentence into polite form.)

No comments:

Post a Comment