Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Double Double

You've gotta love the Japanese. They like to exaggerate everything without really meaning too.

So I was studying my kanji flash cards this evening, and I came across a word that I knew, but didn't know that I knew when presented with the kanji for this word.

冷凍食品 - Frozen Foods.

Easy enough - you see it on signs in the grocery store, and if you suck at cooking, this aisle is Universally accessible. Grab something, throw it in the basket, microwave and dine.

But I didn't know that I knew the kanji for 凍る 'to freeze'. Let's break down the first two quickly:

凍る - to freeze

冷める - to get cold (冷たい is probably more widely known amongst students of Japanese - cold!)

So what do we have? 冷凍 'cold freeze'

Does that really make sense to anyone but a native? Why not just write 凍食品? Interpreted only by the kanji in play, don't we still get 'freeze eat things' ?

But that just wouldn't be enough emphasis on 'this stuff ain't warm'

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