[TUHS] Mushi and Bagu

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Thu Feb 16 01:30:08 AEST 2017

    > From: Larry McVoy

    > Are you sure? Someone else said moshi was hi and mushi was bug. Does
    > mushi have two meanings?



Actually, more than two! Japanese is chock-a-block with homonyms. Any
given Japanese word will probably have more than one meaning.

There's some story I don't quite recall about a recent Prime Minister who
made a mistake of this sort - although now that I think about it, it was
probably the _other_ kind of replication, which is that a given set of kanji
(ideograms) usually has more than one pronunciation. (I won't go into why,
see here:


for more.) So he was reading a speech, and gave the wrong reading for a word.
There is apparently a book (or more) in Japanese, for the Japanese, that lists
the common ones that cause confusion.

A very complicated language! The written form is equally complicated; there
are two syllabaries ('hiragana' and 'katakana'), and for the kanji, there are
several completely different written forms!


More information about the TUHS mailing list