[TUHS] Mushi and Bagu

Nick Downing downing.nick at gmail.com
Thu Feb 16 02:13:39 AEST 2017

Yes, I just looked it up too.

States that mushi means "insect" and "the act of ignoring". (In Japanese
some verbs are nouns and used with the word "suru" meaning "do").

States that "bagu" means computer bug/error. That's also my recollection as
they use loan words for most of these technical things.

However, Japanese is NOT a complicated language. The spoken language is
very simple. The grammar and sound system are basically like English but
cut down and streamlined. It has a few unique features like "wa" but many
of the particles like "o" and "ga" have direct translations.

Where Japanese is harder to learn is the politeness levels of which there
are basically 4: rude, normal, polite and ultra polite. In ultra polite
there is a different vocabulary so that common actions such as seeing,
going, eating etc have to use a different word, however most ultra polite
language and basically all of the rude and polite language may be derived
systematically from the normal. We do this in English but less rigorously.

The other main thing is the writing system, well Japanese view it as a
beautiful thing and highly cultured but it's not. It's actually the world's
clunkiest writing system, in the 50s the Japanese government seriously
tried to get rid of it and replace with Latin letters like many other
sensible countries have done, and if they'd succeeded then learning
Japanese would be no more difficult than say Tagalog (Filipino) or Bahasa
(Indonesian/Malay). The reason they did not succeed is the many homonyms
resulting from Japanese's very limited sound system (about 50 syllables
compared with hundreds for English and thousands for Chinese or Vietnamese)
which makes Japanese a bit confusing/slow to read when written
phonetically. Note English also uses a similar system to disambiguate

cheers, Nick

On Feb 16, 2017 2:30 AM, "Noel Chiappa" <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu> wrote:

>     > From: Larry McVoy
>     > Are you sure? Someone else said moshi was hi and mushi was bug. Does
>     > mushi have two meanings?
> Yes:
>   http://www.nihongodict.com/?s=mushi
> 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:
>   http://mercury.lcs.mit.edu/~jnc/prints/glossary.html#Reading
> 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!
>         Noel
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