Kanji of the Day

My new phone conveniently came with a set of dictionaries on an external SD-card. Which has allowed me to give some rest to the incredibly helpful, yet thoroughly worn out, pocket dictionary Karina gave, me the first time I left for Japan, three years ago.

As I used to do with the old paper one, I take it out all the time when riding the subway in order to check some random stuff I’d read on an ad or heard somewhere (unfortunately, it doesn’t have any multi-radical kanji search, so I still need to have at least some clue on the pronunciation of what I’m searching for). Often, I end up drifting through definitions for a while, browsing along some thin line of thought and picking words I might want to remember.

This evening, I accidentally stumbled upon this pearl, reprinted verbatim from my phone’s dictionary:

腎虚 (じんきょ [jinkyo]): “man’s emaciation due to sexual intemperance”.

Can you actually believe there is a word, a single word, for “man’s emaciation due to sexual intemperance” ? Yea, neither can I.

In other news, my favorite kanji of the day is:

火の粉 (ひのこ [hinoko])

Which means “sparks”, but literally translates to “fire dust”. Incidentally, the “dust” (粉) in “fire dust”, is also the dust in 花粉症, or “flower dust affliction”, known to the West as “hay fever”, responsible for a strong seasonal comeback of the ever fashionable white cotton facemask (for many years before coming to Japan, I had been convinced, along with the rest of the Western world, that these masks were exclusively worn to prevent germ spreading while they are in fact meant to protect from pollen).

Damn I think I just made an informative and somewhat useful entry here. My editorial integrity is sinking these days.

4 comments

  1. Languages are great aren’t they? Unfortunately I’ve never learnt anything more obscure than German (unless we count programming languages :P), and even that only to beginner standard. Learning Japanese looks like it must be really tough, though I guess its probably a bit easier when you’re actually in the country so you’re surrounded by it. Still, it would be a totally new experience for me to learn a language with a different alphabet, let alone a different type of alphabet.

  2. Dictionaries on Mobile Phones – don’t you know the on-line one is much more comprehensive than any silly SD card one??? 🙂 But then what do I know about Dictionaries.

  3. Stop peddling your evil merchandise around here! 😉
    Beside, this little SD-card dictionary is 1) infinitely faster than using online ones (and probably cheaper too) 2) not so bad, since as I pointed out, it even informs you on the ever essential way to express your emaciation due to sexual intemperance…
    But I do need to bring back to life that old scripts I had to translate texts via email… it was damn useful…

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