Monday, July 30, 2007

Do I smell of principled radish?

Over the last couple of weeks I've seen a perfume for sale in Italian shops. It seems to have a Japanese name (can't quite remember - four syllables with 'ake' at the end), but it also boasts some hanzi as a prominent part of its title:

正萝

I wish I could offer a photo here, but I haven't had the chance to go and take a picture yet. I recognized zheng1 but I had to memorize the second character and look it up on zhongwen.com. Either my memory is shot, or the perfume smells of upright/principled radish, or the Japanese use hanzi in a very different way to the Chinese!

3 comments:

Chris said...

Spooky I recognised the character for radish but only in connection to other vegatables.
胡萝卜 carrot
白萝卜 turnip

I think there are a few others but I remembered carrot because it contains a character from my Chinese name and the turnip was something that my favorite Chinese cartoon character (xiaoxin) failed to buy for his mum.

I do feel that characters get a bit overloaded at times, 萝 means radish, but so does 萝卜 if you want to avoid confusion (unless you mean turnip of course) and radish just becomes convenient part of many root vegetable names.

Actually I am not sure that 萝 is used in Japanese (actually I haven't got a clue except my dictionary doesn't seem to have it ;)).

How the hell did I find about stuff prior to the Internet?? Is it making us smarter (I couldn't have learned Chinese like this without it). Maybe not another dictionary just says turnip and doesn't even mention radish. Maybe it is like sheep and goats (Chinese seems a bit fuzzy on differentiating them also).

I don't want to upset the radish applecart but I thought hey that character looks a little like meng2 (dream) of which the traditional character 夢 looks somewhat like your radish. Also means the same in Japanese perhaps you smell of true dreams......

NOW do you see the danger of interacting with the real world?? stick to cyberspace where we are all smart!

Chris said...

Doh that should be meng4 not meng2, and I was on the Internet too (double doh).

Brendan Lawlor said...

Well played that man. You beat me to the punch Chris. More to follow...