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Today’s book is “Mari.”   This means “ball.”  It’s a little confusing though because nowadays Japanese are far more likely to use the Japanese loanword of ball, bo-ru.

When I first came to Japanese, I was talking to a coworker of mine, a Japanese man.  He said that there were many English loanwords, but all of them had a Japanese equivalent.  For example, Japanese people always say kamera for camera, but the actual word used traditionally is shashinki. (picture machine.)

So then I went to a camera store and asked, “Shashinki wa utte imasuka?”  (Do you sell cameras?)  The clerk, a young woman, looked at me like I was crazy.  That’s because nobody, especially not a foreigner, uses that traditional word.

Old people are much more likely to use the traditional terms, and so when I talk to them I learn quite a few of the traditional words.  Not exactly useful for a test…but fun!

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This book is about a ball that goes from page to page, getting acted upon by forces and thus changing shape.  Its text reads like “Splat!  Bonk!  Patooey!”  No real text.  This is another book I read in full at an intersection on my bike while waiting for the light to change.

It can be found here.