|The Language correspondence between Japanese and Sinhalese |
" Comparative study of body-words between Japanese and Sinhalese"
Sri Lanka forum 2000 / 11/11
at Sri Lanka Embassy , Tokyo
I am Tomio Tanno introduced by Mr. Dinil Pushpalal , chairman of Sri Lanka seminar, today. Before coming here, a previous arrangement was carried out with Dinil at a tea house near here. Then, I decided to compare words .Japanese and Sinhalese , as possible as familiar. So, I choose one words group that show body. These words are common for everybody.
Now, what part of the body should I start with? "Leg" or "head"? Or start from under "leg"? (One Japanese lady answered "from under the leg") Yes, all right. Let's begin from "step". And let's go up from that point.
The word which I speak the body name with Japanese hiragana is written to the left-side of this blackboard. And Dinil write same body terms to the right-side of this blackboard in Sinhala letters. He writes the body word ,and same time he read it loudly in Sinhalese. I also read my writings in Jaoanese. All right, the actual sound of these words can be caught to both the Sinhalese and the Japanese audience by native speaking sound.
Let's begin from "under the leg."
1 Japanese / Ashi Sinhalese / Adi ---- meaning " Foot "
Shall we start from "Ashi" in Japanese word meaning "Foot".
"Ashi" in Japanese correspond to "Adi" in Sinhala, I write it in Japanese characters and Dinil write it in Sinhala characters on the blackboard.
What do you feel about these pronunciation? Well alike? Or not? One is "Ashi" and the other is "Adi." Yes, there are different somewhat ,one is "-shi" another is " -di" ,but sounds of both vowels , "a" and "i" ,are the same. Only the defference is "sh" and "d". This changing was born by tongue position. It is easy to find similarity out of these syllable words..
But there are a little meaning changes between these two sound - similar words. Sinhala "Adi" means "foot prit " or "sole of foot".Japanese "ashi" means "leg" or "foot". Both words mean almost same parts but those are different in detail. In Sinhalese they call "leg" in English as "Kakul" The Japanese named it "ashi". Japanese word "ashi" means all the lower part of waist.
Japanese language is used to characterize by vagueness. I think ,on same point , Sinhala language is vague too, but Japanese is more than that.
There is a term "Adi paara" in Sinhala language (-aa- is long vowel). "Paara" means "Road" and "Adi" is "Sole". So, the meaning of this term is "Sole - road " means "foot path" .The way which was stepped on and hardened on foot" .
2 Japanese /specialize Hiza Sinhalese/ Hisa ----- meaning " Knee "
Shall we go up side of the body, next one is the body term "Knee".
"Knee" is called "dhanahisa" in Sinhalese. Dinil. please pronounce the word "dhanahisa ".Thank you ,and I speak of Japanese knee --- "HIza". How are these sounds? You all feel Not alike? Yes, but wait a moment please.
Sinhala "Dhanahisa" can be to divide into two words ,one is "Dhana" and the other is "Hisa." The former part "Dhana" is the loan word. When we call it as loan words in Sinhala language, those usually means that the word was loaned from Pali . Sri Lankan culture had been much influenced by Pali culture. "Dhana" is Pali word ,it means "Knee." Of cause the word "Hisa" attached behind "Dana" means "Knee " in Sinhalese . So, " Dhana - hisa " is the word meaning "Knee - Knee" Yes, it has ,doble meaning word. And this is not the specialized case. We the Japanese used to make double meaning words when we loan the word from other languages.
Don't you feel Sinhala "Hisa" resembles Japanese "Hiza" very much?.
Here I must mention same issue as "Adi" and "Ashi". If it says correctly, "Hisa" means "the portion of Joint ". Japanese "Hiza" also suit in this meaning.
There is another word "Ura-hisa" in Sinhala language. "Ura" means "Shoulder" . So, we can say this is the joint words of "Shoulder" and "Joint". In this case , too, Sinhala "hisa" is corresponding to Japanese "hiza".
There is another case that the word itself indicate "joint" ,but in this case it is not say "hisa" nor "hiza". That is the word "Elbow" in English. "Elbow" is "Waramita" in Sinhalese and "Hiji" in Japanese. These words do not resemble each other.
3 Japanese /Hara Sinhalese/Bada ----- meaning " Belly "
"Belly" is called "Bada" in Sinhalese language. The Japanese speak it as "Hara" . We can find corresponding sounds here ,too. B (Bada)is the voiced consonant (syllable) of H. And the second consonants -- Japanese "r" and Sinhalese "d" --- of these two words are similar type as tongue sound. These two words are easy to remember because wer can find another similar words. " Bowels " is named " Hara - wata " in Japanese and " Bada - wara " in Sinhala. Sound structure of these two words are almost same. and there are some substitutions at similar type consonants.
4 Japanese /Te Sinhalese/atha ----- meaning " Hand "
The early Japanese , they call "Hand " as "Ta /Tha " but not "Te" .We can find this type of words even now. For example ,"Ta-oru" is the compound word of " Ta" and "Oru". It means " Hand - breaking off". In this case , " Ta " is same as modern "Te" meaning " hand "..Further more ,we can find more older form of "Ta" in Japanese and it is the word "Ata /Atha". We can find this type of former type " te" in the book of Kojiki ,the collection of old poems in Japan.
Thus , the word "Te" has its old style as "Ta / Ata" in Japanese language. It is the same word as Sinhala "Atha"
If you look up this word in an archaic word dictionary, you shall find the meaning as "unit of the ancient length" and ." The length to the thumb and the middle finger". They have same manner of hand measure in Sri Lanka and it was named ,as same as Japanese word , "Atha " .
5Japanese / Ke Sinhalese/ Ke: , Kes, Kesa : ----- meaning " Hair "
I want to carry out more words correspondence between Japanese and Sinhala, but aiready 40 minits have gone . I have almost no time to mention about those words.
Today's last one is the word " hair " in English. This is called "Kesa" "kes" and "ke:" in Sinhalese. What say "Hair" in Japanese?
It is "Ke / Kee" in Japanese language.
"Kesa" is the singular word in Sinhala , and other words "Kes""Ke:" are plural. On the other hand ,we the Japanese have only one word of "Ke" in Japanese language because Japanese language pays no attention to numbers. Likewise we the Japanese do not take care of short vowel nor long vowel. "Ke" and "Kee" are the same word and allow to listen as same pronounces.
Anyway, "Ke:" in Sinhala is "Ke" in Japanese. There are no difference in sound and meanings.
The correspondence of words which I talked are the only bodily words today. There are so many words correspondence in Japanese and Sinhalese. Is is the reasopn why the Japanese , living in Sri Lanka , speak Sinhala so easily In the same way, it is easy for the Sinhalese ,who are living in Japan, to speak Japanese as if they were the ordinary Japanese people.
Originally the people of Asia had very close relations. But the Times passed for 1000 years and 2000 years or more, and the countries of Asia became far and far mutually. If it considers in the history of language, we can find other words and grammar correspondences between other Asian countries. We the Asian people could not divide into country boundaries. Those can be divided with only political affairs.
Sinhalese is the language of old friend or relative of Japanese. Let's know Sinhalese language more. Let's listen languages of Asia more. Thank you.