February 21, 2006 – Give an octopus

Learning a foreign language can be a daunting, intimidating task. I have sympathized with my students who have struggled to learn the many terrible irregularities in the English language, the whole time clinging to a belief that Japanese makes a lot more sense. That is until today’s Japanese lesson.

In my Japanese lesson I learned that “tako wo ageru” can mean both “fly a kite” and “give an octopus”. The difference is easy to spot when reading, but verbally they are the same.

Any language which can confuse these two very different concepts is not for the faint of heart. Seriously.


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