The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

F U too

Fuji summit in silhouette 

To my great surprise in my continuing, and oh so slow, assimilation of the Japanese language I discovered there is no sound for “Fu” or “Hu”. They are the same apparently. “L” and “R” are famously confused  but I didn`t know that  “Fu” is officially “Hu” .

Now I understand why Japanese housewives study “Fula “dancing in their spare time and it is rather shocking to discover that my favourite film is actually “Hugichrome” …

And my favourite mountain is in reality “Mount Hugi” Huge-ey! That somehow seems appropriate though.

The pic above is from the summit of that great icon. I have climbed it twice which makes my a fool by all accounts. especially as i want to do it again soon.

To see more pics from Fuji san as it is called here, have a look at my Fuji (Hugey) gallery on my website.

Talk to you later



3 responses

  1. Lorenzo E. Danielsson

    Well, it’s neither Fu nor Hu actually. It’s a bilabial ‘f’, which you get if you try to say an ‘f’ without letting your upper teeth touch your lower lip. Japanese only has the bilabial ‘f’, which makes it fairly straight-forward. Some languages, like Ewe (where the ‘w’ should be a bilabial ‘v’) actually have both bilabial and labiodental f and v. Guess if getting them right can be a challenge.. 😉

    August 4, 2007 at 3:59 am

  2. Thank you Lorenzo I have had to look up the word bilabial but you are right it is exactly that sound. My post was meant to be rather tongue in cheek but getting the language right often throws up these funny mistakes to keep us entertained. Getting it right is a real challenge though, when I was learning Thai, the tones were annoying especially when the listening local didn`t even try to think what I might have meant in the other 5 tones.
    Bye Damon

    August 4, 2007 at 1:51 pm

  3. Lorenzo E. Danielsson

    Cool, I also did a bit of Thai some years ago. I remember that the words for near and far differ only in tone, so if you ask somebody “Klai mai ka?”, they will respond “mai klai”, and you won’t have an idea of what you asked or what they answered. 😀

    I realized that the problem is that (natural) speakers of tonal languages have no clue what is so difficult about hearing/saying the different tones. In fact, if I say “ka” with a high tone, or “ka” with a rising-falling tone to them it is a different as we find “bat” and “apartment” different.

    August 4, 2007 at 3:51 pm

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