My friend Jeff dreams of going to Israel. He’s quite fluent in Japanese, and humble enough (true to Japanese style) to say he’s not. He doesn’t know that much Hebrew, though, but he knows a specific word that’s kind of important.
What’s that word? כשר (kasher), or kosher, in English. I thought it was really cool how he remembered these different letters! I never thought of this stuff:
כ (kaf) – He remembers this ‘k’ sound because it looks like the Japanese character コ (ko). I wondered if he thought the word was pronounced ‘kosher’ in Hebrew because of this; but he knew it’s kasher. That’s good. I remember being sort of surprised when I found out how it’s pronounced.
ש (shin) – This, he says, reminds him of Spock’s live-long-and-prosper gesture, and he remembered that it was this letter that inspired it. I think that’s pretty cool!
ר (reish) – Yeah, this one’s not as fun, but he said that it looks like a reversed ‘r’. 🙂
As someone who follows the food laws that some Christians do, knowing this word would theoretically be really important to Jeff in the Holy Land. Jewish kosher laws are a lot stricter than Christian laws of clean and unclean meats, so you can imagine eating kosher would be really safe! I always find it cool to see how my friends from different language backgrounds look at other languages, especially those I know/am learning.