Whats up guys,
You already know what it is. Its time to learn another random Japanese word. We are gonna keep our spring topics going as the temperatures continue to rise day-by-day.
As you might recall, I neglected to update the blog last week due to the overwhelming amount of time I committed to helping my girlfriend move. So, today's word, 引っ越しシーズン/ひっこししーずん/hikkoshi shiizun, is going to examine that. But first thing first,
What is 引っ越しシーズン/hikkoshi shiizun?
If you figured out the phonetics for the latter half of today's word, シーズン/shiizun or "season", then you are already on the right track. "引っ越し/hikkoshi" on the other hand, means to "change residence". Of course, when you put 2 and 2 together, you get moving season. Easy, yeah? Alright, its about to get much more complicated, so lets breakdown this word since we have some interesting elements going on in here.
Lets start with the kanji first:
When you have two words in which the ending of the first and beginning of the second have syllables that closely resemble each other, this "つ・tsu" character is placed between to help create a compound word.
i.e; hiKu + Kosu = hiKKosu or
This edit essentially removes the extra vowel to make a clipped pronunciation of the syllables. Imagine the pronunciation of the word "hiccup" or hiccuping in the middle of a word. If you made it this far, congratulations we're half way home but we aren't out of the woods yet.
Ok, I think I get it, but what about the ending character "し/shi"?
Glad you asked. Take a look at the hiragana chart below.
I'm going to point out 2 useful things that will be essential to growing your basic Japanese knowledge.
Starting from the right side, notice the 3rd row beginning with "う・u"? ANYTIME you see a word ending with this character, it ishighly likely that the word is a verb; per our examples up top. Next, on the same side, notice the 2nd row beginning with "い・i". MOST occasions in which a verb needs to be converted to a noun, it will adopt an "い" ending; hence 引っ越し.
Got it, but why can't I find the characters for シーズン on the hiragana chart?
That's because the characters making up シーズン are NOT hiragana; they are in fact derived from yet another syllabary called katakana. Take a look at the Katakana chart below.
Katakana characters are identical in pronunciation to their hiragana counterparts. However, they exist for the sole purpose phonetically transcribing foreign words into the Japanese language; hence the really awkward pronunciation you may occasionally hear from time to time. Its also why a lot of negative stereotypes persist about the pronunciation of English among Asian demographics. To listen to various examples of this, I included a video from Youtuber "Bilingirl Chika" below. She is a fantastic teacher and I occasionally use her videos when I teach at school -you might want to turn on the subtitles but I'm sure you'll get the gist.
*sidenote: that dash you see, シーズン, means the previous vowel sound is elongated by 1 beat (which is why I add an 'i' when writing it in English).
Anyway, now that we got the grammar stuff done lets move on to why there is a 引っ越しシーズン in the first place. A few weeks ago, I made a post about 就活/しゅうかつ/shuukatsu or "job hunting". If you can recall the time frame in which that activity occurs from that post, it is in alignment with 引っ越しシーズン.
Since most new graduates and inter-company transfers are relocated to their new positions by their companies, everyone around the country undoubtedly moves at the same time. Its kind of crazy and I imagine it to be a logistical nightmare tbh. As you can see from the graph above, the moving season does an insane spike in Feb/March/April, eventually normalizing around May. Nothing like this exists in America since most companies hire all year round, so I think today's word is pretty interesting.
Hope you guys learned a lot, it was a pain to type all this stuff lol
What do you think? Could America benefit from having a specified moving season? Can you imagine how housing prices may spike during this time?
Leave your comments down below. As always, don't forget to like and share~
Until next time,