[KS] Re[2]: Spelling of the name Korea

martin_holman at berea.edu martin_holman at berea.edu
Tue Sep 14 18:15:03 EDT 1999

     >Actually the Portuguese Jesuits were fluent in Japanese, they knew 
     >the hiragana as well. (katakana didn't exist yet) katakana was 
     >invented when the need was felt that hiragana and kanji didn't 
     >fulfill the need to write down the introduced foreign words. That's 
     >why Tempura and most other introduced Portuguese words (actually 
     >Tempura comes from the Latin Quarter Tempurans, quarter times, Friday 
     >when the Portuguese ate fried fish) the introduced Dutch words 
     >however are all written in katakana.
     Katakana did not exist yet in the 16th century? Perhaps we should 
     trace the origin of this odd notion? (Maybe it is because "k" follows 
     "h" in the alphabet, thus suggesting the proper hierarchy of 
     By the time of the Jesuits in Japan, katakana had been around for many 
     hundreds of years. It had been used to indicate the pronunciation of 
     Chinese texts well before the 10th century. It was not invented in 
     response to the adoption of Portuguese, Spanish, or Dutch words.
     Also, some words appear to be missing in the last sentence of the 
     quoted material above. I hesitate to guess what was omitted.
     Marty Holman
     Berea College


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