Please excuse me for making another new post so soon. Since Day 2 is bulkier, I thought it would be better organization-wise to separate from the main post.
なぜ？どうして？みぢかなぎもん (1年生) - 4 pages:
The first question was “Why are traffic signals red, green (blue), and yellow?”
It starts off by confirming the meanings of each of the colors, which the narrator assumes the reader is already aware of. Then the narrator proceeds to answer the question - starting off with the basics of how our eyes see a color and tell the brain what action to do knowing what the given color is meant to represent.
They do explain that if the color distinctions were hard to tell, the brain can’t make a quick judgment call. But the way the brain is designed, it responds to the color red the fastest. The next color is yellow. And the third color is green (blue). They’ve determined that the best way to protect everyone is to use that particular color order. The narrator then concludes that these colors were decided on because they’re the same colors the rest of the world uses, and each of them have the same meaning as the rest of the world (stop, go, slow down).
Overall, this reading was very easy to understand. Even with all the hiragana, it wasn’t hard to read. There weren’t any vocab words that really stumped me (though a few I had trouble pinpointing the exact English equivalent even though I could grasp a general idea of the word to use it in another Japanese sentence). I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a few kanji I learned recently, especially 命令 which I sometimes confuse.
I want to keep a log of the hiragana I encountered that I knew the kanji for (but isn’t shown because 1st graders haven’t learned them yet). I could also add them to my kanji notebook for vocab examples for contextual reference later. It would be nice to keep a list of kanji of vocab I haven’t learned yet either.
信号機 - しんごうき - traffic light - Barring the last kanji, I know the first two and would’ve probably been able to read the whole word in the context of the sentence without knowledge of the last kanji.
黄色 - きいろ - yellow
道路 - どうろ - paved road
初めて - はじめて - in the beginning
決まり - きまり - decision
知る - しる - to know
色 - いろ - color
意味 - いみ - meaning
考える - かんがえる - to think
動作 - どうさ - movement - Even though I could probably read this if I had seen the kanji, I couldn’t recall what the kanji was for the word when encountering the hiragana.
体 - からだ - body
命令 - めいれい - command - Actually surprised to realize these are two kanji that I just learned at level 11!
見分け - みわけ - distinction
着きにくい - つきにくい - difficult to reach
違い - ちがい - difference
分かる - わかる - to understand
伝わる - つわる - to be transmitted
次 - つぎ - next
使う - つかう - to use
早く - はやく- hurry
命 - いのち - life - Knew the meaning of the word but didn’t realize what the kanji was.
守る - まもる - to protect - Don’t think this one has been covered in WK, but I remembered it from Genki.
必要な - ひつような - necessary
世界中 - せかいじゅう - around the world
同じ - おなじ - same
持つ - もつ - to carry
渡る - わたる - to cross
脳 - のう - brain
判断する - はんだんする - to make a decision
素早く - すばやく- swift
危険 - きけん - danger
順番 - じゅんばん - alternating
Edit: I read another 4 pages. Question 2: “Why do we say 「もしもし」when answering the phone?”
Let's find out!
The narrator reiterates the question, pondering why we use that particular phrase when we answer the phone (as opposed to another greeting kids would be familiar with) because we’ve got some curious first graders that are probably wondering the same thing, yeah?
Apparently this phrase has been used as far back as 100 years ago. The narrator clarifies that phones weren’t always as simple as dialing and answering but back then, there was a middle man who would connect the caller to the receiver. This part was a little confusing (thanks to vague pronouns), but it sounds like the connecter would say 「もうしあげます、もうしあげます」(an old-fashioned way of saying 申します) before connecting to the receiver of the call. This meant that from now on, someone was going to talk (from what I understand, that meant the connecter was announcing the initiation of the call by the caller). Eventually, the phrase was shortened to もうし、もうし when a connecter was no longer necessary. And then the phrase was further shortened to もしもし.
The narrator concludes that English-speaking countries like the U.S. say “Hello” when answering the phone. French people say “Allo” (sorry if I butchered the spelling). The narrator also gives examples for China and Korea (but I have no idea how to write them in romaji so I’ll just leave it at that).
Overall, this was a lot more challenging of a reading to decipher because of the pronoun confusion, and according to my husband, the explanation was very simplified and not very well done so it was confusing. (In other words, he didn’t want me to feel bad for not understanding because it’s not my fault, lol.)
To clarify, the reason why 「申し上げます」was used was because the middle man who was connecting the call needed to be polite to the “customers.” He’s not the one receiving the call but just assisting the two involved in the conversation, so as not to be rude, he used the most formal way of saying “now speaking.” When phones were installed in all the houses and a need for a connecter was no longer necessary, the use of super politeness was also removed which is why the phrase was shortened to the easier to say version 「申し申し」 and then further shortened to 「もしもし」.
Already Learned Kanji
電話 - でんわ - phone
時 - とき - time
申し申し - もうしもうし - hello (answering the phone)
言う - いう - to say
最初 - さいしょ - the first
意味 - いみ - meaning
使う - つかう - to use
今 - いま - now
百年 - ひゃくねん - 100 years
以上 - いじょう - more than
昔 - むかし - long ago
初めて - はじめて - first time
受ける - うける - to accept
申し上げる - もうしあげる - to state (in a polite way)
呼び出す - よびだす - to call
相手 - あいて - partner
言葉 - ことば - word
長く - ながく - long
行く - いく - to go
内 - うち - inside
呼び止める - よびとめる - to call and stop
声 - こえ - voice
他 - ほか - other
国 - くに - country
呼びかける - よびかける - to call out to
英語 - えいご - English
繋ぐ - つなぐ - to connect - Doesn’t seem to be written with kanji very often though.
敬う - うやまう - to show respect for - This is the only word I had no idea the meaning of or kanji for.