If my cousin were still alive, I'd be able to show him what his surname looks like in hiragana.
His name consists of four characters, each combining a consonant-vowel cluster.
Na-ka-mu-ra ---> なかむら
With only very few mistakes, I've managed to memorize the hiragana alphabet since starting this course about a month ago. That's a whopping 46 characters. Some of the characters so very closely resemble each other, I am temporarily thrown when having to produce them on command like during a quiz.
These characters look like pretzels, in a way, and I get them tripped up in my brain.
Actually, seeing them side-by-side helps me to distinguish them from one another. And 'me' looks way more like a pretzel (with a broken arm) than 'nu' does. :D
I took the bus through Japantown (Nihonmachi) today & managed to pronounce some of the words painted on awnings as the bus went by them. Understanding what I was saying is another matter entirely. Like German, Japanese is a phonetic language. One can say scads of stuff without actually knowing the meaning of what is being said.
Words I like & have committed to memory in hiragana---
kumo くも (cloud) because it reminds me of cumulus.
kaki かき (persimmon) I just like the economy of it.
sushi すし easy to remember as we already have the word in our language
Nihon にほん (Japan) why don't we use this word or something closely resembling it?
Alright, I've distracted myself enough for the evening. On to study for a chapter test!