Whilst I normally do 50 words each time I load up Influent, I ended up with a few extras this time around. I saw my way to 300 only by including verbs and adjectives. Wanting to be 100% sure that I found all nouns that are in the game, I ended up tracking down a word list for the game. Sure enough, I had missed six nouns. So after adding them to the collection I nabbed an extra four adjectives to top off at an even 60.
Alright, so before I get into listing the vocabulary, there was one word in particular that caught my attention: アイスキャンディー which means Popsicle, or “ice candy”. Do you see what I see? Let’s take a closer look:
Notice the difference between イ and ィ? That’s right, we’ve got a small イ added in there. WTF?!
So after hunting around a bit, I came across Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese where he explains the use of small アイウエオ.
“Due to the limitations of the sound set in Hiragana, some new combinations have been devised over the years to account for sounds that were not originally in Japanese. Most notable is the lack of the / ti / di / and / tu / du / sounds (because of the / chi / tsu / sounds), and the lack of the / f / consonant sound except for 「ふ」. The / sh / j / ch / consonants are also missing for the / e / vowel sound. The decision to resolve these deficiencies was to add small versions of the five vowel sounds. This has also been done for the / w / consonant sound to replace the obsolete characters. In addition, the convention of using the little double slashes on the 「ウ」 vowel （ヴ） with the small 「ア、イ、エ、オ」 to designate the / v / consonant has also been established but it’s not often used probably due to the fact that Japanese people still have difficulty pronouncing / v /. For instance, while you may guess that “volume” would be pronounced with a / v / sound, the Japanese have opted for the easier to pronounce “bolume” （ボリューム）. In the same way, vodka is written as “wokka” （ウォッカ） and not 「ヴォッカ」. You can write “violin” as either 「バイオリン」 or 「ヴァイオリン」. It really doesn’t matter however because almost all Japanese people will pronounce it with a / b / sound anyway.”
I’m expecting Human Japanese to get into this in a later chapter. But it was certainly a surprise when I realized I needed to type a new character. For reference, using x before a character in the IME will let you type small letters. so xi becomes ィ.
|コートかけ||coat rack||ベーキングトレイ||baking sheet|
|つく||turn on (verb)||こおらせる||freeze (verb)|
|つむ||pick (verb)||はく||sweep (verb)|
|とかす||melt (verb)||まぜる||blend (verb)|
|ひらく||open (verb)||わすれる||forget (verb)|
|すずしい||cool (adj)||ジューシー||juicy (adj)|
|こわねやすい||delicate (adj)||やみつき||addictive (adj)|
|さむい||cold (adj)||からい||spicy (adj)|
|まずい||disgusting (adj)||あまい||sweet (adj)|
|しろい||white (adj)||おいしい||delicious (adj)|
|あたらしい||new (adj)||あおい||blue (adj)|
|けんこうてきな||healthy (adj)||くさい||smelly (adj)|
|しんせんな||fresh (adj)||むらさきいろ||purple (adj)|