"I walk on a small bridge."
This is one of the examples of tonal variants in Japanese. 同音異義語 (どうおにぎご), or homonyms, can be defined by their accent for the ease of the listener. Above is the perfect example, where we have 椅 (bridge) being 'confused' for 箸 (chopsticks). Yes, it is obvious which one it is. However, it can also be noted thus: 椅 emphasises the first syllable, "HAshi", whereas 箸 is said like, "haSHI". Another example would be 川 (river), which can be pronounced "KAwa", and 皮 (skin), pronounced "kaWA". Hope this makes sense!
You should clarify that Japanese doesn't emphasise the same way English does. If a syllable is emphasised in Japanese its pitch ia higher. Hence why it's called a pitch accent.
Another common example is 雨 (あめ, rain) emphasized on the first syllable, and 飴 (candy), emphasized on the second syllable.
Thank you for posting this. I knew of Flower and Nose, but I wasn't aware of this one!
But it's the other way around for different dialects so you can just say hashi
Why is the correct particle を and not で or に? Is that grammatically correct?
I can't explain the why very well, but this is grammatically correct. You would also use を for walking on paths, swimming in lane in a pool, and flying through the sky (a similar example we saw in another lesson).
I would say it is because you are using the bridge vs going in the direction of the bridge or (by way of). However my Japanese is pretty poor, so someone else feel free to correct me.
It's not really useful to put a kanji we don't know how to read as a translation reminder in the phrase '-.-
I feel like we should be able to use 歩いています with this one, as it is implied that we are walking on the bridge right now.
I had the same thought, seems to make way more sense.
But I'm no native english speaker
Kanji is important, but you also have to learn to make sense of a word through the context of how it's being used. People dont speak in kanji.
No, that's not the main reason. It's because English allows all kinds of sound combinations, as well as consonants at the ends of words, so we have far fewer homophones. Japanese, with far fewer allowable sound combinations, is loaded with them, but kanji helps us to know which meaning is meant when you are reading, which provides less context than speaking does.
Japanese is loaded with homophones also because of heavy borrowing of Chinese words without keeping the Chinese tones.