携帯電話

31 Mar

Last Sunday we (my wife and I) bought our oldest daughter a 携帯電話 (cellular phone).

Of course, all three of my daughters really want a 携帯電話 (cellular phone)…but we decided not to get them one until they start 高等学校 (high school).

In Japan, most kids who are in public 小学校 (Elementary School) or 中学校 (Junior High School) can walk to school…but once they start 高等学校 (High School) they usually have to take the train to school.

My youngest two daughters are in 中学校 (Junior High School) and they walk to school. But beginning in early April, my oldest will start 高等学校 (High School) and she’ll ride the train with her friends to school every day.

So, my wife and I decided to get her a 携帯電話 (cellular phone).
Most important to us, her phone has email and GPS tracking (in an emergency, we can track her location on our 携帯電話 (cellular phones))…but her phone has every function available on Japanese 携帯電話 (cellular phones)—email, internet, 「おさいふケータイ」 (cell-phone wallet), GPS, TV, radio, MP3 player, etc, etc.!

Her phone is much better than my wife or my 携帯電話 (cellular phones).

Of course, her sisters are jealous! But, next year my second daughter will begin high school and I’ll have to buy her one…and then the youngest daughter when she starts high school too!
(*_*)

++++

Speaking of  携帯電話 (cellular phones), I recently learned that a cell-phone called “Blackberry” is popular in America.
Do you use this phone? Do you like it?

It looks like this:

blackberry

I’ve never used a “Blackberry” so I can only speculate…but it looks much less convenient, handy, and cool than the average 携帯電話 (cellular phone) in Japan.

First of all, it looks like a pocket calculator.
And it has a really wide keyboard with one key for each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet…like a computer keyboard. (The letters are arranged in the typewriter “QWERTY” order, too.).

It looks like you’d need both hands to type an email. Is that right?
Seems slow and inconvenient.

The numbers on it are also on ten keys on the left side (presumably they’re the keys you’d use to dial a phone number).

A Japanese 携帯電話 (cellular phone), on the other hand, simply has the ten number digits keys (1-9 and 0) which double as both the English alphabet keys (in alphabetical order) with each key used for three to four letters.
The “1” key is usually symbols such as “@, ., -, _, etc”, the “2” key is used for the letters “A-C” (both upper and lowercase), “3” is used for “D-F”, etc.

That’s in “English” mode.

In “Japanese” mode, the same number keys are used for the Japanese “alphabet“.
“1” is 「あいうえお」 in ひらがな (hiragana), and the corresponding 「アイウエオ」 in カタカナ (katakana),
“2” is used for 「さしすせそ」 (and, of course, 「サシスセソ」)), and so on for the keys 3-9 and 0.
Of course, to get 漢字 (kanji characters), you’d simply type out the phonetic spelling in ひらがな and the possible 漢字 (kanji characters) choices appear.

docomo1

That may not make sense to you if you don’t know about the Japanese writing system…but, believe me, it’s quite easy.

Better than the Blackberry, Japanese 携帯電話 (cellular phones) are slim. So, everyone in Japan types out cell-phone emails using one hand…actually just the thumb on one hand is used to type the whole mail!

Another thing about Japanese 携帯電話 (cellular phones) that make typing emails easy is the “predict” function.

Once you type the first ひらがな character in a common word or phrase (and also in a word or phrase that you have typed out before), the phone will offer you that word or phrase again and you can easily insert it into your email.

For example, I often email my wife while I’m on the train heading home after work and ask her 「今日の夕食は?」 (which means: “What’s for dinner today?”).

If I typed that out in English, it’s twenty-four characters. In Japanese, it’s only eleven…but with my 携帯電話 (cellular phone)’s “predict” function, I only need to type one character (「き」) and the phrase 「今日の夕食は?」 appears.

Convenient!

++++

Which reminds me of another subject…

In America (and maybe other countries too), businesses will often advertise their telephone number not with the numerical digits…but using the corresponding letters that are on the keys of a telephone.
To make their phone number easier to remember.

So, for example, a car dealer in America might have a phone number like 555-2277 but would write their phone number as 555-CARS.

In Japan, cell-phones have the English alphabet on the keys (as I just mentioned above)…but most home phones don’t.

So Japanese companies don’t use English letters to make their phone numbers easy to remember…but they use alternative pronunciations of the numbers to make clever expressions.

For example, I saw an ad for a pawn shop the other day. Their phone number is 78-2840.
In Japanese, that would normally be pronounced “nana-hachi-ni-hachi-yon-zero“…but the pawn shop had ふりがな over the numbers that showed the reading as 「しちやにはしれい」 (shichi-ya-ni-ha-shi-rei) which is an alternative reading of those numbers—but it also means 「質屋に走れい」 (“Run to the pawn shop”).

Many companies in Japan write the phone numbers with clever play-on-words like that.

Advertisements

17 Responses to “携帯電話”

  1. ข่าวไอที June 10, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    Thank you, I like very much.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 11, 2010 at 12:22 am #

      Thank you too for the nice comment.

      Like

  2. Tsukareru April 3, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Blackberries are for the serious business types. Two hands for a formal email. They’are mini-computers. The new models are half that size, though.

    Most cellphones in the US are the type you have in Japan (typing with one thumb in a similar configuration with prediction mode). The most common is Samsung brand and they’re Korean-made.

    For example, I use an older Pantech C300. Its’ a flip phone, but it can be covered up by a credit card. It’s tiny and my cell strap is larger than the phone.

    I can receive and send meassages in English, Korean and Japanese.

    Lots of college-age students have iPhones. At least she didn’t ask for one of those!

    Oh, and there is a huge distinction in the US between emailing (電子メール) and SMS text-messaging(メール). “I’m going to text my girlfriend and email my essay to the professor.”

    I hate texting!

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

      The Blackberry in your link is much smaller…but the letters are still arranged in “QWERTY” order.

      The cell-phone you have looks more like the phones here (but maybe Japan’s phones are more modern, it seems).
      How can you send Email in Japanese (and Korean) with that phone? The keys in the photo only have English letters and numbers.

      The IPhone proved quite unpopular here.

      >distinction in the US between emailing and SMS text-messaging

      I guess that’d be what is called “mail” (Email) and “short-mail” (SMS) in Japan.

      Like

      • Tsukareru April 4, 2009 at 1:43 am #

        Some people just prefer “QWERTY” order, I guess.

        You can switch between modes (I can turn off the predict mode, too) and type via romaji. It figures out the kanji for you also. But my phone is old… Please don’t judge it, it’s so tiny and helpless!

        My boyfriend has an newer model LG Shine;

        Its widely popular and also Korean-made.

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 4, 2009 at 2:26 am #

        I’ve never heard of LG.

        But in Japan, most every cell-phone is Japanese (I-Phone is here and may have to give up because it’s so unpopular, Blackberry recently came here…and isn’t proving popular either, and the English company Vodafone bought out the now-defunct Japanese cell-phone company “J-Phone” but they weren’t getting enough customers here either…so the Japanese company Softbank took over their business in Japan. Japan is a lucrative market for businesses…but difficult to break into.)

        Like

      • bartman905 April 6, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

        Blackberries are made by Research In Motion (RIM), a Canadian company. As Tsukareru indicated, it is generally used for business. You can get access to your corporate email (either Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes).

        You do know US President Obama uses a Blackberry?

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 6, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

        >You do know US President Obama uses a Blackberry?

        I heard that. They seem quite popular in America.

        It doesn’t look easy to type an email on them.

        Like

  3. tokyo5 April 1, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    I just added alot to this post…so please read it again (and of course, comment)!

    Like

  4. jplrosman March 31, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    huahauhauha the coming of age is a sign that you will probably have much more expenses with your daughter.
    Good luck to her

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 31, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

      Yes, teenagers are expensive! Especially three of them!

      Like

  5. Masako March 31, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    Konbanwa My husband and I went to Shibamata today! We really enjoyed it. It was like going to Nakamise Dori without all of the crowd and much more charming. I bought some peanut and rice crackers and some gobo tsukemono. We also enjoyed strolling around the temple at the end of the shopping street. Thanks so much for sharing so much in your blog, we would have never gone there if I didn’t read about it in your blog.

    Like

  6. cuteandcurls March 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    Reading your blog today reminds me of how difficult it is for me and i am sure for you to even get things that we want to have. Children nowadays are so lucky to be provided with these items. We had no cellular phones in those days let alone mp3s. We’d be lucky if my dad ever got us anything when he came back from his travels and he’s 10 children to spoil here 😛 Your daughter is lucky to have parents like you 🙂 I’d be spoiled for choice if i was there when it comes to cellular phones! What model did your lucky daughter get?

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 31, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

      >What model did your daughter get?

      This one, in white:
      http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/product/foma/prime/sh01a/gallery.html

      >10 children

      You have nine siblings??

      Like

      • cuteandcurls April 1, 2009 at 9:33 am #

        Heck I want one of those phones now! Makes my Nokia 6300 look soooooooooo ancient 😀

        You have nine siblings??
        YEP!! I have nine siblings and plenty of cats back at my parents 😀

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 1, 2009 at 10:32 am #

        I guess cell-phones and other electronics in Japan are way ahead of other countries.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: