For today’s lesson we are covering more musical instruments in Japanese, which we’ve already done before but this time, we’ve taking on the last missing part, string instruments.
An family for the musical instruments that contains poplar instruments used in orchestra such as violin. We are also giving you a short list of some of the famous traditional Japanese instruments.
弦 – げん, つる – gen, tsuru
This kanji have the meanings bowstring and chord. 弦 （げん） simply means string in instrument context. It is also used in mathematics when calculating chord in geometry. If you look closely to the kanji, you can see that it has a bow radical 弓 to the left and the thread kanji to the right 糸, which makes it easy to remember if you have to spell out string instrument 弦楽器 for example. Even if string instruments aren’t bows with threads, isn’t it close? In appearance at least.
Translated: A violin string broke.
Another reading the 弦 kanji has expect げん is つる which means bowstring.
Translated: String a bow.
Another alternative how to write string instruments instead of 弦楽器 is 絃楽器 which essentially has the same meaning, and the same reading. 絃 also has the meanings of string and cord, but also has connection to samisen music according to jisho.org.
The families of musical instruments
String Instruments in Japanese
Below we’ve introduced only instruments that are in the string family. As you can tell, there are instruments that are quite popular in orchestras such as the violin, viola, cello and more together with some of the probably less common instruments.
|bass guitar or bass||ベースギター, バース|
|classical guitar (also called Spanish guitar)||クラシック・ギター|
Japanese string instruments