Of Grandmothers and Books and Dogs and so on…

Last week’s chapter of みんなの日本語 was all about the て form of verbs.

This week’s chapter of みんなの日本語 was all about the て form of verbs.

Déjà vu.

Wait.  Sorry.  Wrong language.

It turns out that the て form, aside from being confusing, is confusing.

Wait, hang on.  I think I’ve been look at て form charts a little too long today.

The fact is that the て form isn’t actually hard to construct.  It’s just that there are several variations that you have to know.

It also turns out that the て form has a lot of uses.  Too many to cover in one chapter, in fact.  Apparently.

-the imperative (Do this – but you can always add ください for politeness)

-the present progressive (I am doing this)

-giving permission (You may do this)

-connecting multiple verbs in a sentence (I’m pretty sure that’s true, but I don’t see if in either of these two chapters, which may mean…3 chapter on the て form?)

Well, here’s where I found myself today – on Facetime with the grandmother of a guy I know.  Did I mention that the grandmother speaks Japanese?  And doesn’t speak any English?


It was kind of like riding the world’s scariest roller coaster – terrifying at the time but you look back on it as a fun experience and are willing to get back in line and go again.

I guess I did okay, though.  We had a little conversation about the movies of Akira Kurosawa, even though I absolutely butchered the name of one of the movies and only knew some of the names in English, which, did I mention, this kind lady does not speak?

Also, I joined a new language exchange website and have a couple of people who seem interested in Skyping.  I can’t immerse myself in Japanese where I live, but I am going to do what I can.

Also, I bought a book that I hope will be helpful.  It is First Japanese Reader for Beginners by Miku Ono.  It has some little stories in it.  First you get a vocabulary list, then you get the story in pieces.  Each piece is present in Kanji and then in romaji and then in English.

Now, these stories aren’t exactly rocket science.  The first one is all about a street where there is a hotel and a store and how these rooms have many windows, but those rooms over there don’t have many windows.  There is also a guy with a cat that has pretty green eyes and another guy named Robert who has a dog.  The dog has a little black nose.

But, hey, when you get a book that uses the words both the word first and the word beginners in its title, what do you expect?  Anyway, it’s reading practice, and reading practice is a good thing right now.

I’ll let you know excitement is in store for Robert and his dog in the second story!




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