And The Review Goes On…

Except that I can’t leave well enough alone.

Review is necessary, but I also want to keep making progress of some kind.

So…My review so far has covered ほうがいいです for certain kinds of situations that involve giving advice and making guesses with でしょう and かもしれません with some modification from adverbs like きっと, たぶん and もしかしたら.

Of course, aside from learning what those words means, you have to learn which kinds of verb forms go with each word.  (た and ない forms for ほうがいいです, for example.)

And, also of course, I am reviewing vocabulary.

So what am I doing to make a little forward movement as well?  I am finally working on reading the book my wonderful Cafetalk tutor Makisan sent me from Japan.  I am finally to a point where I think I can make some sense of it.

Here’s the first page of the text:

Spirited Away Page 1

Gorgeous, isn’t it?  Lots of pictures from the movie, which happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time, Spirited Away or 千と千尋の神隠し.  And it has furigana, which I personally am happy about.

Just for fun, let’s break down the opening sentence.

「千尋、千尋、もうすぐぢょう!」 車のうんてんをしながら、 おとうさんが、 いいました。

千尋、千尋、もうすぐぢょう! – Chihiro, Chihiro, we’re almost there.  I have learned this phrase as a phrase.  Breaking it down word for word (and ignoring the name Chihiro) you get something like already, immediately, it is with the emphasis marker よ at the end, because…Japanese.

車のうんてんをしながら – while driving the car.  I am making the assumption that しながら is basically another version of a word I already know: みながら, which means “while doing something”.  I am making that assumption because (a) しながら isn’t in my dictionary so I have to make a guess at it and (b) because it works perfectly here.

おとうさんが、 いいました – her father said.  Japanese loves to leave words out whenever possible, so the word “her” is not in this sentence, but I am inserting it.  Also, my textbook would say that it should be といいました, but they have simply left the と out.

So, putting that altogether we get something like “Chihiro, Chihiro, we’re almost there!” her father said while driving the car.

I did skip the heading ふしぎのくに。 I actually know this one, too.  ふしぎ is an adjective meaning mysterious, magical, strange, that sort of thing, so this comes out to be magical country or something along those lines.  Now, it could also have been written ふしぎなくに, and I’m not totally up on when to use な (which my text uses) and when to use の or if it makes any difference at all, but, hey, I’m still learning.

So now I am looking at a whole page of Japanese and, at least so far, I understand it!  How cool is that?

Sometimes studying is a drag, let’s be honest.  Some days I don’t really feel like it, but I do it anyway.  Many days I enjoy it.  But seeing progress like this really motivates me.

Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t learn Japanese.

Of course you can!

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