You know what? When I started Chapter 49, which is an introduction to Keigo (extrasuperduper polite Japanese) I was lost. Okay, take most of the Japanese you know and change it! That was my first impression. It was also my second impression and possibly even my third. Once I really started digging into it, though (i.e. actually doing the homework) it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Now, I have a whole other chapter on Keigo coming up this week, so I suppose it will get worse, but at least I did well on my homework this week.
And, speaking of next week, yes, it is the week before Christmas, and, yes, I am still studying. I did make a concession to Christmas. My normal lesson day would have been Christmas Eve, so I changed it to the day before (which is, I suppose, Christmas Eve Eve).
The trick with the form of Keigo that I worked on this week is to already be familiar with the passive tense, which was okay since, the week before, we did the causative tense which is similar enough to the passive tense that I had to review the passive just to help unconfuse myself.
So, what I have so far for Keigo is:
special words to take the place of words I already know (such as using めしあがります in place of 食べます or のみます) and two new verb conjugations which are just inherently more polite than the normal verb forms.
I did get myself messed up on one homework problem by conjugation a group 2 verb as if it were a group 1 verb. Silly me.
I also double-checked the JET program to make sure there was no age limit. There used to be, but there isn’t now, which is good since, after I retire, my wife has decided that I should get a job teaching English in Japan so we can live there for a year just for the experience of it.
Sounds fun to me.
Fortunately, that still gives me several years to work on Japanese. I’m thinking it will take several years since it will have taken me a good year to finish all 50 chapters of the BEGINNER text book.
The intermediate book we will be using is, just from a glance, definitely harder. One of the goals of the book, apparently, is to help you move away from translating and closer to thinking in Japanese.
But, I have another week of Keigo in Minna no Nihongo first.
The most annoying thing is that I’ll have to change my system. I’ve been cruising along using Memrise to learn new vocabulary, but there doesn’t appear to be a Memrise course for the new book.
The new book, by the way, is only 10 chapters long, but I have a feeling I won’t be completing a chapter a week. There’s a lot more work in each chapter than there was in Minna no Nihongo. That’s okay, though. Speed isn’t the goal. Learning is the goal. I don’t care if it takes me 3 weeks for every chapter as long as I’m moving forward.
I hope your studies are going well.