Serendipity

nahcirn send me a link to a Japanese short story online.  (Check the Great Website List under Wikibooks if you want to see what else is there.)  So that I could read it later without a computer, I printed the story out, and it happened to be sitting on my desk when someone came to my office to discuss something.

I had forgotten about it when, part way through the discussion, the story caught her eye, and she suddenly asked, “Do you read Japanese?”

Well, it won’t surprise you to know that I am ready to talk about learning Japanese at the drop of a hat, so we talked about it for a few minutes, and then she said, “My dad is fluent in Japanese, and he’s looking for people to talk to so he can keep his language skills up.”

Bingo!

The thing that I’ve been looking for the most is the chance for some conversation practice and, suddenly, here it comes.

Also, I have continued watching Michevous Kiss – Love in Tokyo”.  Strangely, the title in Japanese is イタズラなKiss – Love in Tokyo.  You will notice an awful lot of English in that Japanese title, but that’s how it is for some reason.  The word キッス pops up a lot during the show, which, I guess, isn’t really surprising.

I am not finding it fascinating, but watching it, even with subtitles, is really helping tune my ear to Japanese, which is a major advantage.  The first episode or two had a lot of sequences that didn’t even sound like language, just noise.  Now it all sounds like language, and I can often pick out words I know from in the middle of sentences and, from time to time, whole sentences or exchanges.

I have a few more episodes, and I’ll watch every single one of them, because it’s obviously helping.  Oh, and it turns out there’s a second season, so I guess I’ll be watching that, too.  The things I do in order to learn Japanese…

Last week, I went to lunch, and I ran into someone I used to practice Japanese with from time to time.  Now, in the last six months, I have finished off the second Minna no Nihongo book and started Chuukyuu e ikou.

In the same last six months, he hasn’t studied any Japanese at all.  ぜんぜん.  So he knows less Japanese now than he did.  Now, I’m not knocking him for it.  He has decided to put his energy and effort into other things, but he regrets the fact that he knows less Japanese now than he did, and the fact I know more Japanese now than I did kind of made it worse.

That is not an enviable position to be in.  If you want to learn, you have to stick with it.  Especially early on, it will slip away so much faster than you realize.

頑張って

 

 

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