Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Do You Say....

We finally whimpered, "Uncle." The MP3 player is not working for us. We can't get to the right spot, random phrases come whizzing at us at lightening speed, but nothing that seems REALLY helpful.

One of "my PWOC ladies" spent a few years in Japan with her husband. They taught English as a Second Language and worked with a church. She stopped by with 4 books. Kana Can Be Easy, Japanese for Busy People, Basic Kanji Book, and the Random House: Japanese- English Enlgih-Japanese Dictionary. Stephanie said this was the best of 8 dictionaries they tried. She thought I should get one for each of us....I don't know about that...but I'll order one tonight. It's all a bit overwhelming... Arielle is pouring over the Kana book. I quickly checked out the dictionary and pieced together, "where bathroom," the problem is that I'm not sure we are READING it right...i's are e's, u's are oo's.....I decided it was time to order a Japanese language program of our very own. One that would help us HEAR the right way to say things....

I found a $10 special on the first 4 cd's of the Pimsleur Language Program. It's advertised as BEGINNER. I decided it would be worth it. I also began to look for Rosetta Stone. I think that may be the easiest way for us to learn before we arrive in Japan. I'm a very visual learner (as are one or two of our children) and these phrases zipping at us are confusing. We KNOW we won't know much but it would be nice to be able to say simple things like...."Thank You," "Please," "Where is the bathroom, please?" Rosetta Stone is $500+....YIKES. I've talked to Jared and told him that I think switching from German to Japanese would make sense. He can get credit, we can count time out at the ramen stands as "Japanese"... ::snort:: He's considering. IF he goes that way then I wouldn't feel quite so bad scrounging the $ for Rosetta Stone. Maybe this would be a worthy goal for our garage sale.

Stephanie thought that military could get RS free. At this point, all I've found is a program where you can get it if you are working toward a special degree or in special training...and it's for CGO and Mike is an FGO. I'm still looking. I decided to return the MP3 player and a couple of books on base. I used the opportunity to see if they had RS Japanese, they didn't. They DID have Pimsleur. I got that and we listened to the first lesson on the way home.

We all dutifully repeated pick up lines all the way home. ::snort:: The kids didn't realize that is what they were learning....and they are useful phrases...just funny that it's an American man and a Japanese woman on the tape....

We stepped out of the van....all of us practicing saying, "Excuse me, I don't understand Japanese." Zander went to pet our neighbor's dog. This dog excels at anti-social behavior. She took up barking and lunging at him. Zander said, "MOM, how do you say, "Sumimasen...I want to ring your neck," in Japan. ::snort::

Learning about another culture is hard work...

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We read a few Japanese folk tales today. We read more from Dangerous Journey. We had piano lessons. I worked on photos during the lesson. I talked with the speech pathologist again. They are really working hard to get Nolan dis-enrolled. I have really enjoyed the dealings I've had with this school district.

{Military Speak: NCO- Non-commissioned Officer (sgts), CGO = Company Grade Officer (Leuts, Capt); FGO= Field Grade Officer (Majors et al, I think there MUST be one more for Generals but not sure what it would be)}

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

11 comments:

Lisa in Jax said...

Some bad news about Rosetta Stone. We looked into it, but it only teaches Romanji and not Kanji. If you don't mind not learning the traditional Japanese characters then it'll do but for the money we expected it to teach the whole language.

That's why we went with Tell Me More. It's probably the only one that teaches the WHOLE language.

Blessings,

Lisa

Anonymous said...

I know that the army and National Guard can get RS free at the Virtual Armory, surely you have something similar.

Anonymous said...

Sis:

Language. :( Glad it is you and not us.

l/p Mom T

Anonymous said...

Sis:

Glad it is all of you learning language and not us. :(

Arielle is sure getting cute.

love/prayers Mom T

Kim said...

I talked to my Japanese language teacher today. I will try to e-mail you tomorrow with some of her suggestions. Cheaper than $500, but, if you know that is the program you could use well, that's cool too. I'll send you some info, anyway! Also, I KNOW at least your two older kids can learn the two kana alphabets (not the kanji yet) pretty easily, I would guess. Then they can read lots of foreign words written in Japanese. WEll, more in my e-mail later!

Cynthia said...

My brain would be swimming... I'm just not a language person, but I bet I'd become one if I had to (LOL)!

Renee said...

De'Etta,
We went gungho like you when we went to Germany the first time. We bought Muzzy for the kids.. but the reality was that we rarely needed to speak German. Once we opened our mouth and folks heard the American accent, they changed to English.
We were not so excited about learning Hangul when we went to Korea. We tried a few sample lessons on RS but it was too hard with the different alphabet. And again most places we went in Korea, folks spoke English and WANTED to practice. Heck we had friends that were "adopted" by a Korean gentleman so that his grandchildren could practice with native speakers. He would take their entire family out to eat, to parks, on vacation just so his grandkids heard/practiced English

Renee said...

I know dh has free access to Rosetta Stone online through his Army email account (or something like that)....but if the AF has the same, you would need Mike's log in and password...and the entire family would be using the same account...

De'Etta @ Choosing Joy said...

At this point all I'm finding is the RS for Air Force Company Grade Officer's who need the language for their career field....and that program expired...but I'll keep searching....

Renee, I know we don't NEED Japanese but it's the MK in me coming out...I want to show that we respect and value their culture, language and country too. Slaughtering Japanese is our first step. ::snort::

Kim - I'll look for your email.

Lisa - those who have lived in Japan say that we should focus on speaking and reading Kana (not Kanji with it's 2000 symbols) which would allow us to read most or many signs and speak.....but I agree with you. The programs I saw were 300 - $500 so I settled for the first 10 lessons of pimsleur and am coming up with a new plan as homeschoolers from Misawa find me and send me suggestions. LOL

Dana said...

Have you tried the library? Some have Rosetta Stone and I wonder if it might be possible on interlibrary loan? If nothing else, it will help you be sure you want to spend the money on it before purchase.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Go, De'Etta go!

I am full of admiration :0)

Julie