Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lovin Japan ~ Nihongo

Japanese has proven difficult to learn. Part of this is because there are three different symbols to learn: Hiragan, Kanji and Katakana. Hiragana is taught to young kids and you see it often. Kanji seems to be used on official documents and signs. Katakana is used for foreign words. When one can decode the symbols one often can understand the signs.  The gender thing confuses us too. Gender in the word itself...but also gender in the tone of the speaker -  as in, "De'Ettasan  you are speaking like a man." We've discovered many American men are taught Japanese by their girlfriends and therefore speak like women.  You can read more about the language on wikipedia. 
We will miss the need to be fully involved in every day social interactions with the lovely Japanese. Our minds going ten different directions as it tries to pull up the right word in the right tense, gender etc.

We will miss trying to understand the conversations addressed to us and those swirling around us.

We will miss the delight of some when you TRY out your Japanese...and the little kids who run up to practice THEIR English (which they learn in elementary school) and to correct MY Japanese.

I will miss having an excuse for my frequent "adventures" (lost again?) with the kids.

We will miss weekly tutoring sessions with Akikosan. ::sniff::

Arielle has worked at it much harder than the rest of us...she can read Hiragana and Katakana. Reading Hiragana is a dubious skill if one can't understand it....but reading Katakana is a great skill to have.

We play a game in the car where Arielle reads the Katakana and the rest of us guess the meaning. She says it with the Japanese accent - sometimes it's a challenge.  Cover the right column and see how you do....In the following examples:

R - says "L"
I - says "ee"
A says "ah"
O says "oh"

Raisu                             Rice
Cliniku                           Clinic
Supido                            Speed
Aisu Kurimu                          Ice Cream
Bidio                              Video
Sumairu                         Smile
Kirishitan                            Chrisitian 

It really is AMAZING  Japanese children learn three ways to read and write their language AND English.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Renee said...

Thai has the gender as well. The girls and I said hello/thank you different than Scott and the boys

wendy said...

I just found your blog and am enjoying reading it. This month my daughter is learning about Japan, although I think I'm enjoying learning about other countries as much as she is! I didn't know they had to learn language 3 different ways! amazing. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

HI: WHEW! PTL for how you all have dove into life in Japan! So interesting, awesome, wonderful and a bit the other direction folks feel when they love so much where the are and the culture they have learned. PTL you will all enjoy the times it all is well used in the States etc. l/p mom t.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Interesting, Renee.

I'm glad you're enjoying the blog, Wendy.

Thanks, Mom.