Wednesday, 2 April 2014

New found love

It is spring vacation. For the students. I of course have to come in everyday and sit here. I often complain about the holidays. God knows the summer was a drag. But I have found something to occupy myself with this holiday.

I ordered a book to learn kanji with a few weeks ago. Since the start of the holiday (last week) I have been slowly making my way through it. Ok, maybe I am only on page 43 of 200. But, I am really getting into this. Kanji is so interesting. Despite my bitching about it - getting angry that I have not been able to read anything because theres so much complicated kanji written everywhere - I think it is slowly becoming one of my favourite things to study in Japanese. As my spoken Japanese is horrendous - I barely practice, being so shy to speak Japanese (espeically at work) I rarely get to actually test it out - and when I do try to speak to people in Japanese I hit a wall almost immediately as my vocabulary (and particularly my understanding of the Japanese grammer system) is so limited. But I really feel that reading Japanese might become a true passion. I feel that it is something I will be able to continue to do after leaving Japan. I have always had a love for comic books - I would love to start reading real manga. Of course I am not yet ready to do this yet - I am just getting my head around some of the most basic kanji, and becoming acquainted with the system of radicals as I slowly learn how to use the infinitely useful denshi jisho website.

You would think that when learning a language, speaking and reading would go hand in hand, but Japanese completely turns this preconception on its head. This paradox of Japanese linguistics, is in part what makes Japanese so difficult, yet so interesting.

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