One Month

So, it’s been about a month in the game now and the nervous tension prefixing every lesson has waned a bit. It’s not completely gone, but merely reduced by a magnitude. My students are such very great fun! Teaching all levels is interesting as one period may have people with barely the ability to say their names, and the next may be full of guys who are brushing up on business skills for better work performance. The classes with females are the most interesting as they seem able to play around with the language a bit while the males are more stoic. Could this be just another part of Japanese culture? I’ve had everything from classes on introducing yourself and dealing with airport personnel to issues of discrimination and fairness in the judicial system. There are really some incredible people here in and it’s a joy to get to know a bit about them. “Voice” can be a high point when the discussion gets heated, but it can become difficult when those who come to talk are anything but talkative. My fellow teachers are also an interesting bunch. It’s a mix of Brits, Aussies, Canadians, and Americans like me. Someone today, in a discussion about hilarity and mirth, mentioned “skylark,” a word I’ve never heard apart from the Buick model and the bird. Apparently it’s meaning has something to do with “being playful” or making some sort of joyful noise. None of our national mix was able to pick that out. It is common for people to translate a Japanese word into English using their portable computer dictionary and then to try to use that word in daily speech. “Skylark” is an example of where that method may go a bit off – it was in the dictionary when I looked it up – but no native speaker would ever prefer that word. This must be how those technical and other manuals get produced: From the dictionary lookup and a misplaced picking from the results. Earlier I had to explain how someone sent their children to school using the idiom “to get them off.” Urgh.

2 thoughts on “One Month”

  1. Congratulations on making it for one month. I am glad you are settling into it better. I decided to make black-eyed peas for New Year’s Day and having them in your honor.

    I am actually starting to recognize Hiragana enough to be able to read it. I don’t know what I am saying, but at least the syllabary is sticking. Also a bit of Katakana as well. I am definitely stronger in Hiragana. Kanji is just going to take me forever.

    When I read my manga, quite often there are Japanese expressions next to the English, so I practice writing those out from memory and looking up what they mean. But the pictgraph book is so far the most useful book I have.

    Also, when I am reading the English manga, I will say the expressions out loud in Japanese to get those to stick as well. Japanese is such a challenge.

    (apparently your blog doesn’t like paragraph spaces, do I have to add the HTML??


    Much Love and I wish you the best in the coming year.


Comments are closed.