Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Nihongo, oh no!

Japanese is now officially super hard. I have memorized hiragana characters a-ho. That's 30 plus characters. While that's nice, that's sort of like memorizing only a sliver of the Latin alphabet. I can write simple Japanese words, but instruction takes place, at this early stage, in romajji--Japanese written phonetically in our alphabet.

ねこ becomes neko (cat)

いぬ becomes inu (dog)

borrowed words in Japanese are also written in romajji--

San Francisco becomes Sanfuranshisuko

Smith becomes Sumisu

engineer becomes enjinia

We're learning motion verbs, and two out of three bear no relation to anything in English (that I know of).

ikimasu--to go (away from the speaker) kinda like hingehen in German

kimasu--to return to the place where you currently are/to invite someone to your house this is some strange circular shizz that I can't plug into anything I already know

kaerimasu--to go home (whatever 'home' means to the speaker) sorta like kehren/zurückkehren in German

The negation of the these verbs, or any verb in Japanese, is pretty easy. The verb ending drops its -u and adds an -en.

ikimasu/ikimasen    (Watashi wa) Ashita Oosaka ni ikimasu. (I am) going to Osaka tomorrow.

kimasu/kimasen  I am at school now when I say: (I am) Asatte gakkoo ni kimasu. (I am) coming to school day after tomorrow.

kaerimasu/kaerimasen (Watashi wa) Korekara uchi ni kaerimasu. (I am) going home afterwards. 

I need to find a language partner, but, maybe more realistically, a language tutor given I can hardly say anything yet.


  1. You just need to find Japanese tourists and hope they'll let you talk to them in Japanese. Hey, it could happen.

    1. It could! I should just hang out at Pier 39 & wait. :D

  2. Dear Bea, Liz A's advice sounds good. I can just see you hanging out at the pier and approaching people one by one with a flower or something that says, "Welcome!"

    Learning a new language is so difficult when the alphabet is different as in Greek or when there are ideograms. I admire you for doing this. And one of the wonderful things is that it is "branching your dendrites"!!!! Peace.

    1. It's a challenge and an interesting one. My goal is to not fall behind in class. :)

    2. Dear Bea, you seem highly motivated, so I suspect you won't fall behind! Peace.

  3. Okay, I absolutely love your blog name! It is so hard trying to learn a new language isn't it? Good luck in finding someone to practice with.

    1. Thank you, Danielle. The name was pinched from my old Jr High. There was an annual list of the things students both liked and didn't like. So, orchids to the good things and onions to the bad...

      It's super tough to learn a non-European language, for sure!


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