The language challenge

Poor trial at writing hiragana

And so it goes…

As soon as I land on Shikoku, the biggest challenge will be to communicate with the natives there.

Learning Japanese is no easy challenge, but it’s also not impossible. They do have three different alphabets (better call them “syllabaries”) though. And they can use these three writing systems together in the same sentence. Ouch.

In the age of information, nobody can claim ignorance as an excuse. There are two types of skills: the ones you want to acquire and the ones you are too lazy to get. Personally speaking, the Japanese language has been lingering between these categories in the past two weeks and I haven’t made such great progress with learning it.

If everything goes well, I’d like to be able at least to manage some basic conversation regarding food, shelter and beer. If then I could also read some signs, e.g. to tell the difference between a bakery and a brothel, it would also be nice. A man cannot live on bread alone.

It’s funny to think that my goal in life for the next month is to get to a level where I can speak Japanese like a 3-year old boy.

I’m using an app called “Human Japanese” and so far I can recommend it. It’s pretty simple and so far it’s giving me good value out of the little amount of money I had to pay for it.

My motivation level, however, have recently gone down the drain after speaking with some friends of mine who have been learning Japanese for a few years: as a matter of fact, they still find it very difficult to communicate with native speakers.

I thought I could focus on it for a month and a half and then go there without any big problem. That sounds very unlikely now and I will just have to deal with it.

Well, I guess it won’t be the last thing that will surprise me about Japan.