Back to Japanese Study

With all the travelling I have been doing over the past few months I took a break from studying Japanese.  I don’t go back to school until the 8th July but I need to start preparing now or the class will be incredibly difficult.  This morning I was looking at practice books filled with kanji.  I wrote the kanji but I am having difficultly remembering what it means.  With other subjects I just need to quickly read over the information and it comes back to me, but not Japanese.  I know that I need to practice everyday but I find it hard to be that disciplined.

Since moving to Tokyo I have bought a number of children’s books.  Every now and again I get them out of the cupboard and try to read them.  It’s an incredibly frustrating exercise when I can’t manage to read a book written for a five year old.  One of the problems is that they are written completely in hiragana.  It’s both a good and bad thing.  Good because it does mean I can read the whole book aloud, bad in that I can spend quite a while staring at a simple word like “moon” because I am so used to seeing it written in kanji.  I’m also not expecting the equivalent of “Mr Moon” but I do need to remember that these are books written for small children.

This morning I decided to read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.  I loved this book as a child and the Japanese translation looks just like the original.  I wasn’t that hopeful when I opened the book but I could actually read and understand it.  I didn’t know the word for lollipop and was amused that it translates as “licking candy”.  I also didn’t know the word for butterfly but it was fairly easy to work that out from context.  I’m incredibly pleased.  And yes I know it’s a book written for small children but I need to get excited with every achievement in language learning as it’s easy to be overwhelmed with everything that I can’t do.  I can still remember my joy at learning to read books in English and the hours I spent in the library trying to find more books I could read. This morning I want to to find more books that I can read in Japanese.  Long may this feeling continue!



Comments are closed.