Language Lessons

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While I prepare the video of Kai crawling, I will tell you what I have been up to for the past 6 months: studying. That is right, all I do when I am at school, is study Kanji and Japanese grammar, which is a pain in the butt. Try talking backwards for a day, and you will feel me. As I have said before, Japanese is a very difficult language to learn, that is to say if you take the stand-point that you can learn by listening to everyone around you. This is good in theory, but never leads to fluency. The fact that the entire alphabet of sounds is completely foreign does not facilitate the understanding of everyday conversations.

This is where the Kanji come in. They on the other hand have been a godsend to me, and learning them has greatly improved my ability to understand the Japanese language. I think it has something to do with how I remember things, seeing as how I like to think of pictures rather than sounds/names/words/etc. when recalling information. I have been grinding through this book called Remembering the Kanji (RTK): Part I, and so far I have about 460 of the characters meanings and writings memorized. I can read proably 25% of them, but that is not the aim of the book and is reserved in entirety to the second volume of RTK. (The painful part about Kanji is the amount of information you have to digest in a single character. First you must learn how to write it, in the correct stroke order. Then you must learn its translation(s). After that you must study its readings, with a big ‘S.’ Each Kanji has an average of 3 readings, so you can see how the process can become time consuming.)

Anywhoooo I did some number crunching today and found out that if I want to learn all of the 2042 Kanji in the book by Dec 13th (the day before my winter vacation starts), I need to memorize about 66 characters every week or 13 Kanji a day. So that is the plan for me these days, with my current schedule I hope it can be done. All I can say is “Gambaru!” (I will try to fight hard and do my best). Don’t you love how an entire idea can be expressed in a single word in Japanese. I know I do.

Up next: Kai caught on Camera Crawling.

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2 responses to “Language Lessons

  1. Pingback: Busy Busy « Kai Monticello

  2. Pingback: Kanji For Life « Kai Monticello

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