4 months of Japanese studies – back on the horseback!

I’m one day late with this post – yesterday (18 December 2010) marked four months of Japanese studies for me.

I’m happy to inform you that I studied more during my fourth month than during my third. I’m now on chapter 9 in Japanese From Zero 3, and I’ve also studied from Let’s Learn Kanji, and increased the frequency of my tutor visits from every second week to once a week.

It’s hard to learn Japanese. Partly because what you learn is basically two things: Speaking and writing. And they are not as closely connected as in the Indo-European and Uralic languages that I’ve studied before. (Japanese is a Japonic language, hm, obviously…) This means that when I learn kanji, which is quite time consuming (but also fun and sort of relaxing in a meditative way), I don’t make any progress in the grammar and speaking department.

Right now I’m in a very snowy Sweden for my Christmas holiday.

Berlin was snowy too: The airport train was 55 minutes late, so I had to take a taxi to the airport, only to find out that my flight was delayed three hours. Didn’t matter, the taxi driver was a sweet and fat old man from the former GDR who was divorced and therefore would spend his Christmas in the company of AndrĂ© Rieu, or at least his cd’s. He praised the old East German Wartburg automobile and an former East German winter tire factory that is still around and apparently the best.

Since I travel luggage free, I couldn’t bring my thick text books. This means I’m taking a break from Japanese From Zero, and instead go through Genki I from start on my sweet little companion Samsung N310. (I didn’t mind the delay at all, since it made me conquer two Genki chapters!) Instinctively, I prefer Genki to Japanese From Zero. It feels more serious, it’s not cluttered with typos and I’ve heard it’s used at universities. However, it is not from zero, and it contains lots of “pair work” and “class activities” that are not suitable for self studies. And it’s not from zero. So I must say Japanese From Zero has suited me pretty well after all.

Ok, now we’re apparently about to go out and play in the snow a bit, me and my host.

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