Last night during dinner I came up with a crazy idea to try to help me learn Japanese better, or if not learn it then at least remember grammar and vocab that I already (should) know. I’d decided that starting from today I wouldn’t say a word of English, limiting myself to just Japanese and the farty bit of French I can still remember (ironically I’ve been speaking a fair bit of French since getting here). I did agree with myself not to limit my writing, otherwise most people reading this wouldn’t have a clue what I’m on about, regardless of whether they understand England or Japanese.
Waking up this morning, I managed to last … hmm … about 2 minutes before muttering in my native tongue. Blast my crappy memory. I picked up again but continuously slipped back into English throughout the day, my longest stint being the 5 hour period that I was in my room and didn’t say a single word. I gave up this evening and agreed I’d start again tomorrow, writing a note for myself to read in the morning to remind me.
As far as listening practice goes last night a friend and I watched the remaining episodes of 苺マシマロ (Strawberry Marshmallow – see the YouTube clip at the end of the last post) and both agreed that not only was Miu one of the most interesting characters we’d seen, but our understanding of spoken Japanese had improved. I am also aware of the sadness in the fact that two men living in an awesome city stayed in on a Friday night watching a cute cartoon.
For one of my Japanese culture classes here I’ve been reading The Japanese Mind (edited by Roger J Davis & Osamu Ikeno), and as far as books you have to read for class go it’s not half bad. It looks daunting (by my reading standards ¬_¬) at 270 pages but it’s chapters break the book up well into managable page durations, and doesn’t seem to be filled with excess filler and boredom. Yes unlike most books, I’ve been able to read this without it putting me to sleep, congratulations that book.
Finally I want to give a plug to a webcomic I found because they advertised on here, guess it worked. Optipess by Kristian Nygård takes the kind of weird, subtle and at times slightly twisted humour and presents it in a short 4 panel style comic.