lydamorehouse: (yaoi)
As you know, gentle reader, I am attempting to teach myself Japanese. Currently, I've found a method that really seems to be working for me, the Pimsleur method. (I think it works because I am a HEAVILY auditory learner who needs a lot of repetition. There aren't even books that come with these CDs. It's 100% listen and repeat. EXACTLY what I like.) I bought the Pimsleur "Conversational Japanese" after having gotten half way through the library's copy, and then I took out Pimsleur's "Japanese: A Short Course." What's been fun is comparing these two.

My conversational Japanese is all about keeping it simple (and picking up the ladies, but that's another story), so for making chit-chat they taught me this:

Person A: O-genki desu ka? (You okay?)
My response: Genki desu (I'm okay!)

Japanese: A Short Course has the same set up, but uses different words.

Person A: Ikaga desu ka? (How are you?)
My response: Genki desu, okage-sama de (I'm okay, thanks to you.)

ISN'T THAT ADORABLE??  I absolutely love that the polite response to "How are you?" Is "Fine, THANKS TO YOU."  I suppose we have something similar in English in that you can sometimes say, "I'm fine, thanks for asking" and that's generally the same vibe here, but the -sama is a particularly polite honorific and I just find it super kawaii! (cute)

The other odd difference is that on the "Conversational" CD we learned to ask where the train station (eki) is.  On the "Japanese: A Short Course" I'm asking for the street (touri). From this I have surmised that the cool, hep cats take the subway and the dorky, stuffy "a short course" people are stuck walking the streets.... 

You will also note that I am exclusively using Romanji here.  That's because I am a loser and have not committed to learning any Hiragana or Katakana yet (don't even speak to me of Kanji.)  Honestly, this is about goals. My goals for learning Japanese is not to read it or write it.  What I want to do is be able to understand spoken Japanese and maybe be able to formulate a response if spoken to (very secondary goal, although the Pimsleur method is giving me a lot more confidence in that secondary goal.) So, Romanji works for me right now.  I do feel like a loser. Speaking of the cool kids, they all write in Hiragana or whatever.  I can recognize a few syllables, but put them together?  Nope, not yet.

lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Though I may possibly be the most annoying student in the history of students.  TBF, I'm the kind of student I love to have.  I'm engaged, willing to interrupt, ask lots of questions, and am generally 110% present and participating. HOWEVER, this tends to result in moments like last night....

Shimano-sensei: We have two words for the number four in Japanese yon, and shi.  But we rarely say shi because it's extremely unlucky.
Class: baffled silence, waiting for more information.
Me:  You should tell them why.
Shimano-sensei: (looking vaguely shocked) Yes.  Shi is the same sound as death.
Me: (to my neighbor, there are only eight people in the class): Also don't give gifts of things that are in the number of 4, like 4 plates."
Shimano-sensei: Oh yes, that would be VERY bad.
My desk neighbor: Really?  Wow.

The almost identical conversation hits when we reach number nine: kyū/ku (only difference is, of course, that this one means agony/suffering.)

Our instructor was born in Japan, but has lived here since college.  So, I don't know if he was building up dramatic pause before revealing or just not going to tell us.  But, we're a bunch of impatient Americans, so you know... I AM THE NAIL THAT STICKS UP THAT WILL BE HAMMERED DOWN.

Also?  Who says fan fic teaches you nothing!????!!!

But, as annoying as I am, I can not be as bad as Nancy-san who basically told Shimano-sensei not to try to explain Japanese language in terms of English, because clearly we don't actually say things the way he thinks we do.


BUT, I totally bulled Shimano-sensei into letting Mason audit the class. So my aggressive personality for the win.


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