Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm learning Japanese!

For the longest time I have had a fascination with other languages! I guess you could say that started in High School Spanish class. But back then, the only language I really had any interest in was Spanish. And it remained the same for many, many years.

Then I thought, "I'd love to learn Spanish, Italian, AND French! They are all beautiful languages - the romance languages!) Also, they are all Latin based. I could make sense of that . . .

Fast forward 25 years or so. . .

We currently live in Hawai'i. (no complaints here!) Hawai'i is a melting pot of different cultures, much like New York City, only the cultures are mostly from around the Pacific Rim. Japanese has a huge influence in Hawai'i.

Before I moved here, I never had any desire whatsoever, to go to any Asian country or to learn their language. It seemed WAY too foreign! I was also terribly challenged when trying to eat with chop sticks.

What I mean is, my mind could not understand ANY part of the language, I didn't know anything about their culture, and the thought of visiting a country when that is the case terrified me. Therefore, no need to go, no need to learn.

It turns out that all I needed was exposure! Exposure to the people and their culture in a setting where I understood it.

Even after softening a little, I still didn't have much desire to learn the Japanese language. It was my husband who said, "Wouldn't it be cool to learn Japanese?" I guess he's always had a desire to see Japan . . . he just never said anything about it until now.

One day I came across an advertisement for a language program that promised you could learn any language in just 10 days! AND, it was only $10!! I thought, "for only $10, I haven't got much to lose!" So I ordered the course.

I waited and waited and waited . . . it took much longer to get here than I thought. But it finally arrived!

Remember, it was my husband who wanted to learn Japanese . . . not me.

Well, I put in the CD and played the first lesson, when my hubby wasn't around. They first play a conversation . . . which, of course, sounded like Japanese to me - I couldn't make heads nor tails of it! But by the end of the 30 minutes, they replayed that same conversation and I understood EVERY WORD! I am not kidding you. I was so stinkin' excited!

I've only listened to 5 lessons so far. Sometimes I repeat a lesson so that I learn the words correctly and can recall them later when I go over things in my head. It's so much fun!

I never thought I would enjoy learning Japanese as much as I am. I thought I would have a very hard time learning it. Maybe it's the program, or maybe I'm more adept at picking up languages than I thought. Maybe it's just a combination of the two. Either way - I'm very happy to be learning this language and opening my world a little bit more.

*This post is just my personal opinion and I have not been paid by the Pimsleur Language program to write these comments.