Andrew V Parker's life one post at a time


This is a small test to check entry of 日本語 (Japanese).

2年前から日本語をべんきょうしています。 私の日本語はまだ下手ですががんばています! [For the last 2 years I’ve been studying Japanese. My Japanese is still poor, but I’m sticking with it!]

Learning Japanese is great fun, but it’s definitely a challenge.

Superficially, everything is “backwards”. For example, the phrase “there is a cat on the desk” is translated as ”つくえ の 上 に 猫 が います”, which is literally “desk’s on cat there is”. It’s difficult to construct a sentence in this way, but after only a little practice understanding such a sentence isn’t hard. It’s quite amazing how the human brain can adapt to these patterns. Ironically, one of the things I enjoy about learning Japanese is that I also get to learn more about English grammar (perhaps it says something about the quality of the NZ & Australian education systems?). However, I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that I have absolutely no idea how I construct sentences in English!

Of course, I’m still at quite a basic level in my study of Japanese. I passed JLPT level 4 (the easiest level) last November, JLPT level 3 is probably a couple of years away. No doubt it’ll get a lot harder!

Then there’s the biggest hurdle to “learning” Japanese – the writing system. Kanji is enough to scare any sane person into giving up Japanese. For a bit of a a discussion of the background (and power?) of Kanji, Jonathon’s article is interesting. Perhaps I’ll post more on learning Kanji later.

PS: If my Japanese above is incorrect, please let me know!

PPS: I’ve got to say, one of the nice things about having a mac is the ease of entering Japanese. Like everything else on the mac, it “just works”, while at the same time being incredibly powerful :–)