Keep Calm and Study 日本語 (Japanese!)

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Ever since we moved to Japan i wanted to give japanese a try, simply because i love the way it sounds. I knew it would be complicated. For one they use symbols instead of letters, but also because they have 3 alphabets, 2 sets of numbers, and their grammar/sentence structure is completely the opposite of english. I quickly learned simple phrases like Hello, Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, Thank You, You’re Welcome, Excuse Me, Please, among a few others and they do help me feel like i’m being polite but i wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to learn more, but the thing is i’m not disciplined enough to learn on my own. My japanese co-worker started teaching us little things when we weren’t busy, like the days of the week, the numbers, and little words here and there. It quickly became my favorite part of work days.

Soon after i had heard people talking about a Japanese class at the USO and when a friend mentioned she was on the waiting list, i quickly told her to sign me up when a class became available. A month later there i was taking a 40minute japanese class every Monday. I’ve only taken 5 classes so far but i am so in love with it! It’s really fun learning a new language. I’ve even started learning Hiragana (the first alphabet) on my own, slowly but surely, and i especially love practicing by spotting the symbols when i’m driving. Also, now that we’ll be staying in Japan longer it’s going to make everything easier! Like reading menus, ordering at restaurants, asking questions in stores, etc.

Q: Is there a language you’ve always wanted to learn? Which one and why? If there is one i say go for it because it’s totally worth it, even if it’s for fun!

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Hi! I'm Laura, the girl behind Little Island Takara. I am a military wife and American expat living in Okinawa, Japan! Most days you will find me reading books, wondering what cafe to go to next or daydreaming of my next adventure.

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  • I have always wanted to pick up proper Malay so I can converse with J's maternal grandfather. Pity, like many other Chinese dialects, I can understand bits and pieces but not utter much of them.

  • Hannah Curtis

    I would love to learn Italian…its my dream to live in Italy, we got married there and ever since I have been completely in love with it! I LOVE that you are learning Japanese, I said I would when we moved here…16 months I know about about 6 words (Eden knows more than I!)

  • Stopping by to say hello from Blog Buddies Network! That is amazing that you moved to Japan?! Wow. Can't wait to get to know you and your story because your blog is LOVLEY. My parents are from South America but I never really learned the Spanish language. I would love to someday learn it fluently. Good luck with your Japanese adventures!

  • Wow, good for you!! I really admire that you've been so diligent about learning Japanese! I think that I definitely need to start learning more simply to be more in the loop of some conversations with Dai's friends and family. I hate being the only person that doesn't know Japanese! Like you, I know basic phrases and things to say to be polite, but it would be nice to learn more. Good luck with your class!

  • Laki

    I'm trying to learn Japanese too. I want to have more of a knowledge of it before I move there in a few months. Good luck!