Today was the first day of Japanese class at Austin Community College. For many reasons, I will avoid any mention of the other people in the class, other than to say there were other people in the class of varying ages, backgrounds and knowledge of Japanese. As expected.
As for me, it is clear that there are gaping holes in my knowledge. In my “introduction” (which I absolutely, positively, did not want to do) I said that I “know enough to be dangerous” – and I feel that more strongly now than when I began the class. In some ways, I feel handicapped by the fact that we’re using romaji instead of hiragana and kanji, but in other ways, there are things I’m learning even now, and the holes are obvious. I learned the mechanics of Japanese, but not how to think in it, or more accurately, not how to think on my feet. I will have significant challenges in this class – but they’re not the challenges that most of the other students will have. I will have little problem with grammar. I will have little problem with kana. I will have some problem with vocabulary. I will have a huge problem with the fact that speaking to other people is a requirement.
Which leads to the obvious question: Why, then, oh glorious blogger, did you decide to study a foreign language when the last thing in the world you want to do is actually use it?
That, dear readers, will have to be a mystery, I suppose. Even to me.