Japanese class is proceeding apace. It is going at a rather breakneck speed. To be quite honest, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I’d studied ahead for a year, I’d be sunk. Many students seem to be. It’s been, what, four weeks now? And we’ve already covered all of hiragana and are finishing up katakana now.
I don’t think all students are going to make it out of the class unscathed, to be honest.
I have noticed something odd, though. I am able now to carry on simple conversations with Japanese speakers. Nothing too complicated, and about half the time I can’t understand them until they slow down, but I am now able to carry on a conversation. So that is absolutely a positive. But that’s not the odd thing. The odd thing is that whenever I speak to a Japanese person or practice Japanese with any intensity, for about two hours afterwards, whenever I say something in English, I’m also saying it in my head in Japanese. There have been several times when I have almost (or have!) said “arigatou gozaimasu” to someone who has no idea what the heck I’m talking about. I’m not sure if it’s cool or frustrating, but it’s very much unexpected.
I guess that’s good practice, in an odd way.
Hiragana isn’t that hard. Katakana is a little harder. Switching between them is hella difficult – I have to really think about it when switching between writing systems (when taking a quiz, etc). Grammar isn’t that hard, but constructing the grammar from whole cloth on the fly is really difficult. I need to find an effective way to practice. There is a tutor over at the Northridge campus, I’m going to impose on some of his time for conversation.
Onwards and upwards!