Can you read that?
Those strange characters say, “Konnichiwa.” That is a rough Japanese translation of, “Hello!” But you probably already knew that since the mispronunciation of this greeting could be heard on the radio. “Don’t Mind” by Kent Jones uses this phrase with a variety of others from other languages to make his point about his preference of women- or the lack of pickiness.
That is neither here nor there.
Right, the culmination. I use this term because the month of June has truly been a brutal month for me between starting a new job AND taking a six-week intensive Japanese language class. Hence, why I have not posted much of anything during that month. This past Friday was THEE last day for that class. Let me tell you: a three-hour class with three hours of homework that is scheduled Monday-Friday is NOT the business. Not with a job anyway. I was even asked to continue with the second half, which of course started the following week after the first one ended, but honestly I was just too tired at the end of each day.
However, with the sense of relief of finishing this class came a sense of sadness. I had truly enjoyed being in a classroom again. With the dream of one day traveling to Japan once more to live, there were days when I would come into class so excited- especially when I began to learn Kanji.
I had taken Japanese for two years in high school and a semester in college before. But I have never, never, NEVER learned all three writing systems.
For those who do not know, these are the three writing systems: Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji. Hiragana and Katakana are more like phonetic systems. Katakana is generally used for foreign words and Kanji is a borrowed writing system from the Chinese language with different meanings. Before this class, I had only been trained to all of the first two previously.
My instructor had said that the reason for this is because of the complexity of Kanji. Americans are not considered smart enough to learn this right away. I am paraphrasing this but there you go.
I am about 50-60 Kanji characters in so far out of the hundreds of combinations out there, but it is a start.
All of the practice and frustration I had to endure are all the things I will honestly miss. The structure was exactly what I needed to hunker down and immerse myself int the language. Now I have to discipline myself in order to retain what I learned until I am ready to take another class. I will definitely let you all know how that works out.
Until then, しゃまたあね。 （See you later!)