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Switching Topics

Well, here I am.

Thrice I said that I would post my next entry, and today will make it thrice that I have fallen short of fulfilling that promise. On the upside, I’ve spent that time helping to make sure that you get your daily lessons! However, today, instead of simply telling you that I might post my entry next week, I will give you something a little different (that should be a much quicker writeup).

As I mentioned previously, I have recently started attending a Japanese language school here in Tokyo. Whether it’s been one or two weeks since I started, I can’t quite remember. Nonetheless, I know this topic may be of interest to some of you, so I will intertwine updates about this experience with my kanji learning entries from time to time. Today will be the first update.

My first class. The first class that I was placed in was about fifteen Chinese people and myself. Well, to be fair, one is from Taiwan. I’ve always heard that Chinese people have a large advantage over westerners when learning Japanese because they already use kanji daily. The largest discovery while attending my first class was probably that I don’t believe this to be true anymore. While they probably have a better idea of the meanings, the manner of writing many of the kanji is different, especially for those who use simplified Chinese. And although the onyomi is supposed to be the Chinese pronunciation, the difference is large enough that many times the Chinese are unsure. Of course, for a complete beginner, anyone from a country that uses kanji will have some kind of advantage over someone from a country that does not use kanji. However, I feel that we all have to study kanji diligently, no matter where we’re from.

Now, you may be wondering why I said my “first” class. Two days ago, I switched classes. I moved up one level because the class I started in was a bit too easy. My new class has a little bit more variety. I’m told that the statistics are as follows: 1 Myanmar, 1 Indian, 5 Koreans, and about 8 or so Chinese. This class is a bit more lively because the students feel confident enough to make jokes every now and then, and understand enough to laugh at them. My first class had two male teachers, but my current class has two female teachers. Both sets consist of one fairly young, and then one slightly older (let’s be nice here).

Having only spent a short time in school, and an even shorter time in my new class, I can’t tell you a whole lot more. Over all, though, I am enjoying my time there so far. I will try to make more updates as time moves on. And now I must go. (I stayed late just for you!) Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you next week (I think).

Nathan

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