So how has everyone been enjoying spring (春)?! We’re still alive and kicking over here at Kanji & Tea, but more importantly, we’re still learning!
I’ll admit though, we’ve found it a little bit frustrating at first. We feel so behind our other learning buddies who can read full sentences and we’re lucky when we pick out a kanji we recognize. And we’re still spending most of our time listening. And after a while of doing this, we feel like we don’t have much progress to show for it. But I suppose that’s natural. And the good news is we haven’t given up. We’re still studying our kanji and we’re still watching and listening.
At first we were watching anime that we already owned in Japanese without the subtitles, but we’ve found that watching actual Japanese people in their own movies/dramas/TV was far more helpful. Even though we don’t like dramas usually, we had more fun watching 赤い糸 (Akai Ito) than Trigun. Why? Because we picked up more (we felt) by watching an “every day life” show. Like the landscape, the decorations in their homes, the gestures they make, the way friends talk to each other vs the way they talk to adults, and so on. So we decided that was the best route for us. And at first we had fun making up our own plot lines, but after a while watching something where you have no idea what’s going on tends to be a bit frustrating. We decided this is what it felt like to be three again. And then we realized quite abruptly that it might be in our best interest to try children’s movies once and a while!
Right now I’m watching 西の魔女が死んだ (The Witch of the West Is Dead). I get the feeling that even though I can’t understand what’s going on, it would be a movie I’d love. (Perhaps I already do!) There’s a home in the countryside with a garden and strawberries, stargazing, and homemade jam and what feels to me like life lessons.
We have (on recommendation) ホッタラケの島 遥と魔法の鏡 (Haruka and the Magic Mirror) even though it’s animated, we feel like it might be fun to stay up on the Japanese popular movie culture.
And we’re still eating!! (Obviously!) We’ve got a lot more recipes to share and I bravely tried eel! Surprisingly it was good! It wasn’t out-of-this-world, and I’ll admit, I was kind of hoping it would be after all the hard work I went through working myself up to eating it. But at least it wasn’t vomit-on-the-table bad.
My smiling sushi plate. He has no idea what’s in store for him, or he wouldn’t be smiling.
Learning Japanese At HomeOur goal for Kanji & Tea, aside from sharing our struggles and successes, is to help provide the everyday person with all the tools necessary to learn Japanese on their own through everyday immersion.
How did you learn your first language? Hands on and not through a text book! You listened, you watched, you absorbed. Well, what's stopping you from learning your second or third language that way? The answer is nothing.
You have everything you need to get started. All that's left is to just start.
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