Friday, January 18, 2013
It's weird, taking the train to work, walking through the supermarket, buying groceries, performing daily life while completely unaware of the meaning of all surrounding language. When the cashier says something to me, I smile and nod. Not speaking or reading Japanese while in Japan is forced, explicit ignorance. Not only do I know what I don't know, I can't do anything to make myself know any sooner.
Language acquisition is a slow process.
I've been taking Japanese lessons one-on-one for two to three times a week. My spidey sense can tell when someone is saying hello, or listing a bunch of numbers, but that's about it. Progress! Other foreigners have been recommending what syllabery system to learn first (katakana, hiragana, kanji). With ten weeks left, I'm not sure it's worth the investment.
When it doubt, they're probably asking you if you need a plastic bag.