My first Japanese lesson
As I am now settled down, I started my Japanese lessons this morning. The teacher arrived promptly on time and, to my surprise, brought me a complete file of all her diplomas and certificates. She wanted to make me sure she was qualified to “teach busy people”. Point taken. We continued: “you have to study to be a good pupil”. OK, I will, I promised but all of a sudden I started to be scared as a long-gone feeling of “back to school benches” invaded me. As a starting point, she gave me a paper with 46 hiraganas. In the coming lessons we will dive into the katakanas (another 46) and then – Oh Jesus – into the kanji (circa 2000 minimum to be able to read the newspaper). Japan has 3 “alphabets” but hiragana and katakana are considered the very basic ones: children in primary school start with those and, in ancient times, women were taught only these two as they were considered unable to learn the kanji. I’m now fighting with hiraganas – one hour with this: “repeat after me – ka, ki, ku, ke, ko”, pointing the adequate symbol – and I don’t event want to think what still has to come. Japanese, there we go!