Back to the Tables wm55


The fall semester has started. My brain is constantly on the verge of wm55.

I only have one class this semester. That’s the only good news. Let’s take a closer look at this class of mine.

It’s Intensive Japanese 270. It’s roughly the entire third year of college level Japanese stuffed into a single semester course. I’ve only been studying for sixth months and this is the right class for me. Crazy does not express the direction I am going …

We have class for three hours a day. It’s basically an entire part-time job of Japanese. The classes are conducted entirely in Japanese and the only English words I here are interjected as single word explanations of complex topics that we aren’t expected to know the Japanese for. As an aside, we have to know the word for intransitive verb in Japanese. How many of you even remember what that is in English.As a part of this fun I get to learn 40 new kanji per week with a grammar test every week. We also get graded on speaking and writing short essays. It’s all of the fun of elementary school only as an adult! Oh, and packed in at ten times the place.

Let me give you a brief idea of how fun these kanji tests are. We are given a blank sheet of paper. Our teacher reads ten sentences in Japanese two times each. We then write those sentences down using the proper kanji. Then for even more fun we have to write the reading of the kanji as a sort of bonus “spelling” test! Don’t forget I pay for this and it isn’t cheap.

Luckly I have really awesome teachers. My grammar teacher is especially awesome. She tells all of these awesome and funny stories during class in the process of teaching them grammar. I promise that you will never hear or see anything more strange than 25 foriegners laughing at a funny story told entirely in Japanese. I did mention my classes are taught entirely in Japanese right?

What I forgot to mention is that all of my textbooks are entirely in Japanese. Check out this gem from the vocabulary section of grammar book:

防ぐ: わるいものが来ないようにする; prevent; keep away

Don’t worry if you don’t have the Japanese fonts installed. Seeing it as jibberish is the same thing for my purposes. That line explains the fact that fusegu is “to keep bad things from coming”. It then expands on that by offering three English words. In case this isn’t sinking in that means the best explanation is entirely in Japanese. See I bolded it that time.

It’s worth noting that there are only a few more English words on that page. They are: “(be well-known) as ~”. An entire page of text and a whole six English words to help me out.

The amusing thing about all of this? My class is fun. I’m learning a lot. I actually understand everything I’m supposed to and even though it’s only been three days my Japanese has already measurably improved.

That reminds me of an amusing story from over the summer. Maybe next time!



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