About a year ago, I bought a book titled “Japanese for Busy People.”* How appropriate, right? I want to learn Japanese and I am a busy people, so this is perfect. However, little did I know, the book still requires that one takes the time to actually read it. No matter how busy you are, you need to find at least a few moments to glance at the pages. They should put a disclaimer on the book or something.
Upon my massive amounts of research, it was brought to my attention that buying the romanized version of the book wasn’t a good choice. I needed to buy the “Kana” version so that I could learn to read Japanese while I was learning to speak it. OK, done. But herein lies the problem.
I cannot read the book.
Because the book is written in Japanese.
That I cannot read.
So the logical thing is to learn to read Kana, right? Well sure, it
sounds all easy. But Kana is actually made up of two alphabets, Hiragana and Katakana. And it’s not exactly a snap to learn them. But I started trying about a year ago. There are lots of fun little cheesy tricks you can memorize to learn the symbols. Like this:
This is “Ni” in Hiragana. Because it looks like someone on their “KNees.” “NI” Right? Right?? I told you this wasn’t easy. Anyway, I actually got a majority of the way through, save for a few characters that constantly tripped me up and had no fun memorization tricks. Like this one:
Which is “Wa.” Really? How on Earth do I remember that’s “Wa”?? Any advice is appreciated. Maybe you see something I don’t.
Then like got a bit busy, otherwise known as I took a little break. And when I went back I had to start at the beginning.
And that’s where I’m at now. The beginning. I have about a million flashcards I made last year and now I need to re-utilize them until I have everything re-memorized.
This is incredibly frustrating to me because hiii, I just want to read, speak, and write the language, but I don’t have millions of hours to spend. You see, I am essentially TOO BUSY FOR JAPANESE FOR BUSY PEOPLE. And I need a book titled so, “Japanese for People Who are Too Busy for Japanese for Busy People,” yes? I think that one would sell quite well.
(I mean, come on, look at the dude. He’s running off to work, cell phone in hand, and he’s still finding the time to learn Japanese? Le sigh. Maybe I really am just pathetic.)
In all seriousness, if you or someone you love has learned Japanese in a semi-efficient yet thorough manner, please fill me in. I do want to read it along with speaking it, so I have a sneaking suspicion there’s no easy-ish way. But if there’s one that involves running to work (not that I have an actual job to run to) with my briefcase (which I don’t yet own) and cellphone (check, I’ve got that!) and having Japanese just magically sink into my head, I would love to know. Because I wasn’t aware Japanese for Busy People actually wanted me to open the book. If they did, they should have written it in a language I could understand. Gosh.
*OK, so it was actually in January of 2008. My how time flies.