Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New words ("kotoba") and new friends ("tomodachi")

Tonight was my first Japanese lesson.

Well, that's not entirely true.

I feel like I've been having Japanese lessons ever since I arrived in Japan! It's kind of like in the movie Akeelah and the Bee, (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend watching it) when Akeelah prepares for the spelling competition by practicing words with different people in the community. Only instead of just spelling Japanese words, I'm getting all kinds of people in Kuji to help teach me new words and how to pronounce them.

But tonight was my first official lesson with Sean, one of the other ALTs, who obviously speaks both Japanese and English. We're having lessons every Tuesday, in addition to my Japanese practice I have with Tomoki -- the boy I'm tutoring in English -- every Monday and Wednesday.

I'm proud of how much I've learned in just over a month. I can introduce myself in Japanese and ask some important questions such as:

"How are you?"
"When is your birthday?"
"What time is it?"
"Where is the bathroom?"
"Do you sell ice cream? How much does it cost?" :)

Plus I know two different alphabets (hiragana and katakana) and some random words. I just learned the word "friend," which is a good one to know since I'm making new friends here.

I recently met Toshi, a policeman who speaks English. He wanted to practice speaking, so that's why I met him for dinner. Although Kenji said the real purpose was so I can get out of trouble when I have a run-in with the law since I have a friend on the police force!

From left to right: Toshi, Kenji and Sean, at a Chinese restaurant called Leeshe.

With Sean, my new Japanese teacher, fellow ALT and friend.

I just made an album of pictures from the festival that was this weekend. Click here if you'd like to see it. "Tanoshimimas." (Enjoy!)


Anonymous said...

you blog always makes my day! I think sometimes I get my laughter quota just by reading your blogs. You Japanese teacher kind of looks like Hyder. lol Well have a good night! Love you!

Kiley said...

You just sound like you are having an amazing time! Japan never sounded like a place I wanted to visit until you started explaining it! :) I loved your "drive" blog!