Tuesday, 22nd March, 2016
As the clock strikes 3.55 PM, me and my two teammates get ready for our first Japanese class. We get new notebooks at the reception and walk two floors to our class.
On the board is written: Konnichiwa. Watashi wa Charubeena desu.
Our instructor is a short, energetic young woman named Charuveena. She greets us all and gets straight to the talk. She tells us that there is no ‘v’ in Japanese. So, for the next few weeks, she’d be Charubeena to us. We are surprised to learn that none of our names will remain the same in Japanese. I already feel interested.
The class goes fast. Charubeena tells us about Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. We all are given a sheet with Hiragana characters. One by one, she takes us through the pronunciation of each character. The characters look difficult and overwhelming to me. I wonder how long it will take to master it all.
Throughout the class, Charubeena teaches us Kanji – characters which stand for distinct words. Kanjis are far more complex than the Hiragana that lies in the sheet before us all.
We also learn why Japan is called the land of the rising sun.
Slowly, and steadily, the clock strikes 5. We have learnt a lot, scribbled pages worth of notes. In the end of the class we are handed out a worksheet. It contains a list of words in Hiragana characters. We are to find out the meaning of each word and write the word five times and bring it to the next lesson.
Even though I know it is going to be a tough going, I am super excited. We walk back to our desks chanting, Watashi wa… Hajimemashite… Genki desuka…
The ball has started rolling. The baby has taken her first step. Will she be able to really learn the language in the next 10 weeks? Be a part of my Learn Japanese journey. Share your thoughts about learning a new language.
Until the next post, さようなら! (Sayounara!)