September has come and gone. It’s felt like a long month complete with all the language roller coaster feelings I expected. I am happy with where I am language-wise. Not as far as I would have hoped, but I feel comfortable with what I know. I wasn’t able to practice with other people as much as I planned to, mainly out of my own fear. As much as I love languages speaking them with their native speakers scares me. I think it will be easier once I am there, or at least that is what I have convinced myself of 🙂
I have found Japanese grammar to be really fascinating. It’s very minimalistic in the sense that if something is understood based on context you can leave it out entirely. For example:
Bob: “Did you go to Tokyo?”
Bobbie Sue: “Went.”
There are no plurals or genders, conjugation doesn’t have too many irregularities, and word order isn’t important except for the verbs (they come at the end, just like when yoda speaks!). It uses particles to “tag” all the parts of speech so you know what’s going on no matter what the word order is. It makes you actually have to listen to a person’s whole sentence to know what’s going on… imagine that!
My favourite particle (yes I have a favourite particle) is the topic particle -wa. You add -wa on to the part of speech which is the most important part of what you are saying. It’s a way of creating emphasis with out having to say anything extra or reading someone’s mind. That’s pretty cool, right?
So all in all, September went pretty well I think… but I guess I’ll know for sure if I get to Japan and can actually be understood 🙂