Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lesson 3

When I was younger (not that I'm not young and vigorous still, mind you) I used to have a small competition in my mind whenever we were taking notes in classes, seeing how fast I could write down what the teacher threw up on the overhead. (Threw up not as in regurgitating.)

Seeing as how the Japanese lectures are in Finnish I have a really hard time taking notes. First of all, I have difficulties deciding whether or not something that the teacher says is worthy of writing down, because I can't write down everything. The second problem comes when I'm actually writing, where I can't decide what language I should write in, with the end result being a mish-mash of terms and phrases in Finnish, and small notes in either Swedish or English next to them, whatever language I translate that particular explanation fastest to.

We got our hands on the literature we'll be using today. We also got some other books earlier on, but they're related more to the language theory side of things. (Note: when I say "got", it means we buy them; you don't get anything for free on this level.) The books are "Situational and Functional Japanese vol.1: Notes" and "Situational and Functional Japanese vol.1: Drills" (which I can't find on Amazon), and "Basic Kanji Book vol.1". (I just noticed that blogger auto-creates links when you copy-paste text which is already a hyperlink. Nice.) We also learned a couple of more hiragana today, but that's really basic stuff. You can very well study hiragana and katakana on your own (which most of us in the class probably have). Just find some page that also has pronunciation examples and you'll hopefully get that down too.

Though I did learn one new thing in the hiragana studies: that the Japanese "u" sound is unrounded, so where you would normally round your lips in English and Swedish you just try to keep them relaxed when sounding the Japanese "u".

The teacher also said something about how the Japanese language was a train and the predicate was the locomotive, how all the carriages could be left off and it still kept on going. (In this anology he drew the locomotive on the right, the carriages to the left, signifying that the predicate would be at the end of the sentence [note: when talking about the predicate, it could very well be called something else, it was just the closest thing that the translator had in mind].)

My toe is much better now, even though I accidentally hit a chair with it today. It feels funky whenever I move it in certain ways. The nail is almost completely blue from (what I assume to be) blood underneath, with only a smallish pink area where it seems to still cling on. I guess the best way would be to just pull it off, but I'm a bit wimpy.

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