Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yuki and Nihongo

Yuki is the word for snow.  It snowed furiously all day yesterday.  It snowed so much yesterday that the trains out of Iwamizawa could not run. It stopped for awhile in the evening, but is snowing hard again this morning. If I weren’t here and seeing it, I probably wouldn’t believe it.

Nihongo is the word for Japanese language.  I took the Introductory Japanese class (the prerequisite to Beginning Japanese) at the NCSU Japan Center from August until I left to come here.  Suwa Sensei and Figgins Sensei were very good and I’m sure if I studied with them longer I would know more, but it was just three months of an introduction to Japanese.

I hope to take a class here after the new year, but for now I am on my own. I have three things that I am trying to do each day.

I have lessons in a book called Japanese for Busy People. Luckily for me, they allow non-busy people to use the book too.  I also have Drive Time Japanese CDs that I listen to on the computer.  Some lessons are listen and repeat, others give you the cue in English and you are to give the answer in Japanese.  I almost always need more time to think of the Japanese answer than they give me, but maybe I’ll get faster with practice.  I can stitch and listen if I am stitching something mindless, like fill in or backstitching.  I can’t do any counting or changing colors because then I’m not paying attention to the CD.  The third thing is hiragana writing practice. I use the vocabulary from the book lessons or look up words in the dictionary and write them out.  I need more structure to my studies.

My downstairs neighbor Okuda San and her little boy Tatsuma came over to visit me yesterday.  Her English is only slightly better than my Japanese, so we didn’t do a lot of real talking.  She admired my needlework and I told her I would teach her to stitch.  She is coming over on Tuesday at 10 o’clock to learn to make a little ornament.  My Nihongo lessons for the next few days will be to look up the words I need for the stitching lesson. We’ll see how that goes.

I finished the reindeer ornament.  I used one strand of Kreinik blending filament to make snowflakes and one strand of the blending filament with one strand of floss to make snow on the ground.  I used dark green velvet to back the ornament and made cording with the same two colors of floss as the reindeer.  I am pleased with how it turned out.

Parting shot – the giant panda continues to make his way around the apartment.

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