Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Bought the Book

Every week I think about how I need to study more. I really mean to study more, but I get distracted by other things.  Our Japanese class continues to grow – Jamie San and I are from the US, Nahar San is from Bangladesh, Chen San is from China, Sonaka San is from Thailand, and Angus San is from England. In addition to our once weekly class, Chen San also attends a language school every afternoon and she speaks English as well as her native Chinese. She’s very helpful by translating what the teacher says into English when the rest of us don’t know what is going on. Jamie then uses her phone to translate that into Thai for Sonaka. 

I’m hopeful that someday I will get where I understand what other people say to me and I can make myself understood by others.  I hate it when I’m able to say something in Japanese, then the other person thinks I really can speak Japanese and rattles off  a bunch of things that I have no idea what it is.  The other day I was walking down the path and it was rather cool out.  I was wearing a long sleeved shirt, a sweater, a fleece jacket and my rain coat on the outside.  Several children were shoeless with their pants rolled up playing in a knee deep pool of water.  I said Konnichiwa to them and they all stopped and stared at me, so I wanted to say something.  The only thing I could quickly think to say to them was Samui desu (It’s cold).  All of them started talking at once and I have no idea what they were saying.

We finished the original book in Japanese class and our teacher showed us the book we would be using next – Minna no Nihongo. 


I took a photo with my iPod of the back cover with the ISBN number and headed to the bookstore.  The store has four floors and I have no idea how things are arranged, nor can I read the signs.  I went to the service desk and said in Japanese I want to buy the book and I pointed to the picture of the back cover on my iPod.  The clerk understood me! and said in Japanese Wait a minute. I understood him! He poked his computer and made a phone call and again said wait a minute in Japanese.  About one minute later another employee came running down the escalator with the book I wanted in his hands.  He gave me the book with two hands and bowed.  I gave the book to the clerk, who scanned it and told me how much it cost (in Japanese, which I understood).  I paid and happily left the store with my book.  I know it was just a few simple sentences, but the clerk understood me and I understood him and I bought the book all by myself. But still, I really need to study more.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

I can imagine how satisfied you feel at having had a successful conversation - even if simple. I do hope you will make good progress with the new book.