Hi folks. I’ve realised that I don’t write about books very often on this blog. There’s a reason for that – I don’t read many, as my Japanese reading ability is nearly non-existent. I read a few things in English but that doesn’t seem very relevant.
Well, today there is a book that I’m reading, and it is in Japanese. It is a Japanese textbook called “Minna no Nihongo.”
But then I found I really wanted to talk to people. And the only place to find them was the internet. (I mean, it was the only place to find people who spoke Japanese. If I’d wanted to learn a Somerset accent I’d have my pick of people to choose from in real life.)
But, without ever having had a lesson or anything, I found that I had no courage with which to approach a potential language partner. I made an italki profile but then couldn’t bring myself to inflict my dangerously bad Japanese onto anyone. (Note: Lack of confidence is a major issue for me in everything that I do.)
So I hired a teacher instead (she’s paid to endure my bad Japanese!). And then I got a textbook.
I was afraid that using a textbook would feel too slow, and it does. However, I feel like using it on a one-to-one basis with a Japanese teacher (who, by the way, is a native Japanese speaker) is really plugging up some gaps in my knowledge and making me more confident to speak. So maybe some of the vocabulary is a bit basic – there are basic things that I didn’t know. (Like “shoe” – how’d I learn “planet” and not “shoe”?) And the verbs are all super polite – well that’s not really a problem. I’ll need to be super polite when speaking, at first, because I don’t know anyone. (And I’m still watching enough anime to learn how not to be polite.)
Minna no nihongo is completely in Japanese. That’s why I got it, as opposed to anything else. And that part of it is really awesome. I can read aloud from an entirely Japanese textbook. That is something I completely taught myself. I go a bit slow and I’m frustrated with how bad I am at it, but I can do it. And the more I do it, the better I’ll get. So I can feel like I’m making progress, and that makes it fun. (When it’s no longer fun, I’ll stop doing it.)