Sorry for the slightly delayed lesson blog – this week has been a tad busy!
So anyway, I had class on Friday morning as usual, and it was great, as usual. I think the best bit of class is always the beginning when we just sort of chat. There’s always heaps of words I don’t know in this section, so I get to learn lots of new vocab, and sometimes new expressions. It feels quite natural and really makes me feel like I’m progressing!
This week’s lesson was based on lesson 4 of Genki 1, and covered:
- existence (が あります、 が います)
- describing where things are
- duration of an activity (~じ かん)
We also practiced ‘means of transport’… and guess who made an appearance? Mr Biji!! Haha! For those of you who have followed my Japanese study since my MySpace blogs, you will remember that Mr Biji is the ‘Japanese for Busy People’ character I grew to love in my lessons with Chika-san. Although I am studying the Genki 1 book, my teacher sometimes uses other resources, and this week it was Biji-san! 😀 Actually, it was a worksheet I had done before, so I managed to do it quite easily, but it was still very good to practice and remember how to say things. Half the trouble with learning a language is that you need to keep practicing, I think. It’s no good just saying a phrase once, you have to say it like 20 times or something for it to stick, I think.
So here are some examples of the basic phrases I practiced this week:
ビージさん は らいしゅ くるま で ぎんこ に いきます。
Next week, Mr. Biji will go by car to the bank.
I still trip up on my time expressions, such as ‘next week’, so I know I need to practice those. But I feel pretty confident with this sentence structure, using で for means of transport and に for direction.
げんかん に くつ が あります。
There are shoes in the entrance hall.
Again, I feel quite confident with this sentence structure, and actually use it quite often when I’m shopping. For example: ボヂーショプ が ありますか。 (Is there a Body Shop?) 🙂
くろかわ から なごやえき まで ちかてつ で どのぐらい かかりましたか。
About how long did it take to get from Kurokawa to Nagoya Station by subway?
I feel ok with this sentence structure, and it wasn’t totally new to me, but I keep forgetting “かかります”, so I need to practice some more. It’s a long sentence too! With Japanese, the sentences seem to just get longer and longer and you have to really be able to think ahead. I reckon if I get good at Japanese I should try to learn to play chess again – I think it’s that same skill of thinking ahead to the next move, which I need to construct a sentence in Japanese!
So that’s it for this week. I’m starting to feel a little more confident already. Last night I even boldly walked into a Circle K, figured out the katakana on something I wanted to eat, and then asked the cashier just to make sure I had got it right “とり ですか。” It’s a very simple question – “Is it chicken?”, but for me that actually takes a lot of effort, and it’s kinda scary. Speaking in another language every day is a challenge, but it’s a challenge I am very happy to accept! 😀