A lot of people have asked me if I have learned Japanese yet and the answer is NO. Why you might ask, well I will explain in this blog. First of all japananes has 3 different alphabets!!! Which are all used together!!! Who came up with that? I don't know but he or she deserves a beating. There is: Hiragena (http://www.learn-Japanese-kanji-hiragana-katakana.com/Hiragana_46Chart.htm) Katakana (http://www.learn-Japanese-kanji-hiragana-katakana.com/Katakana_46Chart.htm)
& Kanji (http://www.learn-japanese.info/kanjifirst.html).
As you can see if you clicked on the links a person needs an art degree to be able to write all these correctly. If you have even seen me write you will know that this is not an easy task for me and my super sloppy hand writing. To make it all worse there are over 3,000 Kanji characters!!!! Here is one of the easy ones I'm studying.
This is the symbol for rest called yasumi in Japanese. I find it very funny because resting is equal to a man sitting by a tree!! Thanks to that I don't forget it. The tricky part is that 1 symbol means the same but can be pronounced 2 or 3 different ways according to he meaning, just my luck. They have more funny kanji since they have to adjust old symbols to modern things. For example the kanji for parking is equal to the kanji for horse plus stop, so parking is technically horse stop (with the lack of parking everywhere in the city it should just be called buy a bicycle immediately).
The hardest part about trying to speak in Japanese is that there is no intonation or accents in any word, as a result a sentence sounds like one big word. In order to add to the mess they write everything together also, so I have a bunch of lines separating words in my Japanese book. Another tricky aspect of this language is that they talk like Yoda with the verb at the end. My favorite is the expression for smart which is "atama ga ii des" = head good is - in English. You would assume the Japanese would have a word for smart but I have realized that not everything is what it seams. Now you know why we just point at the pretty pictures in restaurants. I truly believe that if Orlando or I would be allergic to anything we would be in serious trouble since 99% of the time we have no idea what condiments are being used to prepare the food. It's amazing what a person can accomplish my saying yes, no, thanks and excuse me in a foreign country, the trick is to smile as much as possible.