Wednesday, February 27, 2008

watashi wa nihongo ga daikirai desu

I can't tell you what that means until you read all the way through...

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Tonight I walked out of my Japanese class, in tears, only 10 minutes after it had started. There are many, many reasons, but the top being the difficulty of understanding this dumb, dumb language.

Let me show you what I mean...

Sentence #1:

Isogashii desu kara, doko mo ikimasen.

This translates to 'Because it was busy, I did not go.'

Ok. Fine. I get it. Except that:

isogashii = busy
desu = is
kara* = because
doko = there
mo* = did not
ikimasen = did not go

Put it together, and that sentence literally reads:
'Busy is because there I did not did not go.'

* 'mo' can also mean 'already'
* 'kara' can also mean 'from'

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Sentence #2
(this one was a true/false comprehension question from one of my homework problems, which involved answering questions about the content of an interview)

Masuya san no okusan wa ryori ga amari jozu arimasen.

This translates to: His wife does not cook well.

Masuya = a person's name
no = the word used to show possession
okusan = wife
(Masuya san no okusan = Masuya's wife)
ryori = a dish/cooking
amari = not so
jozu - good at
ja arimasen = is not

Literal translation: Masuya's wife cooking but not so good at is not.

I was sure to ask my Japanese teacher why we use 'amari', which, when translated English, makes the sentence a double negative when used along with 'ja arimasen'. She said that in Japan, it is not polite to say that someone is not good at something, so you say that they are not so not good at something. That means more words with double meanings to remember. And the order of the words? Seriously.

Do we live on the same planet as these people?

But, I've played my own little joke. Now I've gotten them back with the title of this blog, which I have worded to say exactly what I mean, without caring if it is polite or not. It's the truth.

I hate Japanese.

;(

4 comments:

Jessie79 said...

Hey Wendy-
Hang in there it sounds frustrating! I am forwarding your blog site to my stepsister, Amanda. She is in her last year at Iowa majoring in Japanese. She will be there in the fall (I believe) to study abroad. We miss you in Iowa :)
Jessie

Anonymous said...

Wendy San!

Ogenki desu ka?

Konnichiwa!

You are hilarous. I could read almost ALL of your sentence . . . but of course they didn't teach me how to say HATE in my classes. I need to study more. Much much more. But I have been enjoying the challenge of the lessons. It is confusing and it makes me think SO hard. I told Kyle "it's just not like high school Spanish where I could jack around all of class and still get an A."

We'll have lots of fun practicing our Japanese skills when we unite in person again!

Jen

Anonymous said...

I took Japanese lessons the summer before fourth grade. That was the summer where I spent every week at a new camp (including girl scout camp, zoo camp, Living History Farms camp, etc.). I remember that toto means dog. I also remember doing Japanese yoga before our learning started. I have many great memories...that was the first (and only) time that I had to cheat on a test. I had no idea how to say "quarter" in Japanese. Thank god Melissa had done her studying.

Miss you...

amanda said...

Hey, this is Jessie's step-sister. It is a hard language to learn. I sometimes have to just forget everything I know about English grammar, throw it all out the window, and then it becomes a bit, but only a bit, easier. Ganbatte! (or good luck, literally: try hard or give it your best)