Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Nihongo o hanashimaska?

Watashi wa spinsterwitch des. Nihongo o sukoshi hanashimas.

I was reminded yesterday about how beautiful I find the Japanese language. I don't know how many of you know, but that was the language I took in high school to fulfill the language requirement. I went on to take 2 years in college, but have never been to Japan and have lost most of my ability to speak and/or read and write it.

It brought back vivid memories of my high school classes...25 or so inner city kids waving our hands in the air as we practiced our hirogana, katakana, and kanji. Finding the porn anime in among our teacher's otherwise harmless anime selection. Class being held in a room with boarded up windows, which are not very practical in Minnesota winters (i.e. we froze our asses off). The total chaos that would sometimes reign because our teacher had a passion for Japanese, but not necessarily for teaching.

But in amongst the craziness there was this elegance. Those of us who got into that class that first quarter it was offered never left. We stuck together...and it wasn't just because the class was far too easy...we got into it. We would greet each other in the halls in Japanese. We would show off our kanji caligraphy in our lockers. We were, plain and simple, Japanese nerds.

And still, I am left with my awe of that language...written and spoken. I'm not a terribly big fan of Japanese culture, but the language...hearing people speak it at the restaurant last night made me want to grasp it again. I might have to look for a class to take (or a book to check out) to renew my familiarity with it.

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