Grand Festa HARU URARA

Hello! How are you, guys?

I know this post may come late at night (it’s 9 p.m. here as I’m writing it; posted at 11 p.m.), but I have a good reason for posting at such a time on a Saturday.

I’ve spent my day in a delightful way, by taking a long walk, sipping on a good cup of coffee and treating myself with sweets. However, it gets even better! For the first time ever, I’ve been to the Japan Days celebrated here in Romania (unfortunately, I found out about the event at its end). Still, I managed to go to a great “concert.”

I’ve only reached home and seated down to write this article.

Now, let’s start talking about what you are interested.

I think that when one starts to learn a new language, interacting with the culture, art, and history of that country is just as important. The language is widely influenced by these things. That’s why, when I have the chance to go to a festival, a concert, or a speaking session, I do what I can to get there. I try to see missing it as “Not an option.”

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I’m Learning Japanese?!

No, I’m not out of my mind. No, I won’t give up after a year.

I’d say “hello”, but konnichiwa (こんにちは) is more normal for this post!

As the title says, or rather implies, I started to learn Japanese! Yay! I’ve wanted to do it for so long but there was always something coming up which interfered with my life and made it impossible for me to dedicate the needed amount of time to it. Not that this year is any easier for me, but at last, I decided to go for it. If I didn’t start this year, I might have postponed it to a day five years from now. Now, that was unacceptable!

So, determined and ambitious, I’ve learnt hiragana and katakana (the two syllabaries) this summer holiday and asked for the help of friends (who is a teacher). I cannot content my excitement. I’ve only had five or six “study meetings” but I fell in love with this language more and more every time.

You probably don’t know, but I’m a language lover in general. I can already speak two foreign languages and I will take Portuguese as the second language at the University (while continuing my Japanese studies). However, I never seem to grow tired of learning something new. It’s just the fact that you learn about the culture, the literature, and the traditions of that people! A portal to another world – and this doesn’t cover it all.

Why did I start to learn Japanese, though?

Please don’t scream, but Animes were the ones to open this world for me several years ago. I was about ten years old at that time if I remember correctly. As I grew up, I really got into Japan’s culture (mythology, traditions, and landmarks). All the knowledge I gained made me want to visit the country to see all its beauty with my own eyes –  I know persons who have been there and they confirmed its spectacular surroundings. I’m that type of person, though, that wants to absorb the culture and it implies communicating with the country’s people! How could I do it without knowing the language?

Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.

‒ Rita Mae Brown

And as I always give 100% or nothing at all, I couldn’t be satisfied with learning some basic grammar and using romaji (the latinization of their syllabaries). I wanted to hiragana and katakana, and kanji! (Which, by the way, I don’t find so terrifying.)

Did I ever mention I love to be challenged?

The fact that some people are just frightened to attempt to learn this language made me want to study it even more. I don’t have a superiority complex or anything, and I definitely don’t like to make the others think that I’m superior to them, but I so love to do what others think they can’t – or that I can’t!

That struggle everyone hates? It’s frustrating at times, but I’m addicted to the feeling of accomplishment that comes after it.

That being said, I’m thinking about writing some posts once in a while about my progress, or what do I find to be the best method when it comes to learning this language. I’m not trying to make myself a guru, but I hope that my experience could help some of the other beginners at some point.

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.

‒ Frank Smith