The Path of Least Resistance

One of the problems that I keep running into since Dustin and I have started studying Japanese is controlling the impulse to blurt out German words. After years of studying German, my brain seems hardwired to come up with the German word for something instead of the correct word in Japanese. It will probably take a while before I stop doing this, and I am sure that I will be embarrassed a few times in Japan when I randomly insert German into sentences.

Learning German is a very pleasant experience for an English speaker. The vocabulary, syntax, and phrases are similar to English but with the added benefit of being so much more  organized and predictable. As a kid I thought it was much more fun to play Nintendo games with the Game Genie. Legitimately beating Mario Bros. caused a certain level of pride, but playing it with infinite lives and infinite Fire Mario just made it so much more fun. Learning German was a very similar experience for me, like learning a foreign language with the native English speaker Game Genie.

I am finding Japanese to be much more difficult, but ultimately more rewarding language learning experience. It is not nearly as intuitive for me, but I am enjoying the challenge. Dustin has another Japanese class starting tomorrow, in addition to the one we are currently taking at the U of M, but this one is through the JET Programme. I think we are both anticipating/dreading having to rely on our feeble language base very soon.

Theo has been trying to speak Japanese to us, which usually involves repeating nonsensical lists of words he has picked up from watching Anpanman or shouting "いただきます" at the top of his lungs before each meal. It is neat to see how much his three year old brain is understanding about the impending move and encountering a foreign language.

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