Some Japanese


written 18.12.2014
I have to admit, that I've never been really interested in Asian countries or cultures over all. It just isn't the part of the world for me that I want to get know better - but lately I've "been forced" to take a look to that direction too. Of course I've always thought that I'd like to visit Japan and China and stuff at the some point of my life, but it's never been a dream. Until now. It's still not a dream or something that I admire - my heart belongs in the Europe (or at least I think so) - but it's started to interest me somehow.

This change started, when I started IB. I have one Chinese classmate and small pieces of the culture have reached me. Couple of months ago I started changing emails with a guy from China and it's been a really fruitful conversation so far - hopefully our pen-pal friendship is gonna last. And not so long ago, once we were having some kind of night out with my awesome classmates and we happened to meet a Japanese guy. Who happened to be an exchange teacher from Japan, teaching here and exploring Finnish school-system during this year. (By the way. When I met him, I realized again how small the world actually is and how weird life sometimes might be, as when we started chatting, we quickly found out that we have common friends - including one guy from America!) And now I'm taking part in his Japanese classes once a week.

So far I've learned some basic, useful basic stuff as "konnichiwa" (hello) and "arigato" (thank you). We've also studied very basic things related to grammar and how to make sentences - it's not that hard language in the end! Of course those Japanese and Chinese characters are really difficult and the pronunciation for a Finn is hard, but the simplicity of making sentences like "I am Fiia", "You're nice" and "Is she beautiful?"  surprised me as they all can formed using same formula.

Besides studying the language, we've been getting to know the culture a bit more. As I know pretty much nothing about Japan - only things like there's a lot of people and a lot of crazy inventions and many place names are familiar for me - I've learned many new things. Such as KitKat is available in two hundred different flavors and everything is cheaper than here. We also made origami one lesson and it was such a great fun.

So, again I noticed that it's best to never say never. If you would have asked me some months ago am I gonna study Japanese this year, I would have said no. But here I am. And even if the main point of the course isn't to learn as much as possible, I am pretty sure that even the smallest knowledge of a language is always good. In this globalized world we're living, it's useful to know what's going on in the other side of the globe.  And nobody knows am I gonna find myself living in Japan one day - if I do I'm not gonna be so lost. Hopefully.

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