Updates 5: "You want me to learn how?!"

whaa! Ben here, Sorry we haven't posted in a while! Get ready for a disorganized mind mess of random detail... it'll be fun though trust me. mah, you can tell me later how terrible it was to read disorganized thoughts heheh 0.o

A bit about my schooling...
Life has been good. School is terribly busy. At my level (almost the lowest haha) the teachers seem to want to test/quiz for every single little thing, I'm not really fond of it lol. I've got japanese class every day 9-12:15. Teachers are Japanese, language of instruction is...Japanese of course!! They couldn't teach in a certain language because there are students whose native languages are all different, plus... we're all here to learn, mhrm ... JAPANESE (日本語) ^^

tests...there is usually one test a day, a vocab test. We "learn" around 40 new words every two days and the vocab test tests the word knowledge and the grammar of the chapter the words were introduced in.

(start Kanji bittt)... 

Every friday is a Kanji test... A bit about Kanji for those who don't know...
Kanji are the chinese characters that don't have any obvious phonetics when you look at them. Each kanji has 1 or 2 "readings": one reading when the kanji is used by itself as its own, and the 2nd reading is when it is used in combination with other kanji. I think it's the biggest difficulty in learning japanese. Why? I think so because we cannot read to reenforce the grammar and vocab we learn. All books and media material is written in kanji. The exception is the conjugation bits of verbs. Huh? Like the word "eating". "eat" will be in kanji and the "ing" will be in the phonetic japanese alphabet.

Without getting overly complicated, lets break it down... 食べる pretty much means 'eating'. 食 is the kanji. べる is the phonetic japanese alphabet. 食 is pronounced ta. べ+る is pronounced be+ru. Together, 食べる is pronounced ta+be+ru. The complicated part is that 食 is not part of the japanese alphabet. The japanese alphabet symbol た is pronounced ta. If it was your first time seeing it, you cannot look at 食べる and sound it out. You can only know the pronunciation if you previously studied the specific kanji 食.
(end Kanji bittt)...
So every friday is a kanji test... where we get tested on 15-20 of these. Every monday is a 3-4 chapter grammar test. These tests are made to include every concept covered regardless of the test time allocation. wait wha?? they don't judge how long we need?! nah. The result is a mad scramble to finish everything fast. Often they'll ask if we're finished but find we've only made it 50% through. They'll give us 5min and ask again. They'll do this until most are finished.
I have a language seminar class on monday afternoons that is slightly over my head. The kanji given in the course are kanji I haven't learned before and words I've never encountered before.lol. The speed is as if I knew both. It is technically our level, but most of us in the class share my opinion. Still, the information covered is really useful. Things like how to receive a compliment, how and when to give gifts, hospital visit, searching for something in a mall, losing something on the train etc. Useful but difficult dialogue. In class we produce a sample conversation of the topic covered. This monday we have a test where we have to give the conversation of 3or 4 different situations. Its slightly stressful, I don't really want to study for it but I have to. I also have the 3chapter grammar test tomorrow.

Well, that's about it. At the moment my lifestyle isn't really the model lifestyle of a student. Haven't really found a good place to study... I'll often go to a Starbucks that is 15min bike ride. Buuuut for a venti chai latte its 500en (yen) quick conversion yen to $... take two 0's off.  500en =~ $5. Then add a bit. sooo about $5-6.
During the day, Kailey is out and about most the time. She'll practice at Americaya for 2hrs then hang out with the people who work there, then go practice for another 2hours at another place, then come home and study japanese. That's our life, noooot much else happens. A friend invited us out to a party the other day. We all prepared (15ppl) food from Okinawa. Okinawa is the hawaii like section of japan in the south. The ppl from the group all came from there, it was their group activity. It was a lot of fun.

June is the rainy season of japan. So now it rains.

glossary of terms...

^^ is a smiley face...without the smile-.-
lol is literally "laugh out loud", but y'know.. it sounds sorta weird phrased like that. picture like the "haha" you do to yourself after you find something funny (as opposed to the "haha" you do after a joke.    ahhh because the "haha" after a joke is just waay too strong to be equivalent to the meaning of "lol", that's why.)
ppl is people
=~ is "roughly"
0.o is a face c'mon, ah ok its two eyes and a speck that's supposed to be representin a mouth, but you see, it's more the ambiance that it creates when you look at it (no ones face would ever do that, suddenly have the eye grow 2x the other?!?? pfft riiight)

Disclosure: grammar and spelling mistakes are intenshunal. 
Updates 4:Hiroshima and Golden Week<<<Previously                Next>>>Updates 6: Semester 2!



  1. Well guys, sounds like a great routine and you are learning lots! Your year is going to keep flyin on by!

  2. Yeah! Most the people in my current class seem to be going home at the end of the summer. Trying to imagine that I only have until the end of August in Japan is insane! It's not too far away! I agree, time is flying by. 1 year isn't long at all!


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