2014 SPHSS Diary – 14

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Day 14/35 – Wednesday July 16th

Brilliant thinking.

Brilliant thinking.

The program has been running for 2 weeks now, and the days are flying by. The students have been making good progress. Grammar acquisition and conversational skills are improving rapidly, and at an accelerating rate, Kanji is very quickly from “something review” to “something new”.

One of the students was more than a little bit disappointed to learn that the characters for Kimono (着物) essentially just means “something you wear”, in the same way that Tabemono (食物) just means “something you eat”.

Kanji is really simple most of the time. Why need to over complicate?

The secret is always (almost always!) the “radicals”. The radicals give hints not only to meaning of a character but also to the possible/probable pronunciation. Japanese is a much easier language to learn to read than most people realize.

Give Kanji a lash perhaps? Yes?

tiger2_lunchToday was also the first really hot day of the summer. Just over 35 degrees celsius (about 95 degrees in American/foreign talk – please, get with the metric system already), and very, very humid.

We had been spoiled a bit until now as it had been a milder summer than usual. Summer has definitely arrived now. Unfortunately, instead of walking to a restaurant a few hundred meters away, we decided to bicycle (it was only 8 to 10 minutes maybe, but it felt like 30 something) to a Tonkatsu place just up the way. One of the students decided that the bicycle seat was too hot, so he took a shoe off and sat on it as he rode his bicycle. Brilliant thinking. Well done.

Hats off to logic. Tomorrow we will walk to somewhere closer.

Lunch of course, and as always, was fantastic. Tonkatsu implies fried pork etc, but it was a pretty healthy meal. We take the students to a different place everyday (for the full 35 days of this program, they will never have lunch in the same place twice). One of the best things about Japanese culture is the food. いただきます!

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