26 January, 2009

Japan and languages

Well, I got the Japanese tour so I'm very excited about that. I go in October, which is useful in terms of annual leave.

Decided that seeing as the Japanese are allegedly about as good at foreign languages as the English it would be a good idea to spend the next few months being able to read and speak some Japanese before I go.

Turns out, after a very brief bit of internet research, that having learned Chinese for a year is helpful when it comes to one of the three scripts that they use. More helpfully, Salford University offers evening classes which I think I might take up as they seem reasonably priced and I can (just) get from the office to the classroom by 6.

I have to say, I've missed learning stuff since leaving uni. The job has been quite good in that repsect as most of it is still new, but I like to learn for it's own sake and I think languages could be useful in this regard.

I'm too old to become fluent in another language - though I am encouraging the Boy to get work in Germany if he can because that would be my best bet for a second fluent language - but I think it would be good to have c250-1000 words in say 15-20 languages and a smattering of grammar. Means you can be understood literally anywhere in the world and could usually get around.

So far on that list I probably only have 4 - good German, basic French, very basic Chinese and very very basic Turkish. By very, very basic I mean I can count to ten, ask where stuff is, order various foods and drinks and haggle at a market as well as the various 'polite words' - it's all vocab, no grammar.

In non-Roman scripts, learning how to look a word up in a dictionary can take ages in its own right. Try "我是英国人" without using an online dictionary. And typing into a computer is also a lesson in itself (in this case, I typed the pinyin in making sure it was on Chinese input setting and the computer converted the pinyin into characters)

4 comments:

Klairi said...

Wow! I'm so happy you got one of your first choices. I bet it's going to be a very cool trip. I haven't been to Japan myself, but I have been to South Korea and it really was quite an experience.

Swiss Tony said...

Hey Missy, well done. Sounds like it will be fun.

Swizz

Law Minx said...

Thats wonderful news, Ms Mids - your CV will be absolutely STELLAR such that it wont so much be a case of'if you get pupillage' as 'when can you start?!

Miss Middle of Manchester said...

Thank you, all and sundry!