My Japanese lessons take a valuable chunk out of my Saturday afternoons (we take different time slots every nine weeks and I’m currently stuck on the Sat 4:30-7:30) but there’re actually few other regular events I look forward to as ardently. Language is my *thing* to a degree that my (rather nascent) musical and athletic interests probably could never aspire to; it’s just satisfying when characters find meaning in words which achieve cogency in sentences. It’s also a nifty way of learning interesting (if sometimes insignificant) tidbits about other cultures. I think it would surprise any English speaker that the Japanese have no neutral word for ‘you’, which is almost exclusively represented as either derogatory or intimate. Their range of consonant sounds is probably more limited: they don’t distinguish ‘l’ from ‘r’ and ‘v’ is almost always approximated to ‘b’. There are different sets of grammar depending on the level of politeness you’re going for; the same actions and things can be represented in three different sets of verbs and nouns (depending if you’re going for honorific, neutral or humble). I’ve learnt all these in the past three months and I don’t even think I’m near ready to converse with a native speaker – they talk too bloody fast – but it’s still great fun anyway, ironically because for the first time I’m actively studying something which couldn’t affect my life much either way, for now.
I’m feeling lighter than I’ve felt in weeks, thanks to having confided in God and selected people, and chanced upon startlingly relevant Christian articles. Ironically it doesn’t mean that I don’t hope for the same outcome as much – if anything I’m better prepared to embrace it. I’d rather do it because I truly want to, not because I’d die if I didn’t. Or, it’s still the preferred outcome but it’s no longer the only one I could ever abide. And I guess being able to let go could only ever be a sign of strength.
And what better way could there be to round off any blogpost than to point out that I’m officially done with *82*% of NS (according to whymustweserve.com, a profoundly moving online resource) – suck it!!!!!