Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I'm reconsidering my approach. I've been going at 日本語 through the written word—media sources, kanji, etc.—but I've found it maddening how unreliable kanji can be, with so many meanings and readings, connected in ways that are sometimes (though not necessarily obvious) sensical and sometimes situational, or completely unconnected or coincidental. (例えば、享ける、請ける、受ける、浮ける) Given the history of the writing system, and kanji in particular, and the problematic relationship between kanji and spoken language, maybe it makes more sense to approach Japanese the other way, through speech rather than through writing. I've looked for easy-to-read books in the past, but maybe now I'll try for manga or whatever else would help. Of course, the best would be immersion, to help me move from Japanese-as-object-of-study to Japanese-as-means-of-communicating-with-people. Right now, it seems like an endless road of which I'm barely at the start!

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