Friday, September 22, 2006

It's all Japanese to me

I've had the interesting experience lately of being in many of my customers' shoes. That is, of understanding very little of a language I'm trying to learn. A little background: my 6 year old homeschooled son, NJ, has developed a passion for all things Japanese. He loves Japanese anime movies, Japanese art, and particularly Japanese language, both written and spoken. So we have plunged into learning some Japanese. Since he isn't reading in English (or German) yet, this means I need to do most of the legwork and basically learn alongside him. He has infected the whole family with his passion and we all know a lot more now than we did a few months ago. Even our two-year-old loves to say Konichiwa (hello) on the telephone. :)

Of course being the book maven that I am, one of my first steps has been to search out books! But I don't speak Japanese and since the alphabet is different, I don't even have a chance when trying to decide on a book. Luckily, we have good friends who are able to help a bit and who have pointed us in the right direction. I realize how many of my customers must feel who are shopping for German books but whose German is not sufficient to help them make a decision. I now know how it is! I do feel for you!

So I'm going to try and do more book reviews and more translations to help the beginners. And if anyone has any tips on learning Japanese, we'd love to hear them!

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