15 December 2008

Let Them Speak Slang!

AKA: It appears that, no matter where I go, I will come off as being "manly."

Recently, I said something to Saito-sensei with a slang pronunciation that, I fear to admit, I picked up from my students. Another teacher looked up at what I said and turned to Saito-sensei, saying, "And Leslie used to speak such nice Japanese."

It seems the unfortunate case that the sort of slang I always hear happens to be that which falls under the "male language" category. It may be that female slang passes by my ears without notice, or that male slang is mostly using a different pronunciation of regular words - I really don't know. In any case, whenever I feel like being a little more natural in my word choice, I come off as manly.

To a certain extent, I hang out with the wrong crowd - I don't have many Japanese friends, and really have none that are my age. It's perhaps not surprising that I have a hard time knowing what slang to use and where. On top of that, I speak Japanese mostly in situations that should be at least slightly formal - at work, while speaking with strangers, and so forth.

Oh well, it can't be helped.

Expect a post later on the JLPT experience - it's mostly written and just needs one more glance-over before I post it.

01 December 2008

We interrupt to bring you this important message.

Well, maybe not important.

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is coming up this Sunday. While I'm trying to stop saying that I will assuredly fail, my confidence in my ability to pass is fairly low. Still, I'm studying my hardest and doing all I can to, as the Japanese say, 頑張る。* ("Ganbaru" means "to do to the best of one's abilities," but is used for a wide range of meanings, from "good luck" to "...deal with it!")

So, as I'm trying to commit myself to my studies, I'm not going to be taking the time to post until I'm all finished. Once that happens, mind, I have several things to write about (birthday parties for 14 year-old Japanese boys, for starters, and a long delayed account of Sports Day). In the meantime, entertain yourself as I have with this. I highly suggest downloading it. It makes me feel warm just listening to it as it runs in the background. And hey, who doesn't love Fahrenheit 451?

And, while I have you clicking links...
- I get the giggles every time I watch this.
- Silly Elvis Costello! We all know you can't play the piano.

(Clearly, I spend a lot of time on the Colbert Report website.)

Have a good week and I'll see you all again after Sunday!

*Sorry for the split infinitive, Mom!