Ashley went to New York this weekend, so I had her go to my favorite Japanese bookstore and pick up a bunch of books in Japanese for me. As I started reading one of the books (Haruki Murakami’s ノルウェイの森), I remembered reading this section from another book…
The fact is that Japanese, especially for those of us who have learned to read it after childhood, never loses its exotic appeal; each page turned reveals to the eye a new spectacle of outlandish squiggles that momentarily takes the breath away. There is a thrill in realizing that you can process this stuff with your very own brain. I have long been convinced that, as we speak — but especially as we read this foreign tongue — just beneath the threshold of consciousness, a voice continually shouts, “Look, Mom, I’m reading Japanese!”
That’s from Making Sense of Japanese by Jay Rubin. If you’re trying to learn Japanese, it’s a great book. Even after having lived there for about two years, it still taught me quite a few new things about the language. The way the book is written, too, makes it very enjoyable to read.
p.s. I’ve been working on my kanji study for about a month now. I’m able to read around 500-600, and I can write about half that many. Someone please call me an おつかれさま.