Saturday, April 29, 2017

I Don't Speak Japanese, But I Wish I Did

I speak and read English. And American (yes, there is a difference). Throw in Southern and Texan, and I guess I could qualify as speaking other languages.

I know and speak a handful of Spanish. A tiny, tiny, newborn baby handful. 

I can read a bit more Spanish and some French (those two years of Latin in Mrs. Rickett's class in high school wasn't totally wasted).

And I have severe envy of those who speak more than their mother tongue.

Over the recent years I have become really sad there seems to be a disconnect between my brain and mouth when it comes to speaking another language. Actually, I think it is more of a sense of embarrassment over completely mangling someone else's language.

But Japanese...

Oh, how I wish!

Of course, one problem is the writing. Those ain't 'merican letters!

The reason I am so obsessed with Japanese?

They have great words for things!

One of the first I 'discovered' was KINTSUGI or 'golden repair'.  I simply love the idea of repairing a favorite bowl or plate with a thin line of gold or silver. How wonderful is that.

The next word, which is making all the rounds these days, is SHINRIN YOKU, or 'forest bathing'.

I felt the benefits of walking in the woods for years (ok, decades). But to actually have a word for it. That's so special.

The latest Japanese word I have learned is TSONDOKU, or 'stockpiling of books'.

That's me! I do it! I stockpile books!

For some reason, there is a disconnect between the fact I can always check out books at the library and the need to have a huge pile to read by my bed. And several shelves filled with books. Some read, some to be read.

I am sure they have other great words for me to learn in Japanese. But it will take me a bit to learn about them.

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