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January 24, 2008



I would chose the picture dictionary. It is much easier to remember the words.
I love both, math and languages.
And it seems that sewing too. :)
Good luck! I am sure you will make it someday.


Good luck, dear! I'm not the best at foriegn languages, either. I would choose the pictures, too, since I am a visual learner. I'm surprised you haven't picked up more of the language, being immersed in it there, but I know Japanese is a more difficult language than, say, Italian.


Do I understand what you are talking about??? Totally! Four years there and how much language do I have to show for it? hmmm....definitely not a natural. I used to use the excuse that I didn't have an aptitude for it. Have you tried that one:)


i've got faith in you, smartypants!!


the book on the right is adorable! I totally want one. It would totally motivate me. But more to create & use for inspiration:) Good Luck!


I would love that book too, you should put some in your shop! Please!


Yes, that book would be great to have and I would of bought it too if needed. I think it would just be fun to do something different with the kids. I would buy it also!


wow, that books looks yummie...I wouldn't take it so seriously...with a book like that, won't you just want to look at it everyday...the learning is a bonus...if you look at it everyday, something has to stick in your mind ;)

goodluck...languages aren't easy...


Good Luck with the language thing.... I'd love to learn a little bit of Japanese one day, only so I could understand all of those gorgeous on-line Japanese shops a little more...


I love to learn languages, but I think Japanese is different stuff because you have few reference to letters from our Arabic alphabet. Friends of us lived in Japan and got lost on many occasions because even the road signs were incomprehensible. Good luck!

Jennifer Noland

I just started a Nihongo class. I love it, but I love language. We're learning to read and write hiragana too. Katakana is next semester.

I would love one of those dictionaries. If you put them in the shop, or if we set up something on the side. Let me know.


I would love one too..add me to the list..

Sarah van Wijck

Oh I love that little dictionary. I have to say I love learning languages, but I know exactly when you mean about the excuses wearing thin. After 12 years my Afrikaans is still the same basic stuff I had when I 'studied' so hard to understand what my in-laws were saying :) Good luck with it!!

lindsey clare

aw, cute book.

i am a bit on love with languages though i don't really know any apart from English. i guess i love the IDEA of them. but the reality... grammar, etc... hmmm.


I'd have picked the picture dictionary, too. But maybe you shouldn't be too hard on yourself. I can imagine that it takes years to master the basics of any language. English isn't my first language, although I sound like a native when I speak it. I'd say it took about maybe eight years for me as a kid to get the written/grammar bit down pat (all those subtle nuances) and another two years of living in Oz to be really good at it. Japanese is so foreign to the other latin-based languages, too. So maybe just relax into it, instead of stressing out. Good luck!


i am so proud of you for trying. maybe you can make flashcards? and silly rhyme-songs? and...well...japanese character labels to tape all over your house to the appropriate nouns?


my brother lived in japan for quite a few years. his japanese is amazing. if you heard him you would think he was born there.

i attempted to understand his fasination and took lessons. it was a terrible, terrible idea. definitely not for me.

you are courageous and brave. all in the name of love and your new home.

you are doing great!


Leslie I am so jealous of you! I'd love to learn a language while living in a foreign country. Of course, unlike you I really don't like math, so there you go. I'm sure after three years you've picked up a ton already. Is there a way to make it fun and motivate yourself? Maybe with a nice study group or with goals and then treating yourself afterwards once they're met. Either way, don't get discouraged!


Ha! I beat you all & I'm sooooo not proud of myself. 10 years here & more excuses than you can poke a stick at.
"I teach English so I speak English all day..."
"I married an Ozzy so we speak English at home..."
"The only place I go now is playgroup & everyone there wants to speak English too..."
Blah, Blah, Blah. I'm not good at learning the Japanese language & I'm a touch lazy too.
I can get through the day & "fake" it & that's about it I'm afraid! Xxx

Jennifer Noland

I would be happy to practice Japanese with you. We could use skype. That's how I practice with my classmates. I even have handouts I could scan and email to you.


oh leslie, i do know how hard japanese is to learn. ( i tried when i flew international), but i do know with perseverance, you will succeed.
i love math too!


we would make perfect study partners. i love languages and love to learn them. but math and science - hard to get myself to focus. i feel for you. and i love the little peeks at the language you share in this space.


I bet you are better than what you think you are!
Hey, and maybe "studying" isn't the best approach. It just makes it sound so dry and bland, not something you want to do in your spare time.
Now, admittedly, Italian has to be much easier to learn, but I found that once I had the basics, it was all about using it and repeating the same story over and over again( "The Story of Why I Came to Italy") I made sure I didn't hang out with any English speakers and I watched heaps of crap Italian TV. I actually didn't get the TV until a year into my stay, but my language skills improved rapidly and dramatically after that.
And most of all, I made heaps of mistakes, but that is the fastest way to learn because if the mistake is embarrassing enough, you never, never repeat it.
And you do know that you go through plateaus where it seems you are not improving and then one day you suddenly have a lot more words and idioms popping out your mouth.
Keep with it. You'll get there.


hmm i'm guessing you know a lot more than you think. i studied Mandarin in a classroom and learned far less than what i picked up in my 3 months working in China. You are as immersed as one possibly could be. I imagine Khun bails you out when you're squirming. Perhaps he could let you squirm a little more and give you a chance to charade your way out of a situation and possibly learn just a little more. Shyness is a big thing to overcome when learning a new language. i don't tell a lot of people that i studied French for 7 years. My accent is horrible. i'm extremely shy. i can get by if i need to and it has helped in understanding other languages some; Spanish & Italian.
More and more day to day living immersed in the new language and culture is the best way to learn. IMO.


I would definitely choose the book on the right - love the illustrations. I took Japanese in University but only first year. I can't remember a thing. My plan was to go to Japan. I'm gonna need a book like that to get me studying again too! I'm a science girl also :0)

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hello there.

  • i'm leslie. and i lived in japan. with my japanese fella. and i was so happy about that. i am now back in canada. after four and a half years away. i am learning to love this place all over again. h-kun will join me in the fall. which i am very excited about. thanks for stopping by. and taking time to look around. and interact with me. please do not copy anything from this blog without emailing me first. thanks.

my photos on flickr.