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I’m almost done with the second of three units in the Rosetta Stone Level 1 Japanese.  I can confidently say that I’m inherently understanding and absorbing the vocabulary.  The grammar is a bit difficult to solidify only because I’m not particularly good at grammar anyway.  I may not have exact sentence meaning down, but I think I understand the basics of it.  I could say something and I’m sure someone would get my meaning.  The one thing I’m confidently weak at is speaking and thinking on my toes.  It seems natural to understand questions and solve problems, but actual communication seems difficult.  If RS requires me to ‘interact’ in a situation, I freak a little and have a difficult time forming conversational patterns.  I guess it’s a common foreign language learning problem.  We say we can understand or even read a language, but conversationally sometimes we fail.  I’m really happy with the results so far and it’s much better than any classroom learning experience I’ve had.  Over time I’m confident I’ll learn to be better conversationally.  Being in Japan will surely help.  But that’s my update.  I do look forward to having someone explain some of the reasons why certain things are done within the language.  RS is wonderful in that it challenges your intuition but sometimes intuition is not enough!  We’ll see how I progress!


We bought Rosetta Stone Japanese.  While Sue has a command of English, Cantonese and Spanish, I struggle to remember my limited French.  I was convinced for years that I wasn’t good with languages.  I no longer believe that, but do understand learning as an individualized process.  I like to believe that if we moved to France, I’d be proficient/fluent within half a year.  So Japanese is a new priority.  While we have no confirmation that the JET Program will hire us, I think Japan is a relative certainty.  So far, Rosetta Stone is working on my visual instincts and challenging me to comprehend language as if I were a child being spoken to without the ability to have things defined for me.  I rather enjoy the process and don’t think of it as a chore.  As with anything, there are times of frustration and complete lack of understanding but I’m comfortable with the RS methodology.  They say the mind is a muscle and it needs to be exercised.  I’l let you know how my workout progresses!


When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. -Barbara Bloom