Learning the parts of speech

Attempting to become a polyglot can sure take you in unexpected directions.

I had not intended to review my High School English skills. I really thought I was going to do what others have done and just speak the language. I’ve found however, that so many instructional materials use the parts of speech as a spring board to learning the language that I might as well know them well.

So I began to reacquaint myself with subject, object, verb, adverb, adjectives, conjunctions, prepositional phrases  etc, etc.

I figure it can only help, so long as I don’t get hung up on this and miss actually using Japanese.

I am still working on my first video. The first version was so boring and I was so stressed that it could be possible for people to pass out while watching it so I didn’t post it. I returned to the books to try to make the speech a little more lively. Hopefully I can have something up within the week.

Oh yeah, and I figured I may be able to start my Italian language training by the end of September, which will mark my second month of learning Japanese. I listened to an audio book in Italian and I was able to understand 40% to 50% of the content. And since I won’t have to learn a new script –or three as is the case for Japanese, it could work.

Also, I am buying a drawing tablet tomorrow to add some illustrations to this blog as it is kind of visually coma-inducing. I suppose I could make an effort to take pictures as well.


We’ll see. Thank your for looking!


Ready to kick it up a notch

As I began to teach myself Japanese, I knew right away that somehow I needed to learn a lot of language to make my first video interesting. As I began to put sentences together my script read like a kindergarten book. “I am David”. “I live in Kansas”. “I study Japanese”. “See Spot run”.

As it turns out, finding connecting words is how many polyglots go about learning new languages fast. And lucky for me, many of these polyglots are generous and share their ideas and techniques with the world. One of my favorite polyglots out there is laoshu a.k.a. Moses McCormick. He calls these connecting words Road Running Words and he has a website where he can help you learn a new language pretty fast: RoadRunning Language Camp.

Anyway, Moses also has a series of videos on YouTube where he shares this idea of learning connecting words to begin speaking a foreign language fast. Look for him in YouTube by searching for laoshu505000. I have began looking up the words he recommends plus some of my own with the aim of producing my first Japanese only video. I am very excited!

Thank you for looking!

Kanji dig it?

After working on memorizing Hiragana and Katakana, I have now began delving into the mysteries of the Kanji. It’s all memorization again. I perused my Kanji book and I tell you, it’s easy to be scared but alas! children learn this stuff in Japan so I must as well.

Meanwhile, I have found a number of Japanese blogs to begin reading to keep my kana fresh in my mind and to start seeing how the kanji fits into all of this.

Last, I REALLY need to start speaking Japanese even if it is badly. This means there’s a video of me speaking Japanese badly coming up!


Ohayo! Buenos dias! Good Morning!

I need to learn how to type Japanese characters in the computer so I can begin posting in that language as I learn it. From this post on, I will post in multiple languages. I will include Spanish even though I need very little practice with it beyond regaining some of the vocabulary I’ve lost during the 30+ years I’ve lived in the United States.

Spanish – Español

Ayer no tuve mucho tiempo para practicar japonés. Pude practicar katakana por solo unos minutos. Es muy divertido escribir nombres de personas y nombres de lugares en Katakana. Poder escribir en Katakana también puede ser divertido con los amigos y con los familiares, además de ser una actividad amena cuando uno se encuentra en una fiesta. Necesito leer más libros escritos en español para reforzar mi vocabulario.

Bueno, hasta pronto!

Thank you for looking!

Resources for Japanase

I continue on my quest to speak Japanese fluently in 3 months. To that end, I’ve learned the kanas and I’ve begun to look at the kanji. Also, I began to study a little bit of the structure of the Japanese language.

Since delving too heavily into the guts of the language may actually keep me from learning how to speak it quickly, I opted for a Japanese language book that focused on speaking the language. I found Japanese Step by Step by Gene Nishi to fit the bill quite nicely.

Book cover

Easy cheesy…

For my study of the kanji, I selected Essential Kanji by P.G. O’Neill. I bought this book before I knew that there were easier books on kanji but I decided to stick with it because it’s all about memorizing anyway and I can conjure up my own mnemonic devices to remember the kanji.

It’s all kanji to me

In addition to these books, I am making heavy use of YouTube to listen to spoken Japanese by native speakers. I’ve found a number of Japanese vloggers and I have found many videos of Japanese shows. I also plan on watching a lot of Japanese movies.

Thank you for looking!

I Kan Do Kana!

Yes! My new strategy to learn the Japanese kana has paid off. I was able to memorize the entire Hiragana yesterday and I started on the Katakana today and I am already making good progress. I think I should have both kanas learned by end of today.

I found free ebooks written in Japanese at the Gutenberg Project’s web page that should help me consolidate my mastery of the kana. I already have a book on kanji which is what I’ll start working on next.

I also made an addition to the languages I want to learn first. I’ve always wanted to be able to read Hebrew so I might as well add it to the list of languages to start with.

So I am very excited with my progress. Learning multiple languages fast seems more doable now than ever before.

Thank you for looking!

Hiragana I don’t wanna

Once again I am sabotaging my own success by doing what I always do when starting something new, and that is, I spend all my time getting ready to learn and I do little actual learning. So I spent the first week of my Japanese learning project collecting resources and making charts but doing very little practicing.

So far I’ve learned only the vowels, the ka and sa sounds. I was supposed to have learned the whole Hiragana set in the first week. Sigh!

Oh well, I guess I still have today and the weekend to make up for it. Last night I found a really cool iPhone app called Kana which should let me catch up by the end of the day. It uses flashcards and mnemonic devices to memorize the kana.

So much of learning a new language is just figuring out how you’re going to go about it. I hope I can discover a methodology that works for me that I can apply to the other languages I will be learning.

Wish me luck!

The First Six

The first six languages that will be part of my polyglot experience (as of right now anyway) are:

Spanish is my native language. Some people say that it is lame to include one’s native language as part of a polyglot’s languages but hey, Spanish is a language and I speak it so I will count it. One down, five to go 🙂

I speak English because I live in the U.S. and it is hard to live here without speaking it. English is like a second native language to me since I’ve been speaking it for over 30 years now. Again, I will count it.

I know next to nothing about Japanese at this point but it would be foolish not to learn it since my Karate class is an environment where one is encouraged to learn and practice Japanese. I have been working on learning the Hiragana script for two days now.

I think Italian will be a fun language to learn. I can understand about 50% of spoken Italian already.

Arabic is a language that is very relevant today. Also, it is spoken widely in the Middle East (I think anyway). Last, my maternal grandfather was an Oriental from somewhere in the Middle East so I claim the right to speak this language.

I just want to be able to sing Samba songs and understand them. Also, wouldn’t it be fun to watch Brazilian soccer in it’s native language? I hope that both Portuguese and Italian are easier for me to learn because of my mastery of Spanish. I know very well though, that both Italian and Portuguese are very different from Spanish regardless of their shared roots.

Depending on how I do with these first six languages I may venture into other languages. Heck, depending on how I do with Japanese, I may decide three languages are enough! Be that as it may, I have an interest in other languages such as Cahita, the language of the Yoeme people of Sonora in Mexico and Arizona in the U.S. That’s gonna be a hard one mostly because there aren’t many resources available to learn it. I have Yoeme blood both from my father and mother. Other languages that interest me are German, Russian, and French. Last, I would like to take a crack at Vietnamese because I have lots and lots of people to practice with around here.

Hasta Luego y gracias por visitar!