Learning Japanese was a shock after speaking Italian. Italian was almost effortless. In Italy, I could just throw out a Spanish word with an Italian accent and be understood. Knowing French and Spanish really gave me a huge head start.
By comparison, I started Japanese with nothing. Nada. Zero. I had to memorize alphabets – three of them. I had to conjugate adjectives (that’s a new one). And I had to re-arrange my thinking so that the verb always came out last.
What follows is an assessment of:
- My level
- What worked
- What I would change
I did not reach taxi-ride-to-the-airport level like I did in Italian. More like order-from-starbucks. Besides ordering food I’m pretty decent at asking about traveling on trains and subways. I can also write about what I did each day – what I ate, where I went, how long I studied, and who I met with.