Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm learning Japanese!

Konnichiwa! Today I started an audio course to learn how to speak Japanese!

image made using iphone app
Beautiful Mess

I'm learning Japanese because we are visiting Japan for part of our vacation this summer! I'm SO EXCITED! Well, a little nervous, too .. even though I love to travel, I get a lot of travel anxiety before a trip. But I'm working through it and I think starting this Japanese course is going to help me get psyched to go.

We're also going to the Philippines which is my husband's native country. He immigrated to the USA back in the 70s as a young boy and hasn't been back since! I'm excited finally visit there after learning so much about the country, its people, food and customs over the last 25+ years that we've been together. I think it will be an invaluable experience for our daughters to see the country from where half their heritage comes.

We'll also be spending a couple of days in Hong Kong between visiting the Philippines and Japan. Phew! It's going to be another whirlwind trip abroad, but that's the way we do it.

I've only done the first two lessons in the Japanese audio course and so far I know how to say, "Excuse me, may I please have some ice cream?" and "Excuse me, may I please have some coffee?" You know what? ....  I think I'm set! ;)

Have you been to The Philippines, Hong Kong or Japan? 

If so, do you have any travel advice?


  1. Congratulations on your trip. That's the first and only Japanese word I learned from my Girl Scout days.

  2. Jealous! Japan is on my bucket list of countries to visit. I can't wait to hear all about your trip!

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  4. I admire your travel adventures and I think it's an awesome thing you're doing of showing your girls the world!

  5. Sounds like an amazing trip!!

  6. Oh wow! Have a great trip and take lots of pics.

  7. How exciting! I know you guys will have a great time.

    The aide in my 4th grade class taught us some Japanese and I still remenber much of what I learned. You'll do great.

  8. I just know y'all are going to have a blast on your trip! My kids know how to count to ten in Japanese and how to pronounce the names of their katas in Japanese since the MA they take was founded in Japan. I learned how to say Hello in Japanese when we has exchange students visit our school one year when I was in Jr. High. That's it for me.
    Wishing you the best in learning the language before your trip!

  9. Traveling to new places is so exciting! Will you be visiting any family while in the Philippines?

    My daughter is learning Japanese. She's minoring in Asian studies with emphasis on the Japanese culture. It should be a lot of fun and a great learning experience for your girls.

  10. I want to learn to read Japanese so I can read Murakami's books as soon as they come out :)

  11. Sounds like a lovely trip to take!
    Three awesome cities to visit, I hope you take lots of pictures :D

  12. Oh, Christine. That is going to be one fabulous trip. My husband lived in Japan for a few years and I would love to go back with him and visit since I've never been anywhere in Asia.

    Some of my favorite bloggers are from the Philippines! They seem to have a lively book culture there. Would love to go someday.

  13. What an awesome trip to look forward to! I think the ice cream question will definitely be your most phrase. :)

  14. Thank you all for your wonder enthusiasm for our upcoming trip to Asia. It's going to be an amazing experience! I'll be sure to take a lot of photos and tell you all about it when I get back. I might tweet and instagram-tweet photos during the trip.. I'm not sure yet what kind of data plan we'll have. Hopefully there'll be a lot of free wi-fi hotspots!

    Leslie :: That is so neat that your daughter is minoring in Asian studies! What is her major?
    Oh and yes, we will be seeing some family in the Philippines. Most of my husband's aunts, uncles and cousins have all immigrated to the US by this point, but there are a few cousins there whom we plan to see. We haven't seen them since they came here in 1996. Maria was just one year old then and Anna, obviously, wasn't even born yet!

    Ti :: LOL! I thought of that! Especially since I think he just released a new book in Japan? There are a few reviews on goodreads. Mostly in kanji, but a few English ones.

    Angie :: Oh wow. So Aaron must speak a decent amount of Japanese, then? Does he have any language tips for me? I'm finding the audio course a little challenging. I think I'm a strong visual learner and would do better seeing the romaji (phonetic spelling) of the words as I'm learning to speak them. Ah well.. I'll do the best I can.

    I don't think I know many book bloggers from the Philippines!

  15. Tracy, I know, right? At least I know one very important phrase. ;)

  16. How exciting! Japan AND Philippines! Omg, the food in both those countries are awesome. Now I cannot wait for the photos! :D :D Have tons of fun!

    Only went through Japan when I was very very young and have no memory of it. I did learn it in College, but lost most of it due to lack of use. Lol.

    Katakana was the hardest part for me to learn. There's no real "grammar" style per say, but always use the polite form. :D

  17. This sounds like a very cool trip. I have been to Hong Kong but I was pretty young and hardly remember it. And my trips to Japan have been basically confined to the airport. One day I will go to the Philippines. Anyway, I think you're going to have a great time. Very exciting!

  18. Awesome Christine!! You're going to have a great time! How long is your trip because it sounds like a lot :) I've been wanting to go to Japan for a while, but haven't had the chances to yet! I hope you like it, it's going to be sooo different :)

    I went to Hong Kong, but it's already been 10 years and things for sure have changed. Plus I was with friends who could speak cantonese.

    One thing I know for sure is that you're going to eat well!! :)

    I had a Japanese course, but can't remember much of it... However, I do remember aisu kuremu (ice cream )!

  19. How exciting! I would be a bundle of nerves, just from the excitement! I've never been to any of those places, obviously.

    Ice cream and coffee, you are set, Christine! LOL!

  20. You never cease to amaze me! I loved listening to my dad say his few words in Japanese (he was in the Navy and was there for a bit) No travel advice but I know you'll have fun. I'm still working on getting this butt to Italy!


  21. woohoo! ;)

    One of my dear friends lived in Hong Kong for a few years. I can ask her for a top 10 list. The tea is unlike anything you can get anywhere else in the world. Her husband always brings me home tea.

    I hope you have a better chance to learn than I have had with French. I have struggled to find time to sit and take my lessons. :)

  22. little_alys :: It's going to be a great trip! Thanks for the tip on always using the polite form. I'm going to do my best. My husband is excelling with his Japanese. Well at least it sounds good to me. lol!

    Janicu :: Thanks, it's going to be a memorable trip for sure!

    nath :: We're only going for 14 days--5 days in the Philippines, 2 in Hong Kong, 5 in Japan and 2 on either end for the travel. Yikes practically 24 hrs in a plane just to get there. Not looking forward that part!

    I'm practicing saying aisu kurema every day! ;)

    Hilcia :: It's going to be a unique trip, I'm sure.

    luv46kdz :: Girl, you gotta get yourself to Italy! What are you waiting for?!

    mpartyka :: I think we are scheduling a tea ceremony in our itinerary. And even an authentic Japanese cooking lesson! I'll try to remember to bring home some tea.

    That's the key to doing one of these self-instructions .. you have to be diligent about sitting down and doing them every day. I'm having trouble with that, too.


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