Sunday, May 20, 2007

i speak Japanese

I know it doesn't sound like a real big deal, but I made my first phone call entirely in Japanese this morning. I made an appointment at the vet's without chickening out and asking to speak to the bilingual vet herself, like I did last time. In Japanese, I told the receptionist that I wanted a "yakusoku" (appointment) and was able to successfully answer all her questions. It felt good.

I'm sure I could have done simple things like order pizza or schedule a haircut before now but we're not big pizza fans and I've made appointments online for two different hair salons (both of which communicate in English). I do get by now in stores without as much hand gesturing as before, but the phone has always caused me to freeze up/get tongue tied so it's an important step.

So finally, nearing the end of my first text book, I feel I can say that I know basic Japanese. And the more I learn, the more I understand bits of train station announcements and TV ads, and the more I'm encouraged not to give up.

PS: No Grace isn't sick, she's as genki as ever (though I think she still has tapeworm); she just needs her rabies shot and heart worm goodies.


Wow I'm thoroughly impressed! Japanese isn't an easy language to tackle (as if I'd know ...) so you're a superstar in my book!
Don't be discouraged, there will be other dream jobs! Keep up the good work in everything you do, and it will eventually come your way! I hope you are feeling better re: allergies & blues. Nothing lasts forever...
Love & miss you,
Good on you gurl! Learning a language is one thing, speaking it to people you know is another, but speaking to strangers is the hardest! And they understood you... and everything... lol

Actually the word for appointment is yoyaku. Yakusoku usually means a promise. Don't worry though. The main point is that you were able to get what you wanted. I recall making the same mistake myself years ago when I was making a bus reservation.
yay kyaroru!
Thanks all.

Justin: Don't know you or mean to be a smarty-pants but you might want to double-check that with your sensei since mine clearly told me that yoyaku is for making a "reservation" (eg., at a restaurant or hair salon) whereas yakusoku does means promise as well as appointment (as in commitment/promise to meet someone).
If your sensei is a native speaker then I'm sure their correct. I know that yakusoku can be used when referring to a commitment or promise to meet someone. I guess I just thought that telling the receptionist you "wanted a yakusoku" seemed a little odd in my experience and reminded me of my own incorrect usage of yakusoku vs. yoyaku at the bus station years ago. Good thing I'm not your teacher.
And I even see I keep making mistakes in English (their instead of they're in the first line). It's the worst part of living overseas for so many years. My English keeps getting worse and my Japanese is certainly not perfect. Oh well.
i'm so proud of you - omedettou! *^-^*
Hi kyaroru,

have a look at this article:

Hi Carol, wow you go girl! In no time at all you'll be speaking Japanese fluently...
A post script for Justin, in case he's interested (or am I the only language geek? Jacelyn, what about you? heehee):

I had another discussion with my sensei about the correct translation of appointment. And though yakusoku is accurate (where yoyaku is for booking/reservations), apparently appointo/apo have become more colloquially popular.
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