Language: Just use it

「まもなく帰ります。」(Mamonaku kaerimasu; I will humbly be returning home) I told my host mother over the phone. Even now, I still appreciate the repetition of train announcements for helping me pick up vocabulary words. But during my study abroad in Shizuoka, I didn’t quite have a handle on 敬語 (keigo; honorific language used with superiors/customers) toContinue reading “Language: Just use it”

If they want to speak to me in English, it’s fine

I stopped by a Lawson’s in Omotesando for a few items before I took the train home. The cashier welcomed me to his register with a “Good morning”, which caught me off guard, as my experience is cashiers have often consistently spoken in Japanese regardless of who was in front of them. I sensed thisContinue reading “If they want to speak to me in English, it’s fine”

What my first tea ceremony taught me about being bold

“What did you do when you were learning a foreign language?”, one of my students asked me. One of my recommendations was to have experiences in the language you are learning: you get to interact with the language in an authentic way, plus it makes for a great memory. When I studied Japanese in highContinue reading “What my first tea ceremony taught me about being bold”

My choice to major in Japanese Studies

“What’s your major?” It took me a long time to be able to comfortably answer this question. At the beginning of my undergrad studies, I arrived with interests in interpretation, Japanese, writing, world history, and diplomacy, and a recommendation to minor in Economics. International Relations was not offered as a major, so I chose toContinue reading “My choice to major in Japanese Studies”