Long ago when I moved to Hawai’i as a teenager in the middle of my junior year of high school I was utterly culture shocked. Didn’t take long to get used to and I embraced the differences, but I wasn’t expecting it to feel so much Asia. My high school’s demographic was pretty much split between students of Japanese origin and Filipino. The breakfast served in the morning always had rice, egg, sausage and ketchup. Everyone wore flip-flops all the time, including the teachers. The one thing I found very cool was the Japanese and Hawai’ian language courses. My previous high school on the mainland didn’t offer either and I had already taken two years of Latin with Mr. Seamen, a funny man who always found ways to help the class (heavy with football players) pass their exams. Anyhow, after enrolling in Japanese I, I learned it was no easy task. I retreated just as quickly as I had enrolled. It would have been the demise of my GPA.
Today’s word is a Japanese word used in Japan:
hajimemashite – nice to meet you
Seems like a mouth full, but this is one of the easier ones. Spoken Japanese comes smoothly for those who practice or submit themselves to hours of Japanese pop music, but either way one can learn this language in through several avenues. Japanese Online is a VERY good FREE site to start learning. They have audio and a great conversation lessons. The lessons get more in-depth as you become a registered user which is still free of charge. Those on the road already may want to pick up the LP Japanese phrasebook or check into a school for a weeks of learning. Study Abroad has a list of school located all over the country. If you’re seeking help with written Japanese best of luck to you!