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LilyWentToTokyo
- Adventures of a Traveller -
Engrish 
23rd-Jun-2006 03:59 pm



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Comments 
18th-Jul-2006 09:59 pm (UTC)

Hi, I just stumbled upon your journal and I just wanted to drop you a comment to let you know how fascinating it is. I'd like to go to Japan myself, but there is that pesky language barrier. I've really enjoyed looking through your past entries and look forward to seeing more!

20th-Jul-2006 08:26 am (UTC)
Oh thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoy them ^_^ If you get a chance to visit Tokyo, you definitely should. There is a LOT of English here, since most of the population (at least the younger ones) all had English as a required school subject. And it's a very foreign friendly city, signs are in English as well as Japanese, and everything is clean, and on-time, and there's next to no crime! Listen to me, i sound like a travel brochure.

I guess you're really into anime, from your screen name and your interest?
22nd-Jul-2006 08:52 pm (UTC)

Do you think I could get around with very little knowledge of the language, then? I'm trying to learn on my own, and I don't seem to be doing so well, haha. I can say one or two things, and the only kanji I could recognize won't help me much. (Such as "no".) I really do want to go! When I was in elementary school, I did all of my projects on Japan, and became very interested in the country. I'd definitely visit Tokyo!

I don't really watch much anime, a few every now and again. It's music that I really love, mostly rock and metal from various Japanese bands. I am a huge fangirl though! The mind boggles at all of the cds and things you can probably find there that we can't get imported, or would be very expensive here. If I did go to Japan, I'd come back very, very broke.

23rd-Jul-2006 03:37 am (UTC)
You know, you may be the first westerner i've ever... well, heard of, actually, who appreciates Japanese rock music!

Invest in a little phrasebook, and you'll be a-ok. SO many people speak English, and if you can speak English with a Japanese accent, they'll usually get your drift. It's kinda funny, actually. Walk up to someone random on the street and go 'I'm looking for the subway' and they might hem and haw and look a bit confused. Go 'Aym loo-king foa saa-bu-wei' and they'll point you right over! Or if all else fails, if you write it out in English they can usually get it.

The one thing that's good to have a bit of a grip on is the kana. Katakana and Hiragana, 46 letters each, they're the phonetic alphabets. A LOT of what you'll want to read is in kana. Restaurant menus, for example, if you want to eat fast american food, it'll be in katakana. Japanese noodles places in hiragana. Probably a few kanji thrown in, but i don't know any kanji (well i know like 'mountain' and 'river' and 'talk' and stuff, but so not helpful!) and i manage to get along :D But the kana alphabets are real easy to learn, just rote memorization, if you're any good at that sort of thing, so it's easy to do alone. In high school we had these goofy flashcards that had pictures with the kana incorporated in, like the 'ku' syllable was the beak on a kookaburra bird, and the 'se' syllable was the hand of someone setting the table. Really cheesy, but oddly helpful. So if you're actually interested in learning some Japanese (which it totally seems like you are, good for you!) you might think about picking up a kana practice book; you can find them on Amazon, or probably at Borders or B&N even, or you could download some flashcards online, i bet. I'd say that reading is more important than speaking Japanese, in terms of getting around the city. Wow, that was long, sorry, i didn't mean to give you such a lecture! ^_^
Questions or comments? Email lilywenttotokyo@walla.com