Let me give a rundown of what I currently study for Japanese:

  • Textbooks for Japanese Learners (A book of essays that I really enjoy.  Also a Somatome N2 Textbook from Hubby.)
  • Jpod–both intermediate and advanced levels
  • Nihongonomori–the Grammar for N2
  • Yomiuri Children’s Newspaper

That’s really all I have time for.  I never quite get finished with it all.  If I finish a newspaper, one comes the following week.  When I finish an essay, there’s the next essay in the book.  And so on.

But I am going to do the  Children’s Japanese Picture Book Challenge!!!!!

What is the Children’s Japanese Picture Book Challenge?

I am going to (attempt) to read the most famous and beloved Japanese children’s chapter books in Japan!    They will only be Japanese books by Japanese authors, or foreign books that I am unfamiliar with.   I am not going to do books that are originally American or British (books that  have been translated to Japanese, I mean), since the goal is to familiarize myself with the Japanese classics.

Is it for your Japanese learning progress, you may ask?

No.

I’ve thought about it and I don’t really think kids’ picture books are the best means of an adult learning a foreign language. Picture books are meant for kids.  Kids and foreign adults have different purposes in language learning.

Kids:  They learn their native language to communicate with others and also do well in school, including their SAT’s.  (Whether they know this or not!!!!)

Immigrant Adults:  They learn a foreign language to communicate with others and navigate through a foreign society.

Kids and Immigrant Adults have different goals.


 

Take this book from the library, for example.  Some gung ho Japanese person went through and studied it, and left pencil marks with translations.

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I mean, just look at the title itself.  “Will” is quite a useful word when discussing the sitcom “Will and Grace” or British royalty.  But quill?  When does this word EVER come up?  I’m thinking.  I’m thinking.  I’m thinking.  Okay, it doesn’t. Except on SAT’s and movies like “Shakespeare in Love.”

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Helter Skelter.  A useful word to know if you want to know about mass murderer Charles Manson.  Otherwise, it just takes up useful space in one’s brain.

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Dueling.  Um.  Okay.

Portly.  Fat?  Why use a big, fancy word when you can use an every day sort of word.  Immigrants are not going to be using the word Portly.

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Breeches.  Next time I shop in America,  I would like to use this word.  “Excuse me, how much are the breeches?”

Gadzooks!  Finally we got a winner.  I like this word.  I am going to use it.  Starting now.

Gadzooks!  My husband just walked in naked and I can’t decide if I want to finish this post or—