I feel your pain, tomodachi. It is by far the hardest language I have learned, including a self-esteem crushing tonal language. I think Japanese was designed in part to make gaijin feel stupid. But, gambarimasu!
I was in Nishinomiya (Between Kobe and Osaka) in July, met some younger people there, told them their country had an Ice Hockey team, they were shocked
From what I've heard though Japanese is a lot easier to learn the basics of than a language like Mandrin..
Even without any training and only a small phrase book I was picking up afew words, phrases and learning the meanings of afew Kanji without being told by the time I was leaving (2 weeks). Definatly not easy though..
Luckily I had my brother and his GF as a guide a lot of the time, and in some instances helpful strangers (like when I got stuck in a trainstation after my ticket wouldn't work and couldn't get past the gates, haha)
I speak the lingo..don't really think it about it much anymore. Go ahead- any Q's?
By the way- Japanese isn't tonal. The pronunciation isn't very difficult.
Hai, imasu yo!
Am working through my first 250 kanji-the On Readings are killing me! I suspect the tables will turn once I get into more compounds and I forget all the Kun Readings. The keego honorifics and verb groupings are taking their time to assimilate as well.
I was just comparing Nihongo to a tonal language I learned a few years back. The accent is pretty easy (I speak Spanish and am finding the accent similar), but it's hard to modulate the cadence and keep a more monotone delivery.
Managed to find a good website on hockey in Japan.
You'd be surprized Japanmontrealexpat, there are alot of canadian teachers over here and crying for hockey, I live in Kanazawa, Ishikawa-ken and over the past three years here I'v met a few guys who play hockey (only one rink in Kanazawa) for either the Uni they teach at (playing coach) or a gaijin pickup team. If you grow up in canada, hockey is always in you. I used to play street hockey with one of the local teachers untill he went back to canada last year, it was so funny cause all the people in the knebourhood thought it was the funnyist thing (mostly they thought we were nuts), me in my oilers jersy and he in his habs. good times
my wife is from Kobe and my in-laws still live there... wretchedly hot summers, yes, with poor air quality, but i really love it there...the people are so kind, such a high level of respect for others...
me personally, i am trying to hook up a job with Shjon Podein and other n. americans in the region who are involved with what has become a burgeoning hockey scene.
i'm nowhere near fluent, i rely on the translation dictionary a great deal...
as of December, Podein was in talks to purchase the Nikko Ice Bucks hockey team (All-Asia league, 8-team).
i don't know him personally, but i am tight with a couple guys from Minnesota who are well entrenched in the region and it sounds like there may be some growth opportunity there for the sport and subsequent employment within that organization and the league.
you never know...in a perfect world, i can spend part of the year stateside and the remainder there.
I havn't really but if I ever go back to Japan in the next while I probably would try and a catch a game.
You should check out that site of the league, it's in English and has some interesting stuff to read. Aparantly one of the Cities (which has a team) in Northern China called Qihirar or something, Ice Hockey is the #1 sport.