Wakarimasu? No More “Nihon-go ga hanasemasen” Excuses

Onyekachi Nwabueze
September 30, 2015

29 September 2015

So school has started. Time has flown by. Train lines have become disloyal. Confusion has been at an all time high. Excitement levels have exceeded all expectations.

It is safe to say, life in Japan has been something else.

In the past two weeks, I have gone to a calligraphy workshop, a Pokèmon center, a Tokyo Tour boat ride, and a place with one of the greatest anime and manga collections and products I have ever seen.





I never believed, but am starting to understand how one can pick up a language by simply living and fully immersing themselves in a foreign country. As my Nihongo Jissen Lv 1 classes have begun with great intensity, I have an obligation to speak as much Japanese as I can with all whom I come in contact with. And I am expected to. It is almost as if I have no excuse to not use the little Japanese that I know. This unspoken expectation is really good for me as it motivates me to only learn more. What is especially great, is that even if I do not completely understand what is being said, the context, facial expressions, gestures, as well as key words I can now pinpoint, help me to nod my head in agreement and reply with hai (yes). 


The culture shock of the language barrier I felt upon arriving and staying in Japan for the first few days was something I thought I would never really get over. I just could not imagine how I could learn and ever understand Japanese. To my surprise, I began to catch and recognize words that I would hear often. In this environment, you are encouraged to practice your speaking abilities with basically everyone you encounter. Even if you are a beginner at the language you are expected to share or show what you know. Such an environment is conducive to the high-speed and practical learning that we are experiencing. I plan on doing more sightseeing, apparel buying, gift purchasing, Nihongo learning, people meeting, friend making, and new food-trying things. 



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Onyekachi Nwabueze

<p>Hey there! I am Onyekachi Nwabueze and I am a Nigerian born and raised in San Francisco, California. I am a student at Occidental College studying Cognitive Science, Education, and Linguistics. I love love LOVE to dance, sing, learn, try new things, and paint my nails. My current career paths include varsity athlete, big sister, wanna-be professional dancer, and villainous chiller (one who chills like a villain).</p>

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