Tuesday, May 03, 2005


V and I have now been learning Japanese together for just over a week and we're extremely proud of our rapid progress. She tends to rush on ahead while I take my time making sure that I have correctly mastered the grammar and vocab, but these contrasting methods end up being fairly complementary when they come together. Having someone to practice and revise with makes a huge difference. In some ways though V's achievement is the greater because she's learning a third language using her second.

Strangely we both have the sensation that this was the language we were born to speak!

Meanwhile, I caught myself voicing a Spanish thought in English the other day. An English-speaking interlocutor wouldn't have noticed the difference, but it felt weird to me. I was semi-conscious of the translation going on iny my head as the words came out. This has happened before and occasionally results in some odd sentence structure or word selection.

We were down on the farm on Sunday. The dog came charging over to greet V and completely ignored me! They hadn't seen each other for four months. Spring has definitely taken hold down there now - the lower half of my favourite tree (the Japanese cherry) was in blossom. The pool will be opened up later this week. We toured the kiddies' jumps that Maggie designed herself and had constructed by the man that makes the obstacles for the leading horse trials, such as Badminton.

Over lunch D recounted how, many years ago, he lost the Toyota account when he was deemed to have ill-manneredly interrupted the leader of the visiting delegation from Tokyo while they were enjoying his hospitality at the Neal's Yard office!

V prepared a couple of hybrid dishes over the bank holiday weekend. Bratwürst with Thai red curry sauce for brunch on Saturday and later that evening some sushi-style rolls wrapped in serrano ham.

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