One of the major perks of my husband's job is that we have access to Rosetta Stone software for free. He logs on and we can choose any language from French to Urdu. So I decided to take on Japanese. I know I won't be anywhere close to fluent in 5 months but my hope is that at least I can speak enough so that I don't have to point or use grandiose gestures in order to be understood by the local populace. I am sure that plenty of them can understand some English due to the huge military presence there, but I would like to try to speak to them in their language, being in their country and all. I think that to assume they speak English is rude on my behalf.
I sat down in front of my computer and took on Japanese. The real challenge for me is going to be figuring out how to read Kanji which is the writing system used on Okinawa. It is a mixture of Chinese and Japanese characters. And not to be rude, but it all looks like little scribbles to me. I do need to learn some of it though. When you go to purchase tickets to ride the train, it's all in Kanji. Zero English. I've heard that a lot of wives will match up characters on their destination to the characters on the ticket machine. Wise, but I would rather have a general feel for what I'm doing than guess. Especially when I have my 4 year old and 1 year old with me.
After the first lesson, I think it's going to be ok. My plan is to go through each lesson several times before moving on. When it comes to languages, I'm a pretty slow learner. But at the moment I do have the time and the motivation to make this happen. I feel like the more I know and am prepared for, the easier the transition will be for me, and the easier I can make the transition for my kids and husband.
Sayonara! Till next time.