How To Not Forget A Language

It has been a while since the start of this year, and this would mean that almost everyone had started their respective schools. For my case which is being in the first year of junior college, this is when the subject combination that all students take in my school are confirmed today. And so, two years starting from now, I will be taking Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Literature as my four main subjects.

It seems great to be exempted from Chinese, one of the subjects that I absolutely dread due to my poor grasp of the language plus its infinitely wide vocabulary which I can never find the meaning to some words. Don’t get me wrong though, since there are still certain Chinese songs that I can still appreciate, not to forget that I am a Chinese myself who celebrates Chinese occasions as well. But regardless of whether I like it or not, it seems that Chinese is here to stay in my life for quite a while.

First and foremost, most Japanese kanji are actually written similarly to their Chinese counterpart, in addition to their meaning as well. It is probably due to my study in Chinese that I am actually able to understand some kanji, when no hiragana or katakana is provided for me to read the word out and guess the meaning. This actually builds up my knowledge in the Japanese vocabulary, which I learn by two methods: either remembering the pronounciation of the word or remembering the way it is written. Either way with some practice, I will eventually be able to recall its meaning as well, and be able to use it in some of my pitifully improper Japanese sentences.

And while I am still conversing, reading and pretty much doing everything else in English, it is rather of a pity that more Japanese manga are actually translated to Chinese than English, and not to mention that Chinese publications are often more up-to-date with their release of volumes as compared to English companies. This probably lead to me giving in to the Chinese language and having to buy the above nine manga volumes which I have not seen being published in English before.

Certainly some things are best read in their original form, such as Bungaku Shoujo where I tried to track down its light novel. However while I am unable to read Japanese at the moment, I have resorted to getting the Chinese version of the light novel, which I am thankful to get with a store owner enlightening me of its existence in the Kinokuniya branch. Along with it, I have also found Ro-Kyu-Bu!, a novel which I bought mainly due to Tinkle being its illustrator and also something that I am currently reading. Again, there are little or no English version of light novels at the moment, so I would have to rely on the Chinese versions to be able to read and understand their stories.

And so, to you, Chinese, I am grateful for learning your language for the past 16 years of my life. While I wish to give my regards to you and start anew without your guidance, I am afraid that I will have to continue using you until who knows when.

At least until I master my Japanese.

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