04 January, 2010

Speaking Japanese in Australia

Sometimes we're asked if we practise our Japanese in Australia. Regularly - no, but occasionally - yes. On Saturday evening we took a picnic and met some Japanese friends (in photo) in the park. They were here on a brief holiday to visit friends they'd made while studying a few years ago. We spoke in both Japanese and English, but Japanese particularly when their children were present as they don't really remember English very well. Then on Sunday evening at our home church we talked with an Australian friend and his Japanese wife. She was more comfortable speaking in Japanese than English. They are coming over for dinner in a couple of nights. When David was in Perth in November, he visited a Japanese church and Bible study - there he got to speak at length in Japanese as well as sit through a three hour Bible study in Japanese. I am in regular contact with my best Japanese friend too. Her English is also good, but I try to keep up a little bit of written Japanese by writing some Japanese sentences in my emails. So, just recently we've had quite a bit more Japanese practise than usual. Interestingly enough after eight years of living there, the language seems rather lodged in our brains. Bits fall off the edge when not used - like vocabulary, but by and large we still retain enough to communicate. Many of the bits which we've lost come back fairly quickly, thankfully.

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