19 May, 2015

Complex Japanese

Someone asked me again today if I was looking forward to going back to Japan. It's a hard question to answer. Last week in our ministry debrief the psychologist asked me how I felt about going back, my honest response was, 
"It's the next thing to do."
"Pragmatic," she said.

Yes, I have mixed feelings. One of the reasons is language.

Japanese is hard. One area of complexity you address different people in different situations using different verb endings, depending on the status you have in relation to each other. For example, a customer and a sales person, or an employee and a boss, or even two neighbours of different ages. 

This article gives too much depth for most of you who don't live in Japan, but a little bit is enough to give you some understanding of the complex nature of the Japanese language.

I'm not the first missionary who wished all Japanese people spoke English!

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