Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’

Nihongo wo hanasenai [I can’t speak Japanese]

In Gupter Puncher/Oli Johns on June 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

The first eighteen years of his life, Oli never learnt a language.

There was French in high school, but that was accidental. Or not accidental, mandatory, but that wasn’t really it.

He never understood why he had to learn another language. He had a friend and a sister who learnt the grammar and the perfect and the irregulars, but he couldn’t ever imagine doing that.

The French teacher said one time, ‘the key is…to think in French.’

His sister said one time, ‘You’re stupid if you can’t do it.’

His friend said one time, ‘I wanna fuck a French girl.’

And there was German too, but that was cold. Way too cold for him. Yet, he thought later, there are, what, seventy million people in Germany who feel comfortable using these words.

But at the time, in those first eighteen years, he couldn’t understand how to do it. And he did wonder sometimes if he was stupid. And then counter-wonder if other people like his sister and his friend wanted him to think he was stupid. And most times, the counter wonder was dominant. Read the rest of this entry »