Learning Japanese

I often got questions regarding those Japanese pattern books that I’ve used. It seems that a lot of people who want to try those cute patterns are having second thoughts because they can’t understand Japanese.

Well, I’ve been living in Japan for a little more than 1.5 years now, and still can’t speak nor read any Japanese. Fortunately my husband is quite good with his Japanese, so it makes our life much much easier. He can deal with those paperworks and check on Sidra’s homework. While I deal with, uh, other matters.

But I’ve never asked my husband to translate the Japanese pattern books for me. I find them quite easy to understand even without the knowledge of the language. There are always lots of drawings and diagrams, which and which parts to sew first and so on. I especially love tracing the confusing lines from the pattern sheet. It’s sort of like a puzzle game.

Outside the sewing room, I have no choice but to rely on my (very) little Japanese and a lot of gestures to communicate. On the other hand, Sidra has begun to speak in Japanese just a month after he got here. He spent less than a year in a Japanese-speaking kindergarten and is now in first grade of a Japanese public school. And after 1.5 years, he now speaks, reads, and writes in Japanese. Oh how I envy him! I guess young children just absorb all the language from their surroundings like sponge to water. Now I can ask him to read the menu or the signs when we go eating out and shopping. Yes, I’m a lazy mom.

I know I have to catch up with the language, enrolling in a course or something. Yes, yes, yes, I have to! Oh, I’m sooo lazy. Meanwhile, this is an (failed) attempt of Sidra trying to teach me some Japanese f(^_^) 

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  • Yuliya Y.

    You guys are both soooooo cute!

  • nYam

    and i left my japanese pattern book at my parents house, 1000 miles away…..

  • JuM

    I am so glad you shared this information!
    I was really all the time thinking "Damn I can't understand japanese", when I saw all your things.
    First thing in the morning I'll run off to the japanese library and get one book myself.
    who knows?! – they really make amazing books.

    you make amazing stuff!

    good luck in Japan.
    best regards

  • Japanese Learner

    Thanks for sharing this lovely blog. Sidra and you are very cute.

  • chie

    hey, thank you for the radio recommendation:) im listening it now.

    my husband is learning japanese now also. he is using the text book called "Genki", and i think it is helping him a lot. he does have an advantage of living with me (japanese) and my parents though. good luck with learning japanese, you and sidra are too cute:)

  • verypurpleperson

    @tryingtosew: Awww I'm embarrassed right now *^.^*

    Brenda Cher, you will love Nippori!
    Don't worry about the language, you can always point and show how many meters you need with your hands. It won't be quite easy though if you want to ask anything ^.^

  • Anonymous

    Hi there!
    I have been a fan of your blog and all of your creations!

    I will be visiting Tokyo in Oct and would like to know if it will be difficult to buy cloth from Nippori textile town if i do not speak Japanese?


    Brenda Cher from BurdaStyle

  • tryingtosew

    So this has gone around the BurdaStyle office, you two are both just adorable! It takes a lot of hard work and courage to pick up a new language as an adult, keep it up!

  • verypurpleperson

    Thank you for the comments! I still need a lot of learning and there is no way I can catch up with Sidra now.

    Oni, I'm a bit on the introvert side here and I guess that's not helping me with the language. I know some people who can pick up language just by socializing a lot, but a language course might be more suitable for me f(^.^)

    Katie, we're originally from Indonesia ^.^

  • Inoriz

    KAWAII!!!!! Both you and Sidra are VERY cute (well, esp Sidra… ). XD

    Thank you for sharing!

  • lunatepetal

    hey! you speak japanese well! and sidra is such a good teacher 🙂 you two are way too cute 🙂 🙂 😉

    yes, definitely it is so much easier to learn languages(well, anything really!) when you are little/young. we are trying to raise our little girl bilingual- japanese + english. we'll see how it goes!

  • Katie

    That video is adorable! Where are you from originally?

  • oni

    I'm moving to buenos aires and can't speak a lick of spanish so i know what you are going through. Do you go out often or do you tend to stay inside? I'm going to try for the whole immersion thing to see if i pick it up that way.

    I dont believe you necessarily need to read the words in patterns, sometimes it makes it more confusing for me than just seeing it done, so i understand what you mean about not having to read japanese.

    and im not sure if ive ever commented here but i read your blog and i love LOVE your creations.

  • jacqueline

    I love japanese craft books too and the drawings and diagrams are really detail ~ easy to follow. 🙂 I only took level 1 japanese language…and some i learn from japanese animes and dramas.

    Your son and you are both so cute…his really good! Thanks for sharing that video. 🙂 Made me smile.

    Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!