2 In Japanese learning journey (:

FOOD as a motivating factor for language learning

For the first time since I started self studying Japanese a month ago, I feel drawn to the Japanese culture and genuinely interested. Japanese stopped being a ‘technical subject’ or just a language, but a whole new culture and worldview and history that I want to learn more about. For the first time, I feel connected to what I’m learning.

In case you are wondering what brought about the sudden change in me, I think I’ve given it away in the title. Yes, it’s FOOD. Food definitely ranks as one of the TOP 3 things that connect people to a culture, people to people etc and I’ll probably rank it 2nd, after the entertainment industry (fangirls/fanboys are a united bunch!!)

I’m not into JPOP at the moment, j-dramas are decent, and my fangirl love for 向井理 is not that strong yet. I’ve never been to Japan and don’t know enough about it to feel connected.

But food is a different matter. Japanese food can be found everywhere and it’s probably the only Japanese thing that I’m slightly more familiar with. I’ve never given much thought to food names before and it has never come to me to learn more about the Japanese food I ate.

I was reading through some learning materials and there, they had a list of Japanese food, in particular, a list of subtypes of udon and 丼. Did a search using google image and I’m wow-ed. There’s SO MUCH into Japanese food names that I never thought it possible before.

きつねうどん and ためきうどん are named after the fox (kitsune) and badger (?) respectively. Interesting, I have yet to find out the historical origin of the names. 月見うどん refers to udon with a raw egg in it. I suppose the name comes from the egg, which resembles a full moon.

Looking at all these photos and names make me really interested in learning more and delving deeper into Japanese culture.^^

Feeling connected to a language is really important and it helps you make faster progress in that language too! Prior to this, I am guilty of seeing Japanese as ‘a language similar to Korean’ and subconsciously, I keep comparing it to Korean and using Korean as a way to learn Japanese. I’ll apply the uses of the Korean grammar structure to the equivalent in Japanese and of course, this doesn’t work well every time. I’m beginning to be genuinely interested in the language, which is a good thing! ^^

p.s. I never knew I will get SO HUNGRY learning a language. I can do with some 親子丼 now.

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  • Reply
    29 July, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    I can’t say how much I love 親子丼 ^^

    Btw, here is some awesome japanese cooking videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/cookingwithdog

    • Reply
      30 July, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      thanks for sharing! I’ll definitely check it out. ^^ Can’t wait to learn more about Japanese and the food!

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