I can read but I
Don’t know what I read and I
Don’t stop ‘coz I like
What I read. Sounds strange but I
Like to read hidden meaning.
Reading is fun even if you don’t know the meaning of what is read. When learning a new language with totally different structure and alphabets from what you are fluently using everyday, the excitement is there. I was so excited when first time learning writing Javanese alphabets in my childhood and I mostly knew the meaning because Javanese has been my mother tongue; while Indonesian has been second (primary) language. Then Arabic gave me the second excitement when I was around 17. And now, Japanese gives me another excitement and a taste of frustration.
Mastering language is about internalising logical thinking of a culture, the logic of a nation. Why in one particular language structure a predicate is located at the end of a sentence while in the other it is somewhere else. This frozen brain has to work hard to know how Japanese digest facts and blend them into grammar. And all the sweet apology and courtesy all over the language now make me question if they are truly kind in heart or it’s just a muscle of articulation. Forget it. Just learn and know how to use it.
The excitement is here coz I read like a kindergarten student -loud, confident but dreadfully un-melodic”. Yet I love it! Even when I had to finish the super short story Ikkyu-San in 45 minutes. I keep mixing up among ne-re-wa, i and ri, nu and me… Good heaven! (Did I mean bloody hell?) Courtesy please 😂
I also have Yotsuba! for my next. But hey, that can only be started after reading Ikkyu-San smoothly with melody. When the melody and pace are right, read more books! Then get dictionary….
My colleagues in Japan already offered their free time to chat with me in Japanese when I’m ready. When? I don’t know…. 😂
I had a conversation with a good friend, the topic was “sign”. This particular friend cannot read most of non verbal signs and hints from her spouse clearly. What her spouse shows non verbally won’t trigger any curiosity from her; except when he expresses it verbally then she will understand. Facial gestures, body language, more seriously mental vibration won’t do her any ring anymore.
I thought it was strange as a couple should be able “to read” each other’s feeling or idea with a blink of an eye! At least that’s my ideal couple goal.
Then after a while I can relate to what has happened to me.
I’ve been living away from family for more than 25 years; the 7 of which I’ve lived totally home alone (cats and other pets not counted). And that 7-year period is when I think I’ve lost the ability to read what my family is trying to communicate to me. We either don’t understand “the language” or we just can’t accept “the reasoning”. When it comes to language, I feel that our ability to read kinds of personal or cultural gestures have diminished either with my ignorance to their loving and caring behaviour or with their insensitivity to my practicality and logical thinking. We just don’t know how to match things in many occasions and usually we’ll just tolerate each other by saying “no worry, as long as you are happy and healthy”.
When I asked what happened to my friend and her spouse, she said “I just don’t know what language I should use to communicate with him”. Hmm exactly what I experience with my mother and siblings.
“Why don’t you try guessing whatever you see from him? Just to show that you care?”
“I’ve tried but it looks unnatural. He asked me why I did weird questioning and guessing.”
“It is ok, unnatural at the beginning but will be natural when you find the click”.
“We won’t find a click anymore. We are not happy and not meant to be.”
At that point I couldn’t say anything. I think she is not illiterate, she’s seriously desperate.
Gosh! Life is a mystery! We, her close circle have always thought they’re the happiest and I’m the lonely. Now I think it is time to be thankful just for a minute to be happier even than the happiest.