Friday, October 12, 2007

Languages ... again

My Japanese classes have started and this means the language situation has reached new levels of absurdity. The class is only two hours long, but at a much higher level and faster pace than the class I took over the summer. Everything is done entirely in Japanese, so that I only understand about half of the answer to any question I ask. The class is small: three Koreans, two Chinese an Austrian and myself.

The Austrian is a guy named Ben. He is fluent in German and English, I'm sure his French is serviceable and he seems to have done quite well learning Japanese on his own before arriving here. I hate people like that, so I decided to enlist him as a study partner for an hour or two after class. Once, I'm wiped out on Japanese, I go home, eat lunch and then read some theorems of the Spherics, first in Greek and then in Arabic. In the evening, if I'm not going out, I work on Japanese vocabulary.

Here's another shot of Osaka-jo. Apparently, the stones in this outer wall are original. The construction of each part of the wall was entrusted to a different samurai family. The structure is held together simply by the weight and the shape of the stones.

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