Week 27, 2023

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✱ My week started in São Paulo again. This time my son took the JLPT test, for which he’d been preparing for sometime now. Before he took interest in Japanese, though, it would never occur to me that there was an exam to determine one’s Japanese language proficiency, in the same way TOEFL does for English. The tests are divided in 5 different levels, ranging from L1 to L5, and he took the L1 exam, which lasted for about 3.5 hours. Again, having my son take such a test made me proud of him while I saw him among so many people — several Japanese descendants, but also many Brazilians like me and him. It was very interesting to reckon so much interest in Japanese caused by the JLPT test.

✱ My son also received wonderful news this week: he passed the MEXT test he took last week! Results came in really fast and, with the approval, comes the next step. I’ll take him to São Paulo for the third time in two weeks, this time so he can be interviewed by the Japanese consulate, another needed measure in his pursuit for a college scholarship. We are all very proud of him in our family, and excited as well. Should he succeed in the interview, he’ll be very, very close to going to Japan soon. So we’ve all got our fingers crossed for him. 🤞

✱ From watching my son while he plays Zelda on the Nintendo Switch to looking up vocabulary on Jisho to practicing more hiragana kanas, my road to learning the basics of Japanese goes on. I’ve tripled the number of kanas I know — adding the K column, , , e — to the vowels I had memorized before, and also their five dakuten ( ゛) variations, therefore adding up to 15 kanas. While searching for good means to practice hiragana (and later, as soon as I feel ready for that, katakana), I’ve come across the Dr. Moku app and a 2-hour long YouTube video from Japanesepod 101, but I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that getting myself a pencil and a notebook, and writing kanas by hand will probably help me memorize and speed things up a little bit. Although my son tells me the order of strokes doesn’t matter at all — and some YouTubers I’ve watched agree with him —, I’d rather learn things accordingly, including writing by hand… by the way, should anyone reading this want to give me some tips on how to learn, I’m all ears…

✱ We finally got to watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie, something we’d been looking for but were unable to do before. In the movie, that we saw through Amazon Prime, Mario travels through an underground labyrinth with Luigi. When the two of them are accidentally separated, Mario goes in a quest to find his brother, while also trying to save the Mushroom kingdom with help from princess Peach. In little more than 1 hour and a half, we’re presented with beautiful and colorful animation and with every Marioverse character imaginable… except for one — and that is the perfect cliffhanger for a sequel. At least, that’s what we all Mario fans here came to think. And a second movie, considering we enjoyed the first very much, would be more than welcome.

✱ I paid a much needed visit to my osteopath last Monday. She helped me — once again — to get rid of a very boring and grueling low back pain which was lasting through the weekend. I came to truly appreciate what osteopathy can do to our bodies… it seems to work like magic.

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