What’s a Japanese language section doing on a cooking site?
Many readers wrote me about this topic.
Knowing a few words of Japanese and how grammar works can help to better understand the culture and therefore the cuisine that is an integral part of it.
Many people also asked me for advice while planning a trip to Japan. A few simple words of greeting, useful expressions, can make a trip to a foreign country more interesting and fun. Maybe at a restaurant, or when shopping in a grocery store. And this is also why I have always written the Japanese characters of the dishes and ingredients we are talking about here.
I’ll be honest with you even at the risk of disappointing many. It’s better not to have fals expectations.
Japanese is a very difficult and hostile language. Especially for a Westerner. Mastering it requires years of stubborn study and superhuman effort. You have to change the way you think about the world and your relationship with things and people. It is a language that gives no point of reference or foothold. If you don’t know how to say a word or how to construct a sentence, with Japanese there is no way to guess. You will not understand and you will not make yourself understood.
And the more you progress, the harder it will be. By studying Japanese you will understand that in comparison the European languages, whether it is, English, French or German, are only very similar dialects.
Therefore, I do not have the ambition to publish a complete course here. I think it is better to provide some general notions, words, phrases and dialogues useful to memorize for practical situations.
But first a brief introduction.
Why is Japanese language so difficult
Japanese grammar is not particularly complex. There is no gender (masculine-feminine), number (singular-plural), articles and that infinity of verbal times and conjugations to which one must pay attention in other languages including such as French or German.
So what makes Japanese so difficult?
Besides the fact that it has no relationship, not even the vaguest, with any European language, what makes Japanese really difficult are the honorary forms and writing.