Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Japanese Language Study

Today at work, I was trying to get out early. This weekend my youngest daughter has a volleyball tournament, and we're leaving in the morning. But that's another story.

Predictably, I was busier than 3 cats in a sack today. I had to put together a spreadsheet describing a number of new parts my company is coming out with for a customer who has a new program starting up. Of course these are parts that I'm not very familiar with.

I sent the spreadsheet off to my boss (who is on the other side of the country) to check out. He calls me up telling me that he has the latest information on these parts from Japan, and it needs to be included, but he's headed off to a meeting. Fine. Give me the information, and I'll put it in the spreadsheet. No big deal.

The trouble is that the information was in a short presentation, in Japanese. I gave it a go. Most of the technical stuff was either in romaji (roman characters), or katakana (a phonetic type of writing). In addition, there is about 100 or so kanji (Chinese characters) that I know.

I figured out what I needed. The study of Japanese is coming along.

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