Japanese Language Fascination

We are on week four of Liev’s Japanese fascination.

Last Saturday was the All Japanese YouTube Day. At 8:00 a.m. Liev cranked the computer volume up to “stupefy” and shouted along to his favorite songs.

Downstairs, hubby ate breakfast and perused a guitar catalog. Clicking away on my laptop, I sipped tea. After the fourth repeat of “Ya, Yi, Yu, Yo, Yeh!” hubby and I exchanged looks. Some days are special interest days. You just have to roll with it.

Twenty minutes and a thousand “NOOs” later, I reduced the YouTube volume. T’s passion for Japanese, however, remained unquelled.

On the bright side, his video songs were quite catchy. By Saturday night, both Egor and I could sing along.

If Saturday was YouTube Day, Sunday was Kana Day.

Liev wrote Japanese characters all day. He wrote with a rigid fanaticism I have not seen in a while. By late Sunday afternoon, he filled up a 100-page notebook with kana.

He wrote kana on the basement freezer, the downstairs refrigerator and on the bathtub walls. If I would have let him, he would have covered the remaining walls, floors, and doors with hiragana and katakana.

Sunday night, previously cute Japanese songs were infinitely annoying.

Monday, Liev mercifully ended his YouTube fixation. This is because he had memorized every song ever sung on the Genki Japan Channel.

He sang “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in Japanese:

Mary-san no hi-stu-ji, hi-stu-ji, hi-stu-ji. Mary-san no hi-stu-ji, ka-wa-i-i ne?

In the bathtub he warbled the Japanese Question Song (who, what, why, where, how, etc):

“I tsu? Do ko? Do re? Da re? Da reno? Naze? Na ni? Douyatte? Dono kurai? Ikura? Arimaskuka? Dareni? Nanito?”

He produced the accompanying hiragana script in purple, pink and green bath crayon.

Liev’s mania surrounding Japanese will subside. I intend to let him enjoy his special time learning Japanese. With luck, he will develop an enduring love for the language that will translate into a genuine skill.

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