We love Maru

Knitters beware: no knitting contents ahead. It’s all about language, with some cattitude sprinkled in for good measure.

A few days ago I discovered Livemocha, a website where people interested in learning foreign languages can find and help each other. So now, every day before breakfast, I submit a short written or recorded exercise hoping that someone will review it, and in turn I review someone else’s submission (in Italian or English). It’s not like attending a highly structured language course, but it’s helping me already. I also found a few Japanese movies on Netflix and two weekly TV programs of half an hour each that I am now recording. I have no idea what they are even talking about but get ridiculously excited when I recognize a word — about once every 2-3 minutes.
Hey, that’s how I learned English; TV and mystery books. Hm, I wonder if mystery books in Japanese would work. When I was doing that I was living in the UK and was surrounded by people speaking English, a combo I can’t reproduce now with Japanese.

And talking about things Japanese, I am starting to work on the Japanese captions on Maru’s blog.
Maru‘s is the only blog with daily posts that I subscribe to. In fact, I get antsy when the daily post doesn’t happen, as this past weekend when I had to go without my Maru fix for 3 days. Who is Maru? Hm, you must lead an even more sheltered life than I do. Maru is a British shorthair cat (though his human insists on calling him a Scottish Fold, which clearly he is not) that looks and acts very much like our Kelvin. The only difference is that he is an only cat and has the run of his Japanese household with a female human who seems entirely dedicated to him to the exclusion of anything else. Maru is charming and playful and spoiled and his human takes pictures and videos of him every day. Nothing extravagant so far; we get the same kind of entertainment around here times two. The thing that makes Maru’s blog irresistible is the combination of Maru’s antics and his human’s funny English, for lack of a better term.

[Maru] Wow, it nears me. I escape!
[Human] Maru knows well the turn that I clean.

[Human] Hey Maru, you seem to be a freshly-severed head.
[Maru] My head and buttocks are well ventilated
[Human] Maru often relaxes with this style recently.

If Monty Python were Japanese, this woman would be one of them.

Ben, who has also added Maru to his daily routine, suspects that this has nothing to do with language skills and that the woman sounds exactly the same in Japanese. My Japanese is still too inadequate for me to be able to disprove him.



Maru:[This is a fake fish again!]

OK, better go do something productive now.