Daniel Santos

Week 24, 2024

The aftermath of exchanging my iPhone XS Max for a newer, iPhone 15, was very good for my youngest son, who got to keep my wife's iPhone. Me and her had the same iPhone model, so he got her XS Max while she also took an iPhone 15. The fun part in all of this — if I can call it this way — is that both my children have always said they don't care for anything Apple.

My oldest son took his Xiaomi to Japan with him, a device he was gifted by his godmother. It's Android based, as his brother's phone, also a Xiaomi. They're both good devices, I guess, and there's nothing wrong with them liking their phones, of course. In Japan, my oldest son does talk about exchanging his phone for a newer one — not an iPhone though, but a Google Pixel, which he says he prefers. But when my youngest saw his mother's phone, he just couldn't help asking her if he could keep it. So he did.

And I truly believe he fell for Apple's siren chant. The same happened to me years ago. I didn't care for having an Apple device — I didn't even care for having a smartphone back when my sister gifted me her used iPhone 3GS, as she changed it for the (then) newest iPhone 4. I had never had a smartphone in my hands, but it was easy enough for me to fall in love with it. Apple's iOS usability and user experience has always been smooth and polished. And after my son had his new iPhone on his hands, he couldn't deny it. It's a story with happy endings for the three of us... 😊

After waiting for the right opportunity, I've enrolled in a Japanese online course, mixing pre-recorded and live lessons. It's a course from Japanese descendants who came to Brazil years ago and learned our language. I've been following them on Instagram and YouTube for quite some time now: there, they post Japanese language short lessons and tips, and I do enjoy their content.

I have already been able to watch a couple of classes from the course, and I didn't regret my purchase. The course is aimed at complete beginners like myself, covering JLPT's level N5 and part of N4. As the explanations all happen in Portuguese, it is much easier for me to follow them and comprehend faster — as I avoid the comprehension loss that usually happens translating from Japanese to English and then to Portuguese. The pre-recorded classes are very nice because it means I can watch them according to my own schedule.

By the way, I've been reading Cure Dolly's Unlocking Japanese, a great book that unveils some of the basic Japanese in an easy to understand way, from which I'm starting to comprehend that I shouldn't try to translate Japanese into English (or Portuguese). Instead, I should try to learn to think in Japanese.

Honestly, this concept of trying to learn to think in your target language is not new to me. I have experienced the same when, years ago, I was learning English. I remember, circa one and a half year into my English course (a traditional English school class), we all came across a page on our textbooks which said "From this point on, you should be able not only to speak, but to think in English", and, to my surprise, not only it was true, but I was doing it effortlessly.

But I'm talking about Japanese here. Not only the target language has now changed for me, it also happens that we have different syllables, alphabets... and kanji. And the language structure is different. Not necessarily difficult, only different. So I'm sure I'll someday be able to switch my mind from Portuguese to Japanese and the other way round as easy as I can do it from Portuguese to English. It'll only take longer for my brain to get used to it. I just need to keep trying.

#english #weeknotes