I went to Japan in 1998 because I couldn’t get a job in Spain (My BA was Spanish). The plan was to go for just a year, learn Japanese, then return to Europe and make wads of cash as a translator (Japanese-English-Spanish). After all, I learned Spanish in 10 months.
But, oh no. Japanese doesn’t work like that! I ended up staying in Japan, getting married and having the cutest son, Joe (this is also a Japanese name) who is now 4 and speaks both languages fluently.
While in Japan, I taught English (of course) and Spanish - to prison guards! My relationship with Japan and the Japanese is certain a love-hate one. I might delve into tat a litter further at a later date. But it certainly is an interesting issue that involves language, cultural understanding, history, psychology and a whole bunch of complicated stuff…
I would love to get in touch with others who have had the Japan experience and share notes.
On another tack, I am also interested in having our online audio forums road tested. I think it is a fabulous idea and quite unique - free online audio forums dedicated to second language practice - Wow!
We use a system called YackPack which is currently freely available at YackPack.com
I would be very grateful of any feedback.