21 June 2015

The German-Japanese Stammtisch

So, I think I found a new project. I speak four languages: Filipino, English, Japanese, and German. I have found myself in instances where I have been speaking in Japanese and realized that I have forgotten particular words for particular concepts, and therefore I have finally made an active effort to preserve it. Hence, I joined a German-Japanese Stammtisch.

A stammtisch is an informal gathering of people with shared interests. And this time, I found a regular group where members want to speak both German and Japanese. Most of the time, these are either Germans who want to improve their Japanese, or Japanese who want to practice their German. I want to do both. Hence I figured it's a good thing to do.

The group I found meets every other Sunday. So last month, I started, and I met quite a few interesting people. I even met people who were not German nor Japanese. There was this Scottish guy who speaks both German and Japanese and he was switching languages back and forth, depending on who he was talking to. I basically did the same.

Sure enough, there were Japanese terms that I have encountered, knowing that I heard of them before, and knew how to use them before, but now I haven't been using the language and therefore I forgot. See, every time I go to a Japanese restaurant I would try my best to speak in Japanese to the folks working in the restaurant, but that's about it. I needed more. After all, there is only a restricted subset of words that one typically uses in a restaurant setting.

So, needless to say, I am coming back. This will be my Japanese practice for the time being, and who knows, I might even make new friends in this group. I think I like the idea of improving a language I know, and getting to know new people.


  1. I find many Europeans are fascinated with Japan, mostly its language and culture. French are the same, so I'm not surprised to learn such group exists!

    1. Zhu,

      Japan has always had this aura of mystic, pulling in the interests of plenty of Western folk. I wonder why, it is so different compared to other East Asian countries, when it comes to the amount of interest that is paid attention to them by the West.