I have always wanted to learn Japanese but it is quite challenging to learn such a difficult language especially when I am living in rural England with no access to Japanese language classes or tutors. Since I am learning a 3rd language by myself, I relied on free tutorials online and even Google translate. I didn’t have the luxury of having a native speaker to guide me but I knew that it takes a lot of self-practice to master a language anyway.
On a daily basis I would watch at least 1 or 2 Japanese TV programs and listen to Japanese songs whilst I am making miniatures. This helps me familiarize myself with the language but it was still challenging to learn a whole new set of vocabulary and not 1, but 3 different Japanese scripts!
My husband had previously studied Spanish and to remember basic words, he would write Spanish names of things around the house on a post-it note. He would then stick the note on the item and since he would be seeing the Spanish word whenever he looked at the item, eventually this helped him remember.
Creative Clay Learning Lessons
His suggestion seemed like a very good idea but I didn’t want to have flimsy post-it notes stuck on things in my room or in the house. When I was browsing my favorite Japanese mold company’s products, they were selling molds to create Hiragana and Katakana characters (Japanese script). Then I had this idea to create the Japanese words in polymer clay using the molds!
Each mold had the complete set of Japanese syllabary which means I could phonetically spell out anything in my room (as long as I know how it sounds in Japanese). I used the mold to create different words to represent items in my room and made them in different colours since there are so many pretty colours in polymer clay. After baking the tiny pieces, I just glue them directly onto the item using PVA glue (so I can easily scrape them off later on).