Q1. What makes you interested in learning the Japanese language? Why are you so passionate about Japanese language?
A1. When I was much younger, I have been captivated by Anime and the intriguing stories and memorable characters that Anime offers. But at that time, I didn’t know they were Japanese cartoons as they were mostly aired on the local television networks dubbed in English or Chinese. Some favorites that come to mind are Digimon, Pokemon, Akazukin ChaCha, Cardcaptor Sakura and Yu-Gi-Oh!.
Years later, and after learning how to surf the internet, I found out that these cartoons were Japanese Animation or Anime. From then on, I developed a ravenous appetite for Anime, watching anything that I could get my hands on.
It is from Anime that I began to learn more about Japanese Culture and found it to be exceedingly fascinating. Similarly, my love for the language grew from there.
One of the reasons that I have such a passion for the language is because I want to be able to understand and appreciate Anime and other Japanese Cultural products without the aid of subtitles. I also aspire to become a professional translator one day.
Q2. What are the things you like about the language?
A2. I like the fact that one is able to gain insight into the nuances of a culture through the language. For instance, the manner of speaking and the honorifics convey the polite and respectful nature of Japanese society. The structure of the language is also easier to comprehend as compared to say Chinese.
Q3. Which culture or subculture do you like best? Chado, ikebana, anime, cosplay, gaming, manga?
A3. Other than Anime, I do occasionally read Manga and have dabbled in other areas such as the aforementioned Chado (Tea Ceremony) and Ikebana (Flower Arrangement). I think Japanese culture is quite fascinating and it is pretty difficult to say which I like best until I have the opportunity to experience all of them.
Q4. How did you come to know of Bunka? Who recommended you?
A4. To be dreadfully honest, I didn’t really do much research in the selection of schools. I simply entered ‘Japanese Language School Singapore’ into a search engine and picked one. Evidently, I made the correct choice.
Q5. What do you think of Bunka’s way of teaching?
A5. Aside from the wonderful teachers and learning environment, I really think that their teaching methods are far better than others. Instead of a heavy emphasis on memorization, Bunka’s method allows one to understand the forms of words and the structure of sentences from the get go. I believe that this is critical to getting a good, solid foundation as their teaching method allows one to form one’s own sentences and understand why certain sentences are structured in certain ways.
Q6. Are you progressing to your expectation?
A6. I would hope so! (^.^) However, I would love to go faster although I am aware that there is something that you cannot rush. And learning the language is one of them
Q7. Who is your teacher?
A7. Ms Miho Namba a.k.a. Namba sensei.
Q8. Any interesting thing to share about Namba sensei?
A8. Namba sensei makes every lesson a joy to attend. She not only brightens up the class with her humor, her quirkiness and smiles but also make her lessons fun, entertaining and relaxing. I think that this is essential for a conducive learning environment. Namba sensei is a phenomenal teacher that ensures every question and doubt that the class raises is answered. What’s more, she would thank the questioner for asking. This makes the students feel very comfortable when they ask the questions.
Q9. What are the things that make the class enjoyable? What are the things that make you look forward to coming to class every week?
A9. Aside from gaining more knowledge of the language, I look forward to meeting up with my classmates every week. I have had the pleasure of making numerous friends. A number of them share my interests in Japanese popular culture while many others are learning the language for a multitude of other reasons. Of course, I also look forward to Namba sensei’s lessons because they are pleasurable, informative and enriching.
Q10. Based on your personal learning experience, what would you advise people who are learning the language? Do you advise people to take up Japanese language?
A10. Absolutely. I highly recommend and encourage anyone who is interested in the Japanese language to take it up. Although it is challenging, I think you cannot go wrong with picking up a new language. After all, you never know when that knowledge can come in handy. For those who are learning the language and finds it daunting, I would advise them to persevere. Keep at it until you reach a level where you can survive in Japan without a guide or translator.
Q11. If you can have a meal with any one of the Japanese actors, politicians, singers, artists etc, who would you like to meet?
A11. Being an Anime fan, there are a myriad of people from the industry that I’d like to meet such as Directors, Animators and Voice Actors. If I had to choose, I would like to meet some of my favorite voice actresses as they play a pivotal role in giving life to the Anime characters that I cherish. The top two that come to mind are Mizuki Nana, the voice of Fate Testarossa from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, and Chihara Minori, the voice of Nagato Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu.
Q12. Besides learning Japanese, what other Japanese related things do you enjoy doing?
A12. Eating Japanese Food! Katsu Curry, Katsudon, Zaru Soba, Shoryu Ramen, Karaage… I love them all!
Q13. What is the thing you would like to do most if you are in Japan now?
A13. Undoubtedly, shopping in Akihabara!