Q1. What makes you interested in learning the Japanese language? Why are you so passionate about Japanese language?
A1. When I was in my early teens, I was already attracted to this language and its culture. However at that time, my parents could hardly afford to let me take up any courses that were not within the school’s syllabus, so I have to put the interest on hold.
Many years after, about 6 years ago, a friend loan me a Japanese anime series called Inuyasha which consisted of over hundreds of chapters. While watching this anime, I realised some subtitles just doesn’t seemed to “match” with the speech and action of the various characters in the show and in other chapters, the subtitle’s were missing… !! This frustration sort of triggered my desire to fulfil my childhood dream again to learn the language…. (^o^)
Q2. How has learning Japanese enriched your life?
A2. It has made my friends and colleagues in awe of me for being able to “translate” their newly purchased products’ usage instruction into simple English for them… hahaha…. (except for the difficult ones… of course I have to seek and get help from my sensei in Bunka)…. (^_~)
Honestly, I thought the phrase : You “cannot teach an old dog a trick” would apply to me… but having pick up the challenge to study Japanese, it certainly has proven this saying wrong; although my brain cells have to work twice harder than my younger course mates’ to learn a language which uses 3 different types of written characters : Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji… !!
Q3. Why did you choose to study at Bunka?
A3. I’ve searched through the newspapers for every school that offered the course and even went online to their website to check out the syllabus and details of the schools. What attracted me to Bunka was the way the webpage was designed. Most importantly it was very updated with the latest course dates for each levels including the explanation of language proficiency each student would attain upon completing each course and at what level the student would be able to enter for the international exam. It also showed the various photos of the cultural events which appeared to me that the school is really serious about teaching and imparting the Japanese culture to its students.
Q4. You are a keen supporter of our cultural events. What do you like about such events at Bunka?
Q4. The cultural event has a fun ambiance in the classroom as compared to our normal class lesson. Through this event, we get to know the teachers better in a more relaxed environment and along the way, get to make new friends from other classes too. Under the teachers’ care and demonstration, we also learned the proper way in making Japanese food like sushi and onigiri… as well as being taught the way to create lovely calendars, origami, and cute greeting cards from coloured papers. Some events also include Japanese games which would come in handy to entertain children at home too…. (^_~)
Q5. Care to share an experience, if any ,when your ability to speak Japanese came in handy.
A5. There’s this funny incident that happened to me and my classmate. One day on our way home after class, a group of Japanese men boarded the same bus as us. Out of nowhere, one of the guys spoke loudly (in Japanese) that he could not understand why he was not able to move into a not-too-narrow space to stand between his 2 friends … he said that by looking at the space, it should be big enough to fit him in but when he tried, he has to turn sideways to move in (without having his body touching his friends’)… he ended by saying to himself (aloud) : has he became so fat ??? Hearing this both my classmate and I tried very hard not to laugh and when he and his friends caught sight of us looking away suppressing our laughter, they realised we were able to understand his comments and start to speak with us… My classmate did most of the conversation with them as she’s very good while I tried my best and we were able to exchange small talks about their visit here in Singapore. That was a nice experience and certainly motivated me to want to speak as fluently as my classmate… !
Q6. To end the interview, with all the experience in studying Japanese thus far, do you have any words of encouragement for the other students studying Japanese?
A6. It is very important to have a strong basic foundation of the Japanese language so pls try to be very attentive in your class starting from Elementary to Intermediate levels. Memorise hard on the grammar structure in these levels and when you reach Pre-Advance levels, it would help you to understand the more complex sentence structures… I have also learnt that if you don’t have any Japanese friends or colleagues to practise the language with; it’s best to watch Japanese animes or dramas; as this will help you to improve on your listening skill. However, as my spoken proficiency is still not as good as I have hoped, I’m trying to follow my sensei’s advice that we need to speak out more often and not be afraid to make mistakes as the sensei will always be there to help correct us.
My greatest regret is : I wish I have paid more attention in my Elementary and Intermediate classes in Bunka… (>_<)….