Kyoto Styudy

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STUDY KYOTO MAGAZINE

Học tiếng Nhật 1thế nào (Phần 2)

Học tiếng Nhật 1thế nào (Phần 2)

Ms. Rae Lin with some of the textbooks that have helped her in the past.

What to use when studying Japanese?

Q: Were there any Japanese books, manga, or TV shows that helped you study?

A: For beginners, I’d recommend just listening to the news casually, because the Japanese they use is very clear and precise. Other than that, I think if you want to keep studying for a long time, any book or TV show is a good idea if it’s something you like. A lot of my friends from Europe and America like samurai movies or anime. A lot of people learn Japanese just by getting totally involved in something they’re really interested in. It’s great to go after what you love.

When I suggest listening to the news, by the way, I don’t mean listening to catch every word—just having it on in the background while you’re doing something else. It’s easier to develop a bit of a habit of it that way.

Q: Are there any apps you’d recommend?

A: It’s a little expensive, but I’d recommend the dictionary app, Daijirin. It’s actually the same price as the print version, but I think the app version is more useful. My younger classmates often ask me if they should buy an electronic dictionary, but I think as long as you have the app, you don’t really need one. If you are going to buy an electronic dictionary, I think it’s better to buy one after you’ve come to Japan. The design of the Japanese dictionaries is better, and they’re cheaper in Japan, too.

Q: What do you think is difficult about learning foreign languages?

A: Day-to-day conversation is no problem for me, but if I want to express my feelings in greater depth, I do feel like I don’t quite have the vocabulary. When I was a senior at Ryukoku, and I went to Denmark as an exchange student, I definitely felt that way. In Denmark, there was a popular debate show on TV, and when my Danish friends debated, they switched to their native language. When I was there, they would try to use English so that I would understand.

When people around me are having a discussion in English or Japanese, I often feel that by the time I’ve finished putting my thoughts together into words, the conversation has already moved on. I can talk about superficial things easily enough, but I do feel frustrated when I feel like I can’t have deeper conversations. I’ve had lots of that sort of frustration.

New opportunities in Kyoto

Q: You’re studying for your master’s degree now. Do you have opportunities to do presentations in Japanese?

A: I do, yes. But even before now, since 2009, I joined the Kyoto Prefecture Friendship Ambassadors, and gave speeches at international exchange events. Once, I had to introduce myself and my country to an audience of two hundred elementary school children, and that was definitely good practice.

The first time I did it, I was looking at a script, but halfway through my mind went completely blank, so I stopped using them after that.

Instead of saying exactly what I’d decided to say before my speech, I could say what I thought as I went along, and that somehow took a lot of the pressure off of me.

Q: Can you tell us more about the Kyoto Prefecture Friendship Ambassadors?

A: I saw an ad for it on a bulletin board at school. I had to pass two interviews at school, and two more with the prefecture before I could join in 2009.

The Kyoto Prefecture Friendship Ambassadors has been around for about twenty years, and it gave me a lot of opportunities to participate in international events, so I think it’s a really good experience.

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