04 July 2009

The 3rd Month

Well well well..... I dunno how should I put it, but it has been 3 months since I landed here in Japan in early April. I dunno how should I describe it, but 3 months seems to be long or short sometimes, depending how am I thinking about it.

Map of Kanto region. 関東の地図

Naturally people would ask me: "How are you there in Japan? Is everything fine?"
My reply would be: "Yeah I'm doing pretty good here, so far so good."

To what extend my Japanese language studies has been doing, I would say it's slowly improving, in a steady pace. Compared to the time when I just get here, now I can speak a little more, but still far from being fluent.

Speaking tests' result for May & June. 五月と六月の会話テスト成績。
IMG_1178 IMG_1513

It's good that the teacher can list down every single mistakes that I've made during the test so that I will know which part should I be concentrating to improve.

There's no point rushing to master the language in a short period of time, give it time to improve. When I first started to learn the language in last Dec I'm kinda doubtful but now seeing that I'm having pretty good improvement here so that makes me a little more confident with my choice of coming to Japan at the first place.

The textbook, "Everyone's Japanese Language". 《みんなの日本語》。

Another common question I might be asked would be whether I like Japan or not. This is a tough question, as I can't be giving a solid answer yet. For now I would say I'm content with life over here, but there are still a lot of things waiting for me to discover and explore, to find the reasons why I would like Japan.

The Japanese culture and society is very different than those of Malaysia. It's not fair to compare both together as they are not at the same level. It's normal to think that Japan is a better country than Malaysia, but there's some elements in Malaysia that Japan lacks.

Busy crossroad at Shibuya, Tokyo. 渋谷ににぎやかな街。
Shibuya Crossing

Japan is mainly consist of a single-racial society, so it's understandable that everything is dominated with Japanese (in terms of culture and language etc.). Influence from other civilizations do exist but it has been cleverly assimilated into part of the Japanese culture.
For example, introduction of foreign vocabularies into the Japanese language written in katakana, such as マンション (manshon = mansion)、コンビ二 (konbini = convenience store)、デパート (depato = department store).

From the example above, you may get a glimpse on how English is being used here. When I first came I thought that Japanese would might be able to speak basic English, given that their secondary language (though should be minority) would be English, due to their close ties with the USA. It's kinda shock that most of them could not speak it.

I noticed one of the reason might be the way they teach English in the school. They uses Japanese language to teach English!

A hilarious video joking bout the Japanese's English speaking ability. Watched it few years ago before and had a good laugh!

This is not the first time I express my surprise over the Japanese's English speaking ability. However, there are some "exceptional" cases which the Japanese can speak English very well.
I think that maybe the Japanese can't speak well, but at least they can read simple English don't they?

Check out the English at the bottom! おもしろい英語。
read the engRish

It's well-known that the Japanese are polite and indeed, they are. Courtesy, as well, are part of their culture. One would immediately noticed the level of commitment the Japanese put into their job when stepping into a shop or restaurant.
"Irrashaimase!" is one of the most common phrase that one would be greeted when stepping into a commercial establishment. It means "Welcome".

Police and cat. 警察と猫。

If you have the chance to came across Japanese at work, you can easily see how seriously they put in effort to do their job, let it be just a stall vendor, a shopkeeper, or an office worker. Working professionalism, that's what I like about them. They're reliable and you'll know that everything will be working out fine.

There's still a lot of things of Japan which I have not seen. I'm eager to explore the suburbs and enjoy the natural beauty that Japan is famous for. City life can be exhaustive so it's good to get some well-deserve fresh air out of Tokyo.

Love this simple patio surrounded by trees! Ootsuka Park, Tokyo. 大塚公園でちょっと休む。

From July 17 to 18 there will be a school trip traveling to another province, to catch a glimpse of the famous Mount Fuji. The first time when I saw Mt. Fuji was on the way from the airport to the hostel at the very first day. Now that I've the chance to see it closer, surely it'll be a different experience! :D

I hope that I can visit this famous Shiraito Waterfalls (白糸滝) located not so far away from where we planned to have our trip. I've done a little search on Flickr and the returning result is convincing.

July will be a busy month for me to deal with exams and documentation stuffs. Tomorrow am going to visit the Shobi University's open campus to catch the glimpse of the university which may be where I'll be studying in next year. Am excited and looking forward to it! :)

'til then again, that's all for the monthly update. The next one would be written in August, feel the summer heat!

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