Being the first installment of a series on getting into the intricacies of Japanese language and culture, this event focused on introducing first-timers to the language. Mr. Gaku Azumai very carefully planned and prepared the content for this chat room using PPT slides to facilitate understanding.
Through mock conversations between Anonna and Gaku San, the basics of formally introducing oneself in Japanese were explained to the participants. In order to get the pronunciation right, the members were asked to repeat after each dialogue. Then with the help of handouts, they practiced having a conversation in Japanese with one another assuming that they were meeting for the first time. Having such conversations right from day 1 in the language that one intends to learn, often helps build confidence and improves speaking abilities.
The ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of a conversation in a business environment were listed out and this led to animated discussions about the correct way of bowing, the most common filler topics, the different ways of saying ‘Good Bye’, and the like. By drawing parallels with Indian culture, a lot of aspects become relatable. Understanding the sentence structure also becomes easier – quite a lot of grammar patterns are similar if we compare Japanese and Hindi or Gujarati, for example. Such comparisons were used during the session to explain phrases which did not have an exact English translation.
Then with the help of more mock-dialogues, the formal way of giving a farewell or bidding adieu was explained. The participants finally paired up for introducing themselves and having a conversation to show us how much they had learnt, and they did really well with even the first-timers getting the pronunciations spot on!
This session gave a good start for further discussion on topics related to Japan and its culture. We are very grateful to Gaku San for providing the right direction and guiding us in our ventures.
– Anjanalakshmi・安社奈, JCA Task Force