On Tuesday, 18th May, I attended the Japanese AB initio workshop hosted by Hiroko Mori, a teacher of Japanese at The Queen Mary University of London and organised by Esin Akdogan. I have to say, this may have been one of my favourite language learning experiences so far. The sheer excitement and passion of our teacher combined with the fascinating Japanese language (which we learned is nihon-go in Romanised Japanese) made the lesson engaging and very informative. We began the Zoom class with a quick Kahoot game which warmed us up and taught us some interesting facts like the size of Japan being similar to Germany and Mt. Fuji being the tallest mountain in Japan. During the lesson, we learnt about the three common scripts used in Japan, key pronunciations, how to count to 99, and some basic phrases. Personally, I found the pronunciations really helpful and quite enjoyed having a go at the beginner-friendly sentences we were given. We concluded by practicing our newfound Japanese skills in small groups which introduced a fun (if slightly nerve-wracking!) element to the class.
Before now, I hadn’t seriously considered taking up Japanese but I loved learning the basics brought to us by Hiroko as well as the cultural significances attached to them. For example, I hadn’t had any idea of the ties to China and the Mandarin language nor the Japanese words that we often use even in English, such as karaoke and karate.
I’d definitely like to further my understanding of this historically rich and beautiful language in the future. Sayoonara!
- Hannah Khan, Alsager School