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Want to learn Japanese? Two students can help

Published (Volume 77, No. 6)


An example of a word in hiragana.

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge further than your everyday classes, try learning the basics of a new language other than your own, or, more specifically, Japanese.

The act of learning a new language can increase your ability to learn in general, and the reality of being bilingual increases your chances of landing that dream job. Learning a new language can even be fun, not to mention the excitement of being able to converse with people in another language.

Yui Seito and Hiromi Sugihara have taken the yoke of teaching and relating their native language, Japanese, to students or anyone else at UTM who’s interested.

Anyone interested in the language and/or culture can count on an enjoyable learning environment, as was demonstrated in the first meeting this past Thursday.

Seito and Sugihara began with exploring words that sounded like the English translations, called katakana words, or ones borrowed from other languages. The two then introduced hiragana characters, which form the basic Japanese alphabet; some essential greetings and vocabulary were also introduced.
The meetings consist of learning the basics of the Japanese language, but Seito says she and Sugihara are willing to work with those at any level of the language.

“We don’t expect a hard study of the language, just the basics,” says Seito, who is a sophomore Biology major from Hirosaki.

Seito also previously taught Japanese to international students at Hirosaki University, a sister university with UTM in the exhange student program.

Not relying on merely their own experiences of teaching, the two will use a basic Japanese textbook to aid them with teaching the language.

“Having fun and being able to communicate with UTM students is what we are aiming for,” says Sugihara, a freshman Communications major from Kyoto.

Seito adds, “I want more students from UTM to come to my university in Hirosaki as international students.”

Students, or anyone interested, can meet with Seito and Sugihara at 7 p.m. Thursdays in 222 Gooch.