by Rondel Apelo, Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA student
日本語 (Nihongo, Japanese) has always been an alluring language, so much so that I’ve never heard anyone say that they didn’t want to at least try to learn Japanese. So when the opportunity came about that we can learn some basic Japanese, I was more than delighted to pick up the chance! Little did I know that aside from the learning the fundamentals of Japanese, I would be learning more about its culture and gaining friends along the way.
As part of the Nanyang-Waseda Double MBA cohort, I enrolled into the Japanese Language course. From all walks of life – India, Philippines, China, and of course from Singapore, a diverse bunch of students went into class, two times per week from November ‘15 to February ‘16.
練習しましょう (Renshū shimashou, Let us practice) was always the starting phrase! And ちいさい テスト (Chiisai Tesuto, Small test) was always something to watch out for. As anyone can imagine, it was very dynamic, sometimes very confusing, but definitely 100% fun and worth the time!
From Hiragana to Katakana, from おはようございます (Ohayou) to こんにちは (Konnichiwa), we learned the very basics of Japanese Language from our Sense Akiko Ito (伊藤). Challenging as it was, our instructor made it a point to always ensure that we would be able to follow the lectures and even provided us with some additional learnings while even outside of class. The dynamics of the class also played a key role in the overall learning.
Occasionally, the class even had “local” visitors, our Japaneseclassmates, extending a hand to help us learn the “How to’s” and “what not’s” in Japanese. Though I still have a long way to go (and I would still probably get lost in translation when I do start my last trimester in 早稲田 Waseda Tokyo), I felt it was truly a wonderful experience. More than just the basics of Japanese, I got a deeper appreciation of the culture and a desire to know more about the Language. Something that I believe I will last even outside the four walls of the classroom.