While Japan and China continue to bicker over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and other historical issues, there is at least one Japanese student who believes that learning the Chinese language and its culture will win her more friends abroad. 24-year-old Yui Tanaka won the preliminary contest for the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students.
But the postgraduate student at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies is not satisfied with that win. She wants to bag the top prize at the final at the end of the year in this competition organized by the Confucius Institute at Osaka Sangyo University. Tanaka believes that the Chinese language is the best way to communicate outside of Japan, since it is spoken by the highest number of people in the world. She decided to learn it while she was preparing for her university entrance examination when she was in high school. She adds that communicating with people in English is no longer the best way to meet “special” people, or those who have a “unique” talent.
But learning Chinese isn’t as easy as it seems, even if the Japanese have used Chinese characters for a long time now. The challenge is in the pronunciation and how to master proper Chinese grammar. Tanaka went to Beijing for a year and her mastery of the language grew dramatically during her time there. She was able to pick up more “technical words” and even learned the correct “facial expressions” from speaking face to face with native Chinese speakers. She will now be competing with winners from other countries in the Chinese Bridge semifinals to be held this summer in Changsha, Hunan Province.
[ via People’s Daily ]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan