To speak Japanese like a native

Kim Younyoung

Speaking is the basis of language, and I think that to do training from speaking and listening is a good idea. And, when I was placed in the advanced class, I was not sure how much I improved but somehow my Japanese skills have already improved. When I heard my friend’s Japanese pronunciation in our morning practice, I realized that my Japanese skills improved a lot. So, I think it means that even though it is difficult for me to recognize my growth of Japanese skills, my friend could see me improving. In order to get close to being able to speak like a native Japanese, feedback amongst classmates was very important.

The lessons I enjoyed the most were lessons using Japanese novels. I could learn unique Japanese expressions used in the novels and could feel real Japanese thoughts through the differences in expressions. For example, in South Korea which is my hometown, we say that a person "has many legs" if he/she knows a lot of people. However, it is "having a wide face" in Japan. I think this is related how Japanese people are always polite to everyone as opposed to Koreans who gives all their love to their friends. Even though the two countries have many similarities as they have been in the same cultural area for a long time, there are also fine detailed differences like these. You cannot just learn superficial customary phrases and expressions, but you have to learn the movement in native sensibilities in order to not make mistakes, offend people or create misunderstanding in real conversations. I was surprised when I was told by a Japanese person that my "Japanese is so good that he can't believe I've been in Japan for only a year and a half". I really felt that I was learning high-level Japanese at ARC.

Japan is not only easy to live in but also has many opportunities. If you have an ambition and try hard, you will accomplish what you want. There are especially a lot of opportunities for women. I also want to catch this chance and continue working in Japan.