Memories of my Intensive Japanese Language Course – Part 1

September 27, 2008 by: Clement Nyirenda

Just like most Embassy recommended Monbukagakusho scholarship students, I came to Japan as a Research Student. I had to undergo the intensive Japanese language course for four months at the International Student Centre, O-okayama Campus, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Life in Japan can be a total mess if your Japanese language capability is limited. Contrary to my expectation prior to coming here, most Japanese people on the street can hardly speak English. My first week in Tokyo was full of language problems. I got lost several times in Shibuya and wasted a lot of time trying to find my way out of the skyscrapers simply because it was difficult to get street information from the locals. I could see from their faces that they were willing to help but they could not just manage because of the language barrier. Even in shops, I used to have the same language problems. In light of all these experiences, the intensive Japanese language course proved to be very useful.

Because I had never studied Japanese before, Prof Hirakawa put me in Class A. Students who had studied Japanese before were placed in either Class B and C depending on the level of their knowledge. My class was composed of 15 students from the following countries: Indonesia (4), Iran (3), Turkey (1), Bangladesh (1), Phillipines (1), England (1), Nigeria (1),Ethiopia (1), Madagascar (1) and Malawi (myself). Our sessions used to run from 9:00am to 12:10pm from Monday to Friday except on Thursday when we used to have an afternoon session with Professor Hirakawa himself. Although there were a lot of quizzes and home work, I enjoyed the class greatly. Here are some of the photos of the class:

Clement (Malawi),Pious (Nigeria),Berrin (Turkey), Sangeeta (Bangladesh), Jean (Phillipines), Fazil (Ethiopia) and in the distance is Irvan Mhd (Indonesia)
Clement (Squatting),Standing from the left: Pious (Nigeria),Berrin (Turkey), Sangeeta (Bangladesh), Jean (Phillipines), Fazil (Ethiopia) and in the distance is Irvan Mhd (Indonesia)
Clement with Professor Hirakawa
Clement (Malawi) and my Japanese language lecturer, Professor Hirakawa (of course from Japan)
All classes together, Colombia, Brazil, Malawi, Nigeria, England etc
All the three classes (A, B and C) together
Clement with Pious from Nigeria
With an African friend Pious Okekunle from Nigeria


9 Responses to “Memories of my Intensive Japanese Language Course – Part 1”
  1. Alberto L. Beretta says:

    Prof “Nthamba”,

    well, given my real interests and some knowledge in (African but above all) Malawian people and things, figthing poverty through good technology and Japanese people and things, it seems that I’ll have to bookmark and follow this last creature of yours, despite our difficulties in keeping in touch.
    If I had big money I’ll surely hire you and others in that big project of a very special both virtual and live ‘metatopian’ community, with its tools (like smart cards, dedicated devices, fully equipped and configured laptops and the like) I spoke to you about over Skype, some time ago.
    Based also on the Indian ‘Simputer’.
    But I still have only a very compressed presentation in Italian and no money, so it’s still a wild dream.

  2. Tony says:

    This is a good blog. Very nice.

    Tonys last blog post..Shintakayu Onsen

  3. Gerri says:

    I would love to experience what you are experiencing. Not only are you furthering your education, you are getting to learn another language which may be of benefit later in life. On top of that you get to really experience I totally different culture which will grow you even more as a person. Keep on at it.

    Gerris last blog post..Samara from Samaria – 1 Kings 16:24

  4. freedomwv says:

    What a great post. I really enjoyed reading this.

  5. Jordan says:

    Great work!I have enjoyed going through it.

  6. Cryton says:

    Fantastic posting. I wish you all the during your stay there.