Going to Japan… Again?!

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I can’t believe it. It’s like I’m still in a dream.

A couple of months back, at the recommendation of my teacher, I took part in the annual Japanese Speech Contest that’s organized, supported and sponsored by some of the most distinguished and renowned companies and organizations.

After two months of hard work and instruction by my dedicated teachers, I am glad to say that I have managed to come away from the Grand Finals with the top prize in the tertiary category this past weekend. One of the prizes is a trip to Japan and home stay in Shizuoka which I will be going for at the end of the year. In addition to that, I shall be extending my stay for about a week.

Once again, I really do have to thank the wonderful teachers from the National University of Singapore’s Center of Language Studies for all their guidance and support. I would definitely have not been able to achieve this without their help. Personally though, it’s not the prize that makes me happy, but the fact that I was able to do my teachers and parents proud gives me the greatest satisfaction.

…and with that, I wonder where I should go this time round. One thing’s for sure. Considering the fact that my speech was essentially a thank you letter to anime for playing an integral part in my life, Akihabara will be undoubtedly be a priority on my itinerary.

6 Responses to Going to Japan… Again?!

  1. alexeon says:

    Congratulations, Actar. That is pretty amazing.

    As someone who is trying to study the language on their own, do you think its possible to reach a native level of fluency and pronunciation?

  2. Actar says:

    @ alexeon: Hey there! Long time no speak! (^.^) Thanks a ton for your continued support and readership. I was afraid that no one was reading any of my posts due to my horrendously infrequent postings. (^.^;)

    With regard to your question, yes, it is definitely possible. I’m fully aware that it’s difficult to find native speakers to speak to, so in addition to practice, practice and more practice, the most important thing to do is to listen to native Japanese language speakers. This can be achieved relatively hassle-free by listening to podcasts such as those on NHK (anime/J-Pop is alright in my book, though there’s a ton of slang and casual speech involved, so I’d advise against that at the beginning). Sooner or later, you’ll be able to do it. (^o^)

    This might be of help: http://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/

  3. alexeon says:

    Cool, thanks. Well, I’m not quite ready for listening comprehension yet. I still need to learn more vocabulary. Still, though, I’ll keep it in mind when I get there.

    It has been a long time. I’ve had a couple of really tough semesters so I had to focus on that and limit my hobbies a bit which is why I was gone. I took the last two months to catch up on stuff, though. Speaking of which, thanks for translating Miyakawa-ke no Kuufuku.

  4. Dark_Sage says:

    Well done. Congrats, Actar. Enjoy the shit out of it.

  5. archangelshear says:

    I’m pretty late to the party on this one, but still:

    Congratulations, dude, getting the top prize is an amazing feat! Was it just speech-writing. or did you have to present it to someone? How long did it have to be?

    Also, not sure if you care, but your real name is totally visible on that certificate thing.

  6. Actar says:

    @ Dark_Sage: Thanks man! Also, I’m honored that someone as famous as you visited this humble blog of mine. (^o^)

    @ archangelshear: Thanks a ton. (^.^) The entire speech had to be 5 minutes long for the Tertiary and Open categories. Regarding my name, I doubt many will be able to read it. Though, at this point, I don’t really mind people knowing my real name anymore. (^.^;)

    Did you manage to get the coin? I haven’t heard back from you since then.

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