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カテゴリ:英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌( 69 )   

How I learned Japanese   

Sometimes,people would ask me “Why did you start learning Japanese?”, or “How come youwanted to come to Japan in the first place?”. Well, to be honest, there aretimes I wonder that myself.

Butgiving it a little bit of thought, I came up with some possible answers. Givingsome more thought, it may be better to call them “excuses”.

Amongthem, the relatedness part.

Iwas raised in Brazil, a country with a huge influence of Japanese culture.

Duringmy childhood I would watch the same amount of anime as I would watch cartoons,because they were often in the same programming block on TV. Of course, bybeing Japanese productions, there is a both relatedness and strangeness when itcomes to a foreign audience's perspective.

Amongseveral thoughts, “Look at those narrow streets, the school uniforms, thetrains. Why don't we have it here?”, followed by “I've seen this before inanother series, I'm starting to understand this and this!”. And that, naturallyadded to the curiosity to understand what the characters were talking about,and what the music lyrics mean.

Onthe next post, I would like to talk about some of the methods I used to learn.

Fernando (Brazil)

by chitchatcafe | 2018-02-14 14:06 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Relaxing summers holiday   

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Over the last month I've been to a lot of new places during my summer break, found a lot of food from my country in Sapporo and did a lot of resting before heading back to my language school. Over my summer break I got to go to Furano to see the lavender fields and the blue pond. I went with some friends by car which took almost 3 hours but took us through the mountains. The mountains were such a change from the tall concrete buildings of Sapporo so it was a nice change of scenery. When we were close to furano we decided to got to the blue pond first to try and beat the crowds but we didn't manage that. The blue pond hand lots of tourists so it was very noisy and cramped but it was still an amazing experience. It was a warm day and we didn't have any drinks with us so we decided to go to furano to get a drink and lavender ice cream. The lavender ice cream was strange as it felt like I was eating an air freshener but it was too good to miss out. After that we walked around the fields taking pictures and since I have hay fever I start to get sore eyes. It was such a lovely place but it was ruined by my hay fever. Later in the summer holidays I got to eat some British snacks that I loved when I was back home. I let my Japanese friends try some but they all thought the sweets were too sweet. It was interesting to see what others thought about something I have grown up with but it being a strange taste. I thought it was the perfect time to let them try it as I was at a barbecue and thought at the end of it, you might want something for dessert that is sweet. Over my summer holidays I didn't do much. Mainly talked to my friends from my share house or talked to my friends from Scotland over the internet net. I don't like extremely warm weather and this summer was very hot. Scottish people burn easily so I didn't want to look like a tomato. So I just relaxed, slept and prepared to go back to school. It was a fun summer holiday but next time I hope I'll be able to go more places since my Japanese will be better. Thanks for reading!

Adam (Scotland)

by chitchatcafe | 2017-08-29 12:57 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

My trip to Virginia   

Hello there!

Recently, I’ve got married and had a long trip to Virginia and Hong Kong last month to visit our families. It’s the second time that I’ve been to America and it’s always great fun to go shopping in the gigantic grocery stores! Since it’s gonna be too long a post if I wrote about the whole trip, let me just talk about some of the things we did in Virginia for now!
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On the first day we got there, his mother (my mother-in-law) made us lobster rolls, which are famous in New England. In the rolls we had lobster, of course, green onions, celeries, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. The rolls were very crispy and tasty, and you can buy all the ingredients in Japan, so you should really try it sometime.
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About Virginia, it’s located on the West Coast, very close to the capital of the States – Washington D.C. It is one of original states, and the City of Fredericksburg in Virginia is where the mother of George Washington, the first US president, spent her final years in. This city was also an important location during the Civil War due to its position between the two capitals at that time.
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We also went to Arlington National Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries in the States, because many military personnel were buried there. It was very beautiful and peaceful, and I could feel the respect and honour they gave to the veterans.
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It was actually my birthday during the stay, and they prepared a chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake for me. Yum!
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I really enjoyed my time in Virginia, and I recommend you to go there next time you have a holiday!

Christopher (Hong Kong)

by chitchatcafe | 2016-10-14 16:18 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Relax, take it eaaaaassy! (title of a song from Mika)   

You must all know, by now, that I'm moving back to Europe next month.
That's the 6th time I'm moving out and the 5th time I'm moving abroad! You'd expect me to be used to it, to be a pro mover, to master the art of packing-unpacking-repacking! Nay! I may deceive you but no, I'm not!

Every time I'm facing the harsh reality of moving out I ask myself the following question : why on earth do I have so many stuffs?! Though, I promise myself to keep the bare necessities of life every time I'm moving in, I somehow end up keeping things "for future use", things that I had forgotten about and ended up buying in double or triple.

However there is one thing I've learnt : relaxing! I used to get all worked up weeks before moving to my new home and pre-pack to make sure that everything would fit in my suitcase only to realize that I had forgotten something the last minute.
So here I am, 5 weeks away from the D-day, sitting on my couch, watching TV , surrounded by all the stuffs I've collected and kept during the past 4 years and I'm not worried a bit! It's ok, I still have 5 weeks to get ready, that's more than enough!
*Relax, take it eaaaaassy! For there is nothing that I can't do!* ( I've rearranged the lyrics a little :p )

And these wise words will end my last post after 3 years and a half at the chit chat cafe!

Thank you!
All the best to everyone and wish me luck!

Claire (France)

by chitchatcafe | 2016-05-21 16:08 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Settling in   

It's been 6 months since first arriving in Japan last year and I'm finally feeling settled. It was hard at first, but after a while, things got a lot easier. I'm now looking ahead at things to do and places to explore in Hokkaido, so if anyone has any recommendations, please chat with me next time you see me in the cafe!

When living in England, I was so bored. But living in New Zealand for two years helped me find the joy that comes from meeting new people, trying different things and exploring. I've tried to keep this momentum since arriving in Japan, but culture shock slowed me down a lot. But the good news is that I'm slowly adjusting to living in Japan and all of you at the cafe have actually helped me a lot, so thank you!

So now, as we enter Golden Week, I'm feeling good and looking forward to will happen in May. I've recently taken up a couple of interests, namely, photography and leather craft and I'm hoping that I'll get better at both of these things in the next month. I'm exploring the many places to have some nice food, from Hemp parfait's to delicious sushi. If anyone knows of a good place, please tell me! Along the way, I'm buying anything that looks interesting, like corn-on-cob ice cream!

It's actually pretty good...and healthy as well, because it's sweetcorn!!

Matt (UK)
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by chitchatcafe | 2016-05-02 17:55 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Mid winter thoughts   

Hope your are all doing well and enjoying the winter.
As for me I'm getting ready to wrap up another school year soon. Always exciting to know that I will be able to forget all the stress of the past year but it's not here yet so I guess I gotta keep looking forward and working for now.
The winter break was great, full of food, drink and snowboarding. What more could a guy ask for?
Well besides a 26c days, white sand, blue water, fresh BBQ and ice cold bottled beer.
I'll just keep doing what I'm doing until I have the money to be there I guess. But for now the powder snow, nomi hodai and ramen will have to do. It could be worse!

Pat (Australia)

by chitchatcafe | 2016-02-22 14:23 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Once a Month   

This blog will mark the beginning of what has been a long standing intention to reflect on my time with words. I have a fascination with expression, in all its various forms. I believe life can never be boring, so long as it finds a way to express itself. For many years, I longed for an experience that was very different from what I had become so familiar with. You see, having spent time in England, Canada, America and New Zealand, the western influence was fully threaded throughout the fabric of these countries. I, through samples of eastern influence, hoped that one day I could pluck up the courage to immerse myself in a distinctive culture away from the west. Japan has therefore felt like somewhat of a destiny and has opened my eyes in ways that can barely contain the delightful differences of this place.

I was speaking to my brother in England recently and trying to explain my impressions. It was the little things that stood out to me. For example, my brother's outside impression is that everything is busy. It was through explaining my experience so far that I realised how I had linked 'busy' with 'chaos'. In England, when times were busy, it was loud, disorganised and frantic, with frustrations that could be felt all around. I just saw it as a natural consequence of there being many people collected. But here, having visited Tokyo and now residing in Sapporo, my first impression is that although there are many more people than I am used to, 'chaos' is the last word that springs to mind. The opposite rings true, there's a sense of calm. People walk, but are not loud, things happen all around, but there's no sense of things being disorganised. It doesn't feel frantic and frustrations don't appear to bubbling to the surface.

Now this may be the honeymoon period where I'm seeing things through rose tinted glasses, but so far, I feel more at ease around the roughly 2 million inhabitants of Sapporo, compared to the roughly 250,000 inhabitants of my hometown of Plymouth, England.

I have many other impressions of this wonderful place which I hope to share over the next coming blogs, so stay tuned and stay snowy Sapporo!

Matt (UK)

by chitchatcafe | 2015-12-08 15:16 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Heysan Hopsan!   

I have found myself in the comfortable situation of staying at the Khaosan Sapporo Hostel as staff, thus settling down for two months after 3 months of almost constant traveling.
This means that I now meet a lot more foreigners than before. For me it is important to be able to have some discussions or conversations once in a while. Because of this, I feel really good about being able to return to English, my second language. Because, as much as I like to speak Japanese, I still only know how to talk about food and travel-plans.

These are not bad subjects, but once in a while, it is nice to have a change of pace into something more advanced and challenging!
Some more comfortabilities I miss include:
Having access to all my music-equipment (and my musician-buddies)
Being able to watch movies all night (once in a while)
Having boardgame-nights with friends
Going to Danish music-festivals with tents, beach-trips and beer
My glasses. I can't see anything!!

But the things that are keeping me at my travel are more than enough for making me forget my longings!
I am actually thinking of joining my 3 old friends for a 3 months road-trip through the USA, after I finish traveling in Japan.
When am I ever gonna get time to study again?!

See you out there!

August (Denmark)

by chitchatcafe | 2015-07-18 17:24 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

Back to Sapporo   

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Hey guys, how have you been?
My trip to Germany was great! I spent about one month enjoying the time with my family, meeting friends, playing with my dogs, eating all the delicious stuff I cannot get in Japan (not only beer and sausages, as one might think, haha) and also preparing things for the wedding ceremony in September in Germany.
In April my mother, father and I went to Tottori to celebrate my husbands and my wedding. The ceremony was held at the Ube-Shrine in Tottori, which is a beautiful little shrine with a long history, and also the shrine to which my husband went every year at New Year. So he has a very strong emotional connection to this place, as well. The inside of the shrine is relatively small, but it was just perfect for us, since we celebrated with not many guests, but only with family members. Accordingly was the atmosphere during the ceremony very pleasant and cheerful.
My husband and I wore both a kimono. Mine was white with pinkish elements (flowers and butterflies). After the ceremony I changed into a furisode kimono, which was more colorful. Even though the kimono looks relatively comfortable, it is not. Why does it have to be so tight anyway?

In the end my husband held a very emotional speech in German, which made all present German people cry. At that moment I thought it to be sad that the Japanese guests could not understand what he was saying and I still think it is a pity that Japanese speeches are most of the time so serious.
All of us had a great time and my parents would love to visit Japan again, sometime. The wedding at the shrine was beautiful and a great experience, I never want to miss. However, I think most girls dream of wearing a white wedding dress, just like I do. Therefore I am really looking forward to our ceremony in Germany and I feel incredibly lucky to be given the opportunity to wear both, kimono and wedding dress.
If you want to know more about our wedding, then do not hesitate to ask me. Maybe we can meet at ChitChatCafe and talk a little!

Denise (Germany)

by chitchatcafe | 2015-06-16 16:37 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌

My First Time Rafting and Going to an Onsen   

Hello everyone! It was nice to meet some new people this week at Chit Chat Cafe!

This time of year, the weather in Sapporo is really nice. My friends and I went rafting last weekend. It was really fun! We went to Hoheikyo Onsen for lunch, then we went rafting in the Toyohira River. We went about 6 km down the river and it took about 1 hour.

I got splashed with cold water twice, but I was wearing a wetsuit, so it was fine! It was nice to see some of the scenery along the river.

After the rafting trip, we went back to Hoheikyo Onsen. It was my first time going to an onsen. Americans think that onsen are really strange. We would never bathe naked with strangers! I thought it was weird too, but everyone says that it's really relaxing and not all that strange.

I have to say, it was really nice! I went outside and got to see the beautiful scenery while soaking in a hot spring. It was really refreshing! My older sister might come to Sapporo next year, maybe I could get her to go to Jozankei or Hoheikyo! I think she would like it!

Tom (USA)

by chitchatcafe | 2015-06-04 18:59 | 英会話 個人 レッスン 札幌