Interview with the champions in Japanese speech contest 2009

-What made you start learning Japanese?

Sandy:  I was first motivated to study Japanese because of my interest in anime. My friend and I were fortunate to find a great teacher, so I continued to study Japanese since 2005.

Irene:  I wanted to use my long holiday to do something meaningful, so I gave Japanese a try- I’ve loved it ever since.
-What made you participate in the speech contest ?

Irene:  As a student of Japanese in Melbourne, I find it challenging to master Japanese without the language environment. Looking for ways to increase my contact with the language, I decided to participate in the speech contest, which I found was a very good opportunity to actively use and improve my spoken and written Japanese.

Sandy:  I have participated in speech contests since high school; this was my forth time. I used to participate in speech contests in Gold Coast, so I was interested in whether there was a difference in Melbourne’s speech contest.

-Have you been to Japan before?

Irene:  I have been to Japan 3 times, and have visited Tokyo, Kamakura, Nagoya and Kyoto so far. Kyoto is my favourite, and I hope to study on exchange there in the near future.

Sandy: I have been to Japan for 5 times. I mostly went to Tokyo, but because the host family I used to stay with in high school lives in Osaka, I visited them Osaka too.
-What’s the most attractive aspect of Japan for you?

Irene: I think Japan’s greatest charm lies in its ability to accommodate both old and new. I love how its exquisite traditional culture can exist side by side with its cutting-edge technology; the duality is amazing.

Sandy: I think Japan is fascinating because it is a country that values its traditional architectures and culture, so for people who have not been to Japan, I highly recommend that they explore those aspects.

-You both speak Japanese very well. Could you let us know your goals for the future?

Irene:  I am very interested in East Asian law, and I believe that my current studies of Japanese will come in useful for this. I am currently studying French, and hope to study Korean sometime in the future. I hope to one day be able to speak 5 languages- English, Chinese, Korean, French and Japanese.

Sandy:  I would like to live in Japan in the future, even if it is just for a short period of time. I would like to find a job that requires the use of English, Japanese, and Chinese.
-Could you tell us some tips or advice in learning a foreign language?

Irene: Personally I also tend to get a little nervous about making mistakes, but I think what’s most important when learning a foreign language is the ability to conquer this fear and speak confidently, without being afraid to stumble. I also really like cooking. My friends and I like to read and cook using Japanese recipes, which is not only fun but also helpful for improving our Japanese.

Sandy:  I try to do things like watch Japanese movies, and talk to Japanese people in Japanese when I find the chance. I think you just have to try to make friends and continue to practice the language when possible, even though you might sometimes get things wrong.
-Thank you very much.


2010 Japanese Speech Contest Victorian Final

Date: Sunday, 5 September 2020
Location: Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre
(Corner of Monash Rd & Swanston St – Melway Map 2B E7)

Spectators and audience welcome, free of charge.

Entries Strictly Close Wednesday 25 August 2020

Do you want to know more?
See this article.

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