Tuesday, 11 September 2012

日本語 - Japanese Part I

Sometimes weekends are more hectic than weekdays, especially when you have to cleanup your cupboard that you yourself have messed up. You can’t even blame others. Last weekend when I was cleaning my cupboard, found a bunch of CDs and books. My Japanese books. First let me tell you proudly that, I do know Japanese language.

It was sometime, after my placement to the IT Company, when our company gave us this opportunity to learn Japanese language. Company appointed a teacher for us, and our classes started in our college itself (as we haven’t joined the company yet). On very first day, when we entered the class, saw a south Indian (?) teacher welcoming us. Later on we came to know that she, Miss Momita, was from Orissa. Our question was, how can she teach us Japanese? We were expecting someone from Japan. (And that was the first learning… don’t expect anything from your company.) First day she taught us the Japanese numbers in a form of a (funny) poem. All of us, who just knew the spelling for word ‘Japanese’, were actually learning the words in Japanese. First day ended with learning and practicing few letters in Japanese script. After 2 hours session, we were coming out like winners of the game while Miss Momita, giving us “Picture abhi baki hai mere dost” wala look.
In few days, we got our books and our hard time started. Japanese is really tough language. 1st of all the script is different and secondly words are difficult to pronounce. As our teacher was from Orissa, she used to pronounce the word differently (in oriya accent) while we maharashtrians used to give marathi accent to the word. We were giving Indian touch to the Japanese language :). Miss Momita was very strict, and used to scold us a lot. Thankfully one of our friend already had an experience with Japanese, and according to us she was the master. She was the only one who used to complete the homework on time. And we being honest students and future engineers used to copy paste whole the thing from someone else’s book. So homework was either done by all or none. Though we were in the college, bunking the Japanese class was not at all allowed, Japanese was always better than Miss Momita’s punishment :P.  With a start of our final year PL, company stopped the classes.

Exam ended and our Japanese classes started again, now in the office :D obviously college was not allowing the company to conduct their classes in the college class rooms. I still remember the day, when we entered the company premises on SB road. We didn’t event know where to park our two wheelers. We parked our vehicles intelligently and entered the reception desk. The person at the desk already knew about us and gave us a sheet to sign and enter as visitor. One of the training rooms was assigned for our Japanese classes. Wow… such a big room it was. Room had centralized AC, every desk with a desktop, pen and notepad, bright lights and speakers in the room. All these things were really fascinating at that time, especially when we were entering to our first company...for the first time...

Japanese classes were going on. We were learning new words and grammar everyday. We used to relate every newly learned Japanese word with some other word irrespective of the language. It was difficult to store such a huge set of new words with new pronunciation, so we tried to find out easier ways to remember them. Every week we used to have objective written exam and orals. We were consistently performing (horribly) in the exams. Days were passing with our teacher scolding us for our mistakes and admiring us for our hard work. Gradually we also came to know that our Miss Momita was really good at her heart was scolding us just to motivate us.

Finally when we were quite acquainted with this new language, Miss Momita told us the real scenario. We were supposed to appear for the JLPT exams which have 4 levels and our company wanted us to clear directly 2nd level exam (for JLPT pattern it's level 3). We were shocked but had no other option. Our teacher told us the exam pattern, which includes 1 objective paper on Japanese grammar, 1 objective paper on Japanese vocabulary, and 1 objective paper on Japanese listening. We were ok with grammar and vocabs sections but now what’s this Japanese listening. In listening section, you have to listen to a Japanese conversion and have to answer the question at end of the conversion. Miss Momita gave us few CDs, having Japanese conversions. Hehehehehehe… :) :) :) Our reaction after listing to those CDs. I swear couldn’t understand a single word. Whenever teacher used to take these conversion sessions we used to laugh, sometimes at pronunciations, sometimes at there speed, sometimes on our own condition.

With all this HAPPENING we finished our Japanese class. Now we were ready with all our weapons to win the Japanese battle. But the truth was we… the worriers were unaware of these weapons. Just 10 days after our classes finished our engineering results came out and company wanted us to join… now as an employee… all the JLPT people joining location – Kolkata. Thanks to Japanese once again… This Japanese took us to from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal…