How did you start to learn Japanese?

I’m a native English speaker but lived in Japan for a few years in my twenties. I was sent to a small village in the mountains where no one had ever even seen a foreign person in the flesh and certainly didn’t speak any English. I had no choice but to knuckle down and learn Japanese or it would have been a very lonely time!

I’ve been a Japanese teacher for over twenty years now and mainly teach to GCSE level. Occasionally I teach Japanese AS or A level or help students work towards one of the Japanese language proficiency tests. These are similar to the TOEIC or TOEFL exams and are used to assess someone’s suitability to study or work in Japan.

What inspired you to get into teaching, and what do you enjoy about teaching?

I just love the Japanese language and how logical it is. I love to share this with students. Equally, when I teach English as a second language, I love sharing (sometimes with apologies) how quirky and ridiculous English can be!

Is Japanese a difficult language to learn?

Japanese is a relatively easy language for native speakers of English to learn in that there are no sounds which are difficult to pronounce and there are just fewer words to learn in comparison to English. There are also very few irregular verbs (just two) and adjectives (just the one) to learn, no singular/plurals, no masculine/feminine words and in terms of verb tenses there is really just past and non-past. The vocabulary is tougher – unlike European languages the words don’t resemble English words, so it’s more of an effort to memorise Japanese vocabulary

So there you go – as well as being very highly regarded and useful, Japanese is not that difficult to speak. If you want to learn Japanese contact la Academia on 0161 491 1444