Monday, March 26, 2007

Show 327 Monday 26 March

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
Well, I survived Shutdown Day ... just. Actually I was quite sick for the first half of the day - not from a lack of computer ... but because I had a bit too much fun the night before.
Anyway, today is Monday so we’re going to have another guest today. Mike was going to come today ... but he isn’t feeling so good, so he’s going to come another time.
Today’s guest is Jonny. Jonny is from Auckland, New Zealand. And he’s been in Japan since February. And he’s been staying here and snowboarding and studying Japanese and building snow caves.
This is the second time he’s been in Japan. Today I asked him about why he came to Japan and what he thinks of the snow in Niseko and how he studies Japanese.
Here’s a bit of what he said, and the rest is in the conversation.

When did you first come to Japan?
Ah, I came here last year in May. Ah, Just for a holiday and for my friends, my girlfriend’s we ... sister’s wedding.

When you first came to Japan was it different than what you expected?

It wasn’t as much of a shock as I thought it would be. It wasn’t too difficult and ... I wasn’t overwhelmed by the customs or anything like that. I think I was quite well prepared for it. Well, having Japanese friends and living with a Japanese family in Canada. I guess that prepared me for it.

Where else have you snowboarded?
I’ve snowboarded around New Zealand. Um, many ski resorts around New Zealand. I spent two winters in Idaho. Northern Idaho in USA. And after that I went to Canada for two years. So ... there was a period where I, where I always had winters. I had, I think 7 winters in a row.

How does Niseko compare to those other places?
When it snows, it’s really good. It’s, it’s by far the best snow I’ve ever seen. Um, the terrain is ... it could be a bit more challenging. Ah ... some mountains I’ve snowboarded before, especially Lake Louise or Score. Lake Louise in Canada, Squaw Valley in California. Um, various places around USA they’ve been more challenging. But the snow is, there’s nothing like it, on a good day.


Kia ora this is Stick News. Yesterday morning a 6.9-magnitude quake hit the Noto peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture. The Meteorological Agency has warned the aftershocks are likely to continue for several days.

The Noto peninsula is about 300 kilometers west of Tokyo. At 9:42am yesterday an earthquake jolted the peninsula. One person died and about 200 people were injured. 68 houses were destroyed and 164 were badly damaged.
The center of the quake was 11km under the sea. According to CNN about 160,000 households are now without electricity and more than 10,000 households lack running water.
Today, more than 175 aftershocks hit the Noto peninsula, including a 5.3-magnitude shock and a 4.8.
Strong aftershocks are likely during the next three days.

And that was Stick News for Monday the 26th of March.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Jonny decided to extend the cave because he’s planning to sleep in it.

conversations with sarah
#201 When did you start studying Japanese?

Step 1: Repeat Sarah’s lines.
Step 2: Read Sarah’s lines and talk to Jonny.

Sarah When did you start studying Japanese?

Jonny I studied in high school for about one year. But I didn’t concentrate. So, I started studying properly about two years ago. Um, I went to Auckland University for one semester of Japanese.

Sarah Why did you decide to study Japanese at high school?

Jonny I choose ... we had to choose a subject, we had to choose a language. And ... my sister came home and she was speaking French, so I hated French, so I thought I would try Japanese.
Um, but I, I wasn’t very interested in it. I thought it was a bit boring.

Sarah How are you studying now?

Jonny Ah, just from, from a textbook. And I go snowboarding often. So ... I get to practice speaking to Japanese people on the chairlifts. So, it’s, it’s good practice, it’s ... the mountain’s like my classroom.

Sarah What are your goals with learning Japanese?

Jonny Ah, I want to be able to get by, by myself. Um, hold conversations with people. Just, talk ... talk about what I want. And understand what people say. I’m, I’m focusing more on conversations now. Just being able to understand, and speak. Ah, once I get a bit better, I want to learn more about kanji and be able to write a bit better and read.

Sarah Have you made any embarrassing mistakes in Japanese?

Jonny Ah, nothing too bad. Not, not like the story about the guy who, ah, who went to the bakery and he wanted ah, unko pan ... instead of anko.

Sarah You’re planning to teach English in Japan, aren’t you?

Jonny Um, I’d like to eventually. Just, ah ... First I’d like to get アルバイト (casual work) or a job that I can at least, um, use Japanese in. Just because if ... I’ve heard English teachers, if you’re always teaching English it’s hard to learn Japanese. So I thought if I get a, a job surrounding myself with Japanese people. If I’m forced to speak the language it will make me learn a lot more.

Sarah Do you have any advice for people studying English?

Jonny Ah, I guess it would be you have to try practicing speaking as much as possible. Especially with native speakers. Um, I’m, I’m quite fortunate. I’m in Japan, surrounded by Japanese. So it’s easy for me to practice speaking Japanese.
I know in New Zealand, many Japanese, for example. They come, come to New Zealand, and they go to English language schools. But they’re surrounded by other foreigners who, who are learning English as well. So they don’t, they don’t get corrected in their English. And it’s hard ... especially if they work at Japanese or surrounded by other Japanese. It’s hard, for them to um, really progress in their English sometimes. So, if possible just try to surround yourself with people speaking the language you’d like to learn.