Those Who Have Gone Before
Here at the Academy, we are blessed with some very talented and learned RAs, some of whom were once Academy students themselves. In Japanese, they are called 先輩, senpai. These kanji mean "go before" and "comrade". Today, they had the opportunity to pass some of their knowledge onto the 2021 Academy members. Each RA has a unique background that encompasses at least one other language beyond Japanese, and they shared that in several interesting presentations today. We learned about Vietnamese, Korean, Portuguese, and even Japanese Sign Language. We gained insight into how they compare to Japanese, and also saw how they influence modern Japanese language. Students could also see common occurrences among languages, such as the development of regional dialects. These insights certainly helped deepen our learning of the Japanese language, as everyone completed their fifth day of core language study. Friday was also our chance to learn some origami! In just a few minutes, students were able to turn humble squares of paper into beautiful butterflies. And what Friday would be complete without a little karaoke? Despite some yokai sabotage to our original plans, the RAs managed to create a setup in Zoom that allowed our members to sing their hearts out. Impressively, every song sung was in a foreign language! These students already clearly understand that the best way to learn a language is to incorporate it into every part of your life, especially your recreation!
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