February 9, 2011
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It’s that time again, JETs! The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT; 日本語能力試験) results will be mailed out on 10 Feb. 2011. If you do not receive your results by the 18th, contact the JLPT Information Service at 03-5454-5577.
If you took the N4 or N5, the official JLPT website published the scoring breakdown for the test on 31 January. (This link includes the breakdown for N1-N3 as well, but the passing scores have not changed since the 2010-1 test. Japanese version here.) Remember, you need both the overall passing score AND the minimum passing score in each section to pass the test. (Read: you must pass all sections to pass the whole test. See this article for an explanation.)
The next exam (2011-1) will be held on Sunday, 3 July 2011 with check-in starting at noon. (Tests end around 16:00-16:30, depending on level). Details from JEES are linked here: (Japanese) (English). All levels will be offered. Registration by mail is from 24 March – 28 April and costs 5,500 yen. Look for a separate post about how to register in Ishikawa in March!
Leah Zoller is a second-year CIR in Anamizu and the editor of this blog. 能力試験に合格するように！
November 25, 2009
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To friends & family of JET ALTs, the complaint is an old one, and familiar. The Japanese language, with its “nuanced formal expressions and three different writing systems, is a uniquely complex language. How could a foreigner possibly learn it? Even Japanese people make mistakes.”
Author Emily Parker recently noted in The New York Times Book Review that “the Japanese language is being transformed by blogs, e-mail and keitai shosetsu, or cellphone novels. Americans may fret over the ways digital communications encourage sloppy grammar and spelling, but in Japan these changes are much more wrenching. A vertically written language seems to be becoming increasingly horizontal. Novels are being written and read on little screens. People have gotten so used to typing on computers that they can no longer write characters by hand. And English words continue to infiltrate the language.”
Since after World War II, the Japanese Ministry of Education has simplified characters and limited the number of kanji used in the media. The recent proliferation of cell phone novels has made popular flat and simple language and expressions. The popularity of graphic novels may also contribute to this trend.
Technology is assisting people to use and recognize more kanji. Instead of having to write every stroke from memory, users can type words phonetically into a computer and a list of characters to choose from pops up on the screen.
So, family & friends of ALTs, take heart. Should these trends continue, they may encourage a more accessible Japanese for foreigners, in turn accelerating internationalization. Our ALTs may find it a bit more comfortable to communicate in Japanese and live in the country.
But is this a good thing? I’m not so sure…
~A Friends & Family Post