October 29, 2004

Learning technical Japanese

October 29, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I’ve figured out what I really like about this situation. It’s an
amazing opportunity to rapidly pick up a foreign language, and in a
technical context at that! That’s the main thing they give feedback
on, anyway. They didn’t really comment on our design. I guess as long
as we understand what’s needed and our results seem to be okay, we’re
fine. I get my papers back with little red marks highlighting
incorrect use of particles and suggesting better word usage, though.
I’ve realized that in order to make the most of this opportunity, I
shouldn’t just stick to safe, simple sentences. I’m going to try new
structures and new words, typing my documents over and over again until
the words stick in my head! =)

So, no, I’m not depressed. If the other day’s blog entry made you
worry, sorry! Before I came to Japan, I thought that the AOTS thing
would be a great excuse to learn Japanese. That was the main reason I
said yes, actually. When I started training, I wondered if I should be
focusing on industry experience instead. That’s not really possible,
but my original intention will do quite well. By February, I want to
be able to do tech support and documentation in Japanese.

Work is fun. =)

Oct 22 to Oct 29

October 29, 2004 - Categories: -Uncategorized

From Oct 22 to Oct 29, I worked on a simple calculator. Naganuma gave
us basic specifications and templates for detailed specifications and
unit tests. I filled in the forms and wrote the program by myself.

Although it was my first time to program using Delphi, I did not have
any problems writing the program. I read a Delphi 5 book and
researched on the Internet. Because Delphi is based on Pascal, my
Pascal experience was also helpful.

In the beginning, I had a hard time understanding what I needed to do.
People spoke very quickly and used words and grammar I had not yet
learned. I found written documents easier to understand. I enjoyed
preparing my documents in Japanese because I had a chance to learn new
grammar and new words. I’m still bad at Japanese, though. When my
corrected documents are returned, they’re full of red marks. I had to
keep asking Yoshioka or Naganuma to correct my Japanese. I still have
problems from time to time, but I’m slowly starting to understand.

The first time I submitted my test plans, Yoshioka asked me to provide
an English translation so that he could understand it. My Japanese was
that bad. Because he’s good at English, he can correct my Japanese
quickly. However, starting from next week, he’ll be working in
Shinjuku. I will have to find a way to get much better in Japanese so
that I don’t bother Naganuma all the time and so that I can avoid
misunderstandings.

I searched the Internet for books on technical Japanese. I think they
will be very useful. People say that “Basic Technical Japanese” is the
best book, and even beginners can learn using it. It was published by
University of Tokyo Press. If I pay for it myself, though, it’s a bit
expensive at 7875 yen. Because other trainees can also use the book to
learn, may I ask the company to buy one copy of the book? I believe it
will help us make the most of our short training period.