きっかけは、キングダムハーツ It began with Kingdom Hearts.

At Dongdaemun

Sara is my only friend who knows Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean besides her mother tongue Swedish. She must have CC brain (crazy and clever). But by listening to how she became good at languages, I found some tips for everyone. Simply, she played games in Japanese, made friends who also studied the language, and then, she lived in Japan, China and Korea, made a Korean boyfriend, and now works in Korea by using all the languages she has acquired. Learning by doing especially in ways you think fun and not stressful is the key:)

日本語を勉強し始めたのは 15歳のとき。ゲームKingdom Heartsの曲をダウンロードしたら日本語で、そのときはじめて、そのゲームが日本のものだと知った。新しいゲームが出たらすぐに遊びたかったから、日本語を勉強した。ゲームの新作が出た時は輸入して、プレステを改造してもらって、そこまでして、遊んだよ。

I was 15 years old when I started studying Japanese.  Why? Because I wanted to play the newest Kingdom Hearts as soon as possible after it’s release. I loved playing that game when I was younger. My first “meeting” with Japanese language was when I downloaded Kingdom Hearts’ song. I loved playing the game then. I imported the newest version from Japan and remodeled my PS. I was such a gamer then, haha!

22歳で言語カフェ(*GöteborgにあるSpråkcaféet )に行くようになり、ヨハンやニルスに出会った。二人は短期間で日本語をできるようになったんだよね。それで私もがんばらなきゃと思って、漢字をめっちゃ勉強した。留学したかったからGUの日本語科に入ったけど、その時にはもうN1とってた。23歳。そこで他の言語もやろうと思って中国語を始めたの。 

I began going to language Café* in Gothenburg when I was 22 years old. I met Johan and Nils there, who mastered Japanese quicker than me. I was motivated by them and began studying harder, especially Kanji (Chinese characters). I entered in Gothenburg University’s Japanese course so that I could study in Japan as an exchange student, but I didn’t have much to learn in the course. I already had N1 (**Japanese proficiency test, N1 is the highest level) then. So I began studying Chinese in my free time.

寿司屋でバイトしていた時に、お客さんから近くで通訳の機会があると聞いて、通訳の授業があるICUに留学することにしたよ。ICUでは通訳の授業を3つ日本語でとったけど、やっぱり無理だと思った。言語ができるだけじゃだめなんだよね。考えながら口をずっと動かすのが大変だった。

At my second year, I came to Japan, ICU, as an exchange student. I was interested in simultaneous translating and ICU had courses for that. But the lectures were so hard! They were in Japanese, and furthermore, it was difficult to think and speak simultaneously.

日本からスウェーデン帰って数か月後に、中国の上海に5か月間留学した。そこで韓国人と何人か知り合って、今度は韓国語を勉強し始めたんだ。

Few months after I went back to Sweden from Japan, I went to Shanghi for 5months by the Chinese course’s exchange program. There, I met some Koreans and studied Korean.

今は、ソウルで、彼氏と猫と住んでいるよ。
仕事終わりや休みの日には、韓国の人たちに英語やスウェーデン語を教えてる。

Now Ilive in Seoul with my boyfriend and a cat. I teach English and Swedish afterwork and weekends.

語学はやっぱり楽しくないと続けられないから、自分にとって楽しい方法で勉強するのが大事だと思うよ。

Tips for studying new language? Hmm, to find ways which you think fun. It’s hard to force yourself into studying especially when it’s boring.

*At Språkcaféet in Gothenburg, people comes and talk in various languages over a cup of coffee and a piece of cake on Mon-Thu from 17:30-21. There you can learn new language or teach your mother tongue and make some new friends! 

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