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06 November 2008 @ 11:11 am
First Time For Everything  
That's the first time I've had a recruiter phone screening conducted in Japanese. Somewhat unexpected. (I didn't know when I called that they would have a native speaker available.) Not sure how much of that "nihongo ga jouzu desu ne" is real and how much of it's just standard. Either way, I need to get out and speak more. It always takes me a minute to come up to speed, and I need to eliminate the initial fumbling.

On a random note, why do recruiters always feel the need to add "well, it's a tight economy..." Seriously, I haven't been under a rock for the past five months, I can figure out the economic situation myself, I don't need the additional discouragement. Particularly not since despite all the dire warnings, I'm still seeing a lot of stuff out there.

On a somewhat related note, since it came up in the interview I decided to look into the Japanese Language Proficiency Test" to start thinking about what would be involved in taking it. I clicked the sample questions for the first degree, thinking it would be the first test one takes. Holy cow! I could answer maybe one question in five on the vocab part! *sobbles* And it gets harder from here? Day-em!

... Then it occurred to me that maybe it goes the other way, with four being the first one. And indeed, that is the case. My first clue was when all the directions for it were in hiragana, and some of the wrong answers included characters written backwards. Check. That one I can do with my eyes closed. The second degree is about my level, though it would be worth my while to spend some time solidifying kanji that I know what it means but don't bother looking up how to read it. The first degree is beyond my reach at the moment, but can be handled if I spend more time reading, particularly reading newspaper articles and actually looking up the words I don't know.

So that's kind of a nice ego boost. Now to find out what's involved in sitting the test. I might as well take the beginner ones, just to say I have them, and get the experience of working up to the harder ones.
(Deleted comment)
Sandpanthersandpanther on November 9th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it looks like I missed registration for this year. Next year I'll probably try for 2, or if I crack down and study maybe see if I feel like trying 1.

Thanks for the info! It's good hearing from someone who's taken one already.
obsessivewomanobsessivewoman on November 7th, 2008 07:37 am (UTC)
Cool! You are multi-talented, my friend. :)
And... things will get better on the work front.

Sandpanthersandpanther on November 9th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
*grin* Thank you, for both the compliment and the encouragement! It brings a smile to my face and reminds me that this too has come to pass. *waves buh-bye as the difficulty passes*
Nikki's Cornersennetari on November 7th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
"nihongo ga jouzu desu ne"

Well, in your case it's probably more of your actual skills. However, I've read somewhere that Japanese are supposedly so grateful if a foreigner is making an effort to speak their language that they will praise if the person can string two words (perhaps an exaggeration) together in Japanese. So, in my case, I guess I'll learn not to let it go to my head.

I also learn that you (general) are not supposed to say thank you to that, whether they really mean the compliment or not. Among the denials I remember, still not sure whether I prefer "I'm not as good as you" or "I'm not good at all but I like it (speaking Japanese)".
Sandpanthersandpanther on November 9th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Ah, it's always hard to tell if the compliment is genuine or just an acknowledgment of effort. It's no exaggeration that Japanese people will say "you speak very good Japanese" to anyone who strings two Japanese words together. My mother found this when she would get complimented on speaking Japanese well any time she said "gochisou sama deshita". (One of the five or so words that she knew in Japanese.) This is why I generally don't pay any attention to someone saying "nihongo ga jouzu desu ne". I've had a couple of times when I think the compliment was meant genuinely, and wasn't just a courtesy.

And yes, one's not supposed to accept the compliment. I usually stick with just "iie, mada mada desu." Every now and then I'll get fancy and add "shiranai koto takusan ga arimasu" (There's a lot I don't know.)