Sunday, May 28, 2006

A job interview

Hi viewers,
Here's a scenario of what I'm supposed to take as a job interview.

I (Interviewer): So could you briefly describe your job careers after graduating school?

T(Take393) : I was joining a trading company for 10 years, where I was doing sales for 6 years. I was a person in charge of electronic appliances such as phone, fax, or computer, at the same time I was responsible for making business documents such as estimate or proposal.
Then I was transferred to merchandise department, where I engaged in ordering some commodities from the manufacturing companies, and I was responsible for managing some of its stocks as well.

I: What made you leave that company?

T: My then boss suddenly asked me to go to Sapporo branch for awhile, however it seemed nearly impossible to accept the offer for family reason.
I had to turn it down and ended up with leaving the office.

I: Then you joined the Airport Limousine service at Tokyo International Airport, so what were you doing there?

T: I was doing all kinds of stuff, like making departing announcement to each passenger for boarding, taking care of their baggage, often taking them to the vending machine or the counter for purchasing tickets.

I: So why did you quit it?

T: One thing is… you know it was really tough physically and mentally in terms of working over night, I mean 24 hours of working. As the bus terminal was just right down the airport, I was pretty hectic all the while even I had to sacrifice my holidays at times for my job. Of course our service is opening throughout the year, as long as the air flight has not been cancelled.
The other thing is, well I really wanted to brush up more on my English as to jump into another pond. I was also seeking daytime jobs to make up for studying on weekends.

I: I see. So you are currently working…um…what would you say…MTK Co Ltd, and you are about to leave that firm as well?


I: So what have you been doing out there?

T:I’ve been working as a debt collector for about 3 years. At the time when I was joining the firm in 2003, there were quite a few of foreign customers, and we had a claim with their debts concerning the payment for their cell phones. My main job is to persuade those customers to pay their debts immediately. I was fortunate to know my English was useful in a certain way, because a lot of foreigners were having troubles with conducting Japanese.
But later on, after our Sapporo branch launching the next year, our obligation was taken over to it, so right after that I could seldom conduct English on the daily basis, and that was a real shame to me as well.
Also a year passed by, one group company where I was primarily belonging to as a temporary staff dissolved, and then I was reemployed from MTK Co. Ltd as a part timer, where I am currently working for a year or so.
But the company doesn’t seem to go well, because it is likely to downsize its scale by firing a few workers. It seems really hard to stick up for it any further. That probably explains it.

I: Thank you Mr. Take393. As you know…I’m very sorry to say in the first place, but I can’t offer you a teaching job at the moment.
So I wonder if you could count this in as well, right after you had heard the detailed explanation about a new kind of things.

T: Well…as long as I heard about a new job, I can honestly say that I’m so much intrigued with it. Actually I was originally seeking a job as a teacher, but I found that intercultural communication is always necessary whatever you start up new things, and your company is currently pursuing being a cutting edge of intercultural communication, and it’s a skill of what we need on the bottom line, I think.

I: So what is your goal for the future?

T: My dream is eventually you know…immersing myself in an environment where English is only available, where I can mingle with the local people and I can show them my language and culture, after familiarizing with my teaching skill here in Japan.

I: Well, Take393, thank you very much for coming here today, and I wish you a good luck.

T: I thank you very much for having me here.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

How you could get the hang of pronunciation?

This is translated version being originally written in Japanese.

Hi viewers,
Today, I’d like to refer to the English pronunciation.

It is one of the main problems that the bulk of Japanese are having troubles with, isn’t it?
Have you had any experiences with your bad pronunciation made foreigners feel awkward, whereas you had learned a lot of English words?
People around me are apt to think the way I pronounce English words is like those of native’s, since I was luckily enough to stay in the U.S.
In fact, it might be much closer to them―as long as comparing with other Japanese―still I can hardly say it is impeccable enough to conduct. Yet from the past to the present, there is a main reason why I focus too much on that.
Although it may sounds weird to you guys, the reason is very simple.

Before that, please allow me to go off on a tangent for awhile.
At the time when I was staying New York, so called Young Culture represented the movie, Grease, Disco Music―now that what we called The Club Music―, The Beatles who had already broken up was renowned throughout a whole world, or The Rolling Stones, who is well known as the biggest group still on active list supported by the widely ranged audiences.
It was the time when the computer games were still not put on the block. Juveniles were flocking to the record stores, where they could kick up their heels respectively.
I was not exempted. I would purchase the bunch of The Beatle’s LP, even single records, often listened to them, as well as the succeeding group The Wings, until my record player had been seriously damaged. Although I was listening to them millions of times, trying to copy the way they were singing, at the same time I was looking at each lyrics, somehow I found that I wasn’t able to adjust to the original. I was always behind their rhythms at least one tempo. For me as a perfectionist, it came to me as a shock when I wasn’t able to sing smoothly.

After I came back to Japan, I primarily listened to English songs. In the early 1980s, The American Pop Music featured the leading figure’s songs, like those from Lionel Ritchie’s, Billy Joel’s, and Stevie Wonder’s.
They were available at the countdown programs on TV’s or Radio’s and I often imitated their way of singing as well whenever I dubbed the tapes from the borrowed albums.

There comes a time when I can sing English songs naturally. I assume that it took me much length of times which is almost equivalent to those the newly born is becoming grownups.

You can acquire pronunciation by singing songs as well as you can portray your emotion in your comprehension of those lyrics by building up your own vocabularies.
As it is my way of learning English, there might be controversial, whether my proposal could be for it, or against it.
Conducting the authentic English always requires the accurate phone, thereby you can say in a way, it was not in vain to me at all, even though how much times I had spent in practicing the pronunciation.