Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bahasa Indonesia

Bahasa Indonesia is the national and official language in the entire country. It is the language of official communication, taught in schools and spoken on television. Bahasa means language, and Bahasa Indonesia is the lingua franca of the archipelago. With over 350 native languages currently in use throughout the country, a good lingua franca is clearly necessary.

Bahasa Indonesia is based on the high Malay language as spoken and written in the Riau Islands, as in the early 19th century. “Like Malay, Indonesian has been greatly expanded through its borrowings from languages such as “Arabic (in particular many religious terms), Sanskrit, Portuguese, Dutch, certain Chinese dialects and more recently, English (in particular many scientific and technological terms”

The more democratic Malay language was preferred by nationalistic youth above the Javanese language, despite the fact that Javanese is more sophisticated and at the time spoken by the majority population, also Javanese is feudal as it has different levels of language depending on one’s status and the status of the person spoken to.

It’s good to speak a bit of the language of a country you are visiting to, or at least understand commonly used expression or greetings. This surely will allow you to immerse with the people and culture. It also helps to speak a bit of the language when bargaining for souvenirs in the tourism areas, as a little knowledge goes a long way to getting a better price.

Advices for Interpreter-to-be

  1. Don’t take something you aren’t skill and qualified to do
  2. Open your document early and go through all of it. Remember all the information sent to you by the customer is all important.
  3. Make a list of all speaker name in order to avoid pronounce incorrectly
  4. Dress professionally and avoid bright colour
  5.  Arrive earlier and try to talk to the speakers;
  6. Keep good eye contact with the audience
  7. Pay attention to your volume and speak pace
  8. Note taking in extremely important to capture all main idea
  9. Give a friendly reminder for the speaker before the session start that you may interrupt them if they speak for too long.
  10. Be updated with all current affairs and the international news

Some Stories About Our Japanese Course 20

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing diaglouges. Also, we used textbooks (Beginner 1 uses Training Manual and other handouts vocab, grammar etc, other levels use Genki Bk 1 for the main textbook), pictures, ads, children’s books, magazines, CDs, videos, DVDs, songs etc. At the end of each class of 10 weeks, an exam was given (if the student wishes to have it as an open exam, it can be done in that way.)

As for the textbook, the current Pre-Intermediate 2, who will finish the course this week and will likely continue and take Intermediate 1, will use Unit 1 of “Japanese for Busy People, Book 2” this week as a trial. If the class feels happy to use it for in Intermediate 1, we will use that book in that course as the major textbook. The reasons of that change of the main textbook are: “Genki Book 1” is (very) slow in teaching the linguistic contents esp. for those who finished Beginners’ stages and conjugations of verbs and adjectives and who can read/write Hiragana and Katakana; it has too many paragraphs in English for explanations on grammar/language use; topics and situations of each Main Dialogue of that book are for university students rather than adults and working people (one student of that class said the same comment about that book, who taught English in Japan for some years and who is very keen student in the above class). (However, we have 3 students in that class who are lovely and diligent high school students who do not take Japanese at their daytime school!)

In my classes during the recent weeks, I talked about a film “Wolverine: Samurai” since it is highly talked about and the sales of tickets around the world are reportedly an amazing extent. The film shootings of that film were heavily in Japan. Apart from Australian media, Japanese magazines in Australia reported the details about the film. Apart from having Japanese actors and actresses in the film, the places appeared in the film included the famous Buddhist temple in Tokyo, bullet train, pachinko parlor (for a short time!). And Hugh Jackman (who must be fond of Japan and many things of its culture) played amazingly in the film. In a movie magazine, Empire (Aug. ‘13), he said Japan has the history of (maintaining and practicing) family, code and honour. (I totally agree.) Also, he said at recent “Late Show with David Letterman”, he went and bathed in onsen (hot spring) in Japan. (He also climbed Mt Fuji with his son around earlier this year.)

In the above film, a very popular and highly recognized Japanese actor, Sanada Hiroyuki plays the big role. He appeared in “The Last Samurai” played by Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe some years ago. Also, it is reported that Sanada began learning Shorinji Kempo (self-defense and training) since around the age of 11. And Sanada is a long time friend of Jackie Chan ( Sanada will play in the coming new film, “47 Ronin” (Hollywood film). This trend is the new phenomenon going in the recent years, which we never saw to this extent from Japan/its people in the past, Japanese actors and actresses are taking important/active roles bravely and creatively in Hollywood movies. That seems very interesting and hopefully good for Japan and its relationships with the international community.


Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson


Kakao Talk_ No.1 National messenger in Korea

What kind of smart phone messenger do you use?

You might have experienced that many of your Korean friends do not use What’s app and normally they don’t even have its account. Do you know why?

Many Korean people from primary school kids to elderly people use an app called ‘Kakaotalk’ instead of what’s app. Kakaotalk is a free smartphone messenger (similar to What’s app) which enables users to make group/individual calls, group chats in the common/ individual chat rooms.

When the free messenger has newly developed and released in ios/android markets, only Korean people used it. The company ‘kakao’ CEO and developers had been through huge pressures from the tele-communications companies who were upset by the fact that users did not use their texts and calls anymore because of Kakao’s free texts and call features. Furthermore, Kakao company nearly bankrupted due to the massive loans. But they did not change it to paid app which resulted in them surviving and achieving huge success to gather 90 million users worldwide now.

Kakaotalk is one of the most powerful messenger apps now and the company makes a lot of profit by kakaotalk-based games (such as anipang and cookie run)’ success and marketing campaigns liaised with major telecommunication companies in Korea.

If you are looking for something cute and convenient smartphone messengers, try Kakaotalk. Its’ creative, cute and funny animated emoticons and custom themes, smart features in multimedia sharing will make you a big fan of the app in no time.

By the way, I do not work for Kakao. I am just one of the Kakao power users. 🙂


Ashley (Korean teacher)

How to talk about symptoms in Korean when you are sick.



Imagine you are sick during your precious Christmas holidays or business trips in Korea. You may need to visit emergency rooms in the middle of night. It is important to know some essential Korean expressions in relation to sickness.

The most common expression for this is “아프다 (a peu da)” which means ‘sick’. In the present tense sentences, it changes as “아파요 (a pa yo)” together with subject (i.e. body parts)+이 / 가. For example, “머리가 아파요 (meo ri ga a pa yo)” means ‘I have a headache’. If you want to say ‘I have a stomachache’, it would be “배가 아파요 bae ga apa yo”.

If you want to say more detailed symptoms, follow expressions can be used.

I have a cough. _ “저는 기침을 해요. Jeo neun gichimeul haeyo”

I have a runny nose. _ “**콧물이 나와요.konmuri nawayo”

(**Please note that when the final consonant of a syllable is /ㅅ/ and the following syllable begins with /ㅁ/, /ㅅ/ is pronounced as /ㄴ/, therefore when you pronounce ‘콧물’, the sound is /kon mul/ instead of /kot mul/. This is the majour phonetic assimilation/ nasalization rule is Korean.)

I have a fever. _ “열이 나요.yeori nayo”

I have a period pain. _ “생리통이 있어요.saengritongi isseoyo”

Now you know how to talk about your symptoms in Korean. Don’t be nervous even though they don’t understand your English. You can talk in Korean!!


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August 2013
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