Marie-san is a medical student who lives in Düsseldorf, Germany. She can speak Italian, French, German, and English. Her mother is Italian and her father is French.
～When did you start studying Japanese?～
When I was 17. I studied for a year at college, and again later, after taking a break. I have studied for 2 and a half years in total.
～What made you decide to study Japanese?～
I have been around my father’s Japanese co-workers since I was a child. Also, because my friends were listening J-Pop and J-Rock (for example Gackt, Miyavi, Tacky & Tsubasa) and watching Anime (like Sailor Moon, Conan, One Piece), I felt that it would be good if I could learn to speak Japanese.
～There's such a big difference between Japanese and Western languages. Did that make it hard to study Japanese?～
It didn't feel too different from studying other languages, so I didn't really find it difficult.
～What made you decide to study at GenkiJACS?～
I applied via an agency. They had schools in Tokyo and Kobe, but recommended Fukuoka because it's located on the Southern island, and it would be pleasant Spring weather when I came over. So that's why I chose Fukuoka. I could only study at GenkiJACS over my Spring break at University.
～How was your study?～
Sometimes I felt that the lessons moved a bit too slowly, and other times that the pace was a bit too fast. However, because we we were able to talk about so many different themes in Japanese in the lessons, we were able to naturally pick up a lot of new vocabulary.
～How is study of Kanji?～
I love kanji. They can be difficult to memorize, but once you know them, reading things in Japanese becomes a lot easier. I especially like the kanji 「秋」 (autumn) and 「桜」 (sakura).
The 「秋」 kanji contains the radical 「火」 (fire), which makes you imagine hues of orange.
「桜」 contains the radical 「木」 (tree), next to which a woman 「女」 stands under the falling petals.
「楽」 (enjoyable, comfortable) inspires the image of a person dancing.
It's really interesting once you become able to recognize all the different parts that make up kanji.
～Are there any restaurants or hot springs you recommend in Fukuoka, or places that you really enjoyed going to?～
I went to Tenpaizan, the hot springs at Bayside Place, and Sumiyoshi shrine, and climbed Homanzan. I ate at yatai
, had sushi, udon, hot pots and yakitori. Everything was very delicious.
～Please share your favorite memories at GenkiJACS～
The school went on a day trip to the beautiful little town of Akizuki, which was great. I also got to meet so many Japanese people at the English school run alongside GenkiJACS, and through their volunteer program. It was nice to be able to exchange language with them.