"Plenty of online content and support"

Franco Butera (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Franco has been studying Japanese for around one year in the Japanese Language Education Centre at the National University of La Plata. According to Franco, he chose Japanese because he thought if he was going to study a foreign language, he would like to try something new, but says he is now enjoying studying Japanese with a keen interest.

-What is your impression of using Marugoto to study Japanese?

Marugoto beginner level is very useful for learners who want to acquire basic conversational ability in Japanese as quickly as possible. I think one strong point of this textbook is the focus on everyday conversation, and thanks to this vocabulary study is fun, and the book is a stimulating experience.

-What do you like about Marugoto?

One big merit is that anyone who wants to study Japanese can use it through a variety of online content and support. A wide range of materials useful for learning Japanese are avalable, from materials that supplement the textbook to smartphone apps.
In the first year I started studying Japanese my teacher recommended entering a speech contest held at the Argentinian Japanese Language Culture Centre. I was able to do really well thanks to studying the Marugoto course that focuses on coversation. I think it was very useful for learning natural pronunciation.
My second story isn’t a formal thing but is very important for me. A Japanese family living near my home found out that I was studying Japanese and invited me to their home. We were able to have a satisfactory conversation thanks to my experience through Marugoto introducing myself and having conversations about my interests and work.

-What are your favourite Japanese words? Why do you like them?

I think the most appealing words are those that cannot be translated directly into Spanish that reflect the unique way of thinking of Japanese people. For example, words like komorebi (sunlight filtering through the trees), and irusu (pretending not to be at home). I also like words that are often used in daily life, but are difficult to translate into other languages, like shoganai (it cannot be helped) and onegaishimasu (please). However, the word I like the best is the one that describes me really well: tsundoku (buying books and just piling them up without reading). This is because I love books and often buy them even though I haven’t got time to read them.

-What would you like to do using Japanese in the future?

I major in philosophy, so as one of my goals of Japanese study, I’d like to try studying Eastern philosophy. It’s a very interesting subject, not just for me, but for other students as well. However, unfortunately the number of books on this subject in Spanish is limited and no lecturers specialise in it, so it’s not on the university curriculum.