Sunday 30 September 2012
Last Update 30 September 2012 5:00 am
RIYADH: There is a growing interest among Saudi youths to learn Japanese language, according to Japanese Ambassador Shigeru Endo.
Endo made the observations as he distributed awards at the conclusion of the Fifth Japanese Language Speech Contest held at the King Fahad Cultural Center in Riyadh on Thursday.
The envoy said the interest was evident by the large number of inquiries the mission receives eachday about where people can learn the language.
“We appreciate this interest in Japan and her language, we will do our best to cooperate with such people,” he said.
He added: “We are cooperating with Princess Nora University to open Japanese Language Section in College of Languages and Translation. Also, we had successful result with Prince Sultan University where we had short term intensive course this year.”
The embassy is determined to sustain educational institutions in Saudi Arabia to launch Japanese language courses, he said.
There is a Japanese language section in the College of Languages and Translation at the King Saud University, which is the only institution in the Gulf region where they offer Japanese language as a subject for major.
Many of graduates from the King Saud University went to study in Japan and some work in the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Japan or had obtained a certificate as Japanese Language guide from Saudi Tourism and Antiquities Commission, (SCTA), Endo said.
He described the fifth edition of the speech contest in Saudi Arabia as special.
“I believe this edition will be one of the most memorable ones, since it is the first time that we have female participants in the speech contest,” he said.
The ambassador gave away awards to four Saudi youths, who emerged winners at the conclusion of the Fifth Japanese Language Speech Contest.
Thirteen participants from all over the Kingdom made their speeches in Japanese language. The theme of the speech was either “Japan and I” or “My family.”
The participants discussed with audience members about why they became to be interested in Japan, their experiences during their study in Japan, and memories spent together with their grandparents during their childhood.
The contests were conducted at two levels: Standard Advanced. The first prize winner of the Standard Level was Meshal Alhajri. The second prize winner was Yazeed Albaloush. At the Advanced Level, Tariq Hakami won the first prize and Noor Aljijakli was awarded the second prize.
Hakami said he learned Japanese language at the King Saud University.
Osamu Sato, who arrived in the Kingdom few weeks ago to teach Japanese language at King Saud University, participated in the contest as observer. Sato described Japanese language as an easy language to learn.
“People think that it is extremely difficult language. But there are easy aspects such as pronunciation. I guess Saudi people will enjoy learning it,” Sato said. He said he hoped that many students will join the Japanese section at the King Saud University.
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