22430 ne 39th way
Redmond, wa 98053

phone:  425-891-2129 (Voice mail)

Fax:     1-612-241-9652

 

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FAQs (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

about Language Instruction

Will I learn to read and write Japanese as well as speak?

     Our classes are designed to teach you how to speak, formally and conversationally as well as to learn how to write in the three "alphabets" of hiragana, katakana, and Kanji

I've heard that Japanese is very difficult to learn.

     Among the various languages such as Spanish, French, and German, the Japanese Language has been rated the most difficult to learn for native English speaker.

How are group lessons different than private lessons?

     Private lessons are often used as tutor sessions for those who already are familiar with the language and want to brush-up or refresh their skills at their own pace.  Also private lessons are individualized following the clients' demand so requires the different textbook.  They are also a common way to learn for the business clients who can take time of their day.  For private lessons, we will make up the lesson with a notice of the cancellation 24 hours in advance, however we will not make up/reschedule for group lessons/special offered programs

How are private lessons different than semi-private lessons?

     They are virtually the same and are used when several friends or family members want to learn together in a more private manner. 

What age is reasonable to start Japanese lessons in general?

     You can learn at any age, however the younger you are when you start, the better.  There are many people who began learning Japanese for the first time at college and became fluent in Japanese later.  Actually some of my students have more knowledge and much better language skill than average native Japanese.  The only problem they have is pronunciation.  They speak, write and read fluently but can't pronounce certain words correctly like a native Japanese.  I can't fix their problem because it's too late.  Young people will not have this kind of problem. However, if it's necessary for the instructor to spend more time for discipline than teaching, it's too early.  We recommend the private lesson for the children younger than 10 years old in general.  However, minimum age requirement for students of JLC is 15 years old, and no exceptions.

How is "Teens Japanese Course" different than "Japanese Courses"?

     To begin with, the textbook is different.  We use "JAPANESE FOR BUSY PEOPLE" for Japanese 101-303 and "JAPANESE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE" for Teens Japanese 101-303.  In the both courses, students learn the same grammar and sentence structure but the topics and vocabularies are different.  Teens Japanese Courses focus on the daily life of average teenagers. However, minimum age requirement for students of JLC is 15 years old, and no exceptions.

Is it okay for teenagers to take "Japanese 101-304" instead of "Teens Japanese"?

     Yes, teenagers are welcome though the textbook for Japanese 101-303, "JAPANESE FOR BUSY PEOPLE"  is essentially designed for adults.  The instructor adds the realistic topics and vocabularies for young people and actually several teenagers have taken these courses and did great job.  However, minimum age requirement for students of JLC is 15 years old, and no exceptions.

Can I drop off my child?

     Yes, please drop off or pick up your child at the appropriate time.  If your lesson is from 5:00PM to 6:50PM, we open the door for the students to come in at 4:50PM and close the door 10 minutes after the end of class.  Otherwise we deal with any waiting time the same as a private lesson and charge $45 per every 55 minutes.

Can I stay there after/before class?

     We are sorry but we do not wish to have students use the premises for self-study purposes.  We open the door for the students to come in 10 minutes before the class and close the door 10 minutes after the end of class.  If you have a gap between lessons, you have to spend the gap somewhere else and come again.  

Can I observe a class before registration?

     Yes, if you would like to observe a class, you must make an appointment for that, but please note that observation is limited to 15 minutes.  Otherwise we deal with any observation/participation the same as a private lesson and charge $45 per every 55 minutes.

Could you describe the typical group lesson?

     For the group lessons, the textbook is "Japanese for busy People" or "Japanese for Young People" our goal is to complete  one chapter in a lesson. The typical process of beginners' lesson (110 minutes) is as follows:

1. Greetings

2. Question and Answer where I ask a question and you answer (Something timely, everyday life)

3. Review of the previous lesson

4. The key point of the day

5. Dialogue

6. Role-play and simulation

7. Culture (I introduce one item)

8. Kanji

9. Exercise

I don't spend class time with verbal repeating practice where we review pronunciation over and over again,  or alphabet writing practice. The first priority of language skill (beginners' level) is to express your opinion/feeling 100% somehow even with broken Japanese. That means, small mistakes of grammar are OK if native Japanese can understand your message.

How do I enroll?

     For the first-time student there are two ways to enroll.  (1) You can print out a hard copy of our enrollment form and send it with a check for the amount of the selected class so that we have it no later than 3 days prior to the first group class.  (2) You can enroll online at this website and pay using a secure connection with PayPal, again no later than 3 days prior to the first group class.

I've never used PayPal, is it safe or difficult?

     PayPal is the leading fiduciary intermediary (money middle-man) for internet payments in the world.  The connection is secure, using SSL / HTTPS which means it's encrypted so the information won't be stolen in transit.  You use a credit card, which PayPal is obligated to protect.  The Japanese Language Center will never see your credit card number.  It is easy to setup at the time of payment.

School campus?

     No.  Please note that it's the residence area. So there are not any shops or stores in the immediate area.  

about Translation Services

Japanese is the language of ambiguity. Is it possible for a Japanese document to be translated so that it sounds like natural English?

     Yes. While Japanese can be written with amazing levels of ambiguity, that isn't the intention of technical documents. Ambiguities can best be avoided if the translator understands what the author was trying to say. Japanese can be translated into into normal sounding English, but it requires extensive rearrangement of the text.

How can you tell a good translation?

     A translation shouldn't sound like it was translated from another language. When I am translating, I ask myself how the original writer would have expressed his ideas if he had been reared and educated in an English/Japanese-speaking country.

Why do Japanese translations generally sound so vague and odd?

     Many Japanese documents are translated by Japanese native translators. They don't have the skill to write well in English and cannot select the most appropriate terms or use English grammar to convey subtleties. That's why our translation is done by Japanese native translator and English native translator together.

What's happen if you  recognize that a section of a document is irrelevant to a customer's needs?

     We will ask if the section should be translated. Translations can often be improved if the client and translator can communicate directly with each other. Many translation agencies usually don't let clients have direct contact with the translators. They are afraid that the translator will steal their customer.

Some agencies guarantee that the translation will be checked by a second party. Isn't that a good idea?

     In theory, yes. However, many of the checkers at agencies are not competent to perform this task.  Translators who have to please these checkers are highly constrained in how they can express the original ideas, and the resulting translations often sound awkward.

How do you estimate how much a translation will cost?

     We use computer to count the number of English words/Japanese characters. Then multiply by the rate (from $0.15 for English into Japanese, and from $0.07 for Japanese  into English).  One Japanese character  is approximately equivalent to one half of an English word. The texts with many dense character phrases will have more.

Will you treat the materials I send you with confidentiality?

     Your materials will be kept absolutely confidential.

What are the credentials of the translators?

     All of our translators are university graduates, many with advanced degrees.  Our translators are also language instructors who are experts in Japanese and English.  All translations are reviewed by a peer before return to a client.  Please visit our "Instructor" page.   We have several subcontractors as well.  If you need a certain kind of credential, we will arrange the translator for your order.

Why pay for a translator when I can get a machine translation for free?

     Machine translations of typical Japanese documents rarely make much sense.

I've never used PayPal, is it safe or difficult?

     PayPal is the leading fiduciary intermediary (money middle-man) for internet payments in the world.  The connection is secure, using SSL / HTTPS which means it's encrypted so the information won't be stolen in transit.  You use a credit card, which PayPal is obligated to protect.  The Japanese Language Center will never see your credit card number.  It is easy to setup at the time of payment.