"I’m learning the Japanese that people actually use through Marugoto"

Nathan May (New York, USA)

Working as a professional business writer, Nathan studies Marugoto Elementary 1 (A2) on a JF Language Course in New York. He has a Japanese wife and he tells us that she is happy with his learning Japanese with Marugoto as his Japanese proficiency and motivation have improved markedly.

-What do you think are the advantages of Marugoto?

I like the emphasis on speaking naturally in Japanese, and learning very early to start doing that instead of memorizing fixed phrases as they do in many other classes. Also, thanks to the emphasis on the Can-do Statements, you are able to start learning the language quickly in a real life context. The topic-based approach seems real to me as opposed to a very formalistic approach.
My wife tells me what we are learning is what people actually use as opposed to learning rather long formal phrases that are technically correct but not really the way people talk every day.

-Please let us know if you have any stories that demonstrate the results of your study with Marugoto.

The other day, when I was in a diner in my neighborhood, I helped a group of three elderly Japanese tourists order food and this led to a nice conversation. We conducted it almost 80% in Japanese. That was on very simple things, but we spoke almost for 10 minutes. I’d just learned the terms for "departure" and "arrival" from the topic on business trips in Marugoto so I asked them what time their plane was departing, when they were going back to Japan and we exchanged all this information in Japanese, which was great. Everything I used was directly related to Marugoto. That was probably my most natural, completely unplanned Japanese conversation.

-Please let us know what you would like to do in the future using Japanese, if you have such a plan.

I travel to Japan regularly so I want to continue to communicate more in Japanese with my wife, my in-laws and brother-in-law, and feel more comfortable in Japan interacting with people on my own in Japanese.
The more Japanese I learn, the better able I will be to enjoy the culture. I like Japanese people and so learning Japanese helps me get to know them on a more personal level. Also, I know it’s a long path – because of the many Kanji I’ll need to learn – but I really want to improve my ability to read Japanese as well.