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Jinrikisha - How We Learnt Japanese

European Award for Languages 2008 winner logo

Hello and welcome to ‘Jinrikisha - How We Learnt Japanese’, a series of six audio recordings which talk, in an optimistic and positive way, about the joys and frustrations of SOAS Language Centre students learning Japanese. We asked some of our students what they found easy or difficult about learning the language. Just keep listening and you’ll be compensated with some wonderful and original learning tips.

Each recording is about 15 minutes long, and there are 6 recordings. These were first made available as podcasts in June-July 2007.

Now that the podcasting of the six parts has finished, for each of the audio files you can receive them as

Downloads - right click then save / save target

Part 1 : Angelica and Mouss

Angelica and Mouss

In this first part, we welcome Angelica and Mouss, who have completed the Diploma in Modern Japanese at SOAS Language Centre. Download MP3

Part 2 : Caroline 

Mount Fuji

In this second part we welcome Caroline, a student on a Japanese evening course at SOAS Language Centre. Download MP3

Part 3 : Anne, Mike, and David

Anne, David, and Mike, lower intermediate learners of Japanese at SOAS Language Centre


In this third part we welcome Anne, David, and Mike, lower intermediate learners of Japanese at SOAS Language Centre. Download MP3

Part 4 : Naomi

Naomi, an intermediate level student at SOAS Language Centre

In this fourth part we welcome Naomi, an intermediate level student at SOAS Language Centre. Download MP3

Part 5: Derwin and Matt 

Derwin and Matt, who studied the Diploma in Modern Japanese at SOAS Language Centre

In this fifth part we welcome Derwin and Matt, who were completing the Diploma in Modern Japanese at SOAS Language Centre at the time of the recordings. Download MP3

Part 6 : Fenella

Fenella, an intermediate learner of Japanese at SOAS Language Centre

In this sixth part we welcome Fenella, an intermediate learner of Japanese at SOAS Language Centre. Download MP3

European Award for Languages 2008

The Jinrikisha project won the European Award for Languages (Routledge Adult Education Language prize) organised by CILT - the UK National Centre for Languages.

How are you learning Japanese? 

What do you most enjoy about learning the language? What do you find challenging, and what have you found most helpful? 

This project was developed and coordinated by Michalis Sivvas, formerly CETL LWW Curriculum Specialist and Learning Advisor at SOAS.  The project was funded by CETL LWW.

Other people involved in this project are Rob Kennedy - Resources Manager at SOAS Language Centre, Fotis Beglis - formerly CETL Multimedia Developer, Richard Jellinek - formerly Technical Assistant at SOAS Language Centre and Martie Jelinek - teacher of Japanese translation at SOAS Language Centre.

Musical introducton: Koto zither & Voice: Keiko Kitamura
Shamisen lute & Voice: Shino Arisawa
Shakuhachi flute & Shinobue flute: Clive Bell
With thanks to Keith Howard, Head of the Department of Music at SOAS