Friday, May 07, 2010

Umiversity of Goroka staff broaden linguistic knowledge by learning Japanese

In a positive step and continuing effort for the preservation of language and culture at the University of Goroka, a class of 21 staff members participated in the first Japanese language class held on Saturday, May 1, 2010 (pictured).

The class was conducted by Mr Hidemitsu Nakata, a JICA volunteer attached to the Language and Literature department, to teach staff members conversational Japanese until the end of first semester in July of this year.

The offering of Japanese language is part of the Language and Literature department’s recognition and support for the United Nation’s International Year of the Rapprochement of Cultures.

UNESCO has stated that languages “are the best vehicles of mutual understanding and tolerance. Respect for all cultures is a key factor for ensuring peaceful coexistence, without exclusion, of societies and all of their members”.

To recognise and celebrate the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures the Language and Literature department will also host two language seminars and two workshops on campus featuring experienced linguist and international translations expert Dr Ellis Deibler, who previously assisted UOG to compile and launch the Alekano language dictionary.

The seminars will be held on campus in the main quadrangle at 4.30pm on May 13 and 27 2010 respectively. Details of the workshops will be available at a later date.

Head of the Language and Literature department Ms Anne-Marie Wanamp said the idea of teaching Japanese to staff came about as “any dialogue requires basic knowledge about the ‘other’' including his or her history, language, heritage and religion, and we would like at least acknowledge that and promote this intercultural dialogue through the teaching of Japanese, French and Alekano”.

The Language and Literature department will also teach French and Alekano languages for beginners later in the year.

For further information on the seminars or to register your participation, please contact Mr Philip Tama on telephone: 5311 893 or email or Mr Lawrence K Gerry on telephone: 5311 747 or email

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