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Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Kobe friendship center to help local Brazilians learn Japanese

Staff writer

KOBE — Kobe Foreigners Friendship Center, a nonprofit organization assisting foreign residents, has compiled textbooks and CDs for Brazilians wanting to learn conversational Japanese.

Naomi Motomura

The texts and CDs are designed so users can learn on their own, as many Brazilians working in Japan do not have an opportunity to regularly attend language classes, according to Naomi Motomura, who works as a coordinator of KFFC's Japanese-language program.

"Those who know no Japanese can learn the language by themselves by following the practice lessons in the texts or CDs," said Motomura, who has been teaching Japanese to foreigners for nearly 10 years.

The text comes in two volumes. Explanations of illustrative sentences and grammar are written in Portuguese, in addition to the hiragana and katakana syllabaries.

"Completion of all lessons would enable (the student) to understand Japanese in everyday life," she said.

The CDs provide explanations in Portuguese, with the assistance of a Brazilian student studying Japanese at Osaka University's graduate school.

The CDs are made available for airplay by FM radio stations in various communities across the country, Motomura said.

As of the end of 1999, about 224,000 Brazilians were living in Japan, according to government statistics.

Brazilians account for more than 40 percent of all foreign residents in such areas as Shizuoka, Nagano and Gunma prefectures.

Kobe had 785 registered Brazilians as of March.

The text costs 2,500 yen, and the CD is 3,000 yen. Brazilians residing in Japan can purchase them at a 50 percent discount.

For information, call (078) 612-2402.

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