Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Discount, discount, discount!

割(wari) means "discount".

学割(gakuwari) "student discount" is common but it seems offering an original discount ○○割 is quite popular recently.

I went out to look for posters of a number of different discount and took pictures!

学割(gakuwari) student discount is a standard discount for mobile companies now.

 乗り換え割(norikae wari) "transfer discount" is another popular discount.
"If you will switch to our company from another company, we will give you a discount."


平日割(heijitsu wari) "weekdays discount" if for people who use their service on weekdays not weekends.

パック割(pakku wari) "package discount" is for people who buy more than two of their items.

まとめ割(matome wari) "putting together discount" is same as パック割(pakku wari).

学生家族いっしょ割(gakusei kazoku issho wari) "student and family together discount" by Docomo and 家族の学割(kazoku no gakuwari) "family's student discount" by Softbank is that not only students, but also the students' family will get a discount.

Finally, this is みんな割(minna wari) "everyone discount" (!)
If you buy an item with someone else like your family, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend, you will get a discount.

What kind of discount have you gotten?
I think there are more different types of discount. If you find any, let me know please!

Monday, April 07, 2014


I took TOEIC last month and got the result for it today.
My score this time was 910 (Listening 440 Reading 470) and this is the best score of mine. Yay!

I don't think TOEIC is a perfect test for checking one's English skills.
They don't have open questions, most of the topics are about business, new style reading section (answering questions reading two documents) is too complicated etc...
How about TOEFL or 英検(eiken) ?
They are not perfect tests either I think.

I sometimes hear the opinion that having a good score for TOEIC (or other tests) doesn't mean anything. Well, I agree that the score doesn't prove one's English level exactly.

For me, the most important point of taking a test is that I'm motivated to study English by taking it.

When I started teaching Japanese as a freelance teacher 12years ago (12years ago!!) my English level was much lower than now and I had a hard time communicating with my students.
I couldn't understand English e-mails from my students, it took forever to reply them.
I didn't have any native English speaker friends and there wasn't any convenient dictionary App at that time.
I still remember I was feeling it seemed I couldn't communicate with my clients at all forever and used to cry often in front of my computer. (!)

Since then I've studied English but I hardly ever feel my English skills have improved.
I always feel "I can understand some English but I'm not a bilingual at all"
I guess most of intermediate - advanced learners (except for super advanced learners maybe) feel the same.

Keeping motivated to study a language without feeling an improvement is very hard.

Now I take TOEIC about once a year and I feel very good when I know my score gets better.

What do you think about taking a language test?
How do you motivate yourself to keep studying a language?

Have you ever tried the JLPT Japanese language proficiency test? This test is not a perfect test either but still I think this is a good examination for checking your Japanese skills.

There are 5 levels for JLPT from N1 to N5 and each level has reading part and listening part.
All of them are multiple-choice questions.

The next JLPT will be held on July 6th and the application period for it will be until April 30th.
See their official website for details.

JLPT is held only twice a year. Don't miss this chance!