Study Night 127

naokiHello, everyone. This is Naoki. It was good to see you again!! Before the Benkyokai started, JP Canada had a “Chirashi-Zushi(ちらし寿司)” party. Chirashi-Zushi is a type of sushi which some fish or seashell are scattered beautifully on vinegar rice. Aside from fish or shellfish, we also use thin strips of egg, dried seaweed, salmon roe and so on. But the ingredients of Chirashi-zushi are different depending on the region.

We had plenty of Chirashi-Zushi at Benkyokai. It was delicious!!!

For people who are visiting our website for the first time, let me explain what Benkyokai is. Benkyokai is a language exchange event to connect those who would like to learn Japanese with those would like to learn English through conversation and activities. For the first 15 minutes, you can have free conversation. And for the next one hour, we have an activity to help you study more. We try to do different activities each time to learn Japanese and English in different ways. There are native speakers of both Japanese and English. Actually, the first time I joined Benkyokai as an attendee was the 33rd Benkyokai in April 2016. Since then, I have tried to participate in Benkyokai as many times as I can. You know why? Because it is one of the best places not only to exchange language but also to know other cultures, lifestyles and more!!

Benkyokai is held at JP Canada’s office (890 West Pender) from 5:45pm to 7:00pm. Please bring your own food or drinks if you would like.

This time, compliments (褒める) were the activity of choice. Are you good at complimenting? In Japan, we don’t usually compliment in conversation whereas often Canadians do. We (Japanese people) are not good at it. But it is very important to compliment during a conversation in order to make it smooth, positive and happy, right?

In the first part, we shared useful ideas, phrases, vocabularies and expressions in both English and Japanese about how to make a compliment. Here are some examples that we shared.

– I like your red sweater. (I like ~ is the simplest way to make a compliment with belongings such as clothes, accessories.)

– The hat suits you!! その帽子とってもよく似合ってるね。

– You are really good at cooking. 料理ががとても上手ですね。(“You are really good at ~” is a useful phrase.)

– You are fashionable. おしゃれですね。

– Your writing is neat. 字が綺麗ですね。

– That’s so sick!! means That’s so cool. like “やばい” in Japanese. (やばい is a slang meaning good depending on context.)

Take a look at the rest of things we shared. If you scroll down and look at the scans of the sheets we used, you will find their ideas!

In the second part, we had a pair activity using the things we shared in the first part. During the two minute conversations, we practiced complimenting at least three things of each other in English and Japanese.

And then, we changed partners and kept going.

At last, we had to regret to inform everyone that it was the last time for Nanami to join Benkyokai. She is going to return to Japan after the trip. She has volunteered for Benkyokai for a long time. She burst into tears and we miss her already. But also we had good news that we welcomed new volunteers. In Japan, we say “春は出会いと別れの季節.” that means Spring is a time to meet new people and farewell because most of us start new life in April.

We wish Nanami all the best!!!

Here are the activity sheets that we did:

After Benkyokai we went across the street to say goodbye to Nanami at a pub. About 20 of us went and had a great time. Nanami, of course, continued to cry and we all love that part about her. See you again Nanami!


I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any request or things you would like to learn about the language and the culture, please talk to us during one of our Benkyoukai sessions! We suggest you register as soon as possible! We are looking forward to seeing you all next time 🙂 See you then!


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