Hong is greatly impressed by the fact that the Tale of Genji, which is considered to be the world's first modern novel and psychological novel, was written by a lady-in-waiting named Murasaki Shikibu in the early years of the 11th century. That is why she was motivated to start teaching herself Japanese. Furthermore she loves Japanese animations not only because of the alluring colours and designs but also the imaginative stories showing dark and bright sides of human beings. Interesting enough Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of manga, was actually a Medical Doctor, which did come as a surprise. 

Not to mention Katsushika Hokusai, a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. Without him, there might have been no Impressionism – and the global art world we today take for granted might look very different indeed. So does Hong like Karate and Samurai Culture.

You might have learned or want to learn Japanese for similar reasons, or purely look forward to attending 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the ability to communicate with local people and better enjoy your stay in Japan. 

Hong considers that Japanese pronunciation is easier than Korean and Chinese, but its writing system is far more complex. It consists of two scripts called Hiragana and Katakana, which are two versions of the same set of sounds in the language. Hiragana and Katakana consist of a little less than 50 “letters”, which are actually simplified Chinese characters adopted to form a phonetic script. Additionally Chinese characters, called Kanji in Japanese, are also heavily used in the Japanese writing. Most of the words in the Japanese written language are written in Kanji (nouns, verbs, adjectives). The most interesting aspect is that some Japanese Kanji(s) look exactly the same as Chinese characters, but their pronunciations and meanings are completely different . So even for a Chinese speaker, it is like learning a completely new foreign language.

In Hong's view the biggest challenging to learn Japanese is to better understand how its grammar works. Among the three South East Asian languages, she considers Japanese grammar is the most complex as it includes a large amount of variations. The ALCL provides you with astonishing shortcuts to learn and master those variations in a shorter period of time, thus to enable you to learn more efficiently and effectively. 

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