Belarusian language textbook for Japanese published

Belarusian language textbook for Japanese published

A textbook on the Belarusian language has been published in Japan. It  was authored by Associate Professor Faculty of Philology of the BSU and a Tsukuba University graduate student, who four years ago studied Belarusian in Minsk.

Anastasia Benedisyuk, CTV:
Here it is, with Belarusian ornaments and a colorful title. It reads concisely and clearly: "Try it!" A 70-page-long book is the first joint project of the Belarusian-Japanese scientific tandem. Also, it is the first ever textbook for the study of the Belarusian language for Japanese in Japan.

The tandem of authors formed in 2012, when Mrs Kiyosawa came to study Belarusian at the BSU Philology Faculty. Associate professor Tatyana Ramza had been her teacher for several years.

In 2015, once student, Mrs Kiyosawa became a Belarusian language teacher in her university in Japan. She could test the material. Overall, it took about 1.5 years of painstaking work to create the book "Try it!"

The book's release coincided with International Mother Language Day. The Japanese woman immediately shared the news about her new book in social networks, in both Belarusian and Japanese languages.

Shiori Kiyosawa, author of the textbook "Try it!" (Japan):
The Belarusian language is almost like my mother tongue. I really like the sound of the Belarusian language. There are many beautiful words.

The Belarusian language book will be used in Japan for studies from 2017. And, quite possibly, Japanese will be able to study Belarusian on their own, using only this publication. However, its circulation is low (only 80 copies). The textbook is not yet available in stores. Several copies will be delivered to Minsk by autumn 2016.

Tatiana Ramza, co-author of the textbook "Try it!":
The book includes an alphabet, because Japanese use characters while Belarusian consists of Cyrillic letters. Phonetics is vital so we also included it because students will be able to exercise pronunciation of vowels and consonants. They distinguish between questions but not between statements. And for this, we need to teach a Japanese speaker some intonation structures.  

Shiori Kiyosawa, author of the textbook "Try it!" (Japan):
The most difficult thing for the Japanese are probably phonetic peculiarities of the Belarusian language, which do not exist in the Japanese language.  

The first part of the textbook was published for the funds of the Tsukuba University, with which the BSU has been working for 4 years. Support of Toshinobu Usuyama, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, was vital too. In the preface, he writes:

Toshinobu Usuyama, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences:
I sincerely hope that the publication of this textbook will facilitate the expansion of interest in the language, culture, society, history of Belarus not only among students of our university but also among Japanese in general. Also I assume that the textbook will contribute to the further development of friendly relations between Japan and Belarus.

The Belarusian-Japanese tandem is already working on the second part of the textbook. It is planned to release it by the end of the academic year.