School of Modern Languages

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A post by Isabel Valori, a stage 4 student studying Japanese, featured in a Japanese national newspaper

Date: 24th August 2019

The following post, written in Japanese by Isabel Valori was published in the Voice section of Asahi Newspaper.

Isn't it good to recognise the fruits of one's efforts? (Translated in English)

Isabel Valori

I will be an exchange student at a university in Kyoto until July [2019]. Once, while talking to a Japanese friend of mine, I noticed something interesting: getting good grades at school is perceived differently in Italy and Japan.

In Japan, getting good grades is thought of as the result of a person’s hard work. Those who study diligently are thus admired as ‘amazing people’ with a positive image. When I first heard of this, I was extremely surprised. In Italy, getting good grades leaves a negative impression, since people tend to think ‘that person does nothing but study’ or ‘they are so full of themselves’.

I like studying and I often got good grades in high school, but because of that, I was thought of as a ‘boring person’ or ‘someone I wouldn't want to be friends with’ by some other students. Even now, when I ever get full marks on a test, I don't show it to anybody else. Getting good grades actually makes me happy, but I have been conditioned to think it's better to hide it.

I think it is great that the Japanese recognise the efforts of those who study with all their might. As an Italian, I'm quite envious.

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