（入室するなり、3人の試験官の無言の視線を一斉に浴び、緊張のあまり、全く言うつもりのなかった"Hi" という、軽々しい挨拶が知らぬ間に口から出てしまった。あちらは相変わらずの無言。どうせ言うなら "Good morning" か、せめて"Hello" にしたらよかった。）
B: Please have a seat.
B: Er ... yes, you can have either seat.
A: Good morning.
A: I'm .... Today, I'm going to ask you a few questions.
A: First, can you tell me your name and where you are from?
My name is .... I'm from Sango Town, Nara Prefecture.
A: How far is it from where you live to Nara City?
To this place?
A: No, to Nara City.
Oh, it takes about 30 minutes.
A: I'd like to go to Nara very much. Where in Nara would you recommend?
There are several nice places is Nara, but I like Nara Park best.
A: Oh, why is that?
It's a very large park. There are lots of green trees and grass there.
A: Oh, isn't it dangerous?
Oh, yes. Uh, it's an important thing. I'd like to add that it's a little dangerous. My brother, when he was about 5 years old, tried to feed deer there. Then a big deer thrust him with its big horns, and then he fell down backward.
he didn't get hurt. But I don't recommend that you let your small children feed deer.
A: OK. I think there is a big temple in Nara called Todaiji. Is it close to Nara Park?
Yes, it's close to Nara Park.
A: Could you tell me a little bit about it? When was it constructed?
Uh.....I think it was constructed in the 7th century.
A: How old is the present Todaiji buildng?
I guess it's about 300 years old!
I was in the United States as a college student many years ago. In the beginning, I had lots of difficulties and problems because my English was poor and I wasn't used to American life yet. Then many American friends as well as foreign friends who had been staying there longer than I helped me a lot. It was really kind of them. And at that time I thought that if I had the chance, I'd like to return the favor and help foreign people who visit Japan.
A: Do you have children?
Yes, I have a daughter.
A: How old is your daughter?
She is nine years old.
A: So she is in elementary school, isn't she?
Yes, she is.
A: Do they teach English at your daughter's school?
No, they don't. So I personally teach English to her.
A: Do you think it's good to teach English at elementary school?
Yes, I think it's good. What I think is that the earlier they start learning
A: OK. What do you do? Do you work?
I'm a housewife, mainly. But I also teach English to children.
Oh, sorry, I forgot to explain to you. I teach English to my daughter and her friends.
A: Oh, is that right? That's good!
A: Now, next question. I heard in Japan there is a special occasion called "higan". Could you explain what it is?
There are two "higan"s. One falls on the 23rd or 24th of September,
and the other falls on the 20th or 21st of March. These days are the beginning
of autumn or spring. On these days, the lengths of day and night are equal.
A: Oh, and do they also make wishes at the graves?
Yes, I think so.
A: OK. That's about it. Thank you for coming all the way.
Oh, is that all?
A: Yes, that's all. Thank you very much. I enjoyed meeting you.
Oh, me too. Thank you very much.
退出の際、試験官 A から "Where in the United States were you living?" と声をかけられ、"I
was in California first, and then transfered to Arkansas." と答えると、にこにこしていたので、もしかしたら試験官もアメリカ人なのかな、と思い、尋ねたかったが、時間もないことだろうし、やめておいた。試験官(女性)は、容赦なく猛スピードで次から次へとまくし立てるように質問を浴びせかけてくるという印象だった。一つ答え終わると、間髪入れず次の質問が飛んできた。よほど時間的な余裕がないのかと思われた。バンバン質問してくるネイティブスピーカーに、こちらもリズムを崩さぬよう、できるだけ同じペースで応答するのが精一杯で、他の２人の試験官の方を見る余裕が殆どなかったことが悔やまれる。
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