受験者(53): 女性

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(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.

(椅子が二つあったので少しとまどった)

Either seat?

B: Er ... yes, you can have either seat.

A: Good morning.

Good morning.

A: I'm .... Today, I'm going to ask you a few questions.

OK.

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.
It's relaxing and peaceful. Nara Park is also known as Deer Park because there
are lots of tame deer there. Special crackers for deer are sold in the park.
So you can feed the deer. It's great fun.

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.

(と、ここはジェス チャーを交えて説明)

Unfortunately,

(と言い間違いえたのですぐ)

no, fortunately

(と言い直し)

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?

(しまった。奈良公園のことは説明しようと思っていたし、東大寺の大仏についても準備していたのに、肝心の東大寺の建立が何年か調べていなかった)

Uh.....I think it was constructed in the 7th century.

(と、いい加減なことを言ってしまった)

A: How old is the present Todaiji buildng?

(と突っ込まれ、さらに困った。全く見当も付かない。下を向きながら ...)
Uh ... I think it was once burnt down, but uh ...

(質問を変えてくれるのを期待したが、試験官はいつまでも待っているので、思い余って)

I guess it's about 300 years old!

(と、口から出任せを言った。史実からはかけ離れたことを言ったのではないかと思うが、試験官は大して気に留めている風もなく....)
A: Ok, so it's about 300 years old, huh? Well, why do you want to be a tour guide?

(矢継ぎ早に質問してくる)

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
English, the better they can learn correct pronunciation and structure in English.

A: OK. What do you do? Do you work?

I'm a housewife, mainly. But I also teach English to children.

(ここで試験官がけげんそうな顔をしたので)

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!

(と反応してもらえ、ちょっと嬉しかった)

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.
Many Buddhist temples hold special services and people visit their ancestors' graves to pay their respects.

(試験官Aはにこにこして聞いてくれていた)

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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