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2016 Japanese Speech Contests

Students prove their Japanese language skills in annual contest

By Jennifer Nguyen and Sherry Wang

The 27th Canadian National Japanese Speech Contest was held in Toronto, Ontario on March 19th, 2016. This was the final speech contest for the year. Emmy Poffenroth from the University of Calgary, who won 1st place in the open category at the 25th Alberta District Japanese Contest, competed at this National contest and remarkably won the first place in her category there, as well.

Congratulations, Emmy!

Six Students Obtain Prizes in this year's Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest

The 25th Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest was held on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 at the University of Calgary.

Of the 33 contestants, 15 represented the University of Calgary’s Japanese program (Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures), alongside their instructors Akiko Sharp, Yoko Kodama, Hinako Ishikawa, and Nobuko Pratt. The other four participating universities included the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, the University of Regina, and the University of Saskatchewan.

The contestants confidently presented their written speeches and we are proud to announce that four of our students from JPNS 207, 303 and 333 placed within the top three of their respective categories. In addition, two of our students received a special prize. 

In the intermediate category, Jiafan Rao received second place for her speech, “Shape of Warmth” and Shuai Tu placed third with his speech, “Give Yourself a Chance to Fail”.

In the open category, Emmy Poffenroth and her speech, “The Meaning of ‘Half’” placed first, so she will be advancing to the National Japanese Speech Contest. Yih Wei (Wendy) Ng and her speech, “If You Receive a Present Like This” placed second.

Special prizes were awarded in the intermediate category to Jaylene Laturnas for her speech, “The Difficulty of Words” and in the advanced category to Xin Yin for his speech, “Otaku Culture”.

We would once again like to congratulate all the contestants for their outstanding speeches and thank the four instructors for their invaluable coaching and input. We wish the winner, Emmy Poffenroth, luck in the National Competition, which will be held on March 19th at the University of Toronto.

In addition, we would like to extend our utmost gratitude to our incredible judges:

Consul-General of Japan (Calgary): Mr. Ryosaku Tamura – Chief Judge
President of the Alberta Japanese Businessmen’s Association: Mr. Shoji Sorimachi
Japanese Specialist in Alberta Education for the Japan Foundation: Ms. Mami Saito
Instructor, Dept. of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta: Ms.Yumi Sieben
Instructor, Dept. of Linguistics, Languages and Culture, University of Calgary: Ms. Hinako Ishikawa

For more information on the 25th Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest, please see the PTJC (Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research) Website.

The 25thAlberta District Japanese Speech Contest

Prize Winner List

Below are the winners of the 25th Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest. We would like to once again congratulate each one of them on their success, and wish the winners of each category good luck at the National Speech Contest!

Click on the English title of each speech to access the video in Youtube.

Beginner Category, First Prize
Zixuan Song (U of A)
僕たちの選択 - “Our Choices”

Beginner Category, Second Prize
Gillian Froilan (U of A)
世紀末のためのリスト - “To-do list for the Apocalypse”

Beginner Category, Third Prize
Sarah Lee (U of A)
夢を失わないために - “In order to keep your dream”

Intermediate Category, First Prize
Vivian Kham (U of A)
母とイアホンと私 - “Mom, Earohones, and Me”

Intermediate Category, Second Prize
Jiafan Rao (U of C)
温かみの形 - “Shape of Warmth”

Intermediate Category, Third Prize
Shuai Tu (U of C)
自分に失敗するチャンスを与える - “Give Yourself a Chance to Fail”

Advanced Category, First Prize
Brogan Gordan (U of A)
心の目 - “The Eyes of the Heart”

Advanced Category, Second Prize
Alice Yan (U of A)
言葉の力 - “The power that words can have”

Advanced Category, Third Prize
Allison Bishop (U of Regina)
私と幽霊に会ってみたい - “I Would Like To Meet A Ghost”

Open Category, First Prize
Emmy Poffenroth (U of C)
ハーフの意味 - “The Meaning of Half”

Open Category, Second Prize
Yih Wei (Wendy) Ng (U of C)
もしこんなプレゼントをもらったら - “If You Receive a Present Like This”

Special Prize Winner in Beginner Category
Tri Le (U of Regina)
ぼくはヒーローになりたい - “I Want To Be a Hero”

Special Prize Winner in Intermediate Category
Jaylene Laturnas (U of C)
言葉の難しさ - “The Difficulty of Words”

Special Prize Winner in Advanced Category
Xin Yin (U of C)
おたくカルチャー - “Otaku Culture”