Lesson 2 - "Let's write e-mail in Japanese." with Yucca

Welcome to the second installment of the "Cafetalk Diaries," where I will be blogging and vlogging about five lessons that I'll be taking on Cafetalk.com. 

My second lesson, as a monitor, was "Let's write e-mail in Japanese" with tutor "Yucca." 

I decided to request this lesson to ensure that the emails I send to agencies are polite, error-free, and appealing. Usually emails are very concise in English and this has become a habit of mine. I often have to respond to emails from my narration agencies and questions about translations.

Here is her profile: http://cafetalk.com/tutors/profile/?id=18497&lang=en

And here is the lesson profile: http://cafetalk.com/lessons/detail/?id=26267&lang=en

This is a 40-minute lesson and it's 1,700 points (currently $18.89 USD). She's usually available from 8AM-8PM (Japan time) except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

Yucca-sensei asked about the specific problems I was having and we even pulled up some of my email threads. The two main email problems I asked her to help me with were:
1. Responding to requests and inqueries from agencies. (Usually about scheduling)
2. Sending updates about visa information and new voice samples to agencies.

The lesson was completely customized. She listened carefully about concerns I had and what kind of emails I wanted to write. She sent me feedback right after the lesson, not only a general lesson note, but a 3-page .pdf attachment! Here were her general lesson notes, which I'll use to explain more about the lesson:


Jennyさん 

本日はレッスンのご受講ありがとうございました。 

今回のレッスンでは日本語でのメールの書き方、特に「相手の名前と敬称の書き方」「マナー」「尊敬語と謙譲語」「現在形と過去形」に注目しました。 
チャットボックスに書いた物を中心に、本日のまとめを作りました。PDFファイルで添付いたしますので、よろしければご参照ください。 

また、宿題にさせていただきました「>」の名称は判明しませんでした。メールにおいての使用名称は、現在のところないものと思われます。 
数学において使用する場合は「不等号(ふとうごう)」という名前があります。 

Jennyさんの話される日本語はとても綺麗で分かりやすいです!メールも、ほとんど伝わっていると思われます。 
よりレベルアップするためには、「自然な日本語」「正しい表現の選択」を身につけることだと思います。 
たくさん書いて、その都度日本人にチェックを受けて、より洗練された日本語でのスムーズなコミュニケーションを目指すと良いと思います。 

それでは、またのご受講お待ちしております。 

♡Yucca♡  

One of the things that she pointed out from my old emails is that I wasn't quoting the sender's original questions. I would usually just answer the question in my email without restating the original question. I just assumed the sender would know what I was talking about. But I need to take into account that senders might be extremely busy and bombarded with emails. So, I would need to use the ">" symbol with a cut-and-paste of their original question. In Japanese emails, it should look something like this:

>Jenny, are you available on the 15th at 11:00?
Yes, I'm available. 

Just out of curiosity, I asked her what is the ">" symbol called in Japanese. She wasn't sure, but said she would look it up for me. She told me in her general feedback, that this symbol is called, 「不等号(ふとうごう)」(futohgoh). This is not a word that the average person would know and I appreciate that she took the time to look this up for me!

In her general notes, she thanked me for the lesson and wrote the following summary:

今回のレッスンでは日本語でのメールの書き方、特に「相手の名前と敬称の書き方」「マナー」「尊敬語と謙譲語」「現在形と過去形」に注目しました。 
チャットボックスに書いた物を中心に、本日のまとめを作りました。PDFファイルで添付いたしますので、よろしければご参照ください。 
"In this lesson, we focused on how to write emails in Japanese, particularly, how to write the sender's name and title, etiquette, honorific and humble forms, and past tense vs. present tense.
I've prepared a summary based on what was written in the chat box (on Skype). I'm attaching a PDF file, so please use it for reference."

During the lesson, she made sure to give me as much useful information as possible, including information about using spaces.
I had always just written "田中さん" or "田中様"... 
but it should be "田中 さん" or "田中 様" with a space between the name and "-san" or "-sama."

The .PDF that she sent me was filled with useful phrases and sentences that we had talked about. I like that she gave me alternatives to suit the situations and my style. She even wrote some notes and reminders in red. Here is an excerpt from her 3-page file:Thank you, Yucca-sensei! I will request your lesson again whenever I need help with emails or just want to polish them up! Stay tuned for the video version of my lesson, as well as my next lesson, "Free conversation in Japanese - 50 minutes" with Aki B.

Don't forget to watch my "Cafetalk Diaries" intro video and contact me for a FREE promo code for 1,000 points on Cafetalk! (Until Jan. 31st, 2015)

http://youtu.be/Gqfucg4YMV4 

Thank you for reading, and good luck with your studies!
~Jenny