This is my final project for my second Japanese class.
The assignment: Create a slideshow of photos, talk about them in Japanese using as many adjectives as possible, and combine sentences using て form.
This assignment isn’t technically due until March, but I already knew I wanted to use footage from our trip to Japan in 2019, so I didn’t see any reason to wait. Plus, I wanted to work with the school’s tutor to make sure the script was grammatically correct, so I started the project as soon as it was assigned.
This was a great excuse to look through all of the photos from our trip to Japan. We spent nearly 2 weeks there, so I needed to decide what aspect(s) I wanted to focus on. I considered simply describing the trip chronologically, by topic (food, sightseeing, etc.), by location or activity, or favorites (foods, activities, locations, or in general).
What made the choice so difficult was that I had to talk about the trip in Japanese at my current level.
After looking through all the photos and videos, the script started taking shape in my mind. To give me better direction for choosing which photos to use, I wrote the script first, then translated it into Japanese. In the future, I’d like to be able to write directly in Japanese, but this method worked for now.
Writing the script took several evenings. I had to look up many words, but I asked my Japanese friends for help with only a couple sentences because I really wanted to write it on my own. When I finally felt done, I sent it to the school’s tutor to check it for grammar.
Then, using Adobe Rush for iPad, I cut the photos and videos together. Tangent: Adobe Rush is an awesome program! It is super intuitive and most of what I wanted to do was in the free version. I did have an issue with crashing, but I’m not sure why. Luckily, it autosaves everything, so I never lost any work.
Once the script was back from the tutor, I made the corrections and sent it back to her with additional questions to polish it up. Using the second draft of the script, I stumbled through an initial recording just to get an idea of how long it would be. To my dismay, the video was an entire minute too short for the 3-minute voice over.
So I found more photos and also stretched out some of the existing footage to get it to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, the tutor and I went back and forth a few more times and eventually finished the script. I practiced for about a week with the final script, but I couldn’t quite get it to sound the way I wanted, and I wasn’t able to shave more than 10 seconds off the time. It just felt slow and sounded robotic and unnatural.
I met with the tutor so she could explain her corrections, then I read it to her and she helped me with the pronunciation. She complimented my script and even said it was funny. うれしかった！(I was happy!) She said my pronunciation was good, but I still didn’t feel good about it.
Then I had a brilliant idea. More grateful than ever that I didn’t wait to find language learning partners, I asked my Japanese friend to record the script in Japanese so I could copy her pronunciation and cadence. She happily agreed, and having her audio elevated the entire video.
This was my first time editing any kind of video and recording my voice with a script like this. It’s definitely not perfect and it was so much work — several hours every day for almost 2 weeks — but it was incredibly satisfying.
I’m so excited to share it! Below is the script in Japanese, followed by the English version.
- 私はフライトについて とてもしんけいしつになっていました。でも 日本に行って、うれしかったです。
- 私たちは東京のようなにぎやかなとし、ひろしまと 京都に行って、こうちのような ちいさいまちにも行きました。
- ちょっと雨で、たいてい いい天気でした。
- こうちじょうのなかでコンサートをみて、 そして私たちはしろのさいじょうかいまでのぼりました。
- 3 years ago, I went to Japan with my husband and our friend.
- I was nervous about the flight, but when we were in Japan, I was so happy.
- We went to big cities like Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Kyoto, and we went to the small cities like Kochi.
- It rained a little but it was mostly good weather.
- We took a lot of pictures and ate a lot of delicious food.
- No joke. I was full all the time.
- Every day, we walked about 7 miles on average, and it was hard but I saw a lot of interesting things.
- For example, Hirome Market and Kochi Castle were splendid.
- Inside Kochi Castle, we saw a concert, then we climbed to the top floor of the castle.
- My favorite hotel was in the mountains.
- My room was big and beautiful, and it had a view of the mountains.
- It was worth the long drive.
- I am grateful that the cherry blossoms were in bloom where we went.
- We have so many amazing memories from our trip.
- Japan is beautiful and interesting, I love it!
- I want to go back to Japan soon because I had fun every day.