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NHK announcer and Chinese instructor Bungyou Dan believes learning about the culture and history of a country can help develop language skills, particularly when it comes to her mother tongue. So perhaps a visit to the Tokyo National Museum to see the “Terracotta Army” would be a good place to start?

“Yes, definitely,” says the Tianjin-born TV personality. “I’ve never been to Xian so I really want to see the statues for myself. It also might motivate people to learn more about China and maybe study the language. I think before focusing on grammar and vocabulary it’s a good idea to first find out about a country’s past, traditions or even things like food. Having a point of interest makes things easier. I’ve always been into manga and this has really helped with my Japanese. It’s a much more fascinating way to study than just using a textbook, which can be quite boring.”

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