Tuesday, February 6, 2018

JNTO Tour Guide Test (2011)

How do I become a tour guide in Japan?

The JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) issues certifications for people to become officially sanctioned tour guides in Japan. In Japan, tour guides that are operating without a license may be subject to fees.
To ensure that the official tour guides are knowledgeable of Japanese culture and foreign languages they are given a test of ability.Applicants can choose a which language will be covered in the foreign language portion of their test (English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Russian, Italian, Thai, Portuguese or German).
Looking at the English version of the foreign language test the JNTO gives questions that fall into a few different categories.1- Translate individual vocabulary words
2- Match Japanese words with their English definition.
3- Explain a Japanese term using English
4- Translate a Japanese passage into English
5- Read a Japanese passage and choose the English passage which best translates that passage into English. These focus on identifying small grammatical points, which incorrect, would confuse English speaking listeners.
6- Read a term that is specific to Japanese culture and choose the English passage that corresponds to that term. These are often trivially obscure points of Japanese culture (such as a festival, craft, art form, tourist attraction, etc.).

The JNTO provides samples of old test in an archive on their website and you can see screenshots of the PDF below for reference. 
For improved readability and Japanese/English study I have:
1) typed out the questions (in normal print)
2) provided a hiragana/katakana or romaji version of the sections that use kanji (in gray font)
3) provided the [model] answer or matching vocabulary word (in red letters)

This test is good for learning Japanese, use as an English teaching activity, learning about Japanese culture or pursuing the tour guide test.

A number of the questions have been omitted. Many of these are unreadable in the samples that JNTO provides because the original test contained copyrighted material (photos and text passages) that JNTO did not have permission to use beyond the time of the test or in the archive materials). So if you look at the archives these materials will be blacked out or otherwise redacted. The questions that are being presented are of particular practical interest.

This is set to be the first in a series of materials for study purposes, starting with the 2011 test.
Please consider the original date of the test, as you can often see that some of the questions reflect contemporary issues that would timely concerns; such as the inclusion of the word "nuclear power plant" on this test (which was the same year of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster).

2011 (Heisei 23) - JNTO tour guide test

Part 1

(1)電車の女性専用車 (8点)

densha no josei sennyou (8tenn)

This is a 'women-only' car. During rush hour when the trains are like sardine cans, some perverts molest women. So at certain times of the day, one of the cars of the trains is for women only and this is the car.

2) こいのぼり (8点)

koi no bori (8tenn)

They are banners in the form of carp that are flown outside houses on May 5 to celebrate male children and as an expression of hope for their health and prosperity. The carp was a symbol of success in Japan because of an ancient Chinese legend that a carp swam upstream and became a dragon.

Part 5 (14 points)

1. マンション apartment

2.貸し切りバス (かしきりバス)chartered bus

3.霊柩車 (れいきゅしゃ)hearse

4. 太陰暦 (たいいいんれいき)lunar calendar

5. 忘年会 (ぼうねんかい)year-end party

6. 総選挙 (そうせんきょ)General Election

7. 漆器 (しっき)lacquerware, lacquer

8. 電気レンジ (でんきレンジ)microwave oven, microwave

9. (駅の)ホーム(えきのホーム)platform, train platform

10. キュウリ cucumber

11. 原子力発電所 (げんしりょくはつでんしょ)nuclear power plant

12. 建国記念日 (けんこくきねんび)National Foundation Day (2/11)

13. 就職活動 (しゅうしょくかつどう)Job hunting

14. お通し (おとおし)appetizer

Part 6
2) ”日本” は 日本語で にほん とも言い、どちも正しい。しかし考えてみると、国家の名前の正式な読み方が決まってないというのは、日本以外のひとには奇妙に思えるかもしれない。日本政府も、どちらでもよい、としている。

(” Nihon” wa nihongode ni hon tomo ii, do chi mo tadashī. Shikashi kangaete miru to, kokka no namae no seishikina yomikata ga kimattenai to iu no wa, Nihon igai no hito ni wa kimyō ni omoeru kamo shirenai. Nipponseifu mo, dochira demo yoi, to shite iru.)

Japan is called "Nihon" and "Nippon" in Japanese and both are correct readings. Come to think of it, however, it might strike non-Japanese as strange that the official reading of a country name is not determined. The Japanese government say both are OK.