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Senior Writes Blog for Japanese Learners
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E Mei hopes her blog and summer classes can help train 50 top Japanese translators in time for the 2010 World Expo, an ambitious goal for an 80-year-old retired teacher.

E learned Japanese as a child. She moved to Japan at three years old and stayed there several years.

She set up her blog last May to communicate with students learning Japanese and help them by posting jokes, stories and discussions of the country's culture on the Web. The blog, which is called Yinghuamanwu (meaning cherry blossoms in the air) has attracted thousands of visitors over the past 11 months.

The retired middle-school teacher is assisted by her granddaughter E Qing, who bought her a computer 12 years ago and taught her how to surf the Web.

"I was curious and confused when I first saw the computer and did not even know how to type on the keyboard," she said. "My granddaughter bought me a tablet, a machine that allowed me to write with a pen instead of typing, and installed an operating system in Japanese, which greatly improved my writing speed."

"Usually it takes me several hours to finish a small Japanese story or a joke, but I still do it as I have found many young people who love Japanese benefit from my blog," E smiled.

The blog (http://blog.oldkids.cn/emei19301930) now contains hundreds of articles about translation, years of accumulated Japanese stories, jokes and tales of her own experiences in Japan.

"Blogs are really a good channel to spread knowledge and communicate with different people," said the vigorous woman. In 2001, E set up free Japanese classes for university students during the summer vacation at a site near her home.

She plans to keep running the classes through the World Expo to train 50 volunteer translators for the event.
(Shanghai Daily April 2, 2007)

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