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Experiences and Message from JSPS Fellows

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Dr. Ruth Vanbaelen




Pre-fellowship host institute

University of Tsukuba

Host institute

University of Tsukuba
Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Host researcher

Prof. Ryuichi Washio

Fellowship period

2004/10/01 - 2006/09/30

Research field



Research title

Descriptive and Theoretical Studies of Variations in Language Use: A Dutch-Japanese Comparison


The reason for choosing Japan to conduct research

In university in Belgium I majored in Japanese Studies with an emphasis on the Japanese language. I was able to do a Masterís and Doctoral course in Japanese linguistics at the University of Tsukuba. There I met my current supervisor, Prof. Washio who encouraged me to start a comparative language study Dutch-Japanese. For this Japan is the best base of operation.

Research achievements

Thanks to the JSPS fellowship I was able to concentrate on my research on both the Japanese and Dutch language. I traveled twice to Belgium to gather data and conduct a questionnaire. I presented my findings at the 2005 Applied Linguistics Summer Meeting at the University of Tsukuba. One paper has been published and hopefully two more should follow.

Advice to new fellows

Coming from a linguist it might sound like a biased advice but studying Japanese will definitely enrich your stay in Japan and it will make contact with Japanese people outside your lab much more fun. Also, be ready to spend some time helping Japanese colleagues and students with proofreading and other tasks. They too will be there for you when you need them!