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Halloween at ILL

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Hello!

Last month on the 28th, we had a mini Halloween party in our Tokyo office!

One week before the party, we also started decorating the office to enhance the Halloween festive mood.

And here are some pictures from the event :) We set up a make-your-own-tacos? burrito? kabab? table for the October event.

 Some of us also dressed up in costumes! Can you guess who we’re dressed up as?

Thank you!

Nanatsu

Bowling Night at Innovative Language

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Hi everyone! Nanatsu here.

 

As it’s been forever since we last updated our office event blog here, we’d like to get back to sharing it with you all. My name is Nanatsu and I’ve worked on content for JapanesePod101.com in the past and now I’m working on the HR team at the ILL Tokyo office, and I’m also one of the party organizers for the company. :)

At the ILL Tokyo office last Friday, we had our 3rd after work party this year! This time, we got ourselves down to the iconic city central of Tokyo, Shibuya, and had a company bowling tournament! =○

Here are our co-workers, Matt and Nori playing “太鼓の達人 (Taiko no tatsujin)” the popular arcade game while waiting for the others to show up at the bowling place…

At the bowling alley we went, シブヤEST (Shibuya EST), we could use a monitor to order food and drinks remotely just like one of those 居酒屋 (izakaya, Japanese-style bar) or カラオケ(karaoke). Although it maybe took a little longer to get service here than in an izakaya, it was still very convenient as we could 100% focus on the game without having to run to get food.  

 

After ordering some food & drinks and some announcements from the party organizers as usual…

 

 

 The game begins!

 

“Nailed it.”

“I’m done.”

 

Everyone did a great job, trying their best to get the top score! Great job!

 

(All photo courtesy to Jaehwi, our KoreanClass101.com star!)

Have you been bowling in Japan? It’s one of the most popular sports to play after school or work since many bowling alleys in Tokyo are open until late at night. You will see a lot of “サラリーマン (sararīman) practicing even around midnight while drinking a beer or two. If you have a chance to visit one, please check out the place with the convenient ordering machine, too! 

#UberIceCream Delivery: Smiles at the Office!

Friday, July 15th, 2016

We still don’t have Pokemon Go here in Tokyo, but we do have free ice cream with #UberIceCream!

#UberIceCream

Today 400 cities around the world are enjoying frozen desserts delivered by Uber. Tokyo was one of the cities, so it was the perfect opportunity for the Innovative Language team to enjoy the refreshments.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect: a sad grey sky, rain, and high temperatures because summer in Tokyo is not a joke. What better way to enjoy the Friday, the infamous last push before the weekend, than with  ICE CREAM?! It’s a universal way to create happiness.

And this is what happened after we had an unexpected ice cream break, with a bag full of Ben & Jerry’s delivered by Uber to our office in Akasaka! There was ice cream for everyone, some colourful shirts, and pins to complete a perfect scene as we savoured the Bourbon Brown Butter or Dark Chocolate Brownie flavors!

 

Whether you’re an Uber driver or part of the #TeamTaxi, never forget that it’s possible to learn a language in your car!

And to all other language lovers, don’t forget to enjoy our hot 30% off deal on one of the 34 languages of your choice with the “SUMMER2016” discount code. The campaign starts on July 18th, 2016 ! 


Click the link below to get a HOT 30% OFF at…

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Welcome to Innovative Language Headquarters! Listener Visit #4

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner!

Hi everyone, Motoko here!

Today I’d like to tell you about another listener visit we had recently. We had a JapanesePod101.com listener come to visit us in the office. This was the fourth visit for me, but I still felt nervous!

This is Matt. He was visiting from California.

I had heard that he came to Japan for a holiday. But it seems that it was more of a special trip for him, because guess what? He came here to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. His girlfriend is Japanese, and he wanted to meet her parents. It sounded like a big event to me! But Matt kept smiling the whole time and said he was alright. I thought he was brave.

I guess that Peter probably felt more nervous, because he knows that it’s one of the big events for men in Japan to meet their girlfriends’ parents!

I was very happy to receive the souvenir he brought. It was popular Girl Scout cookies from the United States. One packet was chocolate mint flavor, and the other was peanut butter. I liked the peanut butter ones more than the choco mint.  Thanks, Matt! We all enjoyed them.

Matt, did you have a lovely time with your girlfriend and her parents? I hope so.

(May 2013)

Welcome to Innovative Language Headquarters! Listener Visit #3

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi everyone, Motoko here!

Today I’d like to tell you about another listener meetup we had.

The other day, we had a JapanesePod101.com listener come to visit us from Mitaka, Tokyo. (Yes. From TOKYO!)

Audrius studies at a private university in Tokyo and lives in the dormitories there. He is from Lithuania, in Northern Europe. He is the first Lithuanian I’ve ever met! I was pleasantly surprised by his level of Japanese fluency.

Welcome to Innovative Language Headquarters! Listener Visit #3

Let me talk a little about his Japanese learning journey: he started learning Japanese with JapanesePod101 in Lithuania, before he came to Japan. Then he continued to study it at the university. His energy and efforts towards learning Japanese are awesome, aren’t they?

We welcome anyone traveling to Japan or studying here to visit us! Drop by our office and say Kon’nichiwa!
(Apr, 2013)

InnovativeLanguage.com Takes to the Friendly Skies with British Airways!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Starting in June 2013, InnovativeLanguage.com takes flight with British Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines.

Travel and language learning have always gone hand in hand. Knowing just a few key language phrases can be a powerful tool in opening up new opportunities abroad, staying safe and making the most out of your trip. That’s why we’re proud to announce that InnovativeLanguage.com is now flying the friendly skies thanks to a new agreement with British Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines.

Starting in June 2013 on British Airways long haul flights, you’ll find our fast, easy and fun language lessons on board BA’s inflight entertainment system. No matter where you’re flying, we’ve got you covered! Choose from over 20 languages and start learning from our popular beginner level lessons.

Languages Available on British Airways

Arabic French Hindi Korean Spanish
Bulgarian German Indonesian Polish Swedish
Cantonese Greek Italian Portuguese Thai
Filipino Hebrew Japanese Russian Vietnamese

No matter what language you’re learning, our effective lessons will get you speaking from the very first lesson. You’ll learn very simple grammar and vocabulary from Native Speaking teachers, with clear explanations and breakdown from our English speaking co-host. You’ll also learn important cultural tips and insights that will give you a head start on your trip.

Be sure to tune into these audio lessons on your next trip abroad with British Airways! And remember that a little bit of language goes a long, long way.

For a sneak peek at what you’ll find on British Airways, sign up for a Free Lifetime Account at InnovativeLanguage.com!

Fond Farewells at Innovative Language

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment! 

Hello everyone! Motoko here. Did you know that March is one of the most important months in Japan? That’s because it’s farewell season.

Schools and companies start new academic and financial years in April. This means their years end in March, and that’s when graduation ceremonies are held in schools. Here, we have interns who are college students, and some of them leave us in March. This March, we said goodbye to two student interns and one full-time staff member.

But we will see them again someday; we didn’t actually say “good bye”, but “see you again” then saw them off.

 

We hope that all three enjoy their new adventures!

 

(March, 2013)  

Giving Thanks and Sweets at Innovative

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment! 

Hi all! Motoko here. It’s been a while since my last post!

But today, I’d like to talk about one of the most popular events in Japan. It’s the day that we say “I love you” and “thanks” to the people we spend the most time with.

This day is Valentine’s Day, on February 14th. It originally came from European culture, didn’t it? And people usually give presents or flowers to the one they love on that day. I’m guessing that in your country, it’s the men who give presents to their partners. But in Japan, ladies give chocolate to men!

It’s the only chance each year when ladies can declare their love to the men they love. They usually make or buy chocolates and give them to the men.

Recently, however, most people have been giving chocolates to their colleagues and friends. On Valentine’s Day at Innovative Language, the ladies brought sweets they had made or bought to the office. Also, Peter gave boxes of chocolate to each of our team members. The men and ladies in the office all enjoyed these sweets together. Though no one declared their love, it was a day for us to say “thanks for everything!” to each other.

So if Valentine’s Day is for men, did the men of Innovative Language do anything in return? Well, in Japan, this happens on White Day, which falls on March 14th. This is an event that is well known in Japan and also in South Korea. The men who received presents on Valentine’s Day return the favor to the lady they got the chocolate from. Some return the declaration of love to the lady too! And some give sweets and snacks to their friends in return. At the Innovative office, most of the men brought boxes of sweets for the ladies. The boxes said “Happy White Day! Only for Girls!!” (Unlike on Valentine’s Day!) The guys looked sad about this because they love chocolate!      

What happens in your country on Valentine’s Day and White Day?

(Feb - Mar, 2013)

Welcoming Eran to the Tokyo office!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hey everyone. Motoko here!

Today I would like to talk about our recent visit from Innovative Language’s Co-Founder, Eran. Though he’s usually based in New York, he came to visit the Tokyo office in mid-November. It had been a year since his previous visit, so we welcomed him and took him to some interesting spots!

The first event was dinner at Ninja Akasaka. I’m sure you know what a ninja is! And this is a restaurant where you can see modern-day ninja and enjoy creative, gourmet meals. When we arrived, we were let in to the restaurant in groups of 4 or 5 people. What we saw as we entered is a secret, but it was definitely a fun and exciting experience! After being welcomed in, ninja or kunoichi (female ninja) took us to our tables. The seating areas looked like caves and we squished into our small but comfortable seats.

Every meal both looked and tasted great! The course started with a terrine of foie gras with Shuriken-shaped biscuits.

Most of the dishes related somehow to ninja and were fun to look at and eat. I really liked the tiny ninja-shaped dessert, because it was pretty cute!


If you like the animes Naruto or Nintama Rantaro, or even if you don’t really like ninja, I recommend a visit to this restaurant because you will experience something special!

(Nov. 2012)

Halloween at Innovative Language!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi everyone, Motoko here!

Today, I’d like to let you all know what we did for Halloween here in the office. Unfortunately, Halloween has not been popular in Japan in the past, but it has been getting more and more popular recently. The most famous event would be the Halloween parade in Kawasaki, as well as some other costume parties in nightclubs in the city. People usually wear a costume and become their favorite characters, and can enjoy dancing and eating. Few people go to the neighbors and say “Trick or Treat!” like people in the US do – this is because many people still don’t know what Halloween is here.

Since most of our team is from other countries, we decorated the office with Halloween stuff. Getting into the spirit, our boss Peter took the initiative with the decorations. We also had another drawing competition, like we have for other occasions in the past. Our team members drew their own jack-o’-lanterns and then put them to a vote on the 31st. We had 2 in the first place. One is the ‘abstract’ interpretation on the top left (G) and the other one has big sparkly cute eyes (I).


Which one do you like the most? What kind of jack-o’-lantern would you draw?

Extra photo: Our new motto is “no sick days”! We work ourselves to the bone!

(2012 Nov.)