GCD – INTER-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION

During the Summer I had spent a month traveling solo around Six nations across Europe. As a visual arts student who aspires to pursue the studies of arts in university, I had visited various museums during my time abroad. For several museums, I had attended on tours offered in either English or Japanese given that they are the only two languages I am able to speak and understand fluently. I was hit with a certain realization when I had attended the same tour in these two different languages when visiting the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Catalonia. I had noticed how the tours although it was for the same exact place, had offered different facts and information. Although I was never able to obtain a primary resource for the intention of the different contents of the same tour, I assume that this was for the cultural differences that essentially caused a difference in perception of what appeals to a certain demographic or group. The Japanese tour I attended empathized more on how the contribution of Japanese designers and architects whilst the English tour only briefly mentioned such a thing.

This brought me to question how the knowledge you can obtain can drastically vary depending on the language it is offered in. I have always been intrigued by the art produced during the renaissance era. Therefore visiting Florence, Italy, was what I looked the most forward to prior to the trip as I was anticipating gaining direct knowledge from the heart of the Renaissance. Given that Italy was the next country I visited after Spain, this the experience regarding the tour in Barcelona lead me to question how I can obtain the maximum amount of knowledge at my level of understanding as a foreigner that does not understand the native language of the primary resources. This thought continued to haunt me even as I returned back to Japan, as much I enjoyed the trip the sense of the reality of how I had no possible way to get the maximum knowledge even when being emersed in the culture itself bothered me.

Ultimately, this triggered my will to learn a new language. Since I felt the most upset about only being able to experience the outsider’s view of my favorite field of art in Florence, I was determined to learn Italian to challenge myself to be able to be as close as possible to how the people native to the Renaissance perceive the subject. In fact, I was so motivated, I developed the want to receive higher education in Florence, Italy. With two goals, I began taking Italian lessons while also attempting self-taught sessions. Since summer, I attend 2.5hour lessons every 2 weeks in Berlitz corporation. I specifically chose this association for the reason to be able to connect with a person(teacher) that actually comes from the culture they teach. Furthermore, the lessons are fully immersive which allows me to avoid limiting myself as I am pushed to express my thoughts in their language. I believe that my motivation to learn Italian performs my will to communicate over linguistic barriers and to connect with an unfamiliar culture in a deeper level.

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