GCD Reflection Intercultural Communication – Bilingualism

Being Bilingual

I have grown up speaking two languages Japanese and English. Being bilingual allowed me to realize how different my attitude and register between speaking the two languages. For example when I speak English I tend to be more confident. So when I’m in a position where I teach, like when I tell my friends something about school, I tend to speak English. Although this is influenced by the fact that I learn most of the material in English, I also found my self talking about a Japanese literary work in English, and I found myself more comfortable. On the other hand, when I speak Japanese I tend to be more modest and respectful. For example, when I talk to a new student or a when I ask a classmate favor, I find myself using Japanese, because it has a more polite tone. Additionally, although not quite about language, I noticed that when I talk to someone older in English, I find myself doing typically Japanese gestures such as bowing, or using passive/indirect expressions.

Learning Korean

Inspired by a friend who speaks 3 languages, English, Korean, and Japanese, I started to learn Korean online (outside of classes). I definitely still a beginner, but I find it fascinating that there are many similar pronunciation between Korean and Japanese words. For example, library in Japanese is “To-sho-kan”, while in Korean it is “Do-seo-kwan”. I found this interesting because it shows the way words diffused across countries, and how words were traded long time ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *