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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let's Practice!

Left: South Korea ; Right: Japan



Living in West Virginia, a state known for country living, I've listened to everything from country to rap, pop to hip-hop, jazz to alternative, and even screamo, or emo, or metal music. However, due to my like of Manga (Japanese comics), Anime (Japanese animation), and now Manhwa (Korean comics), along with my recent like of Japanese or Korean drama's, I have grown to like foreign music. Specifically Korean and Japanese pop, alternative, indie, rock, and some metal.


I began to get in to Japanese music when I watched an anime called "Inuyasha", written by Rumiko Takahashi, which plays on Adult Swim that starts at 9:00pm on channel fifty-two (52) for my area. "Inuyasha" translates to: Inu meaning Dog and Yasha meaning demon, so literally "dog demon", which is what the show is about in a nutshell. The ending and opening themes of the show had me trying to sing the actual songs, without translations or lyrics. So, I went to google. What I found made me search more and more anime theme songs, openings or closings, and their lyrics. What I found was the difficulty of learning Japanese, just because there are lyrics or websites where I can read the phonetic words, does not mean it's going to be easy. It will get easy when you practice, a lot. I got the hang of it when I was twelve, at least for Japanese, and now I'm trying my hardest at Korean.


I tried focusing on the lip movements while having the actual music video or a lyric video of the song(s) on repeat. Over the years, I've learned a few words, phrases, sentences, and songs in Japanese. Now I'm learning words, phrases, sentences, and songs in Korean. Trying to learn two languages, not to mention cultures and lifestyles, at once is confusing, hard, and sometimes wrong. While the internet is the only place a broke college student like myself can find information on the countries, it's sometimes hard to find the truth. The site http://about.com has helped me with Japanese learning. While even http://youtube.com has helped me with learning both languages.


I'm sure people in my class have visited youtube, have accounts, or just skim through the videos on the site. Youtube's front page has eleven sections of videos in a certain subject you can just click on and go. The first section is music and lately, I've seen a lot of Korean or Japanese music videos in this section. Including: 2NE1, Girls Generation, Wonder Girls, Big Bang, DBSK/TVXQ, and more, including live videos from Korean music shows; Korean music recently had videos under youtube's "spotlight" section for the whole day. There have also been Japanese concerts at anime conventions and a recent Korean concert in New Jersey, flashmob's in Paris, Canada, New York, Spain, and other countries, also, many artists from Japan or Korea are coming to the US on world tours.


These concerts give a lot of people the opportunity to try Korean or Japanese culture, personalities, talent, or even sometimes food, like at the past October 9th 2011 concert in New Jersey. Korean music is a growing trend in America, with youtube as proof, and other countries, that is continuing to grow. Now, this is a long story about me, myself, and I in my journey of learning foreign culture(s), but here's the point...


Learning about a foreign culture can be hard and sometimes make you want to quit halfway through, but you have to keep going. It is so rewarding in the end to be able to learn, understand, communicate, and even amaze your friends and family with how strong you are to take on another language. For me, it's a big stress reliever and helps me relax, so I sometimes listen to Korean or Japanese music while surfing the web, hanging out at home, taking a walk, on campus, or even doing homework. While chewing gum or sucking candy or a mint helps some people, listening to music helps me relax and even focus better.


While the Korean or Japanese language isn't for everyone, there are many other languages or cultures that are just as challenging and fun to learn. You do not have to be in to the "pop" culture of any country to learn it's language, in other words, to like the countries music or cartoons is not a must... maybe a suggestion, though. Although, if you want to learn about Japanese or Korean culture, language, or even anime and manga, I can give you a few websites, listed below.


Japan:
1.) http://search.about.com/?q=japan

2.) http://www.tokyohive.com

3.) http://www.jpopasia.com


Korea:
1.) http://talktomeinkorean.com

2.) http://www.allkpop.com

3.) http://kormore.com


Inuyasha: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InuYasha


Anime:
1.) http://www.animenewsnetwork.com

2.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime

3.) http://www.funimation.com



Manga:
1.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manga

2.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_English-language_manga

3.) http://www.mangaupdates.com



Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
(please take care of me)


^_____^/)

1 comments:

MaseWall720 said...

I'm very impressed by your interest to learn a language other than your primary language. I too am attempting to learn Spanish, as it seems to me to be the most practical second language to learn in the U.S. I know how hard it can be to stick with it, probably even harder for you since your trying to learn Japanese and Korean. I have had about 8 semesters of Spanish (including high school) under my belt, and I still don't have a strong grasp on the language. Maybe I'll try using youtube and other websites to help further my understanding. Many people have told me that the best way to learn a different language is to travel to a country that speaks that language. I know that's not always a possibility for everyone, but it would be the best way in my opinion.