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Being a Heritage Language Speaker

Being a heritage language speaker is a thing, especially in countries where there are/were a lot of immigrants. A heritage language speaker is a speaker that grows up learning a language that is not the dominant language of the country of residence. I am one of these speakers; I grew up speaking Japanese in the…

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What it’s like Loving Languages and Being Shy

Being shy was a characteristic of mine before being a language lover was; when I was a kid, I’d be too scared to order my own soda at a restaurant, and then ask my parents to do it for me, whom had already ordered the whole table water. I’d chicken out and preferred drinking water to…

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My Study Abroad Experience in Brazil

I have traveled and toured a handful of countries and during that time period I have learned a thing or two about wine and food, history and art. I’ve learned how to appreciate a place for what it is–the summative beauty of the food, the people, the landscape, the language, the lingering history as a…

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What I Actually Did During Winter Break

If you remember this post, I wrote about how I wanted to do things like learn Cyrillic, learn Italian or Catalan, and improve my French during my winter break. None of that actually happened, and to be honest, it’s probably because I’m extremely lazy and/or have a lack of motivation. I’m not sorry though; this…

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My Favorite Word

I’ve been asked countless times what my favorite word is, in each of my languages or out of all my languages. I’ve never had a favorite word in general, but I’ve always said the (traditional) Chinese/Japanese character of 爱 was one of my favorite written words. Being more preferencial towards writing instead of speaking, it…

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A Language Geek’s “Winter Break” List

I’m nearing the end of my fall semester and I don’t have any plans for an extravagant winter trip out of the country. At first, I was really not okay with sitting at home all day and not seeing more of the world (haha) but I’m slowly compiling a list of things I would like…

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My Language Story: How I Started Loving Languages

A question I’ve gotten a lot over the past few years has to do with how I got into languages. Basically, people asking how I spiraled out of control with this “addiction.” I have two different languages stories that somehow coincide somewhere, but begin separately: how my life was before/after I started loving languages and…

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Nicaragua: A Journey of Spanish Language

Every language skill is tested when you’re in a foreign country that natively speaks your targeted language. You hear the mutterings of the people on the street, you see the words written on signs, and if you’re bold, you’ll feel the language on your own tongue, too. My journey to Nicaragua left me with a…

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The Heart Language

When I started speaking, I spoke English. And Japanese. I watched Japanese TV shows and dramas, I watched the news and the weather every day before elementary school while my obachan did my hair. I went to Japanese school every Saturday for years. I was raised in California, but I was just as much raised…