My Struggle With Language Barrier

My Struggle With Language Barrier

Being Tri-lingual is difficult.
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Coming to study abroad in Japan for an entire semester, I knew that there would be some difficulties I would face. However, I never thought that the language would be the main one. I though that after three semesters of a language, I would be able to at least have simple conversations with people. I feel as if all the time and money put into me learning a language was for nothing. It's not necessarily that I don't know how to speak, but I just get so nervous that I'm going to say something wrong that I forget everything I learned. All the vocabulary and grammar rules just leave my brain, and sometimes even English too.

This has also been a huge struggle with my host family. I originally requested a family that knows a lot of English but my family knows no English at all. Half the time I don't know what they are saying and the other half I do but don't know how to respond. It's so frustrating that sometimes my host sister (who is 8) will say, "Camille can't understand Japanese," which I can understand but can't really respond too.

Although I could have easily left my host family and go to the dorms, I figured this would force me to study more; which it has. Both my family and I try really hard to understand each other with dictionaries and writing. We even act it out or draw it on a white board which makes it also a lot more fun and less stressful. Plus, I have just started to get use to living with them.

One of the biggest issues I am facing is the accents. Just like how in the U.S. you can tell if someone is from Kentucky or from New York, Japan has accents as well. In class they each you Tokyo Japanese which is considered "proper Japanese." However, my host school and my homestay are in Osaka so everyone has an Osaka dialect (Osaka-ben). For the most part, this means that some words have different slang meaning or (most of the time) words and phrases are shortened or pronounced differently.

More specifically my host school is located in the Kansai region of Osaka so not only am I struggling with Osaka-ben, now I have deal with Kansai-ben too! The words and the way people around my school and homestay say things are different from other locations like central Osaka. This makes listening to people and trying to understand them very difficult. I'm still learning a lot and struggling when communicating with people but hopefully by the end of the semester I will feel much better with my Japanese. Then again, I guess this wouldn't be such a worth wild challenge if there wasn't some kind of language barrier.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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11 K-Pop Artists Beyond BTS You Should Be Paying More Attention To

K-pop is more than just BTS and Blackpink.

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You can't glance at the charts for this year without seeing entries from BTS and Blackpink, but there are many K-Pop artists and groups that are just as talented and deserve the attention their peers are receiving.

1. Hyuna

You might recognize Hyuna as the girl from the “Gangnam Style" music video. However, Hyuna has had a lucrative career of her own and has been active since she was a teenager. Despite the fact she was just booted from her entertainment company, due to coming out with her relationship with fellow K-Pop star, E'dawn, Hyuna isn't slowing down any time soon and afternoon watching a few of her videos she will definitely be your new queen.

2. NCT

Having just debuted last year, NCT is made up of 18 members and are split into 3 different units. With so many members, NCT has already explored various different genres and styles of music and worked to use the individual talents of the members. NCT is worth a listen and I'll guarantee at least one song will have you dancing and feeling yourself.

3. Jay Park

Originally hailing from Seattle, Jay Park is a K-Pop idol with local connections! This makes him popular on both sides of the Pacific and his music is always pushing the envelope. Known for his R&B and hip hop sounds, he does incorporate aspects of many other genres in his music and is one of the leading soloists today.

4. Amber Liu

You may have seen Amber Liu in a number of Buzzfeed videos. Having been criticized for her masculine appearance, Amber continues to persevere and be herself. While her group f(x) hasn't been active for a while, both they and Amber have remained active with their fans and have dabbled in solo projects.

5. GOT7

GOT7 is another boy group in the vein of BTS. Debuting in 2015, the 7 member band has a large fan base both within South Korea and outside. Their songs vary in style and while they share many similarities with BTS, the band manages to separated themselves.

6. Monsta X

A more recently formed boy group, Monsta X is just beginning to see their popularity rise both overseas and in South Korea. With a sound that blends hip hop, electronic, and pop music, their songs are also fun and dance worthy. They are often known for their beautifully produced and aesthetic music videos.

7. Twice

As one of the highest grossing girl bands in South Korea, Twice has been taking the world by storm. The girl group is comprised of nine members and is known for their large fan base and catchy tunes.

8. Red Velvet

Red Velvet is a five-person girl group that deserves much more international attention than they currently receive. Known for their hits like "Russian Roulette" and "Ice Cream Cake". Their songs range from cutesy and bubbly to elegant and mature, making Red Velvet a diverse group that can take on any concept.

9. Sunmi

Sunmi, like Hyuna, has been active since she was a teenager. Other than being breathtakingly gorgeous and talented, Sunmi has a reputation for being one of the nicest idols in K-Pop. “Gashina" is also a total bop and female empowerment anthem that you'll have on repeat.

10. Seventeen

Once again, another boy group. Contrary to their name, the group has 13 members, and like NCT, is divided into units. Much like BTS, the members of Seventeen are deeply involved in the music making process including writing and production. This gives their music authenticity and shows the talent of each of the members.

11. Holland

Holland made news earlier this year for becoming the first openly gay K-pop star. Not only does this show great progression for LGBT rights in South Korea and Asia, but Holland's openness and acceptance of himself is honestly inspiring. And, to top it all off, his music is great and he's fiercely talented.

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