Language Barrier

Language is a funny thing. You can say a lot in a few words, you can say nothing in a 20-minute speech, and you can even shout without even opening your mouth–with just a glance or a gesture. They say that some things are universal, like a smile, but even that can belie one’s true…

Read More

Meet the Parents; or My Unexpected Language Immersion Trip

This is my third time visiting South Africa and this time I wanted to see the other side of the country; see Johannesburg. We could’ve flown, but I like road trips, so we packed up the car and made the 15 hour drive. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help Efrem drive because I can’t drive a manual…

Read More

The Importance of Language

I’ve always had a real desire to learn other languages, and I think I have a pretty good knack for it when I actually get into intensive study. Over the course of my schooling, I’ve studied French (the most), Spanish, and Portuguese (while abroad). The only language I’ve really managed to retain is Portuguese given that…

Read More

Made in Taiwan

(Written yesterday in Tokyo-Narita Airport) I am finally en route back to the United States and I will say my first excursion to the continent of Asia has exceeded all of my expectations. I never really cared too much about coming to this part of the world. My first priorities were always the continent of…

Read More

“Okay, okay. Let’s GO!”

*Sigh* so we went back to Taipei, sans our Taiwanese partners. Mal and I had one last meal with our great partners this morning at breakfast, granted it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the majority of the meals we’ve had with the two of them. Then we packed up our stuff and loaded the bus.…

Read More

How ya mama n ’em?

Yesterday, was the first day of our classes in this trip to Taiwan. We started the day off meeting up in the lobby to discuss the day’s plans. I and my roommate had secretly been plotting trying to partner up with the two Asia University students that spoke the best English, only to have that plan…

Read More

Hand Signals & Calculators

Stop for a moment and think about all the personal encounters you’ve had in the U.S., or have witnessed, with non-English speakers. Think about the level of impatience had with, or complete dismissal of, that non-English speaking person. We are, as a nation, pretty ridiculous. As are some other nations when it comes to non-speakers…

Read More

Might as well be written in Chinese…

I had my first day of exploring Taiwan with a friend here, and let me say it has been interesting. First let me backtrack to the flight from Tokyo to Taiwan on Japan Airlines, because that was also nutty. The meal they served on this flight (mind you we weren’t expecting to really eat on…

Read More