FLAS Recipients Spend Year at IUC in Yokohoma

At IUC, I’ve not only been learning how to speak Japanese, but have also been learning more about yakuwarigo, how the language marks one’s social status, gender, age, etc., and have been working with a professor on looking at how pop culture uses this to convey information to its readers. It is incredibly interesting and I am really glad I had the opportunity to come out here to study and meet Japanese Studies graduate students from other areas of the US as well. The picture is of me at the summit of Mt. Yōtei in Hokkaidō, known as the Mt. Fuji of Ezo because of its resemblance. –Kim Shonborn, MA student (Asian Studies)

Kim on top of Mt. Yotei

In this past year I have made enormous strides in my understanding of both modern and classical Japanese. This has made communicating with traditional performance artists in my field of study so much easier and opened doors I would have been afraid to open before. The FLAS has enabled me to consider my research subject through the eyes of the people who live it every day and in the language they speak and think in.  –Alex Rogals, PhD student (Theatre & Dance)


Chinese Language FLAS, Summer 2014

Congratulations to four UHM students who received FLAS support for intensive language study in China: Koa Webster, Ruby MacDougall, Duncan Aylor, and Melanie Nash.  Koa spent the summer at Hainan University studying Mandarin.  He writes: “Over the summer I noticed my listening skill became much better and my speaking became more fluid, I could figure out what people were saying if I didn’t know a word they were able to use Chinese to explain the meaning.  I believe I still have a lot more to learn, but the best part of the experience was feeling myself progress over the course of the program.”  Ruby studied Mandarin at Yunnan University in Kunming.  She says, “Before this summer, I was very intimidated by academic writing in Mandarin and this hindered my research progress. Now, I have much greater ability to understand academic sources written in Mandarin and I believe this will open up exciting new possibilities for my research and for future academic discoveries!”  Duncan studied Mandarin in Beijing.  According to Duncan, “The FLAS was extremely helpful.  The best part about it was that it allowed one to design their own program of study while in country, so one could tailor the studying to one’s specific needs.  I was able to focus on the skills I needed most, which was not only practical but also helped me to stay motivated. ”