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ARTICLE: Third Generation Korean-Japanese to Teach Korean

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14 Mar 2002
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This article was taken from the Digital Chosun; April 8, 2001

Third Generation Korean-Japanese to Teach Korean

Mayumi Moon (27) is a 3rd generation Korean-Japanese who says that she did not know any Korea until she reached the age of 24. She says, "When you are a 3rd generation Korean-Japanese, you easily forget the fact the you are Korean. I went to a 100% Japanese school all my life and only had Japanese friends." Moon, however, applied to Korean Language Education College in Korea University last year to become a Korean language teacher.

Moon said that her parents were too busy working to teach her how to speak Korean, since both had to work to earn a living. Her father was a taxi driver and her mother made clothes for living. She first decided to learn Korean when her father passed away from stroke after falling down a set of stairs in 1999. Her father's relatives came from Korea but Moon could not understand what they were saying at the funeral. She recalls that, "I was sad knowing that I can't communicate with my own relatives."

She began studying Korean right after the funeral and decided to quit a stable job in a bank where she had worked for six years. Moon flew to Korea in 1999 to take extensive courses on Korean language and set her goals to apply for Korean language education college. Her close friends said it would be impossible but she was finally accepted last March to Korea University.

Moon says, "I am a Korean in Japan but I was ashamed to say so before I learned to speak the language." She added that she hopes to teach Korean to Korean-Japanese who have forgotten that they are Koreans.

By Park Min-sun, [email protected]

Copyright ツゥ Digital Chosun
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