Origin Effects: Chinese versus Japanese Part 2
Although generally speaking, Alan didn’t provide too much details about his direct encounters with Japanese speakers, we can still observe several characters that were emphasized in the telling of his trip. For example, Alan go into depth about his experience with his mom when they went to a store similar to CVS called Lawson. During the time that they spend in the store, they were able to find everything that they wanted to find except for repellant spray for mosquitoes. The shop assistant saw that they were in trouble and proceeded to assist them. However, the language barrier between the two parties prevented the assistant and another employee in the store from aiding them. After trying vigorously using different tones of the word “mosquito” and applying body language to his attempts, Alan almost gave up. It wasn’t until he wrote the Chinese character for “mosquito” in the hopes of at least one of the character will prove to be similar to that of its Japanese counterpart. It proved to be a success and the assistant, alongside the other employee, handed them everything that had to do with the word “mosquito”. One of the highlights of that scenario was the assistant willingness to proceed to assist the other despite the fact that there was a language barrier. “We were feeling very sorry for wasting their so much working time, but they still wanted to help us and tried every effort” is an example of both employees persistence in trying to assist them. Even despite the challenge of them having trouble trying to comprehend what Alan and his mom wanted, they were still excited and eager to help them after they had a little more help- “but they understand “蚊” for mosquitos! They were excited and brought us several products”. The identities of both employees can be persistence and willingness to assist their customers.
Although the two languages native speakers’ identities may be influenced by the origin of the language that they speak, it is very important that I emphasize how an individual characteristics also contributes to their identities. The individuals’ morals, perspective, and interests plays an important part of who they are as a person. A good example is how Alan was able to cross the language barrier and got the employees to understand what he and his mom was asking for. He came up with an idea to use body language in the hopes that they will be able to piece it together to help him find mosquito repellant. The ability of him to come up with an idea like that in that situation shows that he is capable of thinking quickly and using alternative options to achieve a certain goal.
In conclusion, the identities of both Alan (Chinese speaker) and both employees (Japanese speakers) have proved to be different, but also similar in a way. The similarity between their identities can be expressed in their persistence to achieve their “goal”. Alan’s goal was to obtain a spray can of mosquito repellant, but in order for him to do that, he required the assistance of the employees. The employees’ goal was to assist Alan’s and his mom. Both had to maneuver around their common obstacle in order to achieve their goal. It was their persistence that aided them in doing so. They’re identities differ in the way that they chose to achieve their goal. Alan tried different methods to convey his need for assistance, such as using “body language by mocking the actions of spraying something and getting rid of the mosquitoes” (Alan). On the other hand, the shopping assistant called another employee over to try to help figure out what Alan and his mom was looking for. Although they both showed their persistence to achieve a goal, the methods that they use to try to achieve that goal is what makes them different and shape their identities as individuals. As for if their origin affects their identities, I’m going to say yes and no. Yes, because of the fact that who they are as citizens of their country and the ability to be native speakers of that country’s language derived from the “old” language. In other words, their identities as a Chinese speaker or Japanese speaker was only possible due to the migration and revolution of the “old” language. However, I believe there is also a no to the question as well. The identities that I explained within my literary piece can also be the individual own characteristics. Now I am not saying that their identities are not affected by the “old” languages, but rather trying to explain that their own attributes as a human being can also plays a vital role in their identities. Thus, one can safely assume that the origin of both Chinese and Japanese and the characteristic of an individual can play vital roles in the make-up of one’s identity.