Tag Archives: language

Around the map: Freshman follows passion for language

Freshman Michaela Duffey is planning to major in French and minor in Japanese. She was the first prize winner of the French competitive scholarship last year and has a knack for syntax and memorization.

“I first started taking French in high school my freshman year,” Duffey said. Duffey began to take Japanese when another friend of hers started telling her about it.

“After one year of [my friend] taking Japanese, and telling me the fun about it, I actually did take both languages in high school,” Duffey said.

Duffey is currently enrolled in French 302 and Japanese 102. Along with the language, a student must learn about the culture as well. Duffey finds it interesting, especially when she looks at both in comparison.

“They are two completely different cultures,” Duffey said. “The languages are almost complete opposites. French is really precise, where in Japanese they usually just assume subject.”

Duffey intertwines the importance of language and culture.

“Learning the social culture that goes along with the languages is very interesting,” Duffey said. “It’s really challenging to yourself sometimes, but it’s really fun to see how other people do it. If you learn a language, you open up a door to another place.”

Outside of classes, Duffey finds other ways to be involved with both cultures and languages through clubs and international students.

“I’m in French and Japanese club,” Duffey said. “I’ve been trying to make friends with the Japanese exchange students. The French teaching assistant is taking Japanese.”

Pronunciation is very important to Duffey. Not only does she want to know all of the languages’ rules, she wants to be able to make her speech in both languages sound authentic.

“For Japanese, we use a lot of sound files from the textbook,” Duffey said. “The thing is you carry vowels from your own language, and they are out of place, so I’m trying to mimic the intonation in vowel sounds.”

Duffey pays special attention to the way a native speaker’s mouth moves. That way she can mimic the sound of the words as closely as possible. Duffey is also taking classes in other materials that will help with her languages. This January Term, she took Latin to learn some of the root words French uses.

“To continue Latin would be fun,” Duffey said. “I’ve had a bucket list of languages.”

To major in French, Duffey only has to have one semester abroad since she started in French 301. She will also have one semester abroad for her Japanese minor.

“This fall, I’m going to France in Aix-en-Provence in AUCP,” Duffey said. For her Japanese minor, Duffey will go to Kanto Gakuin University during spring semester in 2015.

Sometimes, Duffey does mix up Japanese and French, but the deeper she goes into both the easier it will be to keep them separate.

Gilberto Galvez/Features editor

Gilberto Galvez can be reached at linfieldreviewfeatures@gmail.com

Freshman Michaela Duffey helps at the Portland

Mochitsuki festival on Jan. 26. She attended the event with the Japanese Club.

Photo courtesy of Michaela Duffey

Sports are the world’s common language

Sports are a language that everyone can speak.

That’s the beauty about it, especially for athletes like freshman Marisa Kume, who was born in Nagoya, Japan and didn’t start running organized cross country until her sophomore year of high school.

Kume lived in Japan until her sophomore year of high school before following her older brother to the United States for a study abroad program at

Redding Christian High School in Redding, Calif.

According to Kume, cross country teams are unheard of in Japan, so when the opportunity arose at her American high school, she jumped on it, or rather she ran, to it.

“The closest thing we have to cross country in Japan is track and field,” she said. “When I heard there was a small team at my high school, I was excited to try it out.”

Kume signed herself up for the team and the rest is history.

After deciding to continue her education in America at Linfield, Kume was excited for the opportunity to join a collegiate cross country team.

She was attracted to Linfield’s small size, the student-professor comradery and of course the rainy Oregon weather.

Despite English being her second language, she is speaking cross country pretty well.

She is the number two runner for Linfield, and placed third overall in the Linfield Harrier Classic.

“When I was in Japan, I liked running on my own,” Kume said. “Being on the team here is relaxing, but at the same time we all work hard. Everyone has to run for themselves and the team, which helps motivate me to work harder.”

In addition to being a hard-worker on the cross country team, Kume is a hard worker in the class room.

She is an exercise science major and wants to eventually become a physical therapist.

Kume compares athletics to her academic goals.

“I like running long distances even though its hard to keep going,” she said. “Similarly to running long distances, I have to be patient with becoming a physical therapist because I know it will take a lot of schooling.”

Competitors should not be fooled by the language barrier.

Although English may be her second language, just like her competitors, Kume hopes to make it to regionals.

“Yes, I am from another country, but I can communicate with people through sports,” she said. “Even though we don’t speak the same language, the basics are the same. Sports are the one way we can communicate with people from all over the world.”


By Sarah Mason/ Copy editor



Freshman Marisa Kume, an exchange student from Japan, holds her own at the Linfield Harrier Classic on Sept. 7. She finished third place at the classic with a time of 24:59.57.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Gibbon

Tweet proves offensive language still exists in media

After the recent uproar regarding The Onion’s offensive tweet about Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis, I am left wondering where the line is drawn in our controversy-driven culture for what is appropriate and inappropriate to say in the media.
I also wonder how these definitions influence our daily speech as products of a consumer society, especially on a college campus, where people of different backgrounds, experiences, prejudices and beliefs all interact. How can we respect our peers while still expressing ourselves?
Offensive and derogatory language is found everywhere in the media today. On any reality TV show, in any rap song and basically everywhere on the Internet, this kind of speech is advertised as a daily part of life. But is this really justified?
And when we as individuals repeat these words and sentiments, are we really agreeing with what is being said? I like to think of myself as a person with morals, but I’ll be the first to admit that my language isn’t always the cleanest. I strongly support women’s rights; however, at times, I’ve caught myself using words historically targeted at suppressing women. In fact, I use them a lot.
But when I say these things, it’s not with the intention of keeping my gender subordinated, or any group for that matter, I’m just mindlessly repeating words
I’ve heard over and over. Does the meaning behind the word change the way it should be interpreted, and if that is the case, how can we determine if a word is meant to incite, or is simply part of our generation’s way of expressing themselves?
One word I do not and will not use is the n-word. While walking around campus, however, even in a place like McMinnville, I hear it used all the time. While I can tell that the people saying it don’t mean it as an insult, does that make it any better?
Does our fundamental understanding of the history of that word mean nothing to us in a culture where we can hear the n-word used over and over in popular music being played on the radio [they do bleep it out, but come on, we all know the lyrics]?
Less than 30 years ago it was completely inappropriate to refer to someone by this word, but as the meaning behind it changed, so has the usage. In 30 years, will we all think it’s acceptable for the media to use the c-word to refer to a female, like in the case of Quvenzhané Wallis?
I’ve heard the argument that a new meaning can take away the insulting quality of a word, but can hundreds of years of oppression and mistreatment be forgotten so easily? Should we forget about this history?
Other words like retarded and gay, which have been changed from their original meaning to become something negative, are also a daily part of our lives. I can’t explain how infuriated it makes me when I hear someone use the word retarded. My cousin has William’s Syndrome, and while I know that usually the people who say “that’s retarded” are not evil, and do not believe my cousin is a lesser human being, it still disgusts me. I have many friends, neighbors and teachers who are homosexual, and the discrimination against them is, on all accounts, unjustified.
When we allow ourselves to repeat offensive language, either out of forgetfulness, altered meaning or simply for shock factor, we have to be responsible for the way others might interpret our meaning. I’m not saying that strong language is not, at times, justified, but if the backlash from The Onion’s tweet shows us anything, it’s that words can still make a huge impact on the people around us.

Olivia Marovich

Olivia Marovich can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.