Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Here is Ms. Alyssa Donovan from Maine, second-place winner of Korean Speech Contest held by U.S. National Association of Korean Schools. (The video is from the qualifying regional round in New England.) A high school sophomore, Ms. Donovan is the first-ever award-recipient in the contest history who is not of Korean descent. More about Ms. Donovan here.


Very well done, Ms. Donovan.

(Via KoreAm magazine)

11 comments:

  1. I don't get jealous about many things. I honestly don't. But seeing other foreigners speak Korean like this makes me absolutely boil with envious rage deep down in the blackest part of my heart.

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  2. Man, that's a crazy insane level of dedication couples with some talent. I remember the first six months I spent learning Korean, and I wouldn't go back to those six months for any amount of money. And even after almost four years of learning Korean (albeit mostly by watching dramas...) I'm still nowhere near fluent. Conversationally I do just fine, but a speech contest? Yikes.

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  3. dang, didn't know people in the states did stuff like this.

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  4. Ms. Donovan deserves praise and all the career opportunities she can handle. But, surprise, the Dong-A, has to make her sound like a, well, Korean woman (http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?bicode=060000&biid=2011072187278). Why did she elect to study Korean?

    “I started to study Korean because I had a crush on a Korean boy...Impressed with their daughter`s enthusiasm, her parents started to appreciate her learning Korean. Douglas said over the phone that she is proud of her daughter because of her outstanding capability in language and that she understands Korea better thanks to her daughter.

    Donovan said her personality went from being passive and reserved into positive and enthusiastic after learning Korean. Her grades also improved as she was ranked second in her class of 300."

    I suspect Ms. Donovan became more positive and enthusiastic, because she realized language study is a steep hill and that she deserves all the credit she can get, not because of any intrinsic cultural properties imparted through the language. If I were her pareent I would also be proud she took on a challenge and conquered it. But, why do we need to rain on Ms. Donovan's party by dragging her parents in to this? It's her career, her performance, and her motivations.

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  5. Discussing parental support is "raining on" Ms. Donovan's parade? How does that make sense?

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  6. Man. I am going to go dig out my flashcards.

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  7. Jealousssss. Of course, she obviously worked very hard and earned it! I only know basic phrases in Korean so far... xD

    On the other hand, this makes me hopeful that if I spend years also working hard like she did, I might be able to attain this same level of fluency. ^_^

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  8. I'm gonna be like this someday -- hell yeah. This is some prime motivation right here! Congratulations to her! :)

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  9. My motivation to study Korean these days is decreasing until i see this video.People who knows I'm learning korean thinks that I'm being unrealistic ,that my interest in Korean Language will soon fade completely .But this video reminds me how I really enjoy discovering the beauty of 한글.The funny thing is I fell in love in my kinder garten year(I was attending a church with a Korean pastor) and my first love was the language itself .This video will reminds me everyday to study very hard and one day I'll achieve at least a proficient level.I've been studying Korean for 6 months and some Koreans I've talked to told me that my accent is close to Koreans.Now that should inspires me to challenge my self more.할 수 있어!

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  10. The way she's speaking... has a really nice flow. Her voice is really soothing too. Though I do not know the Korean language at all, the way she speaks, the way she enunciates her words, sent goosebumps down my spine. I've never had that feeling before. Congratulations to Alyssa!!

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  11. Wow, I just stumbled upon this now haha. Thank you all for your compliments. I started studying Korean in April 2007, taking classes from October 2007, so at that time it had been about 4 years. Now I'm at almost 7 years, and I'm part of the prestigious Korean Language Flagship Center at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, earning my BA in Korean for Professionals. I recently passed level 6 of the TOPIK, too, which was pretty thrilling.

    I doubt my response will be seen by any of you, but...

    @Hume's Bastard: I said that I've become more optimistic and open because learning Korean put me in a position where I was forced to put myself out there and meet new people. These new people, my new knowledge of the world, and my boost in self-esteem from doing it well had the effect, so you're right. It wasn't anything special about Korean or Korean culture. I just clicked with Korean in a way that I hadn't with Spanish before. :)

    Also, my mom's support resulted in my access to resources, including textbooks, programs, and even getting enrolled in the Korean school where I studied, so her support was instrumental in my success. She acknowledged my drive and got me started toward realizing my dreams.

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