Sunday, January 11, 2009

even dora is bi

i felt a little silly that morning, being so impressed with the young girl working behind the counter at the seven-eleven in downtown seoul, south korea.

of course she spoke korean to the first two customers in line. but the third customer, an elderly woman, was clearly japanese. the young counter girl easily slid into fluent japanese, and helped the woman find some hand cream she had been searching for.

when i stepped to the counter, she smiled and said "were you able to find all your items?" and continued in clear, plain english.

i really shouldn't have been surprised. multilingualism isn't unusual; in fact, it's the norm for most of the world's societies. even dora the explorer speaks two languages.

and then there's this.

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