University of California - Los Angeles
Bringing Languages to Life
What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Drenched in sweat, I was more than ready to hop on the last subway to my hotel. Suddenly, a hand grabbed my shoulder. With my tiny fists clenched, I braced for a fight as I slowly turned around. And there, I saw a mob of Asian grandmothers."Ni hao! Ni zhi dao Jinmen daqiao zai nar?" one asked. I relaxed, relieved that I would live another day. But a new challenge faced me: answering back in Chinese.A simple question - where the Brooklyn Bridge was - turned into a puzzle in my brain. My Korean mother and Chinese father have nurtured me relentlessly to teach me their mother tongues. At the age of five, I had mastered three languages. But as I grew older, bits and pieces of the language vanished from my mind. I was nervous. My voice shook as I took out my map and pointed to our current location, guiding my finger along to the destination as I explained which trains to take. Although a bit rusty, I was surprised at how naturally the words rolled off my tongue. They looked at me with a bright smile and gave me a thumbs up saying, "Xie Xie! No worry. Your Chinese good."I had succeeded. That nerve-racking evening two summers ago gave me an opportunity to utilize my ability to speak three languages. Since then, I have indulged myself...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1040 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8042 literature essays, 2253 sample college application essays, 348 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in