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わたし October 18, 2012

The above, which reads ‘watashi,’ means simply “I.” It took my colleague and I two weeks to appreciate this, and we have far from mastered its use. This, of course, is only “I” as expressed in Hiragana, one of Japan’s three written alphabets (the other two being Katakana and Kanji). But that is just the beginning. ‘Watashi’ is only one (gender neutral) way of referring to oneself. ‘Watakushi’ is a more formal (even arrogant) variation; ‘boku’ is a polite masculine form, ‘ore’ an aggressive masculine form (for tough guys). But it doesn’t stop there; atashi, uchi, kochira, ware, wagahai, oira, shessha, atai, yo, and warawa are all distinct ways of expressing “I” in Japanese, each with their own connotations and proper context.

As you can imagine, all of these possibilities leave my colleague and I asking: “Who am I?” Or, to relate it to our work at the UCWBL, who am I as a tutor, in the context of a multilingual partnership? (more…)


This Quarter at the CMWR April 20, 2012

Read a mystery, explore culture, and meet people from all over the world!

The Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research does all this every Friday.  On April 13th the CMWR re-launched two of our most popular initiatives: The Book Club and the Conversation and Culture group.  The Book Club this quarter is reading The Westing Game, a classic mystery novel, and Conversation and Culture kicked off the quarter with a discussion on changing technology and American culture. Both groups had record turnouts, and we at the CMWR are looking forward to meeting new people and reconnecting with friends from previous quarters.

These groups are open to anyone in the DePaul community who is interested in exploring ideas from a multicultural perspective.   Email us at CMWR@depaul.edu for more information!