I have a question for anyone living in (or who has lived in HW)....(or anyone else who feels like commenting!)
I am currently taking Mandarin Chinese at school due to my interest in the traditional medicine and culture. My husband and I have decided to move to Hawaii in the next year or so. Now, I have heard that there is something like %20 Japanese people on the islands (called: "little Japan") and something like %5 Chinese on the islands. (mostly Cantonese speakers-some Mandarin) Does anyone have direct experience and know this to be true or not? I am still interested in Western medicine, and when I move to Hawaii, want to be prepared with a second language that is fun and practical for where I live. I am undecided still as to if I will pursue the MD or alternative medicine yet, but I am only a soph and doing my pre-reqs so I have a little time to decide still. I am wondering if I ought to be taking Japanese instead. In general, it seems more practical...
Does anyone have comments? I usually am a "head-in-the-clouds" type of dreamer, and for once am trying to be practical like my parents have been telling me my whole life... I find it hard though because (as an INTJ) I am always conceiving the most remote possibilities and contriving plans to attain them! (I have briefly entertained the idea of taking both-but decided that with Chem would be sheer madness) :boggled: Oh to have more simple goals and desires in life!
I lived in Honolulu a few years ago - supposedly 30% of the population speaks Japanese (and Japanese were definitely the majority of the tourists on Oahu). Fewer Chinese speakers it seemed and as you say, mainly from Hong Kong/Canton....
I was born and raised there and moved away for college when I was 19. I am from Oahu yet now I live in Virginia. Anyway, I think local Japanese people already know how to speak English - it's the tourist Japanese that you would use your language skills. Also, there are local Chinese people who have lived in Hawaii for years and those who are immigrants. The immigrants mostly don't speak English well. Basically, the immigrants who move in or are tourists are the one's who don't speak English very well. Otherwise, those who have lived there for generations speak English albeit a creole version called "pidgin English." You will still be able to communicate with them, though.
I have decided to stick with Chinese because of my interest in Chinese medicine, and it is proving to be rewarding. You are right that most people speak English fine, but it is for that very reason that I desire to learn one of the languages. So many people do not learn the languages of other cultures because everyone is learning English. I like to see the face of others when you speak to them in their native tounge. It is an immediate key into their culture. I had an Arab girl say to me recently that she hadn't met anyone in her 6 months in the US who had bothered to learn anything about her language. She was shocked that I knew a little Arabic, yet she speaks my language fluently.
It's embarassing and sad that Americans know so little of the languages and cultures of other people in the world.
Anyway, not to get sidetracked on a sociological rant here...I am liking Chinese although it is devouring all of my evenings and weekends. I thought Chemistry was bad!
:boggled: (man I like that face!)