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Zen Yukin

Apr 13, 2018Canadian, Chinese, Female, Life&Food

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Were you raised in a different country than your parents?


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José Cruz: I don’t really know um, about- that much about you. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself.

Zen Yukin: Ah well, I’m- You know I’m Chinese, (Mm-hmm) but not everyone knowYukin should have said, “knows”, (0:12) I’m a Chinese-born Korean. Yeah so my mother language is Korean, not Chinese. (Oh really?) Yes. (Oh) Yeah, Korean but, actually I’m not really good at Korean, ha ha because I- I stopped learning Korean from maybe 10 years old? Yeah.

José: You were born in China (Yeah) And how long did you live in China?

Yukin: Uh, 19 years.

José: Oh OK, (Yeah) so you were born in China, and you grew up in China.

Yukin: And I grew up in China.

José: Oh OK OK. (And) But your family is from Korea.

Yukin: Yeah they they- all.

José: Huhh. I had no idea about that. I had no- I thought, you know- I looked at your name. (Uh huh) “Zen Yuu” (Yeah yeah) And and uh, wait, is that your full name? What’s your full name again?

Yukin: My full name is “Zen Yukin” Zen Yukin. Uh whi- in Korea we say, Zun Yon Gun. Ha ha.

José: So your family name is “Zen”. (Zen yeah) OK OK. Your family name is Zen. If your family name had been “Kin” (Mm-hmm) then I would have thought you’re Korean. (Uh yeah yeah) So the “Zen” is a Chinese name? Or is that a Korean Name?

Yukin: It’s a Korean name.

José: It’s a Korean name? (Yeah) And in Korean name you say, “Gon”.

Yukin: Uh “Zun” (Zun) Zun. (That’s OK) It’s so complicated, I know.

José: It’s- That’s really interesting. I didn’t- I didn’t know that about you. (Uh yeah) So your family, why were they in China?

Yukin: Hmm. I don’t know either. Ha ha.

José: OK. UH, well what does your father do? Was it your father’s business?

Yukin: Uh. No uh my father is just a piano teacher.

José: OK, so so why are you here in Japan then, to study?

Yukin: Uh because my mom is here.

José: Oh your mom is here. (Yeah yeah) Oh OK. OK.

Yukin: He- She moved to Japan…

José: He? She?

Yukin: She. She moved to Japan um when I was three years old, which was 1998.

José: Hold it. Wait a minute Ah so- Oh OK. So, you lived in China until you were 19.(Yeah) And you’re mom moved to Japan (When I) when you (was three) were 3 years old. OK OK. Keep going. Tell me some more. So you’re Chinese-born and Korean, but you don’t speak Korean very well.

Yukin: Well yeah because I didn’t need to speak Korean when I was in China. (Of course) Ah there are so many Chinese speakerspeaker: Yukin should have said, “speakers” (2:53). (Uh huh) Uh and I went to the normal Chinese school- elementary school (Mm hmm) when I was ten years old (Mm hmm) and I started to learn Chinese and English.

José: Sure. Of course. (Yeah) Chinese of course. You’re going to- You’re- (Mm-hmm) Basically would you say the way your- your thinking is basically Chinese? You’re basically a Chinese person you would say?

Yukin: Uh may may- maybe. (OK) Uh um, my thinking is so like Chinese people.

José: Mm. And I- I can completely understand that situation because when when I think of myself (Mm hmm) I think, myself, I’m completely Canadian. (Ha ha) I don’t think of myself in anyway as as being Pilipino. I understand the Philippines (Mm hmm) and I understand even some of the language but there’s no way I would say that I’m I’m at all Pilipino.

Yukin: Yeah yeah like that.

José: Yeah OK. (Ha ha)


Do you have any friends that are from another country?

Would you find it difficult to live in a new culture?

While Yukin might need to work on vocabulary and grammar skills in English, her other fluency skills are at least as good as a native speaker’s; skills such as quick responses, use of filler words, and using English only.

José is not speaking with as many slang terms or even contractions in his speaking but he is generally speaking at his normal speaking rate for a native level conversation.

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Slipstream Harbour

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José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia

Zen Yukin

Zen Yukin


Dalian, Liaoning Province


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