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?
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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José Domingo Cruz
Vancouver, British Columbia
Dalian, Liaoning Province
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