Dairys Quintero ’19 in her Japanese class.

When she was 6 years old Dairys Quintero ’19 and her family moved from Cuba to the U.S., where she began to learn English by watching Japanese anime with English subtitles. As she absorbed English she also soaked up Japanese language and culture. It was a slippery slope.

“Ever since I’ve been watching anime and K-drama, K-pop, all that stuff,” Quintero says. That’s K as in Korean.

Quintero grew up to minor in Japanese within an Asian studies major. She’s just started a course in Korean, which is the fourth language she’s learned or is learning. Taking Korean and Japanese in the same semester means she’s doing a lot of memorizing. But she figured why not try Korean? She’d already taught herself the Korean alphabet and some grammar. It was the right move. She says she’s having fun.

“My way of studying is literally watching Korean dramas or Japanese drama, Korean movies or Japanese movies,” Quintero says. She also listens to Korean and Japanese music.  Another thing that’s fun: her first courses in Asian culture and history.

She’s beginning to plan for what she hopes will be full year of study abroad in Japan her junior year. Ever ambitious, Quintero would like to find a way to study for a semester in Korea, too. Down the road, she wants to put her languages to use. She’s pondering graduate school in something related to business and international relations.

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