First Impression: Strangers 6

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It’s been a while since I’ve been on the drama bandwagon.  To start, I’m very picky when it comes to what drama I get into – they don’t always suck me in right at the beginning.  If I’m not hooked from the start, it’s difficult for me to stick with it.

So, recently on my quest to try and find a drama to enjoy, I stumbled upon ‘Strangers 6’.  This drama takes place across Asia.  There is a huge threat to the continent and the top forces in China, Japan and Korea respectively have been called upon to work together for the greater good of the land.

What I love about this drama so far is the language diversity.  When I was initially looking for an engaging show to watch, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch a Japanese or Korean drama.  So when I discovered this show, it was all the more enjoyable because I got a great mixture – Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean AND English! And for the most part, the English is good.  Yes, some actors have a better grasp of it than others, but for the most part it’s pleasant.

The most notable English speaker focused in the first few episodes is Chinese actor Gregory Wong.  I so enjoyed his light-hearted yet respectable character in the beginning of this drama, that I learned a bit more about him and even sent my well wishes to him via social media – and got a “thanx!” back from the actor himself in response!!

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The main cast works well together. You’ve got the hunky Korean agent, his cool and at times sassy female partner and the Chinese agent also has his own female partner. Then there’s the Japanese agent – a troubled man currently going through a divorce and the only one who doesn’t have a female counterpart because apparently he can’t be trusted with one.  So he gets a young and meek computer programmer.  He’s a cutie and I’m hoping that at some point he is forced to face something that will turn his meekness into manliness, otherwise, his constant cowering is going to continue to be annoying.

Overall, I love the idea of this drama.  Different cultures combining for the greater good of their respective countries.  And even though they don’t necessarily get along – as individuals and in some cases on a larger political level, they still need to find a way to work together to prevent disaster.

If this sounds like a premise that you can get with, then definitely check out, ‘Strangers 6’.

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~  The Love of Language  ~ 日本語 vs. 한글

Japanese vs. Korean, 日本語 vs. 한글

Um, excuse me, Korean, but Japanese is supposed to be my current language focus, thank you.

With my recent venture back into the Korean drama scene, I’ve found myself learning more Korean than Japanese these days.

But who says you can’t learn both at the same time, right? In fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I can actually already speak very little Korean.  I can ask for your name, tell you mine; say hello and good bye (cue the Shinee song), exclaim that something tastes delicious and answer the phone as well as apologize and say thank you.  And then my favorite:  telling an old friend, “Long Time, No See”.   So it’s no wonder that I seem to be adding to my mental language dictionary by watching dramas that seem to only enhance the learning process.

JapJapanese vs. Korean, 日本語 vs. 한글

For example when watching any show – dramatic or comedic in any language, when someone is surprised or can’t believe what they’ve heard, many times they’ll exclaim, “What?!”; “What are you talking about?” or “What’s that supposed to mean?”; “Where are you going?!”.  I can now proudly utter these phrases in Korean without hesitation thanks to the constant repetitive use of them.  Talk about learning!  The great part about watching dramas with subtitles is that every time such expressions are uttered, it’s usually the same phrase or a variation of it. So after a while, you start to learn the designated phrase for each expression.  It’s so much fun to know what a character is going to say before they say it, then say it out loud with them and then rejoice at the fact that you knew the phrase!  Or am I the only one who does that happy dance?

Historical issues aside, for me there sometimes is a conflict between learning Japanese and Korean just for the mere fact that I enjoy both.  Both languages bring a different atmosphere and emotion to the table.

So, I’ll continue to dabble in both worlds for as long as it is enjoyable and beneficial to do so.  And it seems that as long as there are great dramas from which to learn, then the learning will always continue – no matter what!

2008 Japanese Drama "Oh My Girl!!" 「オー!マイ・ガール!!」 - NTV

2009 Korean Drama "Cain and Abel" 「카인과 아벨」 - SBS