By Jonah Nguyen-Conyers

George Washington University held the annual J-Live event which other Japanese Plus classmates and I attended. J-Live is a Japanese language competition for college students, where contestants would make their own presentation on a topic of choice and then share it to an audience all in Japanese. There are also categories for contestants as not all are at the same Japanese proficiency level. This event allowed me to talk and listen to so many people in Japanese and in English, allowing me to be more aware of what opportunities lie ahead if I keep on learning Japanese. Even though there were only a very few things I could understand with the one and a half months of Japanese under my belt, I still had a blast!

This event ingrained hope into the language that I already loved and set more goals that I wish to reach. I have never attended an event like this before, and it was really an eye-opening experience being able to see the connections being made and the fruits of those who are studying Japanese for a while. J-Live allowed me to see a new barrier broken with the wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities present at this event, and really allowed me to know what Japanese can do to connect people and be the bridge to create a more united world.

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