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Discourse Community

Huijing Jin
ESL 33B
3/16

Section 1
Everybody has a job they really want to do in the future. Therefore, when we go to
college, we should decide what our major is. Major is a basic which can lead students to find
their target. As for me, I also have a dream. My major in college is Spanish, and my future dream
job is translator. Actually, some of my friends are surprised to hear that my major is Spanish.
Because most of Asian always choose business or economic as their major. Choosing Spanish as
a major is unique, but I have my own reason that influences me to make this decision.
First of all, same as many students reasons, my own hobby affects me a lot. I am
interested in football when I watched the World Cup with my father, and I was only eleven. By
the way, my favorite football player at that time is Crespo who is Argentine. After the World
Cup, I am crazy about football. The truth is that I am not interested in language at that time, but
the story changed when I was in high school. The official song of 2010 World Cup attracted me,
which sings by a Columbia singer, Shakira. The song encourages people by the beautiful lyric
and the active rhythm. I fell in love with the song and started to listen Shakiras music that are
written in Spanish. In this case, my way of learning Spanish get started.
Secondly, not only the interest but also my cultural background drives me to my decision.
In my family, the bilingual environment has already been sated. The difference between me and
most Chinese is that my mother tongue is Korean. When I was four, I started to learn English and

Chinese. I cannot remember clearly, but I think I had a hard time to balance three languages and
absorb them. However, English is still my weakness. On the other hand, I got a benefit which
other students could not easily had. My parents are Korean, Chinese and Japanese translators,
and I was trained by them. Even though my mother tongue is Korean, I still went to Chinese
kindergarten and played with other children. My mother told me that I did not want to go to the
kindergarten because I did not know Chinese. Once in a while, I cried and ran home by myself
even though it was not afterschool time. I got a punishment from my parents, and I swear that I
would do this again. Obviously, handling two or three languages at the same time is not that
hard for me.
At last, the reason why I choose Spanish is because it is useful. I did a lot of research and
went to Spanish classes before I made this decision. In most Asian countries, most parents think
that English is the most important language and push their children to spend time on it.
Nowadays, there are more and more English major students in China cannot find jobs. Therefore,
talented person in Spanish is the need of society. Spanish learners have more career opportunities
than other major students. Besides, most South American countries use Spanish as their native
language. Obviously, if Spanish learners travel to South American countries, they will not have
language problems. As we can see that language is a useful tool to combine people from different
countries.
Actually, my parents encouragement also push me to make this decision. They always
told me do what I want to do, and they said that if I have a dream I should make an effort for
that. When they were young, they also spent their leisure time to remember vocabularies and did
some listening practice. Those treasure experience would lead me to get my dream career. This
extrinsic motivation influences the decision that I made.

Section 2
The people who is going to be in the society need to know what the discourse
community is. Actually, I had no idea about this concept before I interviewed my sister who is a
translator. In my opinion, what a translator should do is just learn the normal communication.
However, the result really told me this is not as easy as I thought.
The first thing which most hit me was the life in college and the society is totally
different. She believed that the relationship of colleague is complex than our college students.
People cannot easily make a joke on others which leads others think I am rude. Then, I asked her
whether she used the college knowledge in the society. Definitely, she thought she uses the
college knowledge in her job. Different majors have different situations, but in language majors
college knowledge is essential. It is impossible for a non-Spanish speaker to be a translator. After
that, I asked the question that made me curious which is what the job really do every day. She
told me she is working for an electric company, so she has to search the materials she needs
before translate. For example, there are some professional vocabularies that people would not
use in their daily life, so translators should prepare for the topic. At last, she gave me some
advises to become a translator. Do more reading helps translator to be more professional, and I
can also learn the knowledge from different areas from reading books. As a translator, I should
know one area better than the others. Such as football, how I can say offside in Spanish, this is
the kind of professional. After she gave me these advices, we ended up the conversation. I find
out that I learned a lot from this interview.
A discourse community is a group of people who share a set of discourses, understood as
basic values and assumptions, and ways of communicating about those goals (from Wikipedia).
In my opinion, discourse community is different from speech community. The discourse

community is a place that people who knows particular area well than others assemble together.
Which means these people have the same work or same hobby. Conversely, speech community is
more casual than discourse community.
After I interviewed the particular person and found out what is the discourse community,
I would like to introduce my own discourse community. As a translator, I do not think I need to
talk a lot with my colleague but my customers. What they want each other to know and what is
their requirement are important for translators to express. Therefore, I can prepare as much
vocabularies as I can to make conversation goes well. There are some differences and special
items in this career. First, translators should know well about at least two languages, not only in
written form but also in communication. Second, we should be familiar with the topic which are
going to be translated. Third, not only the basic knowledge but also the idioms that foreigners
always used. At last, distinguish the time of when can we use literal translation and free
translation is also important. Translate is a more separate work, so I need to do more practice and
talk to the Spanish native speakers more. This is really different with business and other careers.
In translate job, there are a lot of different areas, such as Simultaneous Interpreting, Consecutive
Interpreting. I am more interested in the Consecutive Interpreting, so I should focus on how to
make notes on what the customer said and translate accurately.
Section 3
Exactly, students should know that what they learned in college is really important. First
of all, students can learn basic knowledge which is a good preparation for the future job.
Basically, if students do not have the basic knowledge of their career area, they will not even
learn the skills of how to do better in this job and cannot make improvements. In most careers,
especially the science area, they need to use the knowledge that they learned in college. If they

did not go to college, they wont know how to calculate or how to use the machine. In my
opinion, only some creativity careers does not need the college knowledge, such as internet or
computers. Second, the college is like a small society, students know each other in this place and
establish a great relationship. After students go into society, they will know different kinds of
people. If they have a good relationship with the students in college, they would realize how to
communicate with people in society well. Additionally, when students need some help they can
ask from who they know from college. I think many of them will help each other to success. At
last, it is an opportunity to gain the working experience. There are lots of sources that we can use
in the college. For example, as for me, I will involve in a club which is a great experience for my
future job. This kind of experience is not a wasting of time, students always learn more than they
expect. The students who choose to be a tutor of their major also helps. When people teach
others, they also learn from them. From tutoring, students know each other and make another
relationship. By the way, when students have questions they still have chance to ask their
professors. Therefore, there are a lot of benefits in college if you discover them and use them
well. All in all, students gain more knowledge in college will make them more successful in
future career.
On the other hand, there are some opposite thoughts. People like Jobs who creates Apple is
a different story. He dropped out of college when he was young. He did not finish college, but he
is still a successful business man. From him, we can know that not all students are fit for college,
and maybe they will learn nothing from college. Exactly some business major students, when
they go into society, they need to learn more from the experiencers. In conclusion, I still believed
that college is a step stone for people to be in the society. We need to use the sources in college
well.

As a translator in the future, I should learn basic knowledge well in college. For example,
translators should have knowledge from different areas. When they translate for a company
which is doing the electric things, they have to study for that area. If students who have already
learned this knowledge in college, they will spend less time to work for it and prepare more for
how to translate more accurately for customers. Also, translators should take more classes than
other career people. Not only study the vocabularies and sentences in the language but also know
one area as well as those experts. Therefore, it is important for students, who want to be a
translator, to study more in college.
However, we cannot learn all knowledge in the college. Such as fluency and idioms,
translators always learn this when they travel to other countries but not in college. If students get
the potential of how native speakers thinking, they will be more fluency when they translate to
others. In fact, some formal speaking are not used when people talk to each other in their
language. We should know the idioms in their language to make them feel comfortable. Those
stuffs are what we cannot learn from the classroom. The most essential thing is that translators
should know the basic knowledge well. It is impossible for a person who does not speak Spanish
to be a translator. As a result, we can see that there are more benefits to get the college education
for a translator.
As the idea that Hirsch gives in the article "Teach Knowledge, Not' mental skills'", he
gave us an example. Meanwhile, street-smart children in the Bronx and elsewhere demonstrate
outside school that they already possess higher-order thinking skills (p116). We can see clearly
that Hirsch hold an idea that students need to accumulate knowledge to be a smart learner. I
agree with his idea. One of my high school classmate, who is in China, always said that it is not
important to go to school. After that, she dropped out of school and lived a hard life by doing the

sell assistant. Now, she tells me that she was regret to drop out of school. From this, students
should realize how important knowledge is.
However, Ho holds a different idea. Critics of American education cannot grasp one
thing, something that they do not truly understand because they are never deprived of it:
freedom. (p113). Ho thinks opposite, he expressed that he thinks the freedom education
environment is better for students. What students should know is that the freedom of thinking
and speaking is good, but when we cannot accurately express our idea, the freedom seems not
essential. In my opinion, I support Hirschs idea, if students do not have college level education,
they will not learn anything good from the society. In Jacobs article, The Commencement
Speech Youll Never Hear. He told us that college is more pure that society which means
students would be forgiven by others in college but they have no apologize when they go to the
society. Therefore, we should really appreciate the college life.
Section 4
To achieve my dream, I still need to go to the society, this is what we have to experience.
Actually, I am not ready to go to my own discourse community, because I have never do the
translation work for others. A little excited and a little nervous stick on my mind. I do not know
if I could do better than I thought, and I am only a basic learner of my job, even my major. I hope
my love and my enthusiasm could carry me to the success. As for the preparation, I will accept
the advice which is do more reading, and those books should be written in Spanish. Learning a
language is to speak it, so I will talk to Spanish speakers more or maybe make a boyfriend. I
heard a lot about the translation accident, such as the famous Chinese philosopher MengZi had
been translated to Mencius which is incorrect. Chinese just say MengZi. This is not a competent

behavior, and it mislead the foreigners. Therefore, I would noticed myself to avoid these horrible
mistakes.
Unfortunately, I do not think I really make an effort for my dream. Actually, I take more
time on some other subjects but not Spanish, so I need to make a plan for my major. First, I
should review the vocabularies in the book during the spring break, and my Spanish professor
told me to finish the Chapter 12 vocabularies. Second, I should read more Spanish newspapers or
surf the internet which is in Spanish, which will help me be more familiar with the grammar.
Some students told me that remember the articles or conversations in book might help. At last, I
have a test on Spanish next week, so maybe I will ask the professor some questions that I am
curious with.
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. I think nobody
can be success without their effort, even the most talented person. Therefore, spend your time on
what you like, what you major in, because this is your future discourse community.