Doualy Xaykaothao, a reporter and producer based in Seoul, delivered an interesting story titled “Everybody wants to be a K-pop star” on NPR.

Although the brief segment indicating that teenagers with heightened interest in becoming celebrities are increasingly flocking to competitive auditions offered by entertainment giants did not reveal anything new, I found the experience of hearing Korean on American radio new.

I was driving when I heard the story. It included bits of “The Boys.” The segment also included the voices of two determined teenage girls readying for an audition. Listening to these voices gave me a strange feeling. It was different than spotting signage in Korean, which has been pretty common in my experience.

While I am not a regular listener, when I do listen to radio while driving, I sometimes come across stories that include interviews conducted in a language other than English. I realized today that these foreign languages had not stood out as much, however exotic or silly they might have sounded. Maybe I was not paying attention or was finding stories too complex, but they did not materialize as did the voices of the Korean girls. This seems only natural, but it’s still interesting.

I wished to hear more of Girls’ Generation but quickly lost the thought to the maddening traffic.

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