Viki fans come in all forms from every region of the globe – and in all age groups. Anderson “Andy” Estrella is a 19-year-old native of New York City and says the Korean and Japanese dramas on Viki have helped contribute to his language learning.
Andy is a 4/C Midshipman (student), a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He is pursuing a degree in Political Science-International Relations with a minor in Japanese – and he credits his exposure to Korean and Japanese dramas on Viki for his educational goals.
Andy first discovered Viki earlier this year when he was browsing titles on Netflix and came across the Korean drama “A Gentleman’s Dignity.” Immediately, Andy was hooked. That first drama led to many more Korean dramas and then Japanese dramas, which then evolved into an interest in learning the Korean and Japanese languages and cultures.
“My friends find it odd that a Hispanic male from New York City understands Korean and Japanese with limited proficiency,” Andy says. “I am grateful to Viki for helping me build my language proficiency. I use Viki for my language studies because I sometimes watch the dramas without subtitles to synchronize the images with sound in order to familiarize myself with the context and usage of the words. Then I watch it with subtitles in order to have a better understanding.”
Korean, Japanese and the German he studied at a local college while in high school are just a few of the languages Andy wants to master. With his multilingual capabilities, Andy hopes to become a valuable asset to the U.S. Navy and give back for all that has been given to him. During his four years at the U.S. Naval Academy, Andy plans to apply for exchange programs abroad, specifically Japan, but he is open to any programs that will further develop him into a well-rounded individual.
“I really want to participate in any exchange program because I want to experience new cultural environments,” Andy says. “With the importance of international trade, regional expertise and language proficiency are as important as any arsenal in the U.S. Navy. The economic and strategic significance of our relationship with our trading partners make it important to be proficient in foreign languages.”
With his life dedicated to his academic and military training, Andy says it’s hard to find the time to keep up with all the dramas that he loves. He’s not afraid to admit that his favorite genre is Romance and Action/Adventure, with recent favorite dramas including “A Cunning Single Lady,” “You’re All Surrounded,” “Doctor Stranger,” “My Love From the Star” and “Hotel King.”
“There are 24 hours in a day, six of which I spend sleeping,” Andy says. “This means, in reality, I have 18 hours. While at the Academy, I am very limited in time and have countless tasks and objectives to complete within that time frame. So on leave (break), I catch up to my dramas and apply what I learned.”
Andy has formed a very clear idea how he wants to use his newfound interest in Asian cultures in his future career.
“I am particularly interested in using my skills and knowledge to assist the U.S. Navy to the best of my ability,” Andy says. “My main goal is to be a productive operator in our international arena by being knowledgeable about the world resource endowments, trade movements and patterns, and the world’s diverse economic, political and social system (specifically in Asia). These are all essential information when interacting and cooperating with the citizens and representatives of vast nations that, as a future U.S. Naval Officer, I will inevitably encounter.”
Some titles on Viki are not available in certain regions of the world. But Qualified Contributors (QCs) can view and contribute to most titles. Read this blog post to learn how to become a QC.