Friday, December 16, 2005

Learning Korean

A few weeks ago a friend let me download his Pimsleur Korean lessons onto my iPod and I listen to it whenever I walk to the subway station. I probably have serious romanization issues because this is all from audio, but here is some of what I can now say:

Good morning/afternoon. How are you?-- Annyong haseyo?
It's nice weather.-- Nalshiga Chosumnida
I agree-- Crosumnida
Do you speak English?-- Yongarel ha shalsui sumnika?
As for me, I speak a little Korean.-- Chonnun, Hangukarel ha sui sumnika.
But I don't speak very well yet.-- Hajiman, ajik chal moteyo.
It's here/Is it here?-- Yogi-eyo.
Are you from Korea?-- Hangukeso oshasayo?
I'm from America.-- Mikgukeso wasumnida.
Have you had lunch?-- Chamchim tushaseyo?
Thank you-- Kamsamnida
Goodbye-- Anyonghi kehsayo
I'm a teacher-- nanun san sang nim ida
Be quiet-- Choyonghi hara

It may not sound like much, but it's a big improvement from what I knew when I came! When I hear conversations I actually recognize words now and have a partial understanding of what is going on. When I first came here I never thought I would be able to do that. I can read hangul much faster now that when I first came but usually have no idea what it says (except when I'm reading menus). My goal is to be able to keep up with the hangul when it runs across the bottom of the screen in a noreabang when a Korean song is playing. We'll see how that goes though.

Menu written in Hangul. Kimchi jiggae is the 6th one down...yum.

Some Korean friends taught me how to say (among other things) "crazy" in Korean, which I found out is a very offensive term after I used it in conversation with some of my older students. The English words "crazy" and "silly" were banned from our vocabulary at school a few weeks ago because of the Korean translation into "insane" and "stupid". I use these words a lot in class and now I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying them, even though most of my students comprehend that I'm not calling them retards or sociopaths.