Sunday, March 27, 2011

Learning to Speak Korean

I am going to start this post with a couple of things...
  1. Teachers make the worst students.
  2. I was told that the Korean Language was designed for the common man and that each syllable represents all the sounds a human can make.
A few weeks ago one of the parents at school volunteered to take on teaching, any of the staff who wanted to learn, Korean.  Being in a country where the language is so foreign from anything I have experience with I immediately signed up.  I had tried to use Rosetta Stone and got so horribly tongue tied and frustrated that I gave up.  Plus, I don't know if you have ever used Rosetta Stone despite it being an immersion program they don't teach you to say anything useful very fast. But I can say "the man is drinking water" in Korean. Yea ME!

So far we have been learning how to read and say the alphabet.  Half the letters sound exactly the same and we are having a hard time making our American mouths spit these sounds out.  A couple of the sounds are pew, to which I made guns with my fingers and pretended to shoot lasers at my teacher, and mew, to which I started making baby kitty noises.  Our poor teacher is so patient with us, though.  Especially when she has us sound out the sounds over and over again when we are convinced we are saying it the right way and when we interrupt her to ask a completely random question.  She gets really excited when we make connections from class to things we have heard or seen in the real world though so that is cool.  We also like to show off with the Korean we do know and I am big for dropping the "when I was studying on Rosetta Stone..." bomb too.  I am show-off, know-it-all what can I say?  The best was last week when one of the other teachers was saying some new phrase she had learned that was pretty practical to know and the teacher was like "very good" and I couldn't be left out of the teacher praise so I was like "I learned nam ja ga mool chu sayo this weekend on Rosetta Stone." Our teacher stopped looked at me completely puzzled and was like "The Man is Drinking Water?" and I said, "Yep, I know how to say that!"

BUT here is something I did learn in class:
*ignore my butchering of the pronunciation

ah gee ya poyo  (Pretty Baby)
jinja ya poyo  (Really Pretty) - OH! When I said I knew this after we were taught the pretty baby thing my teacher was like "Very Good" and I said, "I know, my husband tells me it all the time."

And a couple I already knew (besides the man is drinking water):

안녕하세요 On yong ha sayo (Hello)
안녕 On yong (Hi - and if you are a big Arrested Development fan you will remember the adopted Korean boy that they thought was named On Yong... HA!)
감사합니다 Com sa ha me dah (Thank You)

1 comment:

Angie said...

I love Arrested Development! Hahaha! My best friend is Korean so I know I know how to say Hello, and when I saw that in the show, it was just hilarious! (Especially when they went back and forth, and the little boy's face was kinda like wth? Lol)