February 24, 2009

Korean-ing We Will Go

Not to be confused with Careening or Caroling. Korean-ing is entirely different.

Just in case you were confused.

I have taken it upon myself to learn a third language. Because I obviously don't have enough to do these days. =) And because I have access to free training. Enter my Korean students, stage right.

Last week Yuri taught me these rather useful phrases:

Pih-gon-hey (I'm tired)

Beh-go-pah (I'm hungry)

Chocolate-muck-go-ship-dah (I want to eat chocolate)

I wanted to cover all the important bases, you see. Now I'm ready for anything. As long as it involves chocolate. =)

Last night, Yuri, Mell, and couple of my old students from last semester taught me the Korean alphabet. I was relieved to learn it contains only 24 characters; the hard part is the ten vowels, two of which I simply cannot tell apart. Variations of "uh" and "oh." If I'd grown up in the South, I could probably manage. But alas, I'm handicapped by my California heritage. And accent.

My Korean lessons are fast becoming the students' favorite part of class, even though we only do them during break (after all, I'm not being paid to learn Korean now am I?). They are becoming my favorite part, too. I wonder why I didn't think of it nine months ago when I first started teaching.

An-young is how you say Hello. It is also how you say Good-Bye. Sort of like Aloha in Hawaii. The universal word for everything.

Speaking Korean is the fun part; writing it is the hard part. I might as well be looking at sandscrit or Greek when Yuri shows me how to write my name. Some letters sit side by side, others climb on top of each other like kids trying to reach the cookie jar. I'm not excited. I never did like climbing for cookies. Too much work.

I think I'll just stick with the speaking for now.

Who knows? Maybe one day I'll be as fluent with Korean as I am with Spanish (ha!). Won't that be useful?

And I'll thank you for not laughing at me. Or as they say in Korea,



LeAnna said...

LOL! I like the chocolate reference. Gonna have to store that on in the memory bank and pull it out at opportune times. :) So, you are a teacher then?

Nicole said...

Yep! I teach ESL (English as a Second Language) two nights a week (So J can be home with littl boy). I have seven students, all of them Korean junior high kids. It's a blast!

I'll try to get some pictures up at some point...

LeAnna said...

Glad you told me about your replies, I don't get noti-fyed so I woulda been out of the loop. ;)

I bet your job is FUN! I've always thought that it would be really neat to be a host home for a foreign exchange student. Just to learn something new about another culture, if anything! My old boss went to France when he was a junior is HS and he STILL talks about it.

As for ESL, I have some friends who used to live in China and that's what they did! Pretty neat!