I seem to have a propensity to put my Korean foot in my mouth whether it’s because I mix up words, misunderstand, or completely misspell a key word. My most recent mistake was relatively harmless, although it did make my language partner laugh.
She had been telling me about a cute childhood 별명 or nickname of hers. I hadn’t known the word, “별명” (byeol-myeong), so I looked it up in my favorite online dictionary, Naver Endic. As I typed my reply, I mixed up the word I had just learned, using 병명 instead and essentially told her in Korean that “I had many names of diseases when I was little.”
I’ll be honest; I’m grateful that this wasn’t a really awful mistake. The last time I mis-typed something, I wrote “질 지냈어요?” instead of the usual, polite “잘 지냈어요?” 질 doesn’t just mean “quality” – but I’ll leave it up to you to check out Naver Dictionary and find out why my poor language buddy was both horrified and filled with laughter when I sent him that message. THAT time was an awful mistake. This time, my language partner just joked about how she hopes I have recovered from my sickly childhood filled with names of diseases.
And don’t worry about me; I’m really quite alright with the fact that I’ve made myself look stupid again…
Have you made any mistakes while learning a language? Tell me about it in the comments! And don’t give up just because you made a mistake – mistakes are the best way to learn.
I’m listening to…