Dali: don’t fear perfection


“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

“완벽을 두려워하지 마라 – 완벽까지 할 수 없으니까.”

― Salvador Dali | 살바도르 달리

If you wait around for the day that what you do is perfect, you’ll wait forever. Do your best and keep doing better than your best – your pronunciation may be sloppy but your grammar impeccable, your grammar a bit twisted but your pronunciation near-native… Stop worrying. Just go for it. Don’t wait to speak Korean until you can speak perfectly, or you’ll never open your mouth.

Translation courtesy of yours truly. All mistakes mine.  


MLK: “오직 사랑만이 그렇게 할 수 있다”


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“어둠은 어둠을 몰아낼 수 없다. 오직 빛만이 그렇게 할 수 있다. 미움은 미움을 몰아낼 수 없다. 오직 사랑만이 그렇게 할 수 있다.”

― Martin Luther King, Jr. | 마틴 루터 킹

I had to choose from so many wonderful quotes by MLK for today’s Motivational Monday translation post, but this one has always stuck with me. And now, more than ever, it seems like everybody needs light and love in their lives. 여러분, 화이팅하세요! 여러분도 아주 잘 할 수 있다고 믿습니다~

Translation gratefully taken from 파이널스탑의 블로그. 

Fear is the mind-killer


“Fear is the mind-killer.”

“두려움은 마음의 살인범이다.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune | 프랭크 허버트, 듄

Okay, so this is an incredibly dramatic quote for a Motivation Monday translation post, but I reread Dune over the weekend and couldn’t resist. And it isn’t that far off-base. After all, how often do we find ourselves incapable of simply getting something done or trying something new – chatting with someone in Korean at the Korean grocery store, for example – because we’re afraid? If we let ourselves stay afraid and don’t try the things that seem a bit scary, our lives will stagnate. Alright, I admit it. That was also in Dune. The clear, safe path leads downward into stagnation. I’ll stop quoting Frank Herbert now and let you get on with your Monday. 화이팅하세요!

Translation by yours truly. All mistakes mine. 

The end is where we start from


The end is where we start from.

끝부터 시작한다.

– T.S. Eliot

Another quote that comes to mind goes something like, “When you come to the end, keep going.” So. It may be Monday, the semester may be ending, beginnings and endings may be everywhere we look, but just remember: the end is where we start from.

Translation and all mistakes are mine. 

Your future is created by what you do today


Your future is created by what you do today.

미래는 오늘 당신이 하는 걸로 만들어진다.

– Robert Kiyosaki

Mondays are rough. But you make tomorrow through what you do today. Want to improve your language skills? Putting off that quick vocab review until tomorrow isn’t going to make fluency and confidence come any quicker. Language learning and upkeep takes dedication – even a little bit, every day, has an effect that goes a long, long way into your future. 오늘도 화이팅하세요!

Translation by yours truly. All mistakes mine. 

PSA: avoid plateaus at all costs


There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

다 끝났다고 생각할 때가 올건데 그때는 시작이다.

– Louis L’Amour | 루이스 라모르

One of the hardest parts of language learning is getting started. The next hardest challenge is when you learn enough to get along. And that’s where it becomes easy to plateau. Easy to subsist on what you know. Easy to not study more vocabulary, not learn the harder and less common grammar points. But that is precisely where you must keep on keeping on. Don’t plateau! Keep moving on and up with your studies! 화이팅!

Translation by yours truly. All mistakes mine. 

Fly birdy fly


The shell must break before the bird can fly.

껍질이 깨져야 새가 날아갈 수 있다.

– Tennyson | 테니슨

And you have to overcome your fear of speaking a foreign language in front of others so that you can improve. Yeah, that eggshell needs to shatter, and that can be a little traumatic (trust me: I’ve been there/sometimes regress to there). But just remember that you have everything to gain and only a few shards of pride to lose…

Translation by yours truly. All mistakes are mine. 

Can Do, Will Do


If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

우리 모두 할 수 있는 일을 해낸다면, 우리 자신이 가장 놀라게 될 것이다.

–  Thomas Edison | 토마스 에디슨

 I wish someone would tell me this every day as I continue to flounder through mountains of assignments and projects for work and translation projects and trying to write a book and do NaNoWriMo…and improve my Korean. Always trying to improve my Korean abilities.
We’re capable, you say, Mr. Edison? Okay then. Let’s get out there and do those things.
Translation courtesy of Naver

시간을 만들어서 해라


시간이 있어서 하나요? 시간을 만들어서 하는거죠.

Do you do things because you have time? You make time to do things.

– Humans of Seoul

I tend to complain about being to busy to do things. Am I really busy? Yes, yes I am. But there are some things that are important enough that I just have to make the time for them, one way or another. Examples, you ask? Relationships. Language learning. Relationships with foreign languages. Foreign languages in relationships. Ha! See what I did there…

Quote and original translation can be found here, at Humans of Seoul. While I translate for HoS, I did not have the honor of personally translating the original post. I took the liberty of altering the translation for the sake of clarity here, since I removed the rest of the interview and context. 

너도 상상했던 너가 될거야


너도 상상했던 너가 될거야.

You’ll become the you that you dreamed of, too.

– lyrics from Loco’s song, You Too | 로꼬의 노래 ‘너도’ 가사

Sometimes we all just need a bit of encouragement from those who have ‘made it’ – those who have achieved their dreams already.


Translation credit to ilyricsbuzz