Mistakes in Korean: And with one word, I changed my gender

missInterpretation header made in Photoshop 11 by myseouldream.com creator

안녕하세요!

If you know a little bit about Korean culture and how Koreans generally refer to each other with titles based on their relationship and gender, you’ll probably be very disappointed in this failure of mine. It’s a mistake on something so elementary (and you know I just wanted to use that word instead of basic—makes me feel like Sherlock Holmes—don’t judge me) that I cringe every time I remember reading the comment on my italki post.

A while ago, I wrote an italki post about how my sister and her husband just bought their first house. I was extremely excited as I began to type.

“오늘은 우리…”

And with the third word, I already made a mistake and essentially changed my gender.

“…누나이랑매형”

오, 오, 오오오오오~!!!! 이거 봐?!

 

Nuna? Nuna?

What is nuna, you ask. Allow me to explain. Nuna is the name given to a close older sister or female friend of a guy.

Just so you know, my friend, I am female. In Korean, I should call my older sister eonni. 언니.

Perhaps you don’t think this isn’t that bad of a mistake but I was extremely embarrassed.

(Not to mention I used the wrong version of irang/rang to link my sister and my brother-in-laws titles, and his title was also wrong because it should’ve been 형부 for a girl calling her brother-in-law. But you don’t need to know that I did that. It’s just my personal insult to injury. Oh thanks, brain. You da best.)

Have you made any mistakes while language learning?

감사합니다!

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Fail – when mistakes in Korean “bring tears to your eyes”

missInterpretation header made in Photoshop 11 by myseouldream.com creator

안녕하세요!

Everybody makes mistakes. The point is that you’re supposed to learn from your mistakes. I’ve decided to start posting about mistakes that I make on my journey of learning Korean (and I’m learning Japanese, too!) in order to help myself not make them again – and to help others not make them in the first place. Continue reading