Despite the fact that I haven’t posted anything new in a few centuries, I have been actively studying Korean. Coming back from Korea was a whirlwind of adjustment and academic rigor and it took all of my focus to keep up.
Actually about me in the morning. During post-Korea life, my sleep deprivation has vastly increased.
Well, not all of it. I’ve started translating Korean poetry as a self-study method. My current focus is on an anthology of Koreans’ 100 Most Beloved Poems, or 한국인이 가장 좋아하는 명시 100선. A very good friend of mine gifted it to me just before I left Korea. Continue reading
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 Continue reading
I seem to have a propensity for making awful mistakes while learning Korean. If you think of either an inappropriate or an extremely simple, everybody-knows-this word, I’ve probably already used it accidentally in a conversation with a language partner. The mistake I’m focusing on in this post is one that I must blame entirely on my lazy Google Translate ways. I have brought dishonor on my language-learning.
In one of my early conversations with an italki language buddy on Kakaotalk, we were discussing college. He told me that studying in college would help my Korean. I replied with,
“그죠? ^_^ 흥분해요~”
“Right? I’m excited*~”
I hadn’t already known the word for ‘to be excited,’ so in my haste to reply, I had grabbed the phrase from Google Translate. If I’d gone to Naver‘s online dictionary or used my Naver app for it, maybe I’d have already known what he was about to say.
“haha 흥분해요 usually means sexually excited.”
If you search 흥분 in Naver’s dictionary, you discover that not only does the word have several usages meaning excitement, agitation, upset, to be thrilled, but it also turns up as parts of phrases that mean to arouse and to stimulate.
Talk about being an awkward conversationalist. You’re jealous of my mistake-making abilities, aren’t you? Have you made any awkward mistakes while learning a language? Or do you know how to properly tell someone in Korean that you’re excited (to hear good news, to do something fun, to try something new)? Please leave a comment!
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.
And with the third word, I already made a mistake and essentially changed my gender.
오, 오, 오오오오오~!!!! 이거 봐?!
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?
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