Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Secret Garden Parallel

I recently finished the K-drama (Korean drama) Secret Garden...and I can't stop thinking about it. Anyone who has spoken to me within the last 2-3 weeks, about anything other than professional matters, probably has heard me mention my ridiculous fascination with this. I am not really one to get hooked on shows and the like. Just to give you a clear picture, I have been living in my apartment for over 2 years now, with the opportunity to have cable for FREE (or included in the rent I already pay anyway). I love FREE, but I have yet to actually set it up. It's just not a priority for me. Furthermore, I tend to pretty much rule out movies and shows if I have to read subtitles while watching. I am a lazy viewer, and I'm quite content with that. However, Secret Garden had me ignoring all of my set ways. I can't even say that I learned that much more of the Korean language while watching because I was so wrapped up in the storyline itself. Ryan keeps telling me that I have fallen for the scripted K-drama formula used to hook its viewers (contributing to Hallyu, the global phenomena). But, I quickly shoot that down. Due to the aforementioned reasons, I refuse to believe that I have been suckered into the trap placed by the K-drama powers that be. How could I be hooked on any TV series, much less one where I have to read subtitles? I embarrassingly stayed up until 6 am one night watching episode after episode. Those who know me know that I don't like to mess with my sleep. I am a FIRM believer in proper sleep hygiene so staying up to watch Secret Garden until 6 in the morning scares even me a little bit. What does this drama have on me?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Korean Lessons

My various attempts to learn the Korean language have been admittedly slower than they should be. Despite the fact that I get easily frustrated because I cannot hear some phonetic differences in the words, I (and Ryan) feel as though I should know much more than I do at this point.
That being said, Ryan sat down with me and Rosetta Stone for the first time recently, and it was SO much fun! He is somewhat of a militant teacher so I had to kindly remind him that I CAN’T hear the proper enunciation – p’s and b’s…j’s and ch’s… Again, I get frustrated. He would then say the words slowly with his mouth, and I was able to copy the formation of his mouth and the sound. According to Ryan, the Korean language is somewhat scientific in the way it reads and is written. So hopefully my ability to read and write will come a bit more quickly!
I took Spanish in high school and minored in it in college, but I have never really used much of what I learned. I can get by… and that’s about the extent of it. So outside of my academic Spanish and minimal Creole for a dental mission trip, I’ve never really learned a language. My attempt to learn Korean is so exciting and maddeningly frustrating all at once!
            I have always been intrigued by those who speak multiple languages. I have had many friends over the years who will interrupt a conversation with me to answer the phone and speak with a family member in Korean, Creole, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, etc. ... and then seamlessly resume the conversation with me in English. I have always thought there was something so special about that. I used to joke that Ryan 'is such a grammar nazi'…and he is. Ryan’s proficiency of both Korean and English (and well, Spanish, if we are being honest) far surpass my proficiency of even the English language alone. (This is where he calls me a ‘spoiled American’.) He will unashamedly call me, and anyone else, out on their incorrect usage of the English language.
It’s cute - every once in awhile Ryan will wake up unknowingly speaking in Korean. I have a LONG way to go, but maybe that will be me one day too!