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!