2,000

“사범님, 천번 했어요.” Sabumnim, I did one thousand.

?” One thousand?

“네.” Yes.

“아만다, 이천 해요!” Amanda, do two thousand!

I wrinkled up my nose. “아마 할 수 없어요—” Maybe…that’s not possible.

“화이팅!” Fighting!

“하겠어요!” I’ll do it!

Master appeared while I was on 1,200. When I was done, I let the rope fall from my hands. It flew to the floor.

“이천이나 했어요!” I did two thousand!

“하겠어요!”(As a side: Good Man said that the correct thing to say would have been “이천 번이나 했어요!” (이)나 is a marker attached to numbers that are larger than you would expect. I learned this in Sogang 2B and thought, When in the world will I ever use this?)

I am wide awake now and I think tomorrow morning I may be in for a tough time getting out of bed…

Lucky Me

Conversation with my coworkers at lunch yesterday.

“Amanda, is your boyfriend the eldest son?”

“Yes, the only son.”

“Oh,” knowing glances between women about being in a relationship with the eldest son, “Is he a good son?”

I laughed, “No. He says he is ‘a bad son, but a good boyfriend.'”

Cool Co-Teacher touched my arm and said, very genuinely, “Oh, that is very good! A bad eldest son is the best to marry, because he will put you first. A good son puts his mother first. You should marry him.”

I laughed, “Is your husband a good son?”

“Ummm, not too much, but sometimes. I wish he were a little more bad.”

Another coworker struggled to find words in English (we’d been speaking in both languages). “Yes! Um—him, don’t let go! OK?”

***

I finished The Little Prince yesterday. I was very excited to do so, as this is only the second (chapter) book I’ve ever read in another language (the first being Pippi Longstocking in Swedish).

When I finished it, I still had ten mins left to my subway ride, so I thought about how I read the book. When I first started reading it, I was focussed on how much I didn’t know, how much I didn’t understand. Around chapter 4 (a very long chapter—for this book, which has very short chapters) I thought, “This is too hard, I should quit.” But I was determined not to.

At some point, I started focussing less on what I didn’t know and more on what I did know. I started enjoying it and not worrying about what I didn’t understand. Oddly, the last chapter, which was probably the least concrete of all the chapters was the easiest for me to read.

I also have a copy of this book as a graphic novel, which I started reading today. Now this is interesting because it’s been rewritten and simplified a bit. That whole fourth chapter doesn’t even seem to be in it. I hope the water pill seller is… In any case, I am really enjoying this book because the pictures help me keep my place and the dialogue is entirely in Banmal, which is good for me to read.

I am writing down words and grammar patterns I don’t know or find remarkable. I am not writing down every word I don’t know, just the ones I want to. Some come up multiple times, but I’m still not sure of the meaning. Some (사막, for example) I’ve already figured out, but I learned from the book. Some are compound verbs that I figured out but wanted to mark anyhow. Some are words that I think are just fun to say (쓸쓸하다). I’ve noticed some grammar patterns that I learned in Sogang (and wondered, “When will I ever use this?”) and some that I’m curious about. I’ll be posting about these things on my Korean language blog.

I’m in another excited phase of learning Korean. I have technically made less progress in this language than in Spanish (I’m finishing 2B, which would be two semesters of Sogang) and I took two years of college Spanish. Wait. Actually…I think the Sogang course is three or four hours a day and my Spanish class was only one. Well, now, that might be the difference. Still, I studied Spanish for two years in college, which was apparently the “fluency” level (meaning it was the foreign language requirement of every college my friends or I went to) and got Bs. I was never anywhere near as functional in Spanish as I am in Korean.

And I never even dated any hot Spanish-speaking men.

Had I known Good Man was around, I would’ve started studying Korean years ago! ㅋㅋㅋ