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

One thought on “Lucky Me

  1. Comment from: Robbin [Visitor] Email
    There ya go! The key to learning any language is a hot boyfriend from that country!!!
    03/27/08 @ 02:56

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    I read somewhere that some actress was asked how she learned German so well. She said, “In bed.”

    Now I can’t find the actress or the quote…
    03/27/08 @ 09:04

    Comment from: Diana [Visitor] Email · http://storysinger81.blogspot.com/
    Oh, I totally use my improving Korean for the handphone message flirting/chatting up the hotties purposes. They get SO excited to hear a pretty foreign girl speaking in Korean. Heh heh.

    Besides this, Amanda’s a rockstar! A Korean language speaking ROCKSTAR.
    03/27/08 @ 19:46

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