Bilingual Wedding Fun and a Favor

(ETA: We were laughing through all of this. I’m not sure that that came through in this post, though.)

Last night, in the Amanda and Good Man house…

Amanda
아만다와
and
Good Man
굿 맨은

“Can’t you do ‘아만다 굿 맨’ instead of ‘아만다 굿 맨?'”

(Side for non-Korean speakers: 와 means “with” or “and” and is attached right to nouns. 은 is a subject/object marker. I was asking about Amanda wa Good Man vs Amandawa Good Maneun.)

Good Man looked at me. “That. Is not Korean,” he said in sing-songy voice. “That may be your Korean, but it is not my Korean.”

He chooses now to be picky about Korean? This is the same man who always tells me, “Sure, whatever you write is good. It makes sense.”

***

On the eleventh day of July two thousand and nine,

2009년7월11일

“Can’t you spell that out?” I ask, pointing to the date, “이천구년 칠월 십일일?”

“That’s not how we do it in Korea.”

“But it will look nicer.”

Good Man spelled it out and said, “This does not look nice. The wedding certificate is not a check.”

I didn’t point out that you spell out the dollar amount, not the date, on checks.

I realized something. “Hey, shouldn’t we actually do it in Chinese characters?”

Good Man slowly turned his head to look at me, “We are not doing Hanja. You love Hanja. I do not.”

ㅋㅋㅋ

***

“We need to word the wedding announcements.”

“What’s that?” Good Man asked.

“You know how we’re not inviting aunts and uncles and cousins? Well, the day of the wedding we send out announcements to everyone we didn’t invite, telling them we got married. Mom really wants us to do invitations.”

Good Man looked at me incredulously and started laughing. “What is that? Is that some teasing? 초대안했지롱!” You didn’t get invited! Nyah nyah!

***

Good Man stuck a period on the invitation.

“Why are you doing that? We don’t need periods on the invitations.”

Good Man nodded, “This makes a perfect Korean sentence! You might know…this…is a period.”

I laughed, “You’re choosing now to make perfect sentences?”

Good Man grinned, “Yes!”

***

I handed Good Man a sample invitation. “What about this font? I like it, the hat man is happy looking.”

Good Man started at me. “The Hat Man?”

“Yeah, look at the ㅎ, it looks nice.” When I was learning the alphabet, Scott told me that the ㅎ is the Hat Man who makes an H sound. He does look spiffy in his hat.

Good Man twirled his fingers around his ears. “Koo koo!” He shook his head, “I don’t like this font.”

I sighed. “Why not?”

“Koreans will not like this font.”

I turned around. “What are you talking about? I can see you grinning through the back of your head! ‘Koreans won’t like this font…'”

Good Man’s shoulders shook with stifled laughter. A few minutes later, he handed me another sample, done in a different font.

I recognized that font. “This is a soju bottle font! We’re getting married, not selling soju!”

“But,” Good Man grinned, “Koreans will like it.”

***

Good Man and I are doing nearly everything bilingually for the wedding. We’re working on bilingual invitations, bilingual announcements, and a bilingual Quaker-style wedding certificate. The “this is how our wedding works” not-program will be bilingual. So are our vows.

I stubbornly want the text on the invitations and announcements to be every other line Korean and English, rather than Korean and English side-by-side. We aren’t bilingual side-by-side. Korean and English are intertwined in our lives.

On the other hand, the wedding certificate and not-program can be side-by-side due to the lack of text and sheer amount of text, respectively.

I knew that doing things bilingually would involve work. I did not realize that trying to do things bilingually with a non-Latin alphabet was going to be so problematic.

We want a Quaker wedding certificate. Usually Quaker wedding certificates are hand-done pieces of art. Wonderful, but what are the chances of finding someone who can do a Quaker wedding certificate…in Korean? Hmm…

And invitations and announcements? I did find a whopping two printers who can do bilingual invitations on My Korean Wedding, but we’re doing them ourselves.

Most print-yourself companies can’t handle the Korean alphabet. You just get boxes. If we were doing English and German, for example, this wouldn’t be an issue.

So this means we have to upload our bilingual text as a PDF or JPG. That’s not too big of a problem, except that finding fonts that look nice in Korean and English? Yeah, good luck.

Fonts made for the Latin alphabet often don’t make Hangul look nice. Fonts made for Hangul (and there aren’t many!) often make Latin text look like an old-school bitmap font.

Of course, the obvious solution is to use two different fonts, but finding two fonts that work well together is…fun!

There is one bit of good news. Word is smart (in a useful way, for once!). You can choose, very specifically, two different fonts in Word, which means you don’t have to select every other line of text, line by line.

Still, everything is coming together! Good Man illegally magically downloaded some Korean font that looks excellent with the Latin font I want to use. We’ve figured out how to Romanize/Koreanize all of the names of everyone involved. The wording is complete, now we just need to wait on our engagement session to get the photos.

Favor: If there are any fluent Korean/English readers who would be willing to check our invitation, announcement, and Quaker wedding certificate wording/spelling…we’d be really grateful. Anyone?