These, but in America
A few days ago he said, “If you keep saying that, it will become what happens.”
“A self-fulfilling prophecy.” Catching the look on Good Man’s face, I explained the phrase.
“Yeah, why do you do that?”
“Because then when I never learn Korean fluently, I can say, ‘See, I told you I’d never learn Korean.'”
Good Man looked at me and started laughing. “You are so crazy! If your students did that you would be so angry!”
He’s right, of course.
예견하다: to foresee
발견하다: to discover
견학: field trip
예언(하다): prediction, prophecy
And for a pure Korean root (no Hanja!) 꾼!
Because the news broadcasters get it wrong…
A few days ago we got to the word “습관.” Good Man told me it was “habit” and I thought of the word “관습,” “customs.” I learned this word out of context and thought it was customs as in airport customs, mail customs, international customs. Ahhh, the drawback of learning words out of context…
“틀리다…I keep forgetting that one.”
“‘To be wrong, mistake.'”
“How can I remember that?”
Good Man grinned. “I am always wrong about 틀리다!”
I read, “목표… I think thinking of 목포, the city.” Mok-pyo and Mok-po.
“It’s aim, goal.”
“목포 should use it in a slogan somehow.”
Good Man thought, “목포로 가는 목표!” Aim to go to Mokpo!
“찍다…to dip? Huh? I thought it was take a picture, 사진을 찍다.”
“So I need to think of dipping a camera into sauce now?”
Good Man laughed, “It also means to cut wood into two pieces, more pieces?”
“Chop wood. OK, so now I have to think of a wooden camera being dipped in sauce.”
Good Man burst out laughing.
I’ve written before about how phone conversations are really difficult for me because I can’t see the person speaking. That’s part of the reason I like our video chats so much.
“Does she speak English?”
I braced myself and took the phone. Mother and I chatted briefly and then she handed the phone over to 시고모 (husband’s father’s sister).
시고모 started off by telling me I was beautiful. Hey, you’re my new favorite 시고모! She then went on to tell us congratulations, to wish us luck, to say how excited she was to meet me, how we must get married in Korea next year so that I can meet the whole family, and good luck in our future together.
I had to think “미래” (future). But everything else? Without mentally translating, I understood every word of what she was saying.
It was a short conversation, but when Mother came back on the phone, I was so excited.
“어머니! 이해했어요! 똑똑한 여자예요!” Mother! I understood everything! I am a smart girl!
Mother laughed, agreed, and told me that 큰아버지’s daughter (Father’s older brother’s) was getting married and the whole family was going to be there and she was bringing a photo of me (us?) to show everyone how beautiful I am.
Mother cracks me up.
Of course, it occurs to me that now that I’m part of a Korean family, I really should learn all of the Korean family vocabulary. Damn.