Not Korean

Sometimes I think Good Man is a kyopo born in the wrong country. (A kyopo is an ethnic Korean raised abroad.)

Last night we were reading 이습 이야기 together and we got to the word 샹냥하다. I struggled over this word because never in my life have I seen a ㅅ and a 양 together. It’s pronounced something like shyang-nyang-han and means to be gentle, tender, or soft.

So he said.

I questioned this. It didn’t seem like ㅅ and 양 would go together.

“They do in some French words,” Good Man said.

“That is not a French word.”

Good Man started laughing. “Oh, I think it’s typo. The word is 상냥하다.”

Sang-nyang is a different sound altogether. A pronounceable one!

(According to my electronic dictionary, there are two French-origin Korean words starting with 샹: 샹들리에/chandelier and 샹송/chanson.)