Enjoying the Sound of Korean

When I first started reading Pippi, I had to read very slowly and I had to focus on each phrase and occasionally each word. Now that I’m reading 이솝 이야기, I can read a bit faster and I only have to focus on each word rarely and each phrase occassionally. Now I am mostly “getting” the phrases and sentences the first time around.

In fact, I’m even able to find phrases or sentences I like the sound or feel of. It’s a neat feeling, to be reading in a foreign language (a foreign alphabet, even!) and to be able to find interesting, poetic writing.

Some of my recent favorites:

…먹숨을 일었습니다.

…lost life.

토미와 아니카도 배 먹는 것을 잊어버리고 이야기 속에 완전히 빠져들었다.

Tommy and Anika completely forgot about their hunger and entirely fell deeply into the story.

갈대는 대답 대신 바람에 몸은 맡겼습니다. 바람이 오른쪽에서 왼쪽으로 불어도, 그 반대쪽으로 불어도 그대로 몸을 바람에 맡겼습니다.

Instead of responding, the reed entrusted its body to the wind. The wind blew from the right to the left, it blew in the opposite direction, and the reed’s body was entrusted to the wind.

I understood the reed passage without even technically knowing many of the words. The red word, I had to look up to understand the passage. That red word (reed) would’ve blocked understanding. The purple words I had to look up to translate the passage properly. Those words didn’t stop me from understanding the passage, though. I had just substituted other words in my head. The blue words I didn’t really know. I either figured them out from my knowledge of root words or dragged their meaning from my memory. The black words I actually knew.

갈대는 대답 대신 바람에 몸은 맡겼습니다. 바람이 오른쪽에서 왼쪽으로 불어도, 그 반대쪽으로 불어도 그대로 몸을 바람에 맡겼습니다.