Thursday, November 19, 2009


So, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit it but I'm not fluent in Korean, after living here over 4 years. My excuse is that I've always worked, getting paid to speak English all day and never been a student here. The real deal is that I'm just kind of lazy and have lots of other stuff on the go (scuba diving/community organizing/blogging/studying other stuff). I definitely have a very solid grasp of the survival stuff however, and even veer into high beginner-ish, if pressed and there is no other option but me speaking Korean. I do get a lot of compliments from Koreans, on my Korean, whatever that says?! Expectations here are low.

Anyway, I was sitting in the taxi today and the driver had his old-style Korean music turned up. And I understood all the words. Without even trying. It freaked me out. So what I'm saying is this: to learn a language, it certainly helps to live in a place where everyone speaks that language all the time. Even if you're lazy, you can't help but learn things without even really trying. And you have motivation to learn stuff, or you'll just be in a fog of not understanding what's going on, all the time which is no way to live your life.


Burns said...

That's encouraging to hear. I've been here two years, and I do study, so I can speak a little. So after four years, I should be sitting pretty. :)

Jackie Bolen said...

Well...yes hopefully! But some people seem to be as dumb as bricks at picking up languauges :) Hopefully you're not one of those people. I know people who've been in Korea longer than I have, have actually studied and still can barely say more than hello.