Mike Map

View Mike Map in a larger map

Monday, May 24, 2010

Language Level Up!

Lately, I've been fairly concerned about my Korean (language) progress. I suppose it's because I study far less than I used to (not that I used to study all that much, really), so I don't have quite as many tangible markers proving to me that I know more than I did last week. And I suppose that's because I am spending most of my free time having mostly vegetarian (indeed, mostly vegan) potlucks with my coworkers, studying Chinese (in Korean), and watering my plants (my Cilantro is now edible!) So, last night, in an odd instance of real-life foreshadowing, I asked my friend at dinner how my Korean level was progressing. She told me that my grammar has been good for a long while, and that now my intonation is becoming more and more natural. I was pleased, though not so sure about the grammar comment.

Later that night, we started talking about Seven Stars Market, which, if you remember, I posted about a little while ago. Maybe you recall that I mentioned pig faces and skinned, hollow, gutted dogs? (On the plus side, you can buy fruits and nuts in bulk with no packaging.) I was explaining this to her and I used the best, most visceral (!) phrase I could muster to describe the dogs:

내장이 다 배앗긴 개들 = Naejang ta bae-atgin gaedeul = internal organs all yanked away dogs = dogs who have had all their organs yanked out.

My friend said she would have used a different phrase to describe it, one a little softer, since the way I put it was kind of gross and disturbing and unsettling, what with not mentioning who did it or why, and not referring to the point of view of the humans. I told her that the action itself (organ-yanking, I mean) completely ignores the POV of the dogs, and so maybe it's nice and even proper to talk about it in a disturbing way. After all, who's more affected, the people who yank or the piles of mummy-dogs lying around the market?

She replied that if my desire was to make a somewhat shocking, provocative statement, I had done well to use the passive form of the yank verb.


I was going to try to write an analysis of why this is a difficult task and what its significance is but...eh. I don't have it in me.


thesnowleopard said...

왜 줄인 말 "뱃기다" 안 썼나? 그리고 그 친구는 혹시 ~ 스칼렛인가? 아이구 내장이 다 뱃긴 개들이 있는 칠성시장 근쳐 있는 북문 그리워 ㅠ ㅠ

Mike said...

난 깡패가 아니야! 정확하고 옳바르게 말해야지. (사실, 그 줄인말을 처음으로 듣는거야.) 친구는 스칼렛이 말고 아는 아줌마 한 명이었음.

북문이 그립다면서 내가 그립지 않니? 상처를 잘 주네!

comak said...

당신은 bombanaut 내려가는거야?

thesnowleopard said...

ㅁㅏ! 새로운 글을 계시 해줘! 심심하단 말 이야!

Anonymous said...

오늘은 이상하게 새벽 4시 반부터 눈이 떠져서 인터넷 질하다가 여기까지 왔네ㅋ(불면증이 또 찾아올려고 하나봐^^;;) 난 내가 한국 여자로서 나름 머찐 삶을 산다고 생각했는데~ 마이크 블로그 보니깐 나 더 열심히 더 많은 걸 보고 느끼면서 살아야 겠다는 생각이 들었어.ㅎㅎ
좋은 이야기 많이 써줘~ 종종 여기들릴께!!