Sound motherly advice… in Korean
I love doing the exercises in Professor Byon’s Korean grammar book. Learning sentence structure and vocabulary has encouraged me to take off and begin writing sentences of my own. This is an enthralling substitute for speaking, which as yet, I cannot do.
I complete the speaking exercises in the Rosetta Stone program passably, but can never remember them when the situation arises to put them to use in a real-life setting. In fact, I cannot remember them at all. I psych myself up and go to a Korean shop. As soon as it becomes clear that this is a real opportunity because the proprietor does not speak English, my brain turns to coco helado. I can’t speak at all. At some embarrassing length, a sentence at last gels in my mind. I can say this, I know I can get it all out: (“I have an umbrella.”) But I do not have an umbrella, and do not wish to be thought a prevaricating lunatic, so I say nothing.
My Korean friends insist that speaking is the most difficult thing, that it takes time, that I am making good progress. This makes things worse, because now I know I have utterly failed the most charitable people on earth. But given the uniqueness of their language and my stage of life, I suppose my halting attempts are somewhat creditable.
The translation is, “Wear shoes and hold hands to cross the street.”
If Heidi can paint this on pottery and her mom can handle the shipping, I’ll start taking pre-orders.