Surprising the Kids
Yes, I Know Korean
So, today a couple of my classes had the kids getting loud like they do from time to time. So, I decided the best way to get their attention and to get them to quiet down was to act Korean and yell "야!" (Ya!). Well, one class did take notice, but they continued on with their game. With my sixth graders, they just started laughing hysterically. One boy in a later class also thought it was oddly funny. I don't understand why these kids think it's so odd that a foreigner can, and does, learn Korean words...
I have finally stopped getting so irritated by Koreans' unwillingness to speak even the simplest necessary Korean they do in any ordinary situation (such as the cashier not telling me the price, instead pointing to a screen). Instead, I just roll my eyes and hand them the money. I really should learn something like "Can't you talk?" or "Are you mute?" or the more belittling "Use your words."
After classes tonight, I was pointing out to my director some odd words and phrases I noticed in the Korean Language. For example, the word used for "Univerity" in Seoul is 대입구 means "Big Rumor District", while the word used down here (대학교) means "Big Learning School" or, better yet, "Big Learning Bridge". Well, he was like "Oh, you've learned a lot of Korean!" But I'm just like "No, just a few words here and there..." Really, I only know like 50 words, certainly less than 100.
I am also forcing myself to learn the meaning of as many Chinese characters as I can. I'm not bothering with the phonics, except in the rare occassions I see them alongside their Korean, such as in place names. I did bring a book with over a thousand Japanese kanji mnemonics, which is my primary resource here. And wikipedia has proven quite useful. Like I've discovered that 子 means "child" in Japanese but in Korean it means "son" and 女 means "woman" in Japanese but "daughter" in Korean.