And that’s how I get out of looking after the shop. They wouldn’t really put me in charge of serving rowdy kids and drunken ahjussis anyway.
Learning Korean and discussions about language
멘붕 is an abbreviation of 멘탈 붕괴 which means something like being really shocked and not even being able to think in that moment. It is often translated as “mental breakdown” in English which I don’t think is the best translation. Mental breakdown in English can still very much mean a very serious mental state that needs hospitalisation and completely disrupts someone’s life. Sometimes when I see translations and it’s translated into “I had a mental breakdown”… well they didn’t really, not how we might think in English, they were just very shocked in that moment, more like a WTF moment.
On a lighter note, it still sounds like “man boob” to me.
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Just a very quick comic today!
For those that can’t read Korean, the funny thing is that the first syllable of Mr Gwon’s Korean name and the blood sausage dish are the same, so not only does he want to call himself something that he likes to eat, but it already sounds really similar.
Lots of our Korean friends have changed their names, it seems to be more common here than it is in Australia. What about in your country? Do many people legally change their name?
That’s his joke at the moment! Most of the English my father-in-law knows he learnt from old pop songs but I’ve noticed his vocabulary has increased recently.
I think I’ve mentioned mulgwishin before, which are water ghosts, but gwishin (귀신) in general tend to usually be female ghosts wearing the white funeral clothes with long dark hair. When you become more emerged in Korean culture you start to hear the word a lot more and realise how scary they are for people. I was just saying the word “fishing” but my husband thought I had said “gwishin”. Slightly worrying because it was late in the day and where we live is perfect habitat for gwishins! We live in an old village full of old houses and abandoned falling down houses. We also live near a school. Schools feature heavily in gwishin folklore because schools are so creepy at night and are all very similar looking across Korea. If I see a school in a Korean horror movie I know that at some point I need to walk past the school here at night, so it’s probably best not to watch those types of movies.
When we cut through the school grounds I usually salute the statue of Admiral Yi (important figure in Korean history) just to be on his good side. Many schools have a statue of him and it’s said that he gets down from his pedestal and walks around the school grounds at night. We figure that if a gwishin in the school is coming after us, Admiral Yi can come save us. Of course we don’t really have a strong belief in ghosts and all that, but it’s funny how folklore can affect the little things you do day to day.
He used both Korean and English is a sentence so my brain tried to use both Korean and English…
네 is yes in Korean (though it has more meaning that just ‘yes’ in English but let’s not go into that) and sounds something like “neh”. So that’s what happens when you combine it with ‘yes’….
Some days I feel like my English is deteriorating but my Korean is not getting any better.
I shouldn’t be scared! My Mother-in-law is really sweet. The bang of the door just scared me and then I looked really suspicious digging around in the ice cream freezer. But really my bread had been stored in there, I didn’t know it had been moved to another freezer. I bought a lot of bread in Seoul but to make sure it lasts I need to freeze it.
Unfortunately it’s really tempting having a big freezer full of ice cream at the front of the house! Not good for diets.
We answer some questions. Do all Koreans like kimchi? Will we get a pet? What did we take for granted in Australia? Is it okay for nonKoreans to use “oppa”, “unnie” etc?
Sometimes it feels like I’m learning two different languages at the same time…
Also, I didn’t put in any romanisation of the Korean because I know a lot of people can read Korean, even if they can’t understand the words and hopefully the gist of the comic is understood by those that can’t read any.
This was so funny to my parents-in-law because I had been speaking to my husband and I used informal language, but because of the timing it sounded like I had replied to my father-in-law with informal language which is really rude! They knew that I hadn’t done that on purpose but because it sounded like I had, they laughed so hard. Especially because my father-in-law had softly said, “It’s okay” and then I had yelled, “It’s not okay!!!”
It’s been the running joke in the house for a few days. Every time I walk into the room my parents-in-law say, “안괜찮아!”
At least I made them laugh!
Today’s comic is a bit sad. I always have many things to tell my mother-in-law but it’s really hard because my Korean is so basic. I studied Korean part time for 1 year but it’s only now that I’m in Korea I’m studying hard and trying to put it into use. However, speaking casually with Korean friends and throwing in lots of English is very different from speaking with my parents-in-law where I have to be speaking at a higher politeness level, and they have no English at all. Also there is the problem of dialect. Although there are things I can say in Korean it is very hard and confidence is such an important aspect of speaking in another language. Even if technically I know how to say something, it can be hard to remember it quickly enough.
I really envy my husband’s level of English because although his English is not perfect, he can express himself really well in English. I want to be able to do that in Korean. I’m studying every day but it is very overwhelming.
My husband told his mother that I have many things to say but I can’t yet, and she said she is looking forward to when I can speak well because it will be fun.
I still haven’t paid the fine and he is still trying to make me. Seriously, the point of the rule is to help with English, but English is my first language and I’m learning Korean! It makes no sense for me to not be able to speak Korean in the kitchen. My husband is refusing to budge though. Apparently that rule is for everyone…haha.
For those that may not be aware, we are currently at my parents’ house and they have a bunch of Koreans living with them.