Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Adventures in Korean English

A couple of weeks ago, I took the kids out for some 'quality' time because my wife was recovering from minor surgery in a Suwon hospital on the outskirts of Seoul. We visited her first, staying long enough for my five-year-old son, En-Uk Sequoya, to grow bored and begin wreaking havoc. I left with him and my eight-year-old daughter, Sa-Rah Ahyoga, so that my wife could recuperate in peace.

On the way down the street, we came upon a fast-food place for chicken. Sa-Rah and En-Uk were hungry, so I treated them to a meal, followed by ice cream in a nearby mall. As we were eating our dessert, I noticed a young Korean woman walk by in a sweatsuit. Emblazoned on the back of her sweatshirt, in beautiful cursive script, was:


I couldn't but laugh, then had to explain myself to Sa-Rah. She learned a new word and laughed as well. I assume that "exciting" was intended. But it felt more like "excruciating."


At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a good one. Sorry I haven't added you to my sidebar yet as I've been busy (or lazy, take your pick).

Glad to see you're blogging away, any luck with the homepage?

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

No luck yet, but I haven't had time to probe the site and figure out what I'm doing wrong.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That reminds me of a stunningly beautiful Oriental woman I once shared an office with. She often said, "I'm so exciting" when she meant "I'm so excited." In reality she was excited, exciting, and enticing, all at the same time.

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Laudator Temporis Acti: What you noted is a very common mistake among Koreans and perhaps other Asians. I often hear students say "I'm boring" when they mean "I'm bored." Wait, did I say "often"? I meant "sometimes"!


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