Friday, April 3, 2009

What Did You Say?

After being here for a while, I've come to the realization that when people learn a language with a different alphabet that they transcribe the words into their own language, regardless of their abilities in the other language. When the phonics of the two languages don't match, then confusion happens. The Korean language uses the same character for r and l as well as p and f. Sometimes, the kids forget their books and so I tell them to go ask for a copy. Then, they ask me if they are to go ask for coffee. Sometimes the kids say grandfa or farents instead of grandpa or parents. One time one of my students said lobot and I could not figure out what a lobot was until I realized that he was saying robot. One time, the teachers went to dinner and one of the Korean teachers said that a certain kind of meat was duck, but the way he said it it sounded like dog. The reason is that a short u and a short o are both 어. He was saying an unaspirated k, which sounds like a g, instead of an aspirated k. Both words could be written as 덕.