Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Measure of Progress

I know maybe a hundred words in Korean, and can sound out just about anything written in hangeul. I can now determine whether the soccer game is between Ah-suh-nul and Man-cheh-suh-tuh see-tee or Mah-nah-cho and Nee-suh. It was very satisfying when I was able to recognize a samgyupsal restaurant for the first time by reading the name.

Of course, the difference between reading the characters and understanding the language is the difference between humming the tune and singing the lyrics.

Today at lunch, I wanted some napkins (hu-gee). In Korea, the table napkins are these single ply jobbies about 2" X 5". It takes three or four to actually do anything. They come in a box (tung) which can be passed around.

I waited until Miss Cho was talking to Mr Oh, leaned across to her and said, "Hu-gee tung, chuh-say-yo." Wordlessly, she reached for the box and passed it to me.

Then she did a double-take. I smiled with satisfaction.

Bonus Photographs:
--from the cart ramp/escalator at Home Plus, opposite sides of the same sign.

No comments: