Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The more astute neophyte waeg will quickly apprehend that many Koreans love to express their general bodily feelings emphatically.  Whether it be tired, cold, hot, full, headache, stomachache, boredom, or ennui, these waegs will wonder why most Koreans feel the need to share such banal comments about their physical state, often stated as a single word accompanied by the inflection and intonation appropriately emphasizing the feeling of the moment.

It has even been suggested that a Korean spouse constantly expressing how cold it is or how spicy is the soup is one of the causes of the higher divorce rate between Koreans and waegs, but I digress.

What these waegs don't get is that those Koreans are simply attempting to help these poor new waegs learn some of the local language.  Koreans are not surprised when waegs say they have difficulty learning the Korean language; since Koreans have some of the highest IQs in the world, it stands to figure that those people from lesser nations with lesser levels of intelligence would experience trouble mastering the only purely scientific language in the world.  By repeating these very basic words that are usually the first children learn, the most benevolent and kind Korean hosts are giving an opportunity for waegs to feel a sense of accomplishment and belonging through finally understanding a handful of terms and expressions.

So remember: next time you feel irritated by hearing a Korean express how refreshing the hot soup is, or how comfortable is the hard stone bed, ask yourself how well you speak Korean, and whether you had ever heard the word used in that particular context.  It could be simply an example of a Korean serving as your teacher, and welcoming you into the tribe.

1 comment:

Bob said...

All dogs are cute. Everything is delicious. Lots of stuff is sudden. Lots of stuff is scary. Lots of stuff is difficult or hard. And if you make me angry, I will say "you give me nothing."

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