It's late. I'm tired. And I should really go to bed. But I haven't. Tonight is my second to last day in my Korean class. I haven't studied a language since high school and I chose a pretty dead language at that. Latin can only get you so far in life before you just sound like you're stealing quotes from the movie "National Treasure". But this time, taking a Korean class actually encompassed a lot more purpose than I had realized. So a great deal of people know that I'm dating a Korean. And when you date a Korean, you're going to find yourself dealing with a lot of people who speak Korean. And yes, I started learning Korean because him and a friend really introduced me to the world of Korean culture. It truly turned my world upside down. I hate admitting this, but I did initially learn the language for my boyfriend. Brownie points. At first, I taught myself using online resources and practicing the writing. As time progressed within a year, I gradually became very comfortable reading and writing Korean even if I couldn't say it or understand what it meant. Even fellow Koreans commented on how well my Korean handwriting was. I guess you can say I really came to love learning Korean. I loved the way the writing was so simple, how they have an alphabet, how Chinese is rooted in their language, and how easy it is on my tongue to pronounce. Well, in comparison to Chinese, Korean is a cake walk. I loved it so much that I decided to take it to the next level, spend money, and actually attend a class. This class really taught me so much. And it also propelled me back into a lifestyle that I used to hate. Work all day, class all night, and even later hours studying or doing homework. It was such a dramatic switch from my normal 9-6 corporate job life that I even dropped a significant amount of weight. All the while, I was constantly thinking. Thinking about how learning Korean just opened my world up to expressing words. When you start learning a brand new language, you're limited to the basics. Three word sentences are the basic pattern for how you describe yourself. Every time my teacher gave me homework, she would often have us write small paragraphs about ourselves or our family to reiterate what our class just learned in our lesson. I cannot tell you how hard it is to be able to simply write, "I have a mother, father, a sister and a brother." and not feel like you could say so much more.
Now nearing the end of this class, I am still short for words to describe things, places, and people. It got me thinking how I've wasted words in English. How nowadays, I've lost my basic communicating skills to turn thoughts to words and now succumbed to pictures with descriptions. Everything now is a cliched one liner followed by a "#". Oh I do it too but I think I'll be a little more wordy on my blog. Not removing the picture part but giving more meaty content to back it up.
I really recommend learning a second language. I know many get forced to learn a language in their early school years but I really encourage your adult self to learn. There's a different and distinct way that you approach it and you really discover the type of person you are. This class reminded me of how much of a chip on my shoulder I have had growing up because I couldn't speak the languages of my parents. Tagalog and Cantonese were integral languages for my parents but I never bothered to pick either one up. Instead, English is my first language and to be quite honest - I find it embarrassing. Discovering that I could learn Korean and that I could pick it up pretty well made me feel less inhibited and even more positive that I could re-approach my parents' native tongue with a little more confidence. I won't be jumping to learn Chinese soon but maybe someday I will. The bottom line is that it's on the table. In the que. Next in line. Take your pick. Either way, I'm more determined not only to learn Korean but to master it.