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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Konglish Cleaning?

Back to writing lesson plans this week, at least for a few hours. Rather than teaching kindys to spell "napkin" or making sure 8-year-olds know the proper terminology for an airplane crash, I'm writing about Konglish. Konglish is English words that have been adopted (and slightly modified) by Korean language.

Some are obvious: "choco" is Konglish for "chocolate," "hand phone" is "cell phone" and "sunglass" is "sunglasses."

Others are more fun: "MacGyver knife" for "Swiss Army knife," "punk tire" for "flat tire" and "eye shopping" for "window shopping."

And then there are those Konglish words where I can see absolutely NO English root. Do you know what "arbeit," "hotchikiss" and "klaxon" are? ("part-time job," "stapler" and "horn," respectively)

It's good to teach students the correct English words so no one is confused during a visit to America when they want to play a game of "pocketball" (pool), but I can't help but think they would be better off just taking normal English classes. Using "choco" and "sunglass" may not be correct but they will get the point across. It seems like a waste of 45 minutes but hey, I'm just doing my job.

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Just a few days after joking with a friend that the gossip column in The Washington Post consisted mostly of Congressional sightings ("Ooh, Dianne Feinstein at Whole Foods. She brought reusable bags!"), Washingtonian unveiled the cover of its May issue:


Yep, that's a damn good reason to live in Washington.

Rain will make the flowers grow


After an absolutely stunning weekend, the past two days have been cold and rainy. I know the saying is that April showers bring May flowers but after enjoying so many nice days these past weeks, the cold is a rude reminder that it's not summer yet.


When the rain stopped this afternoon, however, I noticed how bright all the flowers around school are. Red, pink, purple, magenta, white. The campus is colored rainbow lately. The cherry blossoms may be gone but these slowly-developing flowers are a sign that it is spring, no matter what the thermometer says.


Random observation: Does Korea not have thunderstorms? Yesterday it was raging outside, wind whipping, rain pelting down from all directions. And yet, no thunder or lightning. So I started to think back and sure enough, in the seven months I've lived in Seoul, I can't recall ever experiencing a thunderstorm.

A quick Google search reveals that there have been thunderstorms in Korea (duh!) but doesn't it seem strange to have had none for such a long time? Maybe it's just me....

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Still Shredding, day 15. Took a day off yesterday from sheer exhaustion and, frankly, laziness, but I'm back on today and happy to be halfway finished. Level 2 is definitely a butt-kicker and 10x harder than Level 1, but it also feels like a much better workout.

I'm afraid that when someone finally moves into the apartment under me, they're going to wonder what the heck is happening in my apartment for 20 minutes every night....