Thoughts on Not Fully Knowing Korean, on the In Between

I was never confident of my Korean language ability.

It wasn’t because of something someone said to me; rather, most Koreans would exclaim that my Korean was good, but I think that might have done with them knowing that I’m Korean-American and thus not expecting me to be able to speak in Korean at all.

No, I always felt like my lack in Korean was a handicap. I stressed out when I watched something without subtitles. I even remember watching a movie with my parents and reading the subtitles on a different screen, my eyes darting back and forth between the actual movie and my subtitles.

Recently, I’ve tried to intentionally not use subtitles. And let me tell you, it’s like an itch that I constantly want to soothe, but then I remind myself that when I’m talking with Koreans or watching a show with Koreans, I can’t pause that moment. I can’t pause life and make it feel comfortable to me, I can’t jot down vocab in the moment and force everything around me to bend to my Korean language proficiency.  Continue reading “Thoughts on Not Fully Knowing Korean, on the In Between”

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Sam Kim’s “Seattle” Analysis

Sam Kim came onto the radar when he auditioned for Kpop Star, a talent search competition. He is my brother’s age (1998), extremely talented, and a Korean American. His Korean is not fully proficient and yet now, he is singing in the language and immersed in his heritage culture.

His story fascinated me. In his audition, while a judge is complimenting him, he shyly admits that he doesn’t know what the judge is saying. And throughout the show, he speaks in English most of the time, as he can express himself more succinctly. But now, he is in a culture and language far from his hometown Seattle. He has culture shock of going to his heritage. And yet, he pushes on.  Continue reading “Sam Kim’s “Seattle” Analysis”

Time to Digest

Have you ever had those classes that make it seem like the information is coming at you like a crazy avalanche but at the same time, it doesn’t scare you? Yes, you feel the information and concepts coming at you at 100mph and you’re vaguely aware that you’re going to be buried under mounds of knowledge, but rather than being worried, it excites you because you know that when you dig your way out and master the things that once overwhelmed you, you know that you’ll be stronger and more ready for what’s next.  Continue reading “Time to Digest”

My Past Rewritten: Make Me Fluent in Korean

When I saw today’s daily post, I thought I knew my answer. It surfaced immediately, demanding my attention, demanding my justice. I’d wish that I didn’t move as many times as I did.

I was born in Peoria, Illinois, then my family went to Singapore where my brother was born two years after. Right after, we went to Manila, Philippines where we stayed for three years. Then we moved to Jakarta, Indonesia where I did kindergarten until second grade. Then we moved back to Singapore where I did third grade and half of fourth grade. The rest of fourth grade until grade nine was done at my birthplace, Peoria Illinois. But right as I was getting comfortable, we moved to Montreal until the end of grade 12. And now, I’m at Iowa.

…yeah. Continue reading “My Past Rewritten: Make Me Fluent in Korean”

My Newest Obsession: My Heritage

I suppose it started from Kpop?- Now before people start wagging their fingers at me, let me rewind and try to explain.

I didn’t always have the most amiable thoughts towards Korea. Because of some bad friendships and experiences, at one point I decided to simplify my heritage by saying that all Koreans were cliquish, not wanting to be my friend, and too hard to understand. With this oversimplification, I went on with my life only crossing over to my Korean side to eat its delicious food. Continue reading “My Newest Obsession: My Heritage”

Being a Korean American in Korea

THIS IS TOO PERFECT THOUGH. While I was worried about how to exercise my writing skills about Korea without just relaying my day’s itinerary, I headed over to Youtube because…why not, and I found an inspiration!

THANK YOU EATYOURKIMCHI FOR BEING AWESOME ONCE AGAIN. 😀

So, who is eatyourkimchi? They’re Simon and Martina, a Canadian couple living in Korea, posting videos about living in Korea, Korean music, wonderful treasure finds, and many more epic things.

In particular, the epic video they just posted that got me all hyped was the video “The Gyopo Experience ft Jen”. And it talked about being a Korean American visiting Korea, which perfectly applies to me right now. I completely COMPLETELY resonated with the video and thought, why not share my own thoughts about this? Because I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is being a Korean American… Continue reading “Being a Korean American in Korea”