Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A dog says what?

For someone who is so verbally articulate I have a difficult time learning other languages. But I do what I can and muddle by. After living in Korea for almost two years I know only enough to be polite and a few other random words. Yes, I admit to not taking time to learn it, but having taken about five years of French and struggled with it, I know I don't have the time or mental energy to make any headway in Korean. Most of what I learn is from me asking the kids. Like several weeks ago I learned the word for frog "kgeguri", and the frog sound is "kgegul". So for a while "kgeguri" was my favourite Korean word. I'd try to say it at least once a day, like when Stephano (gr. 5) was jumping around and I asked him "What are you? Kgeguri?" I like to ask Gloria Son, the art teachers daughter, about animals and animal sounds (more about that in a second). Yesterday I got a new favourite Korean word when I learned that the word for fish literally means water-meat; "mulgogi" (mul = water/gogi = meat). So no matter if you are talking about the thing swimming in the bowl or the fried stick on your plate, if you are using the generic word you call it water-meat.
I also love learning how animal sounds "translate" into other languages. Like in France pigs don't oink; they say "don don". I can't transliterate what pigs say, but dogs say "mung mung" and birds say "jek jek". Cats make a bit more sense "yao". Horses say something like "heheen".

1 comment:

muzz said...

How do I love thee, let me count the ways - you expand my horizon!