Today, I just want to rant a little about something. Maybe I’m being a little sensitive, but I’ve heard it enough to not want to continue tolerating it.
It’s when some Koreans compliment my Korean skills and other Korean learners respond with:
She studied in Korea before.
Like it explains how and why I became good enough to be complimented.
Also, sometimes Koreans ask me how I studied Korean or how I became good at Korean, and when I say I’ve self-studied and also studied for a while in Korea, majority of them automatically respond to the first half of my answer with “You must be really smart!” and the second half of my answer with “So that’s why you’re so good!”.
Whether they do it consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously, I feel like it really disrespects and downplays all of the efforts I put in before I went there to study as well as the effort I put in to maintain my language skills since coming home. Mind you, it was 4 years ago and I barely remember all the advanced vocabulary and grammar I learned there since they’re not used in daily life.
I’m not bragging about my skills or efforts, but I just want people to know that I didn’t get this far just because I studied for 9 months in Korea before.
[EDIT 21 December 2017]
Saw this comic and thought it so apt for this post.
After weeks and weeks (more like months) of Korean dramas, I wanted a break from listening to Korean, so last week became Chinese drama week, and I just finished a Japanese drama.
I can multitask with Chinese and Korean dramas but with Japanese dramas… #constantlyreadingsubtitles >< Reminds me of when I first started watching Korean dramas and relied on subtitles to understand. Moments like this make me realise how far I’ve come.
I would love to pick up Japanese one day, but my Simplified Chinese reading and writing skills are weak (I need hanyu pinyin when typing Chinese) and Japanese uses kanji (Traditional Chinese characters), which makes it twice as bad. D:
I also want to learn sign language one day! Although there’s so many kinds, I have no idea where to start… but that’s another topic altogether! I digress.
Let’s stick to brushing up on my Chinese first, haha.
Speaking of which, there is one thing I really hate – people who presume you would be good at your mother tongue and mock you when you are not.
Yes, I’m of Chinese descent, but at school, I always excelled in English and struggled with Chinese. It is not a given for everyone to be good at their mother tongue because so many factors affect whether they would be good at it or not. #rantover
Nothing annoys me more than the presumption that I know every single word of a language just because I’m able to converse on a comfortable level with natives. Putting aside your native language, do you know every single word of your mother tongue, much less your third language?!*
There is no end to language learning, and I’m only just at the beginning of my journey (I have to check the dictionary for most words every time I do a translation job). I have such a long way left to go and so much more to learn so I would appreciate people not expecting me to know everything.
I’ve also only been studying for slightly over 3 years now and everyone learns at a different pace, so if you can do better than me, good for you, but don’t you dare scoff at me for being slow either; there might be other things I’m better at than you.
*In case you didn’t know, I’m Singaporean Chinese, so English is my native language, Mandarin Chinese my mother tongue, and Korean my third language.
On the verge of throwing a tantrum over spending all day searching for available good and cheap hotels in Seoul. WHY DO I NOT HAVE A SECRETARY FOR THESE THINGS. Especially since the dates for this trip was decided so last minute, and most of the hotels have already been fully booked. ><;;
There’s a hotel that Hae and I like, but it always ends up having little things that put us off it. Ugh. I just hope we can get a good hotel in a good location that isn’t too pricey.
Thank God Dad has travel points that I can use to redeem roundtrip tickets on Korean Air or I’d just OTL over how much I’d be spending just on flight and hotel alone, even if it would never come as close to how much I spent for LA -_-.
I have been looking for Cat 3 tickets on the black market ever since the tickets went on sale and I missed my chance because I was stupidly looking for someone to go with. Tickets on Sistic sold out in less than half an hour.
I kept praying even after weeks of not finding any cheap tickets. When finally!, this guy said he was selling 2 for $380 so I emailed him and he replied, but ended up saying it was already reserved. -_- Idiot. Why reply me then?! I partially gave up and got less active in looking for tickets.
Gah… so everyone makes bad decisions, and I made a huge one. :x I’m awfully sorry I didn’t involve my parents in this whole process, but it all happened so quick and they were already asleep by then. Apparently, I could’ve saved the S$2k on my airfare because Dad has mile points or something. It’s too late and there’s no point talking about that now.
I know it’s worrying to them for me to be going all the way there, meeting people they/I have never met IRL, with no way for them to help me should anything bad happen, but even if my parents can’t trust them, at least trust my judgement that Face is the real deal. :/ I mean, I’ve been talking to her for three years. We think almost alike most times! I know that’s not basis for much, but I trust Face a lot, and there are some things that you just know, you know?
Well, tickets have already been bought, hotels have already been booked, so let’s just move on, shall we? Just pray pray pray that my parents will forgive me, and that God will take care of me when I’m there. They don’t trust that I’ll be safe when I’m so far from them, but I know I will be because of Him.