Learning 2 languages at once: English in 한글!
여러분, 안녕하세요? (Hi, everyone!)
I’m writing this post for anyone on this blog, Found in Translation, but want to give a special shout-out to the summer language classes at Cal. And since I’m in Korea right now, and since I started studying Korean many years ago in a K1 summer language class at Berkeley (now I’m a grad student in the school of Education, back in Berkeley in a few weeks), I hope this post gets to some of the students in the K1 class now. 한국어 수업은 어때요? 재미있어요? (How’s Korean class? Is it fun?)
One of the amazing things I found about learning a new script like 한글 (hangul, the Korean alphabet) in a language where there are lots of borrowed English words is that after learning the script in the first few weeks of class, you can actually read thousands of words. Not native Korean words necessarily (although if you’re learning to write a language that you already speak, that can open up vistas to thousands of words too), but all the words that have been transliterated into Korean from English.
If you’re starting to study Korean, you might have seen a few already in the vocab lists for the first few chapters. But if you have the chance to see what’s written on signs, advertisements, posters, and other language on the street, in subway stations, and in other public places, the reality of the number of borrowed words can really hit you. And it’s a pretty amazing experience to be able to read a lot of words written in 한글 after only a few weeks, with all the colors, font styles, and contexts that give clues about what you might be seeing…and practice reading real texts at the same time!
So I’ve taken some pictures and will put a few here, to see what you think. What do these signs say? What are they selling, doing, or telling you, the reader?
If anyonelikes these, I can post more in a day or two. And if you have any requests, let me know…I’m walking around with my camera almost everyday. 🙂
그럼, 여러분, 한국어를 열심히 공부하세요!!
a. For the first one, focus on the big letters (blue – red – blue). The little drawings should help you out.
b. In this next one, just focus on the smaller letters on the left (the bigger words on the right describe what the business is, and the words should be in the textbook). Again, the picture tells the story!
c. This last one might be a little harder to read…have you seen 한글 written like this before?