So yeah she will ask to wear my hat sometimes, but this happened the first time she wanted to wear it. It was “slightly” clever, but her trying to sound like a hip hop star just didn’t sound right. The Korean accent just messed it all up haha.
I think this goes both ways though. Anytime we try to teach other some slang in each other’s language, it usually sounds funny, awkward, or both because of our accent. More practice!
So I don’t usually set out to learn curse words, but there are types of Korean curse words that are easy to pick up on because of the use of “새끼” (sae-kki). This is usually added onto the end of some word which turns the meaning into something bad. Alone and in good context, “새끼” can just mean a young animal.
But added to other words, it has meanings like b*stard, SOB, MFer and a wide range of others. Needless to say, I hear my students (in my all boys middle school so you can imagine how common it is to hear words…I was young once too!) say these words all the time, and there always seems to be a new one I didn’t hear before. Hyo usually refuses to tell me any new ones, but she seemed very surprised that I knew quite a few lol.
So if you don’t know about KakaoTalk, it’s a popular instant messaging service that originated in Korea a few years ago. It is wildly popular in Korea and is used in other countries as well now. Hyo and I primarily use this application when messaging rather than regular text messaging or Facebook. We usually only resort to the other methods when something is wrong with our phones, or if KakaoTalk is updating and we can’t use it.
One of the fun things we like about it are the icons. I’m actually not a big icon/emoticon user except when I message her, but she likes to use them a lot. I thought it would be a fun post to list the ones we use the most often. So here is our list (in no particular order):
This icon is used a lot by myself. I use it when Hyo likes to make a joke about me or tries to make fun of me. A popular phrase i like to use is “I’m gonna get you!” or in Korean, we’ve made up our own word, “이구해!” (iggu)
I’m gonna get you!
This one is used by both of us a lot. Hyo originally started to use it because she says my hips are small @@
Break it down now
Hyo likes to use this one if I message her after waking up and it’s really late…like 12 or 1 in the afternoon haha. She also likes this character because she says the hair reminds her of my hair.
Just waking up
I like to use these Ham icons because one of my nicknames for Hyo is “Ham” or “Hamster”. I also like this one because she recharges her energy by laying out at home under her blankets. (충전 means to charge like a battery and 힘 means power).
We both like to use this one but she especially likes it because she says the dog’s right cheek reminds her of my soft cheek which she constantly likes to pull.
I like to use this one when she tells me she is eating something. I’ll make fun of her for eating a lot. It’s a joke between us. Fellas, use with your lady at your own risk.
A favorite of mine
Hyo uses this one a lot when we’re joking around after I tell her I’m going to get her for whatever joke she made or when she’s about to sleep. Almost like she’s trying to appeal for forgiveness haha.
Hyo really likes this character. I don’t even know what this character is supposed to be. He literally has an ass for a head. I’ll also use this before going to bed or if i’m also trying to appeal for forgiveness haha. We actually found this character on a random banner when we visited Ehwa University one day.
Look at those eyes
내 친구 찾았어!! (I found my friend!)
I use this one a lot when I did something cool haha.
Chill (chili?) dog in the wind
And last but not least, this one is cool because we both like to watch movies. Actually these characters seem to be our favorite set to use. Nevermind it’s a dog dating a cat, but they look cool and cute in a lot of the icons.
Couple at the movies
For those of you who use KakaoTalk, do you have any favorites?
Dating someone from another culture can present its own special set of challenges especially with communication and misunderstandings. But what relationship doesn’t? Even people in a relationship from the same country will face these same challenges. So what’ so awesome about this type of relationship?
1. Cute Mistakes are Cute
I remember when we first dating how I made so many mistakes while trying to speak Korean. Hell, I still do! But the way I said certain things made me look (cuter) in her eyes so we often joke that I should never become fluent in Korean so I can keep making the same mistakes. I would often find myself speaking in honorifics with her which was strange since well…she is my girlfriend. She also makes some cute mistakes as well. One of my favorites is pronouncing the candy “Halls” as “Horse” (the way it it spelled in Korean really does sound like “horse” though)
2. Picking up a New Language
Gotta love being able to study language with your significant other. Learning Korean and English has become easier for both of us. Sometimes it’s too easy to get “distracted” though.
3. You get a real insight into another culture
Sure I lived in Korea prior to meeting Hyo, but I got to see even deeper into Korean Culture after meeting her and meeting her fam. She was also able to see my culture back in the states too. It’s a real pleasure to show the one you love, things that you have known all your life. It’s normal to you, but a whole new and exciting experience for your SO. I remember one time I took a trip with Hyo’s fam, and we went out into the river to catch some snails…snails! I had never done anything like that and it was quite fun.
4. Both find each other exotic and even more unique
I don’t care for anyone who calls out a person for having a “fetish” because they find particular features about someone from another race attractive. I never cared about race when it came to dating, and I think every race has different and unique features that are attractive. Me growing up with predominantly black people, I never met many Asians. But when I came to Korea, I did find certain features about Korean women attractive. I don’t know why so many get the eyelid surgery because I find the eyes unique and attractive. Hyo in turn, was very intrigued by my “Broccoli Hair”. And how could I forgot the “nun” mistake in Episode #3.
Oh yeah! We love food. I seem to love cooking chicken for her though so I have to find some new dishes. She has showed me how to cook a few of her favorite foods in Korea and I have done the same. She had never tried a grilled cheese sandwich before, so I made some. I actually thought they were pretty awful, but she really liked them. Still working on getting her to like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
6. Free translator!
I’m kind of joking, but serious. If we are out somewhere, or if I need some help with something in Korean, I can always count on her to help me out. It makes finding cheap plane tickets on Korean websites much easier lol.
7. New holidays!
I love Chuseok and Lunar New Year even more now because Hyo’s mom sends me tons of food to eat haha. I hope Hyo can experience my Thanksgiving, 4th of July, and Christmas back in the states one day.
8. It seems like you’re always doing something new
There are so many things to show each other from your respective cultures that you can always find something new to experience together.
So does anyone else think they could date a foreigner? If you have, or are right now, what are/were the biggest challenges and rewards of it?
This is one thing that can be frustrating for people trying to learn Korean (or any language for that matter). Just a simple difference in pronunciation will leave you facing dumbfounded looks from people in restaurants, taxi drivers, etc. It can be frustrating, but you get better with it as time goes on.
Pronouncing “물” has always been trouble for me. For some reason, I sound the “oo” sound too long, and yes, it does sound like a short piece of speech from a cow. Hyo is a great teacher though and hopefully I can be kind of fluent by the end of the year. I can understand about 20% of what’s being said.
But this situation happens all too often. How about you? Can anyone who is learning Korean relate to this?