Sunday, August 17, 2008

No R's allowed

Fresh outta Beantown, Henry's now in Korealand and already gracing the pages of GQ.

Me: Let's take sticker pics!
H: I'll give you a Korean tip. You have to get rid of your Rs. SticKUH. Not sticKER.

As a creature of habit, I have a relatively difficult time pronouncing 외래어, or loanwords, i.e. American words adopted into everyday Korean speech. I try my best, given the fact that oftentimes, ordering in vanilla ice cream juseyo fashion will result in huh, what did you say, can you repeat that please confusion. Oh, you mean the bahneelah aiyeesoo kooreem? Why didn't you say so in the first place, silly?

Don't get me started on trying to order a chicken buh-guh (버거), using the computuh (컴퓨터), or adjusting the temperature on the eh-uh-con (에어컨). 

Stateside, this is similar to suggesting a night of karaoke to folks not accustomed to the Japanese language. Say what? Karaoke. Come again? Ohhhhhh, kaah-ree-oh-kee.

Or telling them that I used to practice karate karadee.

I suppose practice makes perfect and eventually I'll get accustomed to buh-guh's.

Nope, still a little awkward.


Richard said...

Thats funny. I had the same problem I had a worse time with english words then I did with korean. For the life of me I could never get a Coca Cola ordered without pointing and hand motions!

The other thing that got me was Caramel...I love caramel on my coffee or cappuccino...that was always an interesting conversation at Coffee Bean...lastly the Tropical Passion Latte....Tolopical Passion

Jenna said...

That does sound difficult. Even though I KNOW the difference, I still pronounce things the "American" way here (Those you mentioned like karaoke, karate, etc) Mostly for the benefit of my less wordly friends and family. I'll have to train myself to Korean-ize some words too I suppose. Good Luck Cheri!