In correct Korean! (Yey!)… Well, at least most of the time. O.o
It was Kim Sun Ah who sparked my interest in anything Korean. It was my wish to join her fan cafe that prompted me to pick up a pencil and start learning Hanguel. And it was my desperate desire to understand her messages, interviews and dramas that made me continue learning Korean. But never, not even in my wildest dreams, had I imagined talking to her in Korean (because I have never even thought that I’d get to meet her in person in the first place).
When I get to meet her (for the first time) in Taiwan last year, I haven’t had any formal Korean classes yet. But my level of comprehension then could most probably make me get a grade 1 score in TOPIK. I can give a summary and short translations of her interviews for her non-Korean speaking fans and I could leave short and somehow decent Korean posts and comments in her fan cafe. But, just like most self-learners, my speaking skills were way below my comprehension skills. When I recall how I constructed (misconstructed could be a better term) my sentences then, I can only facepalm in embarrassment. I only said a total of 5 sentences (on 4 different instances). I introduced myself. I thanked her. I told her I love her. I asked for a photo. And I thanked her again. With the exceptions of 고마워요 and 사랑해요 it were all but epic failure!
It was probably my broken Korean that made me stand out from the flood of Chinese surrounding us, thus she gets to notice me. But that was probably what also stopped her from talking back to me in Korean. She talked to me in English which, by all means, is fine by me. But worse, she talked to me in Chinese-Korean (in a talking-to-a-foreigner-who-doesn’t-understand-your-language kind of way – if you get what I mean) – that I definitely did not understand – and could’ve understood if she just said it in Korean. 🙂
Meeting her again last month, much to my surprise, I get to talk to her in simple, yet complete and, I would live to believe, correct sentences (most of the time, at least). And the best part, this time Kim Sun Ah talks back to me – in Korean!
I still didn’t do well. My speaking skills are still way below my comprehension level. I still wasn’t able to express my thoughts and feelings exactly how I really wished to express it. I still didn’t get to say all the things I wanted to say. And I made terrible beginner mistakes *facepalm*.
Talking in Korean is already difficult as it is, yet it also doesn’t help that being by Suna Unnie’s side makes my head swirl, thus I can’t think straight.
We didn’t talk in Korean the entire time. Thanks to my conjugation mistake, she wasn’t able to understand me thus we ended up talking in English. Then she tried her Filipino. Then we went back to Korean.
And somehow I’m quite glad that I didn’t do well. At least it gave me a stronger motivation to work harder on my speaking skills… hoping that one day, when I get to meet her again, I would be able to do better.