used to be a Sewing Blog – Now KDrama

Accomplishment or not?

I was updating my watched list, and realized that I’ve watched 50 Korean shows to completion in about 11 months. Now granted, some of those on the list, I plan to complete. But since I’m not counting my rewatched dramas, ditched dramas, or non-Korean dramas, I figure it equals out.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this “accomplishment.” On the plus side, my knowledge of Korean has grown exponentially since Twinkle Twinkle (which is on the completed list just because it has a special place in my heart as my 1st kdrama), but that isn’t saying alot. In fact, it isn’t saying anything. I knew absolutely nothing about Korea or Korean except how to recognize the written language (Thanks to my childhood Gideon Bible, I can recognize John 3:16 in a ton of languages). While watching Twinkle, Twinkle, I remember wondering (very briefly) if it was some type of North Korean propaganda show.

Yep. I knew nothing.

I knew nothing of the language. In fact, I can tell you the very first word/phrase I learned in Korean, and it wasn’t “I love you” (사랑해). It was “because of you” (너 때문에). My Princess – she kept repeating in while sitting in the old-timey car. (still not sure what all those scenes were about – will probably rewatch My Princess to figure it out). Now I can sound out words, can read about 100 words, can understand a bit more, and have even watched unsubbed shows. I really want to learn Korean well – the first non-Western language I’ve ever had any interest in, but also interestingly enough, the only language I’ve ever really accomplished anything (well other than ASL, and I’ve forgotten most of that). I think I’m able to learn Korean easier then Spanish, French, Portuguese, Latin, etc because English doesn’t get in my way. I don’t see a word and think of the English definition or spelling and if I do, it is probably right (a loan word).

I knew nothing of the culture. Korea (this sounds really really bad) was if I thought of it all–the other big Asian country that wasn’t Japan or China. Yeah, that’s bad. China (everyone knows China) and Japan I knew slightly (I had a brief obsession with Bento boxes a couple years ago). I also knew a little bit of the culture of Japan because of my work and just my general nerdiness, but Korea – never really crossed my mind. Now I know (comparatively speaking) quite a lot for someone from “Nowhere, Va.” In fact, I find myself doing Korean specific things w/o thinking. When I was super obsessed, I found myself standing when my boss entered my cube and had to restrain from bowing my head too. Now, I find I use 2 hands to give things. But I’m weird in general, and if anyone noticed my new quirks they just think I was “being Karen.”

I knew absolutely nothing of the history, except some very tiny bits and pieces that I hadn’t forgotten from childhood history lessons on the Korean War and of course, TV shows. So basically absolutely nothing. Now I find myself doing research on Queen In-Hyun and wondering if the Annals are available in English.

I’m sure there is alot more that I knew nothing of but now I know something and I know enough to know how little I know. I’m looking forward to one day (this year maybe) going to Korea and learning even more.

So while, watching alot of TV isn’t an accomplishment, I think the side effects of learning (at least in some aspects) a completely foreign (no pun intended) culture makes it at least not a waste.

And more importantly, Korean Dramas gave me the escapism I sorely needed during a rough time in my life. (and a secret desire, to call that special someone (no, I don’t have 1) Oppa – even if that is just creepy in someone my age.)

KaeKae (here’s to 50 more)

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Comments on: "Accomplishment or not?" (2)

  1. Ha!! I watched a ton in the past year too, don’t know exactly how many. But I feel the same. Have been keeping a notebook of words and phrases I have learned and am now up to 40. And I definitely didn’t know anything about Korean culture until I started watching them. Love them!! I don’t regret spending time watching them or feel that it was wasted.

  2. This post resonates with me quite a lot!

    I also started watching kdrama as a form of escapism during a rough time in my life. Then I got hooked, and now I’ve learned so much from watching kdrama.. From picking up a fair bit of language to some bits of history to a fair amount of general knowledge.

    It’s been 5 years and counting, and while it seems like a lot of time to have spent on watching kdrama, I do think I have learned a lot. 🙂

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