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)