Korean Lessons: Your Key Takes My Breath Away

How many times can I try to learn Korean? I’ve tried quite a few times since I moved to Daegu in 2005. I had almost given up, but since summer vacation began, I’ve started studying Hangeul (Korean) once again. This time I have the luxury of having one-on-one lessons, and I must say I wish I could have taken this route years ago. 윤애숙선생님 (Yoon Ae Sook Teacher) is exceptionally supportive, and I am grateful for her patience. She never flinches when I forget one of those words we’ve studied over and over again. She is a pivotal reason why I feel like I’m actually retaining the language this time around.

My teacher is in the upper left hand corner

(this is a picture of the class I took with other Keimyung University professors during the fall 2010 semester. We had fun, but with my hectic schedule, I couldn’t continue during the spring semester.)

To celebrate my renewed studies, I’ll be posting words or expressions that strike me in a curious way.

숨쉬어야해요! – I have to take a breath!

It’s really hard for me to say this expression, but it’s also lots of fun to try. There seems to be far too many vowels connected to the “sh” sound. I think it’s also the paradox of this expression that I enjoy. It’s supposed to express the fact that one needs to take a breath and perhaps relax, but actually saying this is quite a tongue twister. Not my idea of a soothing breath.

열쇠 (yeol sway)

I love saying this word. It sounds sexy to me, but guess what it means — 열쇠 is a key!

Stay tuned to learn about the Korean words that get stuck in my head just like a song would.


4 thoughts on “Korean Lessons: Your Key Takes My Breath Away

  1. I am tutoring two Korean ladies and they’ve taken it upon themselves to start teaching me basic Korean – I am so embarrassed I never learned more while living there for 2 years! :S
    Good for you Jos, keep going!

    1. That’s great Hails! It’s never too late to learn. I’ve had to accept this myself. For too long I kept thinking, “It’s too late. You should have learned when you first got here. How embarrassing. You’re married to a Korean and you can’t even speak his language? Come on.” But finally I realized this wasn’t healthy thinking, and that all I need to do was take lessons that matched my learning style.

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