Why Korean?? (왜 한국어)
안녕하세요 ! (Hello)I recently have started learning a new language- Korean (한국어) ! I have been taking Korean classes for the past month with my roommate at a local Korean Church. Every Friday evening we meet for three hours with our 선생님 (Korean teacher), learn new vocabulary and grammar, and have an overall good time. During the week I study all the things I learned in class and return excited for class the following week.
When I tell people that I have learning Korean, their initial response is puzzlement. Why would I need to know Korean? What use does that have for me and my life? Do I plan on visiting Korean soon? Is there some mysterious Korean guy in my life I'm trying to impress?
Sure, I have some somewhat legitimate reasons- my sister in law in Korean-American and my roommate has hooked me on Korean tv online--- another post altogether. But the true reason is Why Not? My roommate presented me with this opportunity, it fit in my schedule, didn't cost much, and sounded like something new and fun to learn.
When I started learning Spanish, no one questioned my decision. No one ever asked why or how I was going to use it. Everyone had already assumed the reason- its a practical language that I can use for the rest of my life with the Spanish speaking population here. Yes, when I think back on my decision to study Spanish these thoughts did cross my mind. However, they are not why I continued studying and ended up with a level of fluency that could be used in my job. I would never have gotten so far if the reasons were purely practical. I studied because I enjoyed it. Not because I just needed another practical skill.
The same could be said for studying abroad. During high school and college I went abroad several times to many different countries. I learned about different cultures, how people live, made new friends, and improved my Spanish skills. The experiences were positive and enriching. However, I once remember feeling sad for one of my classmates who explained to me why she was studying abroad. "I just want something to look good on my medical school application. I don't like Spanish and I don't like this country". This girl's attitude was the opposite of mine and I am sure her entire experience was vastly different. It was really sad.
Anyhow, back to Korean. Yes, I am learning Korean. No, it is not hard to read (honest, you could probably learn in a day if you tried hard). Yes, some aspects of it are very difficult, but some aspects are also simple. No, I have no intentions of using it in my everyday life. Yes, I enjoy learning it. Yes, it would be great to visit Korea someday but I have no immediate plans. No, I do not have a Korean boyfriend (I think this is the funniest).
I do not know how long I will continue to study Korean but I currently have no intentions of stopping soon. It is fun and brings joy into my life!