Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And Now I Have to Learn Korean

The little dude is ready to take the test for his yellow belt in taekwondo already, and we had to help him fill out the application for testing. Because of the emphasis on self-discipline (thanks, Mir, for that pointer), there were various questions about behavior and expectations. The final question for the parents to answer was, “How has your child been behaving differently since beginning to study taekwondo?”

SwingDaddy leaned over and whispered, “He’s yelling in Korean all the time now.”

And it’s true. The whole class counts their movements out loud, and since taekwondo is a Korean martial art, they’re hollering in Korean. Of course, the problem is that 1) Q-ster doesn’t speak Korean, 2) he’s learning the words by hearing them yelled by a room full of kids in an echo-y space, and 3) most of them aren’t Korean either.

Basically, he’s shouting “ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE! SIX! SEVEN! EIGHT” all day long at home, but it sounds like he’s speaking in tongues, because it’s not very distinct and we don’t know enough about the language (yet) to help clean it up.

We had one of my Scandinavian colleagues over for dinner a few weeks ago, and first he entertained Buster by building a marble run to the micro dude’s very exacting specifications, and then apparently, Q-ster made an appearance to show off his new moves. When I came back into the living room after putting the potatoes in the oven, I was completely confused, discovering this big European dude and my little Chinese American son chanting, loudly and unintelligibly together.

Eventually, we figured out that our guest had taken taekwondo as a teen, so he was counting along with Q-ster in Korean. Right. It’s certainly a melting pot of a world these days.


Waltzing with Widgets said...

I'm guessing they don't work on pronunciation a lot? ..much the same happened to me with Japanese numbers when I was taking karate. Later I tried counting to someone who actually knew the language, and she couldn't stop laughing.

Anonymous said...

I took karate for years. So I can count to 10 very badly in Japanese, and I know the words for "kick" and "punch". Sadly, this has yet to serve me in life outside of karate, but there were other benefits to studying martial arts, for sure.

mayberry said...

You sure know how to show your guests a good time! (Still mad that we missed out on that opportunity. Dumb appendix.)