Korean + English = Konglish Baby

Before baby comes...
...learning Korean and researching Korean-language resources in order to raise baby as a bilingual.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Korean lesson #1 - Consonants

One of the questions on our Family and Personal Questionnaire was:

How do you plan to include the culture and traditions of the country you have chosen in your family life?
As I typed out my answer, I became to realize how important it was to me to pass on Korean language, familiarity and love of Korean food, and other traditions to our child.  I realized that if our kids were going to learn Korean, we would BOTH need to be able to speak it at home.  So, I informed Husband that he was going to learn Korean.  He has always said he would learn (especially before we got married) and has always said that he wants our kids to speak Korean, Mandarin (he speaks Canto) and Spanish [ambitious, I know].....at minimum.

I scoured the internet for lessons on learning Korean.  Ok, I looked mostly at you-tube. But I wasn't impressed (actualy, most of them were really annoying and even incorrect).  The Korean language is phonetic, with the alphabet representing corresponding sounds, like English.  14 consonants and 10 vowels.  I told Husband, it's so simple! He growled at asked me to not to downplay the complexity of learning a new language.  He requested flash cards; so I made him these:
  In my internet search, I found that Korean alphabet charts on the market use images of words that begin with that letter - like A is for APPLE.  For example, the first letter, giyok, that makes a g or k sound has a picture of a bear for gom, which is great for native Korean speakers.  But since Husband doesn't know very many Korean words, I knew I had to get a bit creative.  Husband knows the Korean word for bus, it's "buh-se"; goal is "gol"; and coffee cup is "kuh-pee kuh-pe".  So, you get the picture.  And he gets it too!  Yay for Konglish!
(He said that I need to patent these cards and sell them. Really?)

I was hoping that he could go through these cards a few times and these images would be burned into his mind.  And it worked!  We cycled through the cards a few times, and then I tested him using the first vowel of the Korean alphabet.  He was reading!  My Chinese-American husband could read Korean!!  ga, na, da, la, ma, ba, sa, ah, ja, cha, ka, ta, pa, ha.  My magic cards brilliant husband!!

However, we soon realized that learning these consonants actually take practice.  Husband got a little disappointed today when I pointed out a few Korean letters on a package and he couldn't recall them, without hints.  I said it was the font that messed him up.  We just have to keep practicing!  Vowel are a bit more challenging...coming up next.

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