Tag Archives: Korea

I Hit a Pothole on My Rosetta Stone Road

I began studying Korean four weeks ago by optimistically learning the sentence: “Please speak Korean very slowly.”  After putting in this time, one thing has become abundantly clear.  As a result, I have learned a new sentence.  This new sentence will be instrumental during my trip to Korea this fall.  Here is my new sentence: “I am very sorry; I do not speak Korean.”  After saying this, any Korean words I manage to cough up will  be impressive.

True story-

Last week, I told someone at work that I was studying Korean.  Now, keep in mind that for the prior three weeks I had been devoting a minimum of 30 minutes each night, often longer, studying Korean.  She said to me, “Say something in Korean.”  I paused for a moment and reached back deep into the recesses of my mind, trying to find the perfect word or phrase.  Then I said, “I can’t think of anything.”  And this was true.  I drew a blank.  I couldn’t think of a single thing to say.

Through the magic of Rosetta Stone, I have learned to say the following:

Apple

Doctor

Bad (Actually my wife taught me that one.  And, no, don’t ask.)

I am sure there’s a method to the madness of Rosetta Stone, and I’m in it to the end.  However, so far I’ve learned a lot about cats and dogs.  I’ve learned how to say the basic colors, including the word for black.  However, when I told my wife the word for black, she told me, yeah, that’s one word for it, but everybody uses a different word.  So that was a little irritating.  I told her that I was going to be loyal to Rosetta Stone and use their word.  She shrugged.  I’ve also learned a lot about, for some reason, eggs.

In the meantime, I have decided that I will have a sentence ready for the next person who asks me to say something in Korean.  It will be on the tip of my tongue.  I’ll have it in the chamber ready to fire.  I will tell them:   “I am very sorry; I do not speak Korean.”

My Rosetta Stone Road to Korea

By Jack Edwards

I’m traveling to South Korea this fall, so I’ve decided to be fluent in the native tongue when I arrive.  You may be thinking, does he already have a basic proficiency?  The answer would be, yes.  I mastered how to say, “Where is the bathroom?” in Korean, quite some time ago.  I also know how to say, “That’s too expensive.”  So, with this solid foundation, I figure I should need no more than three and a half weeks to “come up to speed” to complete fluency.

I went online to Rosetta Stone.  My wife suggested that I order the first level and pace myself.  This made perfect sense; so after due consideration, I ordered everything Rosetta Stone had.  The whole shebang.  Every “level,” including one, that upon completion, should allow me to obtain a position as a professor of Korean linguistics at Seoul University – teaching post-graduate students.

I hit my first roadblock when I openned the Rosetta Stone box.  It contained several DVDs and a “Quick Start” booklet.  To truly “master” the language, I figured that I’d need to devote at least 20 or 30 minutes several times a week.  Unfortunately, after an hour, I was still trying to figure out how to download the program using the “Quick Start” guide.  I had a heck of a time deciphering the instructions, but what most concerned me was  that the instructions were in ENGLISH.  I’ll admit it; this caused me to begin to doubt my ability to master the Korean language by October.

I have tried to learn Korean before.  My wife is Korean, and not just Korean, but the Real McCoy.  She grew up in South Korea, and as you might suspect, a very popular pastime in Korea is speaking the Korean language.  Sadly, each time I have started studying Korean, I have ultimately abandoned my pursuit.  But as they say, “The 253rd time’s the charm.”

This time, I have a special weapon.  His name is Caleb.  Caleb is my nephew who is learning Japanese.  We have decided to become “accountability buddies.”  I only have one concern about Caleb as an accountability buddy – Caleb is nice.  He’s a really nice well-mannered young man, and I don’t think he has it in him to, for example, call me up and threaten me with severe bodily death if I don’t get my butt “back with the program.”   I may need more of an Arnold Schwarzenegger type accountability buddy, or maybe even Hannibal Lector.

Well, I better get back to my Korean studies.  Remind me again, what is Korean for, “Where is the bathroom?”