Compared with my reading and listening comprehension skills, my Korean composition skills are pretty much laughable. I tried to translate a relatively simple English song into Korean and while I think I got the grammar right, I managed to suck all the emotion out of the lyrics. Sigh. Anyway, I’ve been trying to improve my writing ability by commenting on TTMIK, tweeting some native Korean speakers, and emailing my Korean penpal, Dina.
Dina (her Korean name is 도희) and I have been penpals for about a year now. She was actually my younger sister’s friend back when they were both in the 1st and 2nd grade here in the States, but she moved back to Korea at the end of 2nd grade. She’d been in touch with my sister and when my sister mentioned my interest in the Korean language, she immediately said she wanted to be penpals with me. So we’ve been emailing back and forth since then and it’s amazing how my emails have progressed from being half in English, half in Korean to almost 100% Korean.
We talk about random things. Mostly about things like school, food, and the weather. I also learn a lot of interesting words and slang and emoticons from her as well. For example “바2” and “빠빠이” are both cute ways to say “bye.” Once I tried to fangirl about boybands (i.e. Big Bang) with her but clearly she’s more mature than I am because she said:
나는 boyband에 관심은 없지만, 빅뱅이 좋아~~ 언니는 멤버 중에서 누가 제일 좋아?? 한국 친구들은 빅뱅 중에서 g-dragon을 제일많이 좋아해!
관심 없다고?! How is that possible? Haha.
I love being an 언니 to my Korean penpal and I hope we can stay friends for a very long time!