Korean, Personal, Vocabulary
Comments 4

아쉽다

Interview Week came to an end on Friday.  It was an exciting time for me because I still have vivid memories of my own graduate school interview circuit (has it really been a year since then?!) and I was definitely looking forward to experiencing it from the other side of admissions this time around.

Most of the graduate students in the program participate in Interview Week as student hosts – basically, our job is to accompany the interviewee to his/her nine interviews, answer questions about the program, entertain, and (most importantly) pitch the school.

I chose to host Yekyung, a post-graduate student from Yonsei University.  I had an incredible time showing her around campus and by the end of her four-day stay here, we had already become fast friends.  In fact, we’ve still been in touch through Kakaotalk and Skype since she went back to Korea!  It just goes to prove that there are some people you can make an instant connection with, even if you haven’t known them for long.  I know regardless of where she goes to graduate school, she’ll always be a good friend, a wonderful 언니, and a great language partner!

After finishing her interviews, we took a walk around campus and chatted for something like 2.5 hours in a mix of Korean and English and had a really great time just relaxing and talking about Korean, English, entertainment, and culture.  When it was time for her to leave, Yekyung asked me if I knew what 아쉽다 means.

I think 아쉽다 is one of those multi-layered words that can take on subtly different meanings depending on the context.  I’m not sure if there’s a single English word that can be used in all the contexts that 아쉽다 can be used in – but I always thought of it as feeling like you’ll miss something or don’t want something to end or go away.  The dictionary definition is “to want for,” “to miss,” “to feel inconvenienced by the lack of.”

But Yekyung phrased her definition of 아쉽다 beautifully:  “Feeling like you wish time would stop.”

I was so touched when she put it that way. :’)

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