Random Thought

I watched Hello Baby for a whole fifteen minutes before realizing that I was watching without subtitles.  It was awesome.  I still like subs even though I can usually understand the gist of what I’m watching without them.  I rarely have time to watch dramas and reality shows and when I do, I want to enjoy them 100000%, meaning understanding all the dialogue and no guessing.  My brain’s tired as it is.

Honestly, though, I’m not sure how much subtitles are actually benefiting me because, more often than not, I hear key things being left out of the subtitles, especially if they’re subbed hastily.

Case in point:  Episode 8 of The King 2 Hearts.  Hangah was being all cutesy in front of Jaeha, calling him oppa

… causing him to protest, “동갑끼리 왜 그래, 징그럽게?!”

I remember the English subtitles left off the 동갑 part entirely, perhaps because I suppose it’s too complicated to explain that “oppa” is used by younger females to older males and not between people of the same age.  Fine.  There has to be some give and take in subbing things, I understand that.  The point is, I was able to catch that line even without subs and it gave me a greater appreciation for Jaeha’s character and the way he perceives his relationship with Hangah.

Anyway, I’ve come to realize that I don’t even remember what it’s like to think of Korean as a foreign language.  There was a time for all of us that Korean was just a series of sounds with no meaning or structure associated with it.  I’m always conscious of that when I post Korean music or interviews in places where it can be seen/heard by my non-Korean-learning friends.  How do their ears hear the language?  What do they think of its sounds, its cadence?  Will they enjoy Korean music regardless of not being to understand the lyrics?  I certainly liked Korean music before I was able to understand Korean, but now that I can understand a lot of it, I’ve come to appreciate it so so so much more.

I dunno.  Sometimes I just like stepping back and reflecting on stuff like this.  Amazing how far we’ve all come.


  1. creativityjapanese says:

    I totally agree to what you said. There are definitely times when things are subbed hastily. This probably also means that there are limitations if one wants to learn a language in this manner. (All of a sudden, I feel a total lack cos I enjoy watching Korean stuff with subtitles) From young, I have been watching subbed Japanese anime and I have to admit that the subtitles are usually much better!

    I know what u mean as well. I get into those moments when I speak to my friends who don’t know any Japanese about the the lyrics of a song or dialogues from a drama. Then, I’ll be like why don’t you know the language?!

    I figured that for all of us who are starting out learning a language, when we are not immersed as yet, they are just sounds. However, when we get used to the language, the sounds will no longer be sounds instead they have become a language we are familiar with. Like my mom is always amazed when I’m able to differentiate the different Asian languages but to her I figured all of them are just sounds so she can’t make out the difference.

    Good job for coming SO far! There’s more to learn! (and that’s what I tell myself as well!) Fighting! Looking forward to a day when you talk about being fluent in the language. ^^


    1. Archana says:

      You are definitely right. There’s tons more to learn, but that’s what makes it exciting. Thank you so much and good luck to you too!


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