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.