Getting to know our family

12 05 2012

So, I saw my aunt last weekend for the first time in 6 years and the second in 36.
For the first time, we could talk to each other.

My aunt has 5 kids, and I got to meet one of my cousins, 40 (at last, I can call someone 오빠), and his rugrats.

Emo told me about the last time our grandmother and mom came to Korea, and they all went to a karaoke bar.

Pong-ee emo works at the local Woori bank branch cleaning, and my cousin likes fried chicken and beer. His toddlers learn already English at their pre-school, and they repeated “apple” all day long. Pong-ee emo believes they’re brilliant.

“You look like your mom,” Pong-ee emo told me.
While eating noodles, “your mom always ate hot food really well. You eat like your mom.”

Fun getting to know our family.

you learn the peace sign from birth here.

i had to crop this photo, because boys in every nation eschew underpants.

Lost in conjugation

6 04 2012

Do you remember your modals?
My English students at Dongsuh Foods told me they learned in their Korean high schools that “could”, “would” and “might” have the same meaning in English.

dongsuh foods--makers of powdered creamer coffee and oreo cookies

I let it go at the time, grateful we had understanding on “should” and “will”.

Then Nu ri asks me last night, isn’t “shall” the future tense of “should”?
That’s what she learned in high school.

Hyo Jung, my Friday night Toyota student, echoed this and added,
“‘might’ is the future tense of ‘may’ right?”


This makes me wonder if our Korean teachers adjust any grammar for our non-native brains.

The Korean grammar for “have to” is explained as inclusive of “should” as well. My students use “have to” in English often. I thought they were emphatic, but maybe there is no “should” equivalent in Korean.

For the record, “shall” is not the future tense of “should”.
You want to fight about it? Let’s go.

Also learned in Korea this week—

Election day
Is a national holiday.

Next Wednesday, businesses are closed, and my Toyota students won’t be learning English, because Koreans have the day off to vote. Fascinating.

If November 2 was an American holiday, would more citizens vote?