Slamming face first into the language barrier

iliccd photo d0123151_4f8478c78b890_zps60d8fac0.jpgIn more than one Alice in Cheongdam-dong thread exuberant recommendations have been made for another drama: I Live in Cheongdam-dong

sirius photo Drama-Special-Sirius_8805_poster_zpsae9f2cdd.jpgOn a related note, I’d really, really, really like to see the drama special, Sirius. Because, seriously.  Look at the poster. It drips with cool. Also, Sun Joon-young is an actor I’m keeping an eye on. (Or trying to anyway.)

So how are these notes, one regarding a deliciously creepy (I assume!) 4 episode special, the other a family sitcom of 170 episodes, in any way related? Neither have been subbed.  And I sit here, trapped in the tourist-zone, unable to watch anything that hasn’t passed a certain level of popularity, and weep for my faulty linguistic skills. Oh, Korean language… get into my brain!

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12 thoughts on “Slamming face first into the language barrier

  1. that’s a really good contrast : 4 versus 170 😀
    I completely agree with the language thing…it’s so frustrating when you wanna watch a show and no subs are available 😦

    • And the thing is, it cuts you off from any (or many, anyway) cult-classics or indie stuff. You’re stuck to the well-beaten path because there has to be a certain level of interest — and a certain level of commercial interest for that matter — for the effort of subbing to be made. Oh, for a magic language-learning pill! 😉

    • Unfortunately, I’m as monolingual as mono can be. 😦 Perhaps this pain will create a change? (The tiny little chick begins to realize she’s stuck inside an egg…)

      • Well, I would imagine that you’d be more motivated than usual if you were to actually take up Korean language lessons 😉 The prospect of watching kdrama without subs will surely be an excellent motivator! 😉

        • I am! I like seriously, insanely am! And I totally failed-passed my way through French, took German in a spasm of crazy and failed it. (Awkward, as my husband was a German major and very close to the teacher whose class I failed.) I’ve mentioned to my friends my interest in learning Korean and they all get this very similar look on their face and they’ll pause for a long moment and then say something like, “You know there’s a different writing system, right?” Because they know my history.

          But! But! I really do watch a lot of K-dramas and so I’m hearing the language in a way I’ve never heard French or German. It’s not living in Korea by any means, but still… To learn a language that you experience beyond, “The pen is on the desk. The cat is under the chair.” I don’t know. Much like the thought of starting a blog, learning Korean is a constant buzz in the back of my head. (Heh. Sorry, I kind of unleashed on you. Lots of thoughts going on in here. ;))

          • Well, I think starting with just the speaking & listening might be less intimidating. Coz the writing & reading IS tougher! And the speaking & listening is all you really need to watch dramas without subs 😉

            With a solid motivator in place, you’ll probably surprise yourself AND all your friends 😉

          • It’d be an awesome surprise! At this point, I’m honestly looking to see how I can fit the studying into my day, which is a lot further along the “thinking about it” path than I’d ever expected to be.

  2. Back in the day when I got introduced to dramas (and it’s really not that far behind) waiting for subs was truly an exercise in patience. XD The likes of Viki an DF were not available so we relied on the few subbing groups that were around. As there were just a few dedicated individuals assingned to each project it took waaaay longer than today for subs to become available. Forget about getting them within a day, you’d be VERY lucky if it took a few days. A week of waiting was nothing in those days. Thus the modus operandi often was to wait till several epis were done and then watch in batches or wait till the drama was all done and then binge. As most did it this way, we were still more or less on the same page when it came to group squee. 🙂

    Eventually when my understanding of Korean got a bit better I started watching raws, then watched the epis again with subs or if I just could NOT wait, hit the blogs to read re-caps to get what I missed, LOL! This has actually been quite beneficial for my learning. Especially with all the Korean music I seem to listen on a loop. The language is allways around.

    Oops, I do run on, don’t I. Sorry for this little trip on the memory lane.

    • I enjoyed the trip — thank you! 🙂 I did a little blurb on the history of k-dramas in N.America for some friends who were wondering what on earth I kept talking about and it’s kind of amazing how recent the phenomenon is. I’m never on the front end of trends, so I was surprised that in this case I was pretty close.

      I’m definitely part of the spoiled crowd that gets incredibly quick turn around — which I really, really appreciate. But now that I know what I’m missing… it’d be nice to learn enough to move a little further out of the mainstream. 🙂

      • I’ve always loved learning languages, as much of an uphill battle it some time is. But it’s keeping them active that I’m not so good at. 😉 English is the only one I’m more or less fluent with but all the others have gone either badly rusty or totally to pot, heh.

        When I got interested in Korean there were no options to learn it here and even though things are a bit better as there are now actually some sort of classes, I’m still doing most of my studying on my own. There’s a serious lack of proper teachers and it is sort of embarrassing that I’m often more well versed in Korean grammar than they are. XD There are NO real intermediate classes so guess how many beginners classes I’ve taken so far? LOL! Oh well, at least my basics are somewhat sold as a result.

        There are definitely gems to be found if you swerve off the beaten path. Some of the best dramas never get subbed because there is not enough international interest in them. Actually, there are some that even have subs but no ‘following’. They often lack big, well-known names or darlings du jour and don’t get the excessive hype but have so much more to offer. Like a good story and execution that doesn’t make you gringe or want tear your hair out in frustration.

        • Yeah, I had to hunt down “Ojakgyo Brothers” subs (and make do with some directly from the Chinese translations, no English grammar applied — which made for its own form of entertainment ;)) because it had a (then) “unknown” cast and the buzz started pretty slowly. (I used quotes because I think the cast was actually known and respected in S.Korea for the most part, but not the usual international stars.) Or my most favorite of favorites of dramas, “White Christmas” — again, unknown cast, a drama-special, and I think a new PD — also hidden away from the usual stomping grounds.

          But I could see myself learning to understand before I get to speaking it myself. There’s online sources (I’ve heard good things about “Talk to Me in Korean”), and I’d start there before going for actual classes. Just to make sure I really, really meant it before plunking down money. 🙂

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