안녕하세요 여러분! 진짜 오랜마넵니다!

Hi Everybody! I’m BAAAACCCCKKKK after REAALLLYYYY a long time!

I always tried to write at least one post every week, but for the past six weeks or so I haven’t been able to write a single post. (A SINGLE POST! My Goodness!) It actually feels like ages! So, I couldn’t wait to get back to it!

The reason why I was so busy was that I recently started a new job. YEAH! ㅎㅎㅎ

It’s actually my first, proper job ever!  So I am working full time now. 정규직원으로 일하고 있습니다! So, I have been pretty busy. It’s my first job after completing my Masters degree. And I have loads to learn as it is a training period for me, for at least the next couple of months. Therefore, a typical day for me thesedays consists of going to work, and after coming home from work – reviewing and studying a lot of things related to my work. So, I’ve rarely had any time to squeeze in some proper “Korean” studying time. (I am missing it like crazy!).  Strangely, I am knackered by the time I reach home although the work is not that difficult (‘t must be due to concentrating too much at work). But I am finally getting used to my daily routine and I’ve been planning & organizing my time so that I am able to, not just squeeze in my 한국어 time, but rather let it shove in and push its way around to grab the lion’s share of my off-work-hours. Also, of course, I need to manage my time for blogging too!


 

Anyways, today as my “Comeback” post (컴백 포스트) (and perhaps my last post for 2015, Gosh! Can’t believe, its 2016 already!) , I want to talk about a unique habit (Can you even call it a habit?) that I have seemed to develop as a result of my Korean Language Learning.

If one of my previous posts, I had talked about twelve things that language learners often do or feel. But, as I continued learning Korean, I realized that there is yet another thing that seems to happen to me quite often, just because of the fact that I am learning a second language.  That is – I automatically try to think of words in Korean (words in your target language) in almost all situations. What I mean is, whenever I encounter any new topic, or situation, my brain automatically runs a “Korean word search” (although my Korean Vocab repository is quite limited), to check IF I know the Korean words related to that topic. (When I say automatic, I mean I no longer have any control on it! LOL! I had actually reached this stage of thinking “in Korean” all the time through conscious efforts, back when I started learning Korean. Thought it would help! INFACT, IT DOES HELP A LOT. But, apparently, there is no switching it OFF, once you get a hang of it.)

For example, I was writing a memo at work the other day about discrepancies in some of the accounts and the ways of resolving those discrepancies. It was a very urgent memo. But I kept wondering what “discrepancy” and “resolution” are in Korean and it kept bothering me. I couldn’t wait to look them up.  So, as soon as I completed the memo and sent it, I looked them up in the Naver dictionary. I could guess their meanings in Korean, but I wasn’t sure whether the Korean words that I knew can be used in the same “business” sense as “discrepancy” and “resolution” are used in English. (The answer was they can be used in the same sense!)

I am sure almost all language learners must have had similar experiences too. However, the reason, I call this a side-effect is a bit different. As some of you might know, I am Nepali, fluent in English, who is learning Korean (Check out my About page). So, I have to work with two languages on a daily basis- English and Nepali, both at work and on my daily life. While, Nepali is the national language of Nepal, which is used for communication, English is used as the main language in most organizations, schools and universities (at least in the major cities. All subjects, except “Nepali” are taught completely in English, in many schools and colleges). So, I have to deal with both English and Nepali almost equally wherever I go.

Now the problem is that I am so much into Korean these days that it overpowers my thinking when I am trying to think of words in Nepali or English. Let me share an example, apart from my regular work, I also tutor a middle-schooler in the evenings. Since, all the text books are in English (except Nepali), I have to explain all the chapters to him in Nepali. But whenever I try to think of the meanings of particular English words in Nepali, the first thing that pops up in my mind is the Korean word for that word (if I know them). And what happens is I can either not think of the Nepali word for it or even if I do, it takes a while for me to remember it, which honestly is quite ridiculous as I am a Nepali after all. This happened to me just yesterday. I was teaching a chapter to my student, when the word “perturb” came up. So I was trying to explain its meaning to him. But all I could think of was 걱정 (which means “worry” in Korean). It must have taken me at least a whole minute to come up with the word “चिन्तित” (Romanized: Chintit) which means “worried” in Nepali. I was like 뭐지? 뭐지? (What is it? What is it?). It was so darn … 답답하다…frustrating! (Not to mention, embarrassing!). I am doing it again!

I reckon this may happen to people learning multiple languages at the same time. But I find it quite peculiar that my Korean is interfering with my own language. More strangely, it rarely happens when I have to translate Nepali word to English. In that case, I do automatically think of Korean words first too, but I remember the English words a lot quicker than Nepali words.

But, although this little habit of mine is a nuisance at times, it is still good to know that my brain has started to reinforce the Korean words that I have learnt and is making active efforts to transfer them to my long term memory. Thus, it is a side-effect of learning a new language but you can’t but help but love it.


 

Have you had any similar experiences in your language learning process too? Or am I only the odd one? Hehe! Perhaps you have any different or unique habit that you may have developed by the virtue of learning a new language(s). Do share!


 

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CHEERS TO ALL LANGUAGE LEARNERS! 화이팅!

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