Monday, July 9, 2007

Language Barriers

M: Speaking to another person through an interpreter is a truly unique experience. I was not sure who to look at when I was speaking or if everything I said could be translated to Korean and keep the same meaning. I had to be careful when using metaphors, slang or other common everyday sayings that I would normally use in a conversation.

Peter Yim, a friend of K's birth father, who served as our interpreter during their visit, was a godsend. I am not quite sure how he was able to still have a voice by the time they departed St. Louis. But speaking through a translator is not the same as speaking directly to the individual.

After reading the email that K received from Sang Kwan, we saw the great lengths that he went to in order to communicate with his sister. We decided that we too need to break the language barrier and learn how to speak Korean. We are hoping to take a class this fall, but we also have purchased some text books so that we can start teaching ourselves.

Last night was our first lesson and it went okay. We went over the Korean alphabet and some basic rules of pronunciation. We can already see that this will be a difficult task, but K and I are looking forward to the challenge.

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