Monthly Archives: December 2010

Korean adoptee … learns Korean! Part 2

Last time I wrote, I said that I would write next about “How I ignored my emotions and oppression long enough to learn some grammar.”

Fugitive Visions is a lot about my very real emotional struggle for the first years coming to Korea and how that has intersected with my engagement or lack thereof with the Korean language, and how painful and rotten that was for a long time.  I’m not going to barf my guts out and write that all over again here, so I’m going to just talk about some things  here that are working for me now or that worked well for me in the past. I don’t think that I have by any means gotten it all figured out, and there are adoptees I have met whose Korean is far, far better than mine.  I am also in the lucky position of having a good relationship with my Korean family, and never having had to search for them because they found me first. I honestly cannot imagine how difficult it must be to embark on the Korean language learning process if you have not been reunited. Adoptees do it, and I salute them! I really don’t know how they can, but they do. Anyway, in my particular situation, I’ve figured out some things that work for me, and you can take what’s useful to you and leave the rest. Continue reading

Korean adoptee … learns Korean!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my process of learning Korean lately, so in order to stop thinking about that process and get back to actually studying (which is why this blog has been dead basically since I started studying in September), I thought I’d jot some thoughts down.

A lot has been said about how difficult it is for Korean adoptees to learn Korean as compared to other people, such as Korean Americans or even the white partners of Korean adoptees. I think there’s a lot of truth to that, and I have experienced that. However, if you’re a Korean adoptee like myself and you want to take back what is rightfully yours, then you have to find some way to grapple with the emotional issues that come along with learning the language. You  also have to find a way to access the language education, because it’s not like your white mom is going to teach you Korean while she cooks up a hot batch of kimchi chiggae for you. And if you’re an adoptee like myself who was more or less afraid of Korean people until quite  recently, you have to summon up the courage to talk with them.

Q: What do you call someone who speaks three languages?

A: Trilingual

Q: What do you call someone who speaks two languages?

A: Bilingual

Q: What do you call someone who speaks one language?

A: American Continue reading