November 26, 2012 by empraise
One of the perils of living in a multi-lingual environment is the danger of mixing messages or miscommunication. Here in Korea, we are surrounded by Hangul. I am even studying Korean twice a week in a semi-private class. I’m also learning a lot through context and experience. With Spanish and English bouncing around in my head (and a little German too!) you can imagine my surprise as I heard so many Koreans remark, “Eh, Puta!” when they saw my beautiful blue-eyed son. Though obviously written very differently and pronounced with more finesse, this word sounded SO similar to the word for B**** in Spanish! Yikes! What were they calling him??? I knew it couldn’t be anything bad, because they all love Little M and want to touch his face, and talk to him.
So I asked my Korean teacher and sure enough, it means “Oh how pretty!” Could any two meanings be more opposite?? Oh the joys of language-learning!