Mixed Messages

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November 26, 2012 by empraise

The word Hangeul in Hangeul. Hangeul is read f...

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!

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