Elliot has a friend at pre-school that is Korean. He loves this little boy. As we walk to school, Elliot usually says 'I hope (this sweet Korean little boy) will be there' and I always say 'I hope he is, too.' I see his mom occasionally in the queue to drop off and pick up our children. She seems incredibly friendly and she's definately someone who I'd like to get to know better. Especially as our children think so highly of each other.
This boy's mother doesn't speak English confidently. Every time I start speaking to her she apologises for her bad English, but I'm able to understand her just fine. I feel bad that she feels so badly about her English skills. I thought I'd level the playing field. So I asked N to ask HIS Korean friend to teach me how to say 'hi, how have you been doing?' in Korean. You wouldn't believe how big the smile was on her face today as I stumbled through that Korean phrase. I thought to myself 'she thinks her English is bad, I promise you my Korean is worse!' But it certainly made her happy. She seemed speechless and then said 'that's just so .. nice' before she had to run off anyway. I feel like I've made a friend.
It was such a simple thing to do. I really hope that Elliot and his Korean friend stay friends for a long time so we can learn about each other's cultures and languages. Widen our horizons. So, for those of you out there who don't have a Korean friend to teach you phrases to impress others, I'll do that for you. Seriously, if you attempt any bit of Korean to a Korean person they'll be really shocked and impressed. Even if you butcher it like I did. Try it for yourself!
How and why to learn Korean
Korean Language basics