잠자리의 집

상상은 여권이 필요없는 여행이다

샘김 ~ 시애틀 (feat. 이진아)

Sam Kim, “Seattle (feat. Lee Jin-ah)”

 

As a Seattle native trying to make my way in Korea, I have great empathy for Sam Kim, and this song in particular. But to be honest, although we’re both from Seattle and trying to learn Korean, that’s where the similarities end. The blatant foreigner experience and the experience of a Korean-American (or Korean-Canadian, etc.) are vastly different.

Blatant foreigners such as myself stick out. This comes with a whole slew of side effects, both good and bad: preferential treatment (extra side dishes, anyone?), racial discrimination (literally being told, “No foreigners!”), being avoided, conversely being targeted for English language practice, the list goes on and on. There also seems to be two schools of thoughts; Koreans who are amazed you can eke out so much as an, “안녕하세요” (annyeonghaseyo, “hello”) vs. Koreans who expect you to be fluent in Korean because, well, you are in Korea. In general, there is just a whole lot of baggage that comes with being an obvious outsider in Korea.

But from what I’ve come to understand, Korean-Americans face an entirely different, albeit equally challenging (if not more so), set of problems. Let me be clear, this is not something I have personally experienced. My impressions have been formed entirely from anecdotes I’ve heard from friends and material I’ve researched on my own. But from what I’ve heard, to be a Korean-American in Korea, especially to not speak the language natively, brings an entirely different sense of alienation. For some Korean-Americans, native Koreans look at them and expect them to be native Korean, but when their language abilities betray their identity, it can be devastating. One of my Korean-American friend’s coworkers constantly looked down on her because they thought that since she didn’t speak Korean well, she didn’t have enough respect for her heritage. Ultimately, it makes some people question where they belong, because they look “foreign” in the West but sound “foreign” in Korea.

This is the heartbreak that shines through in Sam Kim’s “Seattle.” It’s not just about feeling homesick, it’s also about wanting to be accepted by a culture in which you feel you ought to belong, and yet there are still so many barriers to that acceptance.

 

 

한국어:

 

Can I run and hide?
(내가 도망가도 돼?)

I’m stuck inside my memories
(추억 속에 잠겼어)

Step away from time
(시간에서 걸음 물러나)

Take me to a place where I will never grow old
(나이를 절대 들지 않는 곳으로 데려가줘)

 

I’m tired everyday
(매일 피곤해)

I’m thirsty for the rain that waters all of my melodies
(나의 모든 멜로디에 물을 뿌리는 비를 갈망해)

The needle in the sky never fails to light my night
(하늘까지 뻗는 바늘이 나의 밤을 비추는 거야)

and it sews my heart on my tattered sleeve
(그리고 나의 낡은 소매에 맘을 꿰매는 거야)

 

Oh please, my heart is all for you
(Oh please, 나의 마음은 너를 위한 거야)

Just please take care of me, I’m all for you
(Just please 나를 지켜줘 나는 꺼야)

Take, take, take me all for you
(나의 모든 것을 받아 받아 받아줘)

Take, take, take me home to you
(너에게 집으로 데려 데려 데려가줘)

 

한국말이 더 빨리 늘었음 좋겠어

나의 마음을 더 잘 전할 수 있게 oh

비가 많던 그 곳 모두들 건강한지

가끔 내 생각은 하는지

 

아직 낯선 여기

나를 좋아해주는 새로운 친구 내게 생겼어

 

Oh please 이젠 날 받아줘

Just please 들어가게 허락해줘

늘 여기 있던 것처럼

Let, let, let me in your heart
(너의 마음 속에 나를 받아 받아 받아줘)

 

들려줄 말이 너무 많은데

 

Oh please 내 손을 잡아줘

Just please 어제처럼 날 안아줘

늘 함께 있던 것처럼

Take, take, take me home
(집으로 데려 데려 데려가줘)

 

 

English:

 

Can I run and hide?

I’m stuck inside my memories

Step away from time

Take me to a place where I will never grow old

 

I’m tired everyday

I’m thirsty for the rain that waters all of my melodies

The needle in the sky never fails to light my night

And it sews my heart on my tattered sleeve

 

Oh please, my heart is all for you

Just please take care of me I’m all for you

Take, take, take me all for you

Take, take, take me home to you

 

I wish I could improve my Korean faster

so I could speak my mind better

I wonder if everyone is healthy in that city where it rains a lot

I wonder if sometimes they think of me

 

This place is still strange to me (but)

I’ve made some new friends who like me

 

Oh please accept me now

Just please give me permission to come in

as if I had always been here

Let, let, let me in your heart

 

I have so much to tell you

 

Oh please hold my hand

Just please embrace me like yesterday

as if we had always been together

Take, take, take me home

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This entry was posted on August 14, 2017 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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