House of the Dragonfly
When I first stared becoming interested in Korean pop culture, I was intensely jealous of those who could fluently understand Korean. For me, it was torture knowing that the latest episode of my current favorite drama had aired, and yet I would have to wait days or even weeks before I could partake in it.
For native speakers, on the other hand, it was so easy. I was thankful for translators who practically worked around the clock, but had difficulty suppressing my selfish frustration when translation seemed to take particularly long. No native speakers have a duty to translate, but I also wondered if they knew what being on one side of a seemingly insurmountable language barrier felt like.
Well, little by little, I started chipping away at that “insurmountable” barrier. I took classes. I studied on my own. I watched hours of dramas, listened to thousands of songs, took notes, made flash cards, logged new grammar and vocabulary, and translated. And translated. And translated.
I still haven’t overcome that barrier, but I’m working on it. And I feel like I owe a ladder to everybody who comes after me. My skills still are barely even passable, but I feel like in giving a close approximation to those who would otherwise be left entirely in the dark, my efforts are worthwhile. So feel free to ask, request, correct, encourage, or in any other way engage in the learning process. I will be thankful.