Learning a second language is hard, trying to learn a language that the US Department of Defense has ranked in the top 5 hardest languages for English Speakers to learn is even harder. Learn More Here!
I never claim to know a lot of Korean when people ask me. In fact, my Korean is Horrible and I really can’t hold a conversation. I do however say that I know enough Korean to get by and do just about whatever I want to do. This doesn’t mean I know how to typically put together full sentences. What I did do, is I did learn enough vocabulary to say certain words to get what I want, and I know how to read the current situation along with a few key vocab words to know what the other person is saying.
With that said one of my favorite things to do and say when I am attempting to learn another language is to joke around. One of the first things that I learned how to say in Korean was “I am Joking” and “stupid” and a few other silly/joke phrases. It is pretty funny/awesome to see someone’s reaction who expects you to know nothing in their language, and you then can bust out a little joke. It will really take them by surprise and make them believe that you know a lot more of that language then you really do.
You obviously need to be careful about what you decide to say and do when in a different country or culture. However, I have learned this little trick, and it has been an excellent way to make new friends and an easy opener. People also will be more receptive to you when you show an effort to learn their language and culture. So while it might just be a little joke to you, to them it is an outward showing of effort and care to learn more about them and their culture.
I will say though some people might be a bit more careful and not so free to talk about you so blatantly when you are around in their language. I say this because many people will actually openly talk about you. This doesn’t mean they are saying anything bad but they do not expect you to know what they are saying so they feel free to say whatever they want. I mean let’s pretend your friends or coworkers just start saying things about you but you are literally sitting right next to them and they are speaking like you have no idea what they are saying. That is a situation you will find yourself in when surrounded by speakers of a different language.
What are things you like to learn first in another language or quickly to meet new people in a new country or culture?
And just so that you know how to say stupid in Korean, 바보 (babo).
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