Cool monologue from Iris


I clipped this cool monologue from the currently playing drama, Iris (아이리스). It’s the second episode.

I’ve already started memorizing it by listening to it and working with the script. The few times I’ve memorized things in Korean I’ve found it’s helped a lot in my fluency, pronunciation and just being able to say the syllables clearer and more quickly without stumbling.

Here is the script (produced by listeners in Lang-8):

저기 잠깐만.. 팀장님.

내가 왜 NSS에 들어온 줄 알아요?

사실 저 NSS에서 요구하는 충성심 그딴거 잘 모릅니다.

특임대 있었을 때도 마찬가지였구요.

목숨 걸고 수행해야 되는 그 많은 임무들
그거 가능하게 만든건 투철한 애국심 그런 거 아니었어요.

그냥, 난생 처음으로 재밌다고 느꼈어요.

가까스로 길 찾은 다음에 아.. 이게 내 운명이겠구나. 뭐 그런 생각했어요.

그런 내가 NSS를 선택한 건 이 위험하고 복잡한 조직이 나한테는 되게 단순하게

목숨만 걸면 내가 재밌어 하는 내가 운명이라고 생각하는 그런 일을 계속하면서 살 수 있겠구나.

나 요원으로서의 충성심이나 애국심이나 그런 건 없어도 내가 정한 건 끝까지 물고 늘어지는 놈입니다.

강의실에서 당신 처음 만났을 때부터 한번도 만만하다고 생각한 적 없어요 그리고 이거.. 장난 아닙니다.

저.. 일이 있어서..


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I need to really upgrade my Korean.

Day 135

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Did a few pages of reading 아웃라이어 Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (up to pg. 40 now). There are loads of words I don’t know. Right now I’m reading it trying to get the gist while underlying words I don’t know. After I’m finished with the first chapter I’ll look them up and put them in Anki.

To work on pronounciation I’ve decided to intensify learning songs . . . both worship and pop. I’m also working on two pieces that I’m memorizing . . . a short essay “우리말 살리기” from 한국어 표준 발음 바르게 읽기 and Thessalonians 1. I have good recordings for both pieces, so I feel once I get it memorized I can work on immitating the voice, intonation and pronounciation.

Day 134

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Yesterday I did 20 min with Anki, today 14 minutes. Sunday (two days ago) I was able to explain a whole story and my thoughts about it to an audience of 8 people or so. . . it was kind of a nice breakthrough because I have found it so far quite hard to make myself understood by large groups of people even when I could communicate one-on-one.

I learned some really cool phrases talking with friends this evening. If someone asks me what I am doing (뭐해?) and I want them to guess I can say 뮈하게? . Likewise if someone asks who I’m with, I can answer ‘누가랑 있게?”. . .which basically means 누구랑 있는 줄 알아?


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Korean as Is mentions several very interesting points in his last article. I was going to respond in a comment, but as my comment was looking more and more like a post I decided to leave it here instead.

James wishes that Koreans would replace the expression ‘우리말’ with some other term. For myself I like the sound of ‘우리말’ much more than ‘한국어’ and use it quite regularly in conversations with people. At school when I use it with children they are never confused and often I can use it with adults in normal conversations and not get challenged. Im very curious though how many other foreigners learning Korean use ‘우리말’ for Korean in their speech.

I have several reasons for using it myself. . . one is that although technically ‘우리말’ means ‘our language’ it’s only every used by Koreans to mean the Korean language. . . and thus it’s really just a synonym that means (regardless of the speaker) 한국어. I also feel that if I’m speaking Korean with another Korean it is “our” language, our common language.

Lastly I feel that no word that Koreans use should be off limits to foreigners just because they are a foreigner. I have had people tell me several times that I shouldn’t use this or that common hip phrase because it sounded strange for them to hear a foreigner talk normal colloquial Korean. In Korean I want the whole package, and speak everywhere appropriatly and understand any situation.

To me it seems that using ‘우리말’ or ‘우리나라’ though do betray a certain amount of identification with the language and culture. . . but that identification is immensely important if we want to really to speak and use the language as well as a native.

Perhaps the phenomena found in things like Korea’s ‘우리나라’ are also in English but we don’t realize it as much. It sometimes feels a bit funny for me if I hear a non-American call America ‘the States’, but it is a very common way to refer to America by Americans. If someone really identifies with Americans and want to speak American english well they should definitely use that word (and others) like an American.