I tend to look at the road ahead. . . the challenges to overcome and the things left to learn and master. Sometimes it’s helpful to look behind as well and see some of the mountains behind me.

The last few months there been a couple cool things that happened.

1. I did my first interpreting ever. I was with a friend at a meeting with twenty or so Koreans. The speaker was speaking in English and the Korean guy who had be delegated as the translator was suffering from diabetes so they suddenly told me to interpet. I’d never done that before, specially not from English to Korean, so I was incredibly nervous at first. However after the first minute or so I started to enjoy translating.

2. I started working as free-lance translator. With my money supply running out here in Israel I decided to try my hand at free-lance translating. I got a few jobs — the first very small one translating a couple Korean business letters. The second job I translated a 22 page legal brief. Both were hard but fun.  There were lots of words I didn’t know. . . but I quickly got very familiar with ‘plaintiff’, ‘defendant’, ‘grounds of appeal’ and other such legal terminology. Sometimes there were so many legal words I didn’t know I felt I was getting payed to study Korean. . . which isn’t that bad of deal when you think of it that way. 🙂

It’s funny. When I studied Korean I never thought that I’d be able to earn anything from it. People usually learn languages because of a job or a career but I’ve always been learning it just for fun. I guess nothing you learn is wasted though . . . somewhere down the line it will always prove useful.

3. Praise. I generally hate getting praised for speaking Korean well. You get used to hearing people say you speak amazingly well when you just say 감사합니다 and it starts to get rather tiring after a while. These days fortunately I don’t get praised as much. . . people who know me and are used to me are  tending to get more annoyed if I make a mistake. . . which is a good sign I feel. However, one of the Koreans here in Israel . . . told a bunch of other people after we had talked that I spoke Korean better than any foreigner he had heard (including the Korean literature professor he had talked to the university here).. . . The Korean literature professor must have set the bar rather low, but still, that’s praise I don’t mind hearing!ㅋㅋ