8 In Korean learning journey (:


Can’t believe I’m reopening my thesis file again, after having handed it in. ><;; I thought I won’t have to see it again lol. Don’t get me wrong, I love my thesis (no matter how much I complained while working on it) and I had fun writing it. But I never like to go back to things that I’ve considered completed.

So I’ve been working at it again. To prepare it for publication to an academic journal. My first ever paper. 😀 Read through it and I’m actually amazed at myself for completing it. I think it’s quite well-written ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Supposed to making changes to it to fit the journal and to cut it down to the required length, but I don’t know how to start. :/ Everything looks perfectly fine (to my biased eyes).

Sorry for the lack of informative / serious posts these days. I wasn’t very serious about the last wordlist post, but they are indeed some of my favorite words 😛

Been thinking about how much I want to pursue Korean-English translation as a possible (side?) career next time. I don’t know. Feels like I’m always on a losing end compared to overseas Koreans. Will I be? As a Singaporean, sometimes I feel (or more accurately, made to feel) that I’m neither a native speaker of English nor Chinese. English is not so bad, seeing how I use it everyday. hehe but you guys can see that my grammar sucks, especially if I’m in a hurry and don’t check my writing. But Chinese, sometimes I also don’t think I can be considered native (in the strictest sense). Even though it’s my first language.  I think I may have better academic writing skills in Korean compared to Chinese. 😛

In that way, I feel like I’m even less credible as a Korean-English translator. hahaha. As compared to say… an overseas Korean. I have been rejected several times when I try to apply for Korean-English translation assignments and people tell me to do Chinese-English since I’m a native speaker of Chinese. Or English-Chinese. D: WHYYY I only want to do Korean-English translation. D:

Although I’ve been doing translation for quite a few years, it feels like it’s only now that I start to feel ready. Back in 2009, I first dabbled into kpop news translations. Still remembered those times when I will be checking the dictionary several times in a sentence and it will take me a few hours just to translate one simple article XD My translation skills got better every year and by the time of my internship, I was getting more comfortable with it. But it’s only this year that I think I am starting to get ready. My speed has improved significantly and now most of the time, I am spending time on deciding how to phrase it in English, instead of trying to understand the Korean. Which is definitely a good thing.


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  • Reply
    14 February, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    U definitely have an advantage over Koreans in that your native language is English, and generally translators only translate from a target language to their native language. So Koreans ideally should translate from English to Korean, and you would translate from Korean to English. And wtf why would people act like you don’t speak English? Ok, you’re singaporean, you have a Singaporean accent, which in my opinion is hella cute btw hehe, but hey, thIs is translation, none of that matters, it’s not like you type in singlish haha, from what I’ve read you write and speak standard English just as well as any other native speaker,so what’s the problem? Although hey, maybe everyone is neglecting a big market in translation, Korean-singlish translation! Lol jk I don’t wanna offend 😉

    • Reply
      16 February, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      hahaha I know right. I guess it’s also because unlike Japanese where there are many many foreigners that are good in it, Korean is still relatively new as a foreign language and hence it’s more likely to find overseas Koreans who are bilingual rather than a native English speaker who is good in Korean? mmm not sure. ㅎㅎ

  • Reply
    14 February, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Your TOPIK should work as proof that you know enough to translate, no?
    Do you interview for the jobs or is it all based on “fill in the blanks”-forms?
    I have this thing where I sometimes try to fool British people into thinking that I’m British – when I was younger it was because when going on summer school, many of the British children wouldn’t speak to the foreign students so I learned to fake an accent, now it’s just for fun. I know your Korean is really good so if interviewing in Korean, try to “fool” them into asking you about your Korean family/when you left Korea or something like that simply by your accent. Of course you should never lie about being Korean, but if they *assume* that you must be Korean/have very strong ties to Korea based on the way you speak it will be very difficult to say you’re not competent enough when you correct them and tell them that you’re actually Singaporean 😉

    • Reply
      16 February, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      no interviews so far! (: I don’t know. Sometimes TOPIK is considered important but sometimes extended stays (a few years or so) in the country is considered more important. ㅋㅋ I know what you mean. Sometimes I just go along with it when Koreans think that I’m either a Korean/overseas Korean 😛

  • Reply
    16 February, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    I’ve been spending some time on doing research about this lately with my other Korean friends. To be honest, I used to think that as a Singaporean, I have an added advantage because I know English, Chinese and now Korean. I always thought that it will be easy for someone like me to get a job in Korea. But after getting to know a lot of young Korean university students who can speak multiple languages fluently, I kind of changed my mind about this. :/

    Many overseas Koreans today can speak and write English just as fluently as we can, and they usually are better in Korean too because they learnt the language from young (our language absorption abilities kinda slow down after we get older – proven by a lot of linguistic research) Some of them may even know a third language – like Chinese language, or German, Spanish, etc. This is really common in SNU from what I’ve observed.

    So I guess language-wise, it’s really hard to compete with them. But if you have specific skills/relevant experiences + language abilities, it will probably give you a better edge. 🙂

    • Reply
      16 February, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      agreed!! I thought the same way too and was forced to change my mind. There are so many overseas Koreans in Korea and their visa status already gives them a lot more opportunities than us. Most jobs that want bilingual people specify the F visa D:

      hahaha trying to think of my competitive advantage :/

      • Reply
        19 February, 2013 at 3:12 AM

        Totally! I faced a lot of problems while trying to find an internship. They do not want to deal with troublesome foreigners because of the Visa problem. They will rather a 교포 because the F Visa apparently requires less work and trouble to make. :/ So I am forced to look at other alternatives. (Life…)

        But you managed to find your internship in Korea in the end, right? I guess if we really continue to work hard, we can achieve our goal eventually! 🙂 I need optimism to keep me going hahahaha.

        You’re better already- since you also know Japanese now. And you have what I don’t – a really strong interest and determination in language learning. This will one day bring you far, as long as you can find someone who appreciates this quality in you, like how many of your readers, including myself, do. 🙂

        Good luck! I’ll hope to read an entry about your success in getting a position that you want someday. 🙂

        • Reply
          19 February, 2013 at 10:34 AM

          it’s definitely tough, but not impossible!! Hope to hear some good news from you soon!! 😀 Let’s keep working hard for our goals/dreams!

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