I’m writing something in Korean right now but it’s so frustrating I need a break. I have a question to ask everyone. When you write in Korean, do you think in Korean or do you think in English (or whatever your native language is) first, structure your thoughts in English and then “translate” them to Korean?
I’m doing the former right now and it’s so frustrating that I’m thinking of doing the latter.
Usually when I write diary entries etc in Korean, I think in Korean 100%. I find it more natural and more helpful in improving my Korean. I don’t write about terribly difficult topics and my thoughts just flow naturally in Korean, and my writing feels a little like a monologue of some sort.
But this is different. I have to write something of a more formal nature at the moment, about a topic that I am not (yet) comfortable with writing in Korean. I tried writing it in Korean, and it came out sounding so … simple and child-like. Very unlike the way I would have written it if it was in English. When my writing follow my thoughts in Korean, I can’t seem to think in a “profound or intellectual or academic” way yet. So my sentences end up overly simplified. And the whole writing has little flow. It’s pretty obvious (to me) that my thoughts are all jumbled up when I read it again.
So now I’m thinking if I should structure it first in English before attempting to write in Korean. Part of me refuse to because I know it may become a habit and maybe next time I won’t be able to write Korean without first thinking in English and then translating it to Korean and that will be a huge waste of time (imo). But the other part of me know that I’ll write rubbish if I continue to be stubborn now.
I have no wish to be reliant (in any sense) on English when it comes to Korean and I don’t want to start right now.
Structuring your thoughts seem to be dependent on language. At least in my case. The process of structuring is seemingly linked to language in my case, and I am the best at doing that in English. Wondering if there’s any way for me to hone that process in Korean.
Also, I think I should start to venture out of my comfort zone for Korean writing. I’m so used to writing blog-style about my mundane life and cultural issues that I can’t seem to write anything else. Maybe I’ll start writing book or movie or drama reviews in Korean. That will be fun.
A lot of people like to tell me that my Korean is very good but I know that it’s not. Maybe cos I’m really ambitious, but I want to be able to do so much in Korean and I can’t do them all yet. I’m not satisfied with being able to read news articles, watch unsubbed dramas/movies, strike up conversations or write simple stuff in Korean. I want to be able to do more.
Maybe my ultimate goal is to be able to do simultaneous interpretation from English to Korean 😀
10 years later, maybe?
Right, I need to go back to writing. Need your thoughts on it.
Think in English? Or think in Korean?