As a kid, one of my favourite hobbies is daydreaming. My mom calls it katamaran and pagiging batugan, but for me, day dreaming was an escape from my dull and ordinary lifestyle. One of the things that I often think about was learning foreign languages. Since it was a made up story in my mind, I always dream about speaking more than 15 languages (Hah!)- English, Japanese, Thai, German, French, Italian, Spanish… in my alternate world, I can even speak Sanskrit and Latin!
Day dreaming is easy, but making that dream a reality is a different story. As a Filipino, I am obliged to study English ever since I was in grade school. Even that and years of getting exposed to English movies and TV programs, did little enough to make me so fluent in speaking the language. That is why, I never really thought about making multilingual me a reality.
Little did I know, I will eventually start making that dream come true. And little did I know that my passion for Korean movies and culture would ignite my interest in studying Korean language.
It started a year ago, around September. My friend, Sarah, invited me to study basic Korean in Korean Culture Center, during Saturdays. It was hard for me because I am not used to having lesser time, watching movies at home. Saturday is the perfect day for doing this because Sunday would be my chores day (hindi ako ganon katamad), and I have work on weekdays. The language was very difficult but in the end, I graduated. I promised not to continue because it was making my life complicated (yes, a day without a Korean drama, makes my life complicated).
But I was enticed by my friends to take Elementary Korean 1 with them. I was indeed enticed…. I registered with them but when were about to enrol, two of them backed out! Honestly I felt like not doing it anymore because I only did it because thinking about studying together with them was fun. Then again, I do want to try it so I went to the first day of class with my friend Karen… and then the next month… and then the last week, until I finally graduated. Making me happier is that, I graduated first in my class!
I remembered when I was taking Basic Korean with Sarah. We were teasing each other about being first in the class. It was just a joke of course, because we were not that good during then. But at the start of my second take in studying the language, I really dreamt about coming up the stage and getting a Korean dictionary. The power of the mind is probably true. If you keep on thinking about something, it will happen. I am very happy that despite being hesitant at first, I took a chance and sacrificed few hours of my Tuesdays and Thursdays for three months, to be able to learn more about the culture that I started to like.
Getting that top award or not, I am still very happy that I learned a lot from that three months. Although, my future venture on studying the language is still unclear for me, I am happy to realize that the things I day dream about when I was a kid, is starting to happen. I am far from becoming, the multilingual me in my alternate world; I am even far from communicating effectively in Korean. But one thing is clear to me. Day dreaming is not enough, making effort to make that dream a reality is what’s more important.
Since, typing Hangul in my laptop is so difficult, I rather post this thank you message I posted in my FB status:
반 친구들과 강 선생님이 아주 감사합니다. 너 때문에, 이한국어 수업이 재미있었습니다. 제 친구들, 특히 가렌 씨,감사합니다.그리고 한국문화원도 고맙습니다. 공부이 어렵지만 제가 많이 배웠습니다. 다음 번에 우리가 만납시다! 행운을 빕니다! 안녕….