Two years ago, I started learning Korean because of Park Yong Ha, a Korean singer and actor. (한국어를 공부하게 된 계기가 “박용하”였습니다.)
It’s a weird story. One afternoon, on TV, there was a short program about Korean celebrities’ suicide. Park Yong Ha was one of them, and he was the only Korean celebritiy I recognized. I didn’t have any interest in Korean Hallyu, but I recognized his face because he was huge in Japan, back when I was still living in Tokyo.
I knew nothing about Park Yong Ha. I didn’t even know his name until I googled. But knowing he committed suicide, I couldn’t stop crying. And this was 1 year after the actual death. It wasn’t something that happened yesterday nor I was a fan. I didn’t know why, but I was in tears, for days. I just couldn’t stop. 정말 미치겠었어요. (=I felt like I was going crazy).
Since I couldn’t stop crying, I searched online to educate myself about him. His music was good enough for me, I felt that I needed to understand the lyrics to know what he sang about. Before I got my first Korean textbook, I studied the lyrics of Park Yong Ha’s songs. He got a lot of Japanese fans. It was easy for me to find the Japanese translation of his Korean songs.
He sang ballad (slow songs) so it was easy to catch his words even though it was my first time listening to Korean. And I watched a Korean drama for the first time. It was Winter Sonata (겨울연가) with Indonesian subtitles. He was so handsome in it.
So I thought, why not learn Korean, this could be fun. It would be awesome if I can be so good at this language, so I can watch Korean drama without subtitles. Around that time, I went to a bookstore to get my first Korean textbook, which was a very easy phrasebook. I thought to myself, hey, I can master Korean by myself. Yes, yes, I can do this.
And I’ve been studying Korean every day since then.
이상 (=That’s all). I hope I didn’t scare you off. Please come back. I’m not crazy. I really am not! OK, fine, whatever, I’m crazy.
Park Yong Ha singing 처음 그날처럼 (=Like the Day We First Met) with Japanese subtitles ↓
좋은 하루 보내세요. (=Have a nice day.) ###
- My First Korean Textbook was a Phrasebook (koreanvitamin.wordpress.com)