One day, I had a brief chat online with a random person (an Indonesian, just like me) who currently lived in South Korea.
He told me that he felt sorry for me because there were lots of Korean words I wouldn’t know if I didn’t live there.
I asked him, like what?
He typed, like: 그저께.
Huh? 그저께? 그저께? That’s all you got? A basic word? I thought he was going to mention about Korean slang words that I couldn’t find the meaning online.
I told him, obviously, I don’t have to be in Korea to know that word.
The chat ended there.
But, let’s suppose, he did mention something I didn’t know and it’s something that only people living in Korea know about. I would just say, wow, I really don’t know. Tell me. Please.
If he were a decent enough human being with good manner, I believe he would just kindly tell me. And I would say ‘thank you for teaching me that. Now I know’, and I still don’t need to live in Korea to know it. Because whenever I need to know something, there will be people like him to explain it to me. People are nice like that.
If he ridiculed me and called me stupid for not knowing, I would just leave because I don’t have time for rude, impolite people. If I’m curious enough to find out, I would just ask the nice people on Lang-8 or Facebook. Or, maybe I would say ‘that piece of knowledge is irrelevant for me right now. I don’t want to know’. Because when you’re learning on your own, and not living in Korea, you do have that option, the privilege of not having to learn things that don’t interest you. ###