네, 이제 찰 있고 싶어요

Translation: “Yeah, now I wanna be well.” (Technically this line could also be spoken as, “네, 이제 찰 지내고 싶어요.”

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I don’t want to say I’ve been killing it on Lang-8, but I am extremely proud of myself. I’ve talked before about the dangers of having one’s reach far exceed one’s grasp. So I’ve been trying to reel myself in; by focusing on simpler sentences. Sentences that reflect my Korean ability, instead of my English ability. (Difficult to do when you’re modeling sentences in your head in your primary language and then converting them.)

Last week my results weren’t horrible, nor were they great.

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Corrections pertaining to the placement of subject and object markers, before I really went reaching towards the end. By no means perfect, but a definite indication that I am capable of succeeding if I work hard enough at it.

Work hard enough or lower the bar sufficiently…

This week I’ve learned how to conjugate verbs to create the phrase “I want to [verb]” ([V]고 싶어요). Finally, a conjugation I can honestly use! While I have no issues with the present tense, trying to write sentences in the present tense is futile. No one says, “I eat a pizza” (저는 피자를 먹어요) or anything else that simplistic.

Learning the past tense was a step in the right direction; as it gave my sentences a semblance of normalcy. Unfortunately, when paired with the (practically useless) present tense, even the past tense seemed to be showing serious limitations.

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Enter the Ramones.

Nearly every Ramones song (at least on their first four albums) uses a variation of “I wanna…” or “I don’t wanna…” making them instant translation buddies. Can’t think of a sentence to convert? Just pull any random Ramones lyric out of my longterm memory and use that! Hence this week’s title, “I Wanna Be Well.”

The Ramones open up tons of translation opportunities, all while being simplistic enough for me to handle. Not to mention they sound great. So my childhood spent memorizing first generation punk rock lyrics is finally starting to pay off!

Hell, I’m not entirely convinced that I couldn’t make a faithful translation of the Ramones first album by myself!

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Evidence of this lies in my performance on Lang-8. Four lines written Wednesday morning while riding my bike, with three of the four being deemed “perfect” by a native speaker. The only sticking point is the Ramones’ lyric, and even that point is contentious. As noted in my opening “Translation” segment, both 있고 싶어요 and 지내고 싶어요 work; their differences being similar to choosing between “How are you doing?,” and “How have you been?”

So I’ll give myself half credit here, as neither is wrong, but both can make claims to being “right.”

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