Sunday, March 4, 2012

Learning Korean through K-pop

I thought this was a possibility but each time I put in Korean song lyrics into Google Translate, it comes out really weird. But now, I have a new strategy. Even though my English (native fluency) is much better than my Chinese (3rd grade education), the assumption is that Chinese is closer (whatever that means) to Korean than English. It I translate Korean into Chinese using Google Translate, maybe it will make more sense, and I can brush up on Chinese as well. If you can't learn one language, why not try leaning two at the same time?!

Here is a MV for a drama OST by Hyorin (Sistar). The Korean title is 널 사랑하겠어, and the translated title on YouTube is I Choose To Love You. I have no idea whether that is correct... all I know is 사랑 = love. If I put the phrase directly into Google Translate, the English translation is:
You will love

Well, the word love is in there but the two translated phrases are slightly different. If I change the language to Chinese (Traditional of course), the translation becomes:

This is closer to You will love but it's probably because I'm using Google for both translations. To me though, 一定 is more meaningful than will... there is an added level of certainty, more like surely will or something. Also interesting is that the Chinese translation has 喜歡 instead of 愛, though when you translate love in English to Chinese, Google comes up with 愛. For me, I would translate 喜歡 as like, or a lesser degree of love.

Language is cool. I wished I would have lived in Taiwan a few more years and learned more Chinese. :(


OK, I tried it with the first four lines from 다시 만난 세계 (Into The New World) by SNSD and it's not working out... :)

전해주고 싶어 슬픈 시간이 다 흩어진 후에야 들리지만
눈을 감고 느껴봐 움직이는 마음 너를 향한 내 눈빛을
특별한 기적을 기다리지마 눈 앞에선 우리의 거친 길은
알 수 없는 미래와 벽 바꾸지 않아 포기할 수 없어

English (Google Translate):
I want to pass along sad time, but it sounds scattered after
Close your eyes and feel like moving my eyes towards you
Do not wait for miracles in front of our eyes a rough road
Unknown future and can not give up on the wall do not change

Chinese (Google Translate):

English (translation from Soshified):
I want to tell you, even though the sad times have already past
Close your eyes and feel, how you affect my mind, how you attract my gaze.
Don't wait for a miracle, there's a rough road in front of us
with obstacles and future that can't be known, yet I won't change, I can't give up.

Hmm. As expected, the English translation from GT is pretty bad. I've tried translating Chinese text into English and the results are similar. I can't understand the Chinese either but that's probably because my Chinese skills are lacking. Maybe I need to start with single words or phrases.

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