Sunday, July 20, 2008

the real lost in translation


the first time i saw 'lost in translation' i fell in love with it. i probably went back to the theater to see it another time... then another time, like i usually do with movies i love. i never get tired of them. i was drawn to the asian culture, and with the whole 'being lost' aspect. then i bought it, and probably watched it another fifty times, until i knew all the lines and all the little details. i'm also slightly obsessed with sofia coppola and everything that relates to her.

and every single time i watched it, i was equally fascinated with all the lights, the sights, the sounds, and the people of tokyo. i had never seen anything quite like it before in my life: so much people, so many neon lights, so much technology in one place.

fast-forward to korea, february 2008. the first night we set foot at incheon airport we had our recruiter driving us to seoul, and i felt the same way, but this time it was for real. neon lights everywhere, korean signs i could not read at all, korean people everywhere (uh, yeah).. and feeling (and looking) like a complete stranger.

fast forward to now. i just decided to watch 'lost in translation' for the first time since i got to seoul. i figured i should watch it in preparation for my japan trip (i'm nerdy like that). and strange thing happened: everything felt normal, nothing felt exciting anymore. i guess i'm now living the movie fantasy i was longing for...

which is even better. and next week i'll get to see tokyo for real.

ps: i can now read korean signs.


B said...

Just wondering from your experience how essential do you think it is to learn Korean before you go?

vivian said...

I don't think you need to learn it beforehand, it can be difficult to grasp before entering the context. I did not know one single word when I got here.

First thing I did was learning the alphabet, which takes about 3-4 intensive hours, but it's pretty easy. Then I practiced daily reading random signs and after 2-3 months I could read pretty well.

I still don't know too many words but I know the basics, for ordering food and shopping and finding my way around.

I should learn more now, and working with kids you can learn a lot of basic things :)