Saturday, November 15, 2008

My son's bookshelf: 우리아빠는 방귀왕

Special note: I bought a three-pack of Weihenstephaner (Germany's oldest brewery) beer -it came with a cool glass! I just finished the 'Kristall Weissbier' which was okay; I really like the dunkel, though. It's a 500 ml bottle so there be some (more than usual) non sequitors and such.

I continue to try to learn Korean, in fits and starts. I intend to make another start (I don't want to have a fit - what does 'fits and starts' mean, anyway?) and, along with other material, intend to read books from my son's bookshelf. To add structure to my reading, I will post commentary about one book a week here.

I already do read his books, of course. Around half of his book shelf consists of English books and sitting sideways, on top, is Dinosaurs, which will be a great book for him in five years. Until then, I will be reading it and showing him pictures on occasion. I read the rest with him; that was clear, wasn;t it?
Click to embiggin the photos, as you like.

Anyway, the bookshelf itself came with, I don't know, about forty Korean books for pre-schoolers. Some have no text, others include stickers with words (in hangeul, of course) to affix next to pictures.

I read for him Where the Wild Things Are, which frightened him after a mere four pages on his first glimpse, but also these Korean books. He has seen all of them, I think, but I am not sure I have. Normally, I check out a few pages and tell him an English story that approximates the Korean one. I do this for the same reason I need to learn Korean; my reading is slow, mechanical and my accent is terrible, but also because he gets a lot of Korean content in the day anyway. After eight+ hours at a Korean-only 어린이집 (Korean daycare), he has enough trouble communicating with his dad in English.

Let's start with a funny one:
First story: Our dad, the king of farting

My first note is I need to understand the Korean use of our (우리). One can find '우리나라' (our country), '우리말' (our language) and other terms, even when the sentences are given to foreigners. The book title, Our Dad... clearly is not about your dad and my dad both, what's with this 'our' business?

Okay, so father and son are going to a 'father and son day' at the kindergarten. They sing and do artwork together, making a paper flower.
색종이 - coloured paper
종이 - paper
간식 - snack

Then comes some tumbling.
구르다, 구르기를 - roll, tumble

Oh my gosh, dad farted - a lot!
아빠가 멋지게 구르기 시작했어요. 그때 뿌앙! 뿌앙! 뿡뿡뿡! 방귀가 터져 나왔어요.
Dad began to tumble. B-rap, B-rap, B-rrrrap! Dad farted a lot.

The boy is very embarrassed.
창피해! -embarrassed.

It turns out dad is sick. An ambulance takes him to the hospital.

I am not too clear on the next bit. A nurse tells the family something, finishing with, "He should fart after his next meal." "방귀가 나와야 밥을 먹을 수 있어요."

The boy prays, "Please let dad have a good fart."
마침 -luckily
마침내 - at last.
Finally, dad farted. Yahoo! Our dad's farting!

Next week: Robot wars! - It's more touching than it sounds.

Added the next morning: I think the dad's name must be Harold. That let's me make the sacrilegious comment, "Our father, who fart in heaven, Harold be thy name." There, I feel better.

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