언니?

I was watching 넌 내게 반했어(Heartstrings) and I noticed that 준희 used 언니 with 규원 and 희주. The first couple of times I didn’t think much of it but then It struck me, isn’t 언니 used by girls?! I remember drilling myself on the differences between 누나 and 언니, 오빠 and 형 to avoid gender confusion when speaking/chatting with Koreans. So when I heard him continuously using “언니” it was kind of awkward although I was just the listener. Mind you I don’t watch anything with subtitles(not even in Korean because I’ve become to lazy) but I’m pretty confident that I heard him say 언니 when referring to female students.

I’m having the same experience while reading Twilight. I wanted to make a post about it but alas again laziness took over. I’m five pages away from chapter 3 for intensive reading and I’m on the part where Edward is talking to Bella. That sounds normal right? Wrong, he starts using 반말 despite how rude he came across during Bella’s last encounter with him. Maybe I’m the one wrong here and maybe it’s actually normal but because of that simple fact I get the : Who do you think you are?! I don’t even know you!” type of feeling. In fact after I read “내 옆 자리 의자가 움직이는 소리를 분명히 들었지만 나는 조심스럽게 그리고 있던 무늬에만 시선을 집중했다. ‘안녕'” I just closed the book and took a short break. If you can’t understand it, it roughly translates to something a long the lines of “I heard the distinctive(?) sound of the chair beside me move but carefully concentrated on drawing the pattern. ‘Hey'”. Obviously I fail at translations and translating an already translated piece isn’t the best thing you could do(as seen here) but I don’t have the English version nor would I feel like searching for those two specific sentences if I did. I think it’s very interesting how while learning languages certain words become more deeply rooted in feeling rather than just the practical meaning. Take for instance in English being greeted with “Hi!” and “Hey, b****!” can stir up completely different reaction however it heavily depends on context and how it is used. To some people the second greeting can actually seem friendly and this is part of the reason I don’t use memorise anymore. Although I love memorise and will probably use it again If I decide to start another language, I don’t think simply depending on word lists past the first 2,000 or 3,000 words is enough because usually those words deeper down in the frequency chart obviously show up less frequently and are usually words that hold deeper meanings. I’d like to hear what you guys think so leave a comment below! 😀

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