Acquiring a new language is much like discovering a new identity. A new version of yourself if you will. If you know more than one language, then I encourage you to try and think about this for a few minutes. Are you the exact same person in both or all languages? My guess is that you’re not. We rarely are. Since languages differ from one another in vocabulary, context, and culture, we tend to inadvertently adjust ourselves when speaking different languages.
In any case, I feel for sure that I’m a slightly different version of myself when I speak Korean. Not an entirely different person obviously, but I certainly do display a different and, until a few years ago, undiscovered side of myself when speaking Korean. I’ve often heard language learners express hesitation or even shyness about speaking their target language, and I believe it’s fear of letting go and transforming into this foreign-language-speaking version of themselves that is holding them back. I cannot recommend enough that people let go of their inhibitions and just start speaking and let the transformation happen.
While I may not believe in many things besides a high-quality sunscreen and random acts of kindness, I do believe in the power of serendipity. Voted one of the hardest English words to translate, serendipity probably requires a bit of explanation. In plain English, it means luck, but really it’s more than just luck. It’s the unplanned and very fortunate event that may potentially be life-changing. (It’s also the title to one of the new songs from the latest BST album, haha)
But what has learning Korean and serendipity to do with each other? I’d say a lot.
When I started learning Korean four years ago, it was a hobby, a simple pastime that would then unravel into this adventure I’m still in the middle of today. Gradually reaching new levels of fluency made me able to dive into new challenges, and I can honestly say that I’ve had some of the best experiences in my life because I was able to transform into Korean-speaking Sohee. Becoming part of a community of fellow Korean learners both on- and off-line has enriched my life in ways I would never have dreamed possible, and aside from my wonderful Korean entourage, I’ve made some amazing friends in and out of Korea who share my passion for the country, language, and culture.
I would never have imagined that I could meet so many amazing people who would each bring me such unforgettable experiences. This is such a blessing and, in my opinion, the true meaning of serendipity. This only goes to show that when you stay true to yourself, follow your heart, and believe in your dreams, good things are bound to happen. Simply believe in the power of serendipity and go after the things you want to achieve in life.
I’ll round off this post by introducing you to another fabulous Danish gal who’s soon bound for Seoul. Sissel is an awesome youtuber from Denmark vlogging about Korean style and beauty products. I highly recommend that you follow her channel for updates on Korean skincare and her new Korean adventure. Here’s the link!