When I started at this school, I had NO IDEA what the children were saying to me. I work in a Korean playschool so the students only learn English as subject. My favourite story is of a day with the 5 year old’s just a month or two after I started. One of the boys said something to me and by the way he was acting, I knew he needed the bathroom. Unfortunately, the assistant wasn’t around so I just let him off and left the door of the classroom open. A few minutes later, he appears back with nothing on from the waist down. Turns out he needed a hand finishing in the bathroom and with no assistant, he just came back to me!
After that, I promised myself to get my Korean together so I’d actually understand what the students were saying and I did. I just listened to them and since they say the same things day in day out, I would write it phonetically, ask my co teachers and then learn how to say it properly. Here are the top phrases my students say;
- 쉬 마려워요 (she mar yeah woh yo) – I need to pee
- 똥 마려워요 (dong mar yeah woh yo)- I need to poo
- 선생님………( sun saeng nim) – teacher
- 연필 필요해요 (yun pill pil yoh hay yo)- I need a pencil
- 지우개 주세요 (gee you gay juice a yo)- Eraser please
- 색연필– (saeng yun pil) crayons
- 아파요– (app pie yo) I’m sick/hurt
- 어떻게 해요 ( oh dok a hay yo)- How do I do this.
Here are some phrases and words that you can say to the students;
- 애들아! (yeah dra)- Guys!
- 조용히하세요! (jo young he ha say yo)- Be quiet!
- 어디 아파요? ( o d apa yoh) – Where are you hurt/sick?
- 화장실 가다오세요 (hwa jang shil gat da o say yoh)- Go to the bathroom and come back.
- 빨리! (bally) Quickly
Since we’re here to teach English, you should obviously keep the Korean to a minimum but in a a bind, these phrases may help. As ever, my Korean spelling could be atrocious so feel free to tell me any mistakes!