September 06, 2009

Sunday Story: Engrish

When I was in second grade, we had this class assignment to write a "how to" on something related to cooking (see where this all started?).  My English grammar had been nicely acquired, due to that language sponge we call a child's brain.  However, my vocabulary...well, that wasn't heavily developed for the kinds of words used at home because we didn't use English in that context.  So although i sounded like a native speaker when talking about school, when it came to talking about the home and the kitchen, i just didn't have the vocabulary for it.

(I swear this is not turning into one of my lectures, i have a non-academic point)

So back to the writing assignment.  Hm, a recipe?  Well, I decided the thing I decided to write a recipe for was something i had made a dozen times with my mom, a food that i called "egg strips".  HAHAHA.  This is funny on so many levels, the least of which is that "egg strips" are not really even a food, it's an ingredient used in kimbopLike, if you were to make a roll, you lay the strip of egg in the middle on the rice, them roll it in so that it's in the middle.  That's what making "egg strips" is for.

The other part that's funny is that there is no English equivalent for this word, so i sat there trying to think of what to call it so that the dummies in my English-only 2nd grade class would understand, and i came up with "egg strips".  Mmm, doesn't that sound like just the sort of recipe you want to click on and find out all about?

Anyways, so i started writing the recipe, and, to the best of my memory, it went something like this.

1.  Open two eggs in a bowl and use a fork to move it around.  [translation: whisk them]

2.  Put the eggs into a frying pan and make it move around.  [spread evenly so it cooks]

3.  Use a fork to flip it over.  [this is my favorite part.  i didn't know the word for spatula at all, and if you have ever tried flipping a 12" sheet of egg over with a fork, you will know the epic level of disaster this would entail]

4.  Put it on a plate (Don't forget to turn off the fire!!!!!) and cut it into strips!  Eat it!!!!! [I really advocated kitchen safety even back then]

Now, imagine trying to make this recipe without the translations.  You'd probably get something like an egg lump with two egg yolks still intact (cuz you only ever just "moved it around"), and then it would be all mangled by fork-flippage.  Your strips will be more like clumps.  You'd make a very, very bad Korean indeed.



k sorry.  go on, go make your little peanut butter and jelly with the crust cut off, i'm gonna go make me some egg strips for lunch.


  1. This is so much fun. In fact I don't know some of the words in the translation part, so probably I am at the same level of your 2nd-grade vocabulary. Haha! AND, You were such a little cute girl :D

  2. haha thanks for making me feel better, Robert! :D haha i love this stage of my new adult teeth were WAY too big for my little face, i totally looked like a squirrel.

  3. Hey there!I was just looking around for some korean recipe and I fortunately bump in your blog,and I'm lovin' it..It's not the same old so last century type of recipe guide,so yeah,thanks to you!And btw your sunday story is cool.

  4. thanks so much for the kind words, Aiica! i'm so glad you found my blog, and i hope to hear from you soon :) any recipes you'd like to share, send them my way!


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