Dictionary diving

I am swimming in a dictionary today.


I know it is a flawed method to try to do word for word translation.  I know looking up a word in the dictionary is a daunting task.  How do you get the “right” word you are looking for, especially if the dictionary you are looking at simply has an English word and a list of Korean words without even the hint of part of speech or definition to give a clue?

The CSAT class is bringing a ton of new vocabulary.  I was given a list of the words in English, and I am trying to look up the word in Korean.  The perfectionist in me is flipping out.  How do I know if I have the “right” answer?  How do I pick the “right” term without a lot of research on every single word?

There are approximately 600 words so far.

I don’t want to start trying to commit these words to memory until I have had a teacher review my list to see if I have come close to getting the right term in my dictionary look up.

I don’t expect myself to be able to absorb all of these words.  I am sort of letting them flow over me.  I am soaking in a tub of Korean without trying to drink the whole tub.  I am flirting with feelings of being overwhelmed.  How is the high school student processing this many English words?  The student is doing quite well.  His pronunciation is excellent and his reading comprehension too.  He makes reciting a list of 60 words look easy.

Meanwhile, every English words seems to give me at least 2 possible meanings. With all the words we have in English, why does one word sitting alone have to be so wiggly in what it might mean?  For example, ‘capital’.  Is that money, a city, a great idea?  As I look up in the dictionary, I wonder which of these many meanings the word I am choosing might be.

I do not want to miss the opportunity to participate in the CSAT class, but quite honestly it is too advanced for me.  I am struggling.  I should just relax, read the English, sit back and let the Korean language flow over me.  I have YEARS to learn this stuff.  I never expect to remember a word the first time I encounter it.  More likely, it will be 100 times of seeing the word before it stays with me.

I really wonder about my progress and fear being labeled “slow”.

It is a process.  Today, I will not be a perfectionist.  Today, I will just swim.



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