Saturday, 17 October 2009

I always shiver.

Yesterday, as part of the beginner’s English lesson for adults they were doing the structure “How often do you…” or something of the sort. I don’t have the lesson with me as I write this so can’t be sure. The answer included the phrase “I always…”

In one of the practice phrase, “I always shiver when it is cold”, everyone started giggling. All I could get out of them was that this sounded like a bad word. After taking a minute to think about how this will be written in Korean I figured out that they were thinking of Shibal, with Korean not having a V sound and no R at the end of a syllable.

Shibal (시발) as I understand it, means “S***”, but is often more used as the equivalent of the English exclamation “F***!” No wonder they were giggling.

Note to self, NEVER use this word with the middle school students.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I made this discovery in one of my classes today. I couldn't figure out what the word meant though (they wouldn't tell me). Glad you could shed some light on it for me.