Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Welcome to Rod End

The village finished putting in a new side street last week. It runs alongside the back of the elementary school and connects our "shortcut" walking path with the main street into town. There had been no road there before. The side street allows teachers easier access to the school because they can now take two ways in instead of one. They also have more parking spaces.

There's one thing about the road though: "Road" is misspelled as "Rod." Hence, the new name of our neighborhood: Rod End.

I laughed the first time I saw it, but I also had an idea about why "Road" was misspelled. It's simple: when Korean characters (Hangeul, or 한글) get transliterated to English, the letter O signifies the "Oh" sound of John Doe. So, "Road" would sound like "Rod" to a Korean ear because of the silent A, but English speakers pronounce "Rod" and "Road" quite differently.

The Korean on the sign, 도로 끝, is pronounced "Do-ro ggeut" and it translates to "End of the Road." "Ggeut" can mean "end" or "finish." Here's another instance of something getting lost in translation.

On another note, the new week brought a new hurricane with it. Nothing but rain happened here, but the southern parts of the country (and Jeju) got hit hard again. Let's have a moment for those who didn't fare so well.

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