Sep 23, 2009

Learning Korean.... The Hard Way!

The other day I was killing some time and found myself shopping around Hmart in Lynnwood.

I wasn't looking for anything in particular. Just browsing around at all the funky packages and taking in the smells of the seafood dept. (which seems to be found throughout the entire store) when I happened along a sale of a particular product.

The sign said they were "stuffed pancakes", but as there were two very different looking pictures on similar-looking packages, I figured that one of them (the one that actually DIDN'T look like a sort of pancake) had to be something else.
Ironically enough, it was this other item that looked more enticing to me. Unfortuantely both the packages were in Korean, so there was no way to tell for sure.

I looked the package over, thinking "Well, they gotta have English directions on here", only to find:

that it didn't.

I studied it for a while and figured that according to the picture, all I needed was;
a package of the mix (250 g)
one egg (approx. 50 g)
and liquid, presumably water (70 ml) with a little extra to spritz on the rolls(?).

"Okay. Good enough for me", I thought. After all, I'm no dummy around the kitchen, so I could probably figure it out. Besides, maybe they had English directions inside the package. (One could hope, anyway)

I opened it at home and discovered that was sadly not the case.
I decided to hold off until the weekend to make them so I could spend some time on them instead of trying to figure it all out after coming home from work.

The next day, I went online and looked for the product via Google.
Keep in mind... the package was all in Korean (except for "Enjoy Home Baking" on the front), so I really didn't have a lot to go on.

I muddled around online for a bit when I came across a blog that described making this very product. YAY!
Of course, it was all in Japanese so NOW I was trying to decipher how to make a Korean biscuit(?) using Korean to Japanese directions.
It wasn't looking good.

One of my coworkers suggested I translate the page using Babel Fish.
Good idea! .... sort of.
It translated the page, but I think it actually made it worse.

There was a lot of references to "Military officer" and "empress" but not a whole heck of a lot of info about how to actually make the darn things.
I did see that it's called 'Kaechal bread', but whether that's the Korean name or a Japanese term for it isn't clear.

I'll try to attempt making them soon and let you know how they come out, but don't expect great results.
I'm going to be working blind.

So... I guess I don't really have a point to this story except to say this:
If you are in a foreign foods market and buy something "cool", you'd best be prepared to know what you're getting into if the directions aren't clear to you.
Lesson learned? Probably not. I'll most likely do it again.

5 things people had to say:

Japanese Learner said...

It’s my pleasure that I went through your site. Information above is very interesting and looks natural. I would like to tell you that i really liked your learning Japanese techniques and your awareness about it. Finally i got the easy way to learn Japanese.

Anonymous said...

it is chinese...not japanese...that website you found....

Anonymous said...

that website is in chinese...not japanese....

Yean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yean said...

Found the exact translation to the instruction on the package.

taken from the webpage