Thursday, May 27, 2004

who's yer daddy?

I just walked in the door from my day at SWU. As I was schlepping across our itty-bitty courtyard, one of the girls from the house above where I live shouted out to me from her window, "Adjoshi! We saw you on TV!" I sheepishly responded, "Yeah, me and my bad Korean." But she was all smiles. "Where were you that day?" I said I was in Anyang, at the big Zen center. She smiled wider and said, "Adjoshi jjang i-ya!"

I'm not sure what the best translation of "jjang" is. I tend to think it's a slangy way to say "best." It can be used alone as an exclamation (Andi recalls hearing supportive cries of "jjang!" when she did well on her komdo belt test), and finds itself in other expressions like the recent "mohm-jjang adjumma," literally, "body-best adjumma"-- i.e., those women who are no longer in their twenties but keep themselves in scarily good shape (Brian had a great post on this a while back, with a photo of a woman I'd more crudely describe as a MILF-- a mom I'd like to fuck).

I guess a more or less natural-sounding idiomatic translation of what the upstairs girl said to me might be, "Adjoshi, you rock!", which doesn't sound quite as corny as "Adjoshi, you're the best!" I'll defer to the true Korean experts on this, though. I've never actually seen the word in a dictionary. Please write in if you've got a better rendering than "you rock," keeping in mind that my translation of "jjang" would vary according to context: I'm aware it wouldn't mean "you rock" in other situations.

Anyway, this TV thing... my infamy grows. Like an especially mean colon polyp.


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