Thursday, July 4, 2013


Everyone knows that communication is a very important part of life.

No, let me rephrase that. Effective communication is a very important part to a successful life. 

Never is this more apparent in our daily lives then in our close relationships. Or at least this is what I felt before moving to South Korea. Now I feel there is an equal place where effective communication is a key part to successful living.

The place I am describing is the workplace.

This has been made exceedingly clear to me recently.

Most of the time I find the ring around the language pool humorous and amusing more than frustrating and aggravating. But not yesterday.

Because I speak English (and Spanish) but not Russian, not Korean, not Polish, not Kazak, not Dutch or any other language they speak around here, I have to have a translator to communicate with the management and directors. 

This is a typical scenario.

A Korean speaking person wishes to tell me something so he calls over the Russian translator (she speaks fluent Korean and Russian for the synchronized swimmers here) who speaks very little English. She listens to what he says and sometimes tries to communicate directly to me but usually calls over a Russian girl who has been studying English on her own and does better then she. So the Management speaks to the translator in Korean, who speaks to a swimmer in Russian, who speaks to me in English. then I speak back something in English to the Russian, who speaks to the translator, who speaks to management. Having a conversation of any depth can take quite some time.

And most definitely, there is much LOST IN TRANSLATION. 

They say the exact same thing over and over and over again and I try to say different things to maybe get my point across more successfully, but I am pretty sure the exact same things are being said back over and over. So when the idea is not being understood, this gets quite frustrating. Hw do I say something so that it translates across two other languages properly???

The end result is usually that I end up looking obstinate instead of cooperative and I make someone upset with me. And it is more frustrating when all I was trying to say was something like, " yes that's fine with me except for blah blah."

Yesterday it was a mess of upset feelings (not mine) through all of the miscommunication. 

And another very, or maybe I should say slightly in comparison to the other, annoying thing is when I am told, "Hurry! Hurry! Meeting now! Meeting now!" So I hurry along to find out that the meeting doesn't include me and it is all in Korean and Russian so I don't even understand of word of it anyway. 

A similar ocurrence that happens frequently is also being told to show up at a certain time (which in itself is a luxury) and then after waiting there for anywhere between 10 minutes to over an hour, someone comes along to say that we are taking break now. 

Things will get better I know. I will learn more Korean. And the drama with opening a show will diminish over time once the show finds its feet.

I do hope things move toward less stressful quickly!

Until then, next post will have happy thoughts and fun pictures!