Adventures in The Korean Language: Springtime

ImageSpring has finally sprung around Seoul. The cherry blossoms have passed their bloom and now all the heartier flowers are coming out. It’s creeping up to  20 Celsius (around 70 for my Fahrenheit users) some afternoons. I have to enjoy this while it lasts. Spring is short in Korea. 5 months of the year are hot and sticky. 5 months of the year are cold and dry. We only have about one month in the spring and one in the fall where the weather is comfortable.

In late February/early March, we had a sudden burst of spring weather that made me hope that spring was coming early, and I could get an extra month of pleasant weather. Very quickly though, a bitter cold swept back in. I was told this is called “꽃샘추위” (kkot sam choowi) or flower jealous cold/flower jealousy. The winter comes back for a final icy blast to jealously kill early blooming plants.

Fortunately, it also killed whatever had started making me sneeze in the beginning of March, so thanks for that winter.

I still felt especially exhausted however, even after the real spring (봄) arrived. I was told that there is a especially expression in Korean for this as well. It basically means “spring fatigue.” 춘곤증 (choon gong jeung).

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