Wednesday, April 24, 2013

귀찮다 and 미루다

I learned a pair of interesting new vocabulary the other day. This week is midterms week at my school, so I have exactly zero classes to teach, as well as eight hours a day that I can spend lesson planning. Am I lesson planning? Heh. No. I'm playing Scrabble on Facebook, reading a book (currently, The Princess Bride), or scouring my reader for blog and news updates. This doesn't mean I'm not being productive, though! Because, as I've already said, I learned a pair of interesting new vocabulary.

One of the blogs I follow is, which I highly recommend as an excellent resource to learn Korean for language learners of almost any level. And on this blog, I came across the word 귀차니스트 (kwichan-iste).

Unable to find it in a dictionary (I usually use Naver), I asked my co-teacher what it meant. I received a laugh in reply. My co-teacher said it was difficult to translate, but generally, a 귀차니스트 is a person who isn't willing to do anything, even important things, due to a lack of interest or motivation. A slacker. A deadbeat. A teacher who is on Facebook instead of creating his next nifty PowerPoint presentation.

Heh. Oh, how fitting.

The word itself is a linguistic oddball, a kind-of portmanteau of 귀찮다 (kwichanta) and the Latin suffix -ist to denote a person. 귀찮다 means "troublesome, bothersome" or, when used without context, something along the lines of "I don't care to do it". It's said frivolously, like "만사가 귀찮다" ("I can't be bothered to do anything.").

You can also use this verb with a direct object: "나는 그녀를 귀찮다." ("I'm tired of her.") or "학생들을 귀찮다" ("I'm so done with my students.") Hopefully, I'll never find myself saying this latter sentence, but it's a legitimate example my co-teacher gave!

More often, it seems, the verb is used as a modifier (adjective or adverb): 귀찮은 일 (kwichaneun il) is troublesome work, and 귀찮은 존재 (kwichaneun jonjae) is an annoying person. Most importantly, there's "귀찮게 하지 마라!" (kwichanke hajimala!) "Leave me alone!"

So, I've been a bit of a 귀차니스트 this week, since without my regular routine of classes, I've succumbed to the doldrums of procrastination (미루다/miluda). I mean, I've nearly finished my book, and I've written a couple of substantial blog posts lately, but I haven't finished a single lesson plan. And the week has flown by. Already it's Thursday tomorrow, and my goal is to pump out seven lesson plans by Friday. So let's go, 화이팅! No more 귀차니즘 from this 귀차니스트.

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