Monday, July 05, 2004

Bobby = Barbie


I've always wondered why Korean people call me Barbie instead of Bobby. Now I know. I'll let you in on this unique piece of knowledge because it's oh-so-worth-knowing.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Richmond Night Market and as we were exiting the place, one of the girls I was walking with says to her friend, "Oh, Buhbi dolls are so gross." Or something to that extent, except it was in Korean. I was like, huh? Why'd she mention my name? "Oh, no, you misunderstood! Barbie is pronounced Buhbi in Korean!" No way... "Oh, Bobby is Buhbi in Korean too...." Well, duh.

So now it all makes sense. When Korean people (around my age) try to say Bobby, it's not that they're mispronouncing it. They think of Buhbi in Korean and what comes to mind in English? Barbie does, being more famous than the name Bobby. The problem isn't their ability to pronounce English. The problem is the Korean language's limitations in transplacing English phonetics into Korean phonetics. So this explains why Korean people keep calling me Barbie.... Now I know....

Yes, interesting story for the day.

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