Did I Say Something Wrong?

Once when I visited South Korea, I kept saying “kam-sa-ham-ni-da!” to all the people I met.

What I really meant to say was “An-yŏng-ha-se-yo”, but it took me way too long to realize,

and it was such an embarrassment.

When I told this to my Korean friend, she was sweet enough to tell me “You’re not the only one”.

According to her, when she was a student at Japanese Language School, just a beginner back then,

she had to catch a taxi on her own.

When she finally reached the destination, she told the taxi driver, “Koko de 'k'oroshite kudasai!”,

which means “Please kill me right here”

It would not have been very weird if she said “oroshite” instead of “koroshite”,

meaning “Please drop me here”. One single letter can mean a lot!