top of page


I can hardly speak Korean, but in H Mart, I feel like I’m fluent. I fondle the produce and

say the words aloud—chamoe melon, danmuji. I fill my shopping cart

with every snack that has glossy packaging decorated with a familiar cartoon.1

grocery list 10/2/22

miso soup / 콩나물 / peanut butter /

honey / sugar / soymilk 두유 / yogurt

at trader joe’s (꼭!)

grocery list 10/6/22

green grapes / cucumber / spinach / broccoli florets / 청양고추 있으면 peppers / avocado x3 / soy sauce

for h mart

김치 / 쌀 1kg / 면, 우동면 + 소바국수 /

육수알 / miso soup / 다시마 /

zucchini, potato, mushrooms (표고),

onions (이번주말에 된장찌개 만들기?) / 비비고 만두 / 고소미 /

일본카레, 매운맛 / 신라면 / 불닭볶음 소스 / 폴라포 / 맥심골드 / melona

10/2/22 장보기

미소스프 / bean sprouts / 땅콩버터 /

꿀 / 설탕 / 두유 soymilk / 트레이더 조스 요거트 (remember this one!)

10/6/22 장보기

청포도 / 오이 / 시금치 / 브로콜리 /

청양고추 있으면 사고 / 아보카도

x3 / 간장

한인마트 갈 수 있으면

kimchi / rice 1kg / noodles, udon + soba /

soup stock / 미소스프 / dashi stock /

애호박, 감자, 표고버섯,

양파 (making 된장찌개 this weekend?) /

bibigo dumplings / gosomi /

japanese curry / shin ramen / buldak sauce

/ polapo / maxim gold / 메로나

Language shift in American immigrants typically occurs after three generations, with the third generation communicating entirely in English rather than the heritage language.

Asian Americans often demonstrate accelerated rates

of language shift compared to other immigrant groups.2

grocery list 10/13/22

broccoli / onions / carrots / zucchini /

button mushrooms & enoki mushrooms /

bean sprouts / tofu / chicken / eggs / cucumbers / cabbage mix / tomatoes / spinach

10/13/22 장보기

브로콜리 / 양파 / 당근 / 애호박 (맞지?) / 양송이 버섯 그리고 팽이 버섯 /

콩나물 / 두부 / 닭가슴살 / 계란 /

오이 / 서양식…? 양배추 / 토마토 / 시금치

Sometimes when I watch home movies, I don’t even understand

myself. My childhood is a foreign film. All of my memories

have been dubbed in English.3

hmart run 10/16/22

칸쵸 / 부침가루

/ 감자전분 / 누룽지 / matcha powder / 생강 /

lychee jelly / 밀키스 / 뿌셔뿌셔 / 라면!

10/16/22 hmart

hello panda / savory pancake mix

/ potato starch / crispy rice / 말차 / ginger /

리치젤리 / milkis / ppushu ppushu / ramen!

Sometimes I think my body would make more

sense starving but I crawl out of that grave

& into an H Mart every week. I chase my

grocery list-fluency. I walk the

linoleum sea of every food court, searching

for something to make me real.

1 Crying in H Mart, Michelle Zauner

2 Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages, Joshua Fishman

3 “Buffet Etiquette,” Hieu Minh Nguyen

Statement of intent:

Because my first reference for food is usually my family, many of the words I have for it are in Korean despite being less than fluent in general. I often think of grocery store lists and recipes in a jumble of both Korean and English, reflective of my second-generation upbringing. There is a dissonance in knowing that whenever I reach for English automatically, it is because the words have been “dubbed over” the original language I used to access these words as a child. Here, the left-side column is the arrangement of words most intuitive in my head, while the right-side column shows line-by-line translations to the best of my ability. Through writing a bilingual poem, I am also trying to understand my relationship with language. What is remembered; what is remembered, but imperfectly? What can never be said?

Editors: Blenda Y., Luna Y., Chelsea D.

Photo Credits: HMart US


bottom of page