Happy New Year…2008 and Counting

The year 2008 is just around the corner.  Four days from now, 2007 is history.  With this I hope every people I love spend a very happy new year.  This greeting is so common that most language have their own translation of Happy New Year.  In tagalog this greeting is said as ‘Manigong Bagong Taon’.  ‘Manigo’ stands for happy while ‘Bago’ means new and taon is year.  I asked a friend how this greeting is said in Korean.  It’s kinda different:

 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (Saehae Bowk Manhi Paduseyo) 새해 means new year while 복 (book) means fortune and blessing. The translation is not as direct as how it is in Tagalog.  The last phrase means ‘to receive plentifully’, 많이 (manhi) means plentifully while  받으세요 (paduseyo) means to receive.

I have been trying hard to learn Hangul for almost four months now and yet I have not dwell on numbers. I know some but deifinitely knowing these basics are important.  One, two, three and four are simple… 하나 (hana), 둘 (tul), 셋 (set) and 넷 (net).  Of course the first number that I memorized is se7en 😛 which is 일곱 (ilgop).  There are two sets of numbers in Korea. One is the native Korean numbers and the other one is the Sino Korean (derived from Chinese).  For now I wanted to master the Korean way of counting.  Count words are usually in native Korean numbers as in one cup, three hours, four books etc.  The other set of numbers  (Sino Korean) are used for money, dates and foreign borrowed words. To tell time is a little different, for the hours, the Korean numbers are used but minutes and seconds are expressed in Sino Korean (so different right?).

These are the basic Korean numbers:

  • 하나 (hana) 1
  • 둘 (tul) 2
  • 셋 (set) 3
  • 넷 (net) 4
  • 다섯 (taseot) 5
  • 여삿 (yoseot) 6
  • 일곱 (ilgop) 7
  • 여덟 (yodeol –ㅂ is silent or swallowed) 8
  • 아홉 (ahop) 9
  • 열 (yol) 10
  • 스물 (sumul) 20
  • 서른 (seorun) 30
  • 마흔 (mahun) 40
  • 쉰 (shwin) 50
  • 예순 (yesun) 60
  • 일흔 (ilhup) 70
  • 여든 (yodul) 80
  • 아흔 (ahun) 90

To say 42, it is 마흔 (mahun) + 넷 (net) same goes for 31 or 95 which are 서른 하나  (seorun hana) and 아흔 다섯 (ahun taseot) respectively. There is no native Korean number for 100 and above, the Sino Korean numbers are used as such the last native Korean number that can be said is 아흔 아홉 (ahun ahop) for 99.  Special mention on the number 17 which is combination of 열 (yol)  and 이곱 (ilgop) instead of saying yolilgop the ㄹ character uses its r sound instead so it is pronounced as yorilgop.

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