Spring! Spring! Spring!

I am officially a fan of 봄 (bom)! Not just the lead vocal of the very famous Korean girl group 2NE1 박봄 (Park Bom)  but the season itself.  A lot of K-Pop fans would probably know that 봄 means spring in Korea.  This year I am fortunate enough to travel again to South Korea.  It is my 6th time to visit South Korea and March 2014 marks my 3rd time to experience spring.

What makes me more excited now is that I will be traveling down to 진해 (Jinhae), a small town in the province of 경상남도 (Gyeongsangnamdo).  Just a bit of information on naming places in Korea,  도 (do) is province in Korean. In the name 경상남도, 남 (nam) means south and so Gyeongsangnamdo is Province of South Gyeongsang.  If there is south, the likelihood of having a north version is almost always there and north is 북 (buk).  With that, North Province of Gyeongsang would be– 경상북도 (Gyeongsangbukdo) where the booming city of 대구 (Daegu) is located.

The town of Jinhae is where the biggest cherry blossom festival is held every year.  For this year, the festival is happening from April 1-10, 2014.  Based from the research I made, this is one of the most sought after festival in Korea.  Now I realize what my long lost language exchange partner had been talking about.  He was so proud of their province Gyeongsangnamdo, he mentioned that the biggest cherry blossom happens in their place. The traffic can be very heavy during this period but the good thing is the KTX makes a special direct route to Jinhae during festival period.  We will be a day earlier from the festival  and hopefully we see the cherry trees in almost its full bloom.

The weather forecast kept on changing for the past weeks but as of today, the forecast during our stay shows a no rain during our period of stay.  According to the people I talked to last year when we visited Jeju, cherry blossoms disappears as soon as it rains.  This is why experiencing cherry blossom would be a bit tricky if you are a foreigner like me who will need to book in advance to travel to Korea.  The cherry blossom festival is usually announced within the month of March which is relatively near the actual date of the festival. The spring festivals is announced by the Korean Tourism through their website.  During spring there are several other places in Korea that is worth a visit.

Spring here I come!

Please say it in…

I tried to make friends to several Koreans.  Few years ago, you have to look for a Language Exchange site to get connected to people from other countries.  These sites were specifically made to learn a second language from a native speaker member.  It was not exactly easy and free.  To be able to be ‘searchable’ and ‘to search’ for someone, premium membership is required.  However, these days, with the number of social network sites and App for messaging, the world of language exchange is very accessible.  I met a lot of people who shares the same interest as I do from Facebook and even at LinkedIn.

Chatting via messaging application like Kakaotalk allows me to practice Korean. Up until now it’s a challenge to respond as quickly and natural as I can.  Sometimes I have to request my language exchange partner to say it in English. This is why i learned how to request my Korean friend to say something in English:

영어로 말 해주세요 (Yeongeoro mal haejuseyo).  To break the sentence down:

  • 영어로 (Yeongeoro) – Yeongeo is English and the -ro suffix means ‘in’ thus, making  the word mean ‘in English’
  • 말 (mal) – say
  • 해주세요 (haejuseyo) – please do it

I know it sounds a bit weird to have the ending as please do it but that is just the direct translation.  It is like ‘say in English, please do it’ literally  but of course it actually means ‘Please say it in English’.

So if you want to request someone to say (what he just said in another language) in Korean just replace Yeongeo with Hangugeo.  한국어로 말 해주세요  (Hangugeoro mal haejuseyo) – Please say it in Korean.

Quoting Someone

I have always been wondering how to say ‘Someone said..’ in Korean.  In a usual conversation it is common to quote a person for saying something.  I have not read about this lesson yet so I asked my language exchange partner (LEP) how to say it in Korean.

There are two ways to say this according to my LEP:

  • 말했는데 – malhaenunde (formal)
  • 그러던데 – geureodeonde (informal)

The pattern is subject + 말했는데 or 그러던데+ the thing or event that has been said.  This post is triggered by someone saying that Jinhae (a place in Korea) is a very beautiful place to visit during spring because of cherry blossoms.  Then i asked my self how do I say that in Korean?

My friend said the place is really beautiful –> 내 친구 말했는데 거기 정말 아름다운 곳이래.  The sentence can be broken down as follows:

  • 내 친구 (nae chingu) – my friend
  • 말했는데 (malhaeneunde) – said
  • 거기 (kogi) – there, referring to a place
  • 정말 (chongmal) – truly or really
  • 아름다운 (areum daeun) – beautiful
  • 곳이래 (koshirae) – place

I am so happy I learned this sentence pattern.