Autumn is Here

Next to spring (봄 – bom yes that same name of 2NE1 lead vocal), autumn is my next favorite season in Korea.  Autumn is 가울 (gaeul) in Korean and if you have watched Boys Over Flowers you might have known this as the name of Jandi’s best friend.  The weather starts to get cooler in autumn and this is the perfect time to walk around and enjoy the beauty of Korea.

Autumn in Nami

This year I will get to experience autumn once more and hopefully to see more of the wonderful colors of the season.  When maple leaves changes color from green to yellow to orange or red this called 단풍 물들다 (danpung muldeulda).  Picture above is taken from Nami Island in September of 2015.  Korea Tourism Organization says peak of the changing of colors happens this October.

Autumn is also called fall for the simple reason that this is the season where the leaves of trees start to fall off.  This is described as 낙엽 (nakyeop) or falling of leaves. By winter time, the trees would have lost its leaves.

seoraksan

During fall, Koreans love to go on hiking and Seoraksan is one of the best destinations of the season.  This place, which can be reached by 3 hour bus ride from Seoul, is filled with locals and tourist.  It offers various hiking trail with different levels of difficulty.

I am too excited to experience autumn once more and hoping to see the beautiful Garusogil lined up with trees in yellow or red.

Advertisements

Words and Expressions: This and That

Having to point something or describe location of something is very basic in any language. When a child is learning to speak, adults would tend to say short phrases complemented with gesture or sign language. Like a child who would have difficulty understanding the simplest statement, same goes for someone learning a new language.

Here are some basic words which i would commonly hear in a Korean conversation:

  • 이 (i or ee) – this
  • 그 (geu) – that (nearby)
  • 저 (jeo) – that (remote)
  • 어디 (eodi) – where

The above set of words can transform into a verb expression.  It would be easier to observe the end state pattern than to explain it inductively:

  • 이래요(iraeyo) – does [it] this way / is like this
  • 그래요 (geuraeyo) – does it that way/ is like that
  • 저래요 (jeoraeyo) – does it that [remote] way / is like that [remote] way
  • 어때요 (eottaeyo) – does it how (or why?) / is like what? (is how?)

There is a long explanation on the steps by which this words are formed.  이래요 is from base form 이러 which is instead of making it 이러요 (ireoyo) or 이러해요 (ireohaeyo), by certain rules on abbreviating, the verb ending becomes 래요.  This is the thing with reading books when learning language, questions could pop up in your mind one after another.

Now it made me understand more the common expression 그래요, it sometimes used to mean you agree on something or conclude it was like that.

Still on Common Expression

As a Korean Language enthusiast, I sometimes find my self uttering some of Korean expressions or words.  Like the word 아이구 – aigoo or 아이씨 just comes out when I am a little irritated, dismayed or disappointed.  Watching Korean dramas and movies makes you notice these common expressions that people would use in regular conversation.

From one drama to another this expression without even looking at dictionary or consulting my super helpful Korean friends, the word 깜짝이야 (kkamjjagiya) is an expression of surprise.

I hear it a lot of times although it’s a bit too long for an expression of surprise compared to my native language.  Here is a video of how it is said, the video is taken from posts of learnkoreanwithlily from Youtube.

In Filipino language when we are surprised, we typically utter random words like kalabaw (cow), huh, susmaryosep, etc but Koreans actually have the word for it 🙂

Common Drama Words: Geureom (그럼)

I have been watching Korean drama lately.  I just finished watching 별에서 온 그대 (byeoleseo on kudae).  Although the English translated title of this drama is very popular, i still love breaking down the words of the title.  별 (byeol) means star with the place marker 에서  and 온 (on) is from the verb 오다 (oda) which means to come but since it’s in modifier form 온 actually denotes past event, this two words means came from star. 그대 means you which is typically used on songs and poems.  I am not sure if this is still being used in normal Korean conversation though.  So 별에서 온 그대 would mean You (who) came from stars 🙂

Anyway, after watching this 21-episode drama in marathon, i came to realise that there is this word I often hear at the end of the conversation.  This word I am referring to is  그럼 (geureom).  I actually had double thoughts if I heard the word right.  From what I know 그럼 means ‘so’ or ‘by the way’ as such I don’t expect it to be said right at the end of a statement.  It was weird that in most cases where I hear this word from the drama, the scene is the person who just said 그럼 would leave the person he/she is talking to.

To end my curiosity, I asked two of my Korean friends if I am hearing this word right.  This is what I learned from my them,  other than the meaning I know this word is apparently used frequently at the end of Korean conversation.  It means to end discussion and would suggest that the speaker is about to leave or bid goodbye.

Such a little thing but to someone who is eager to learn Korean, this is worthy to know especially that I someday still dream of being conversant in this language.

이거 지금 친구에서 알았어요…그럼 ^^

Cheer Up!

This is a pretty common expression in Korean although I only get to know what it means a little late while I was talking to a Korean friend.  I was so upset then and he said to me this phrase — 힘내요 (himnaeyo).

It means cheer up! It also means the same as the cliche ‘break a leg’ in English. When you want to uplift someone’s spirit or give encouragement, this is a good expression to say. To someone esteemed, one can say the more polite way 힘내세요 (himnaeseyo).  This is in addition to common expression like 화이팅 (fighting) or 아자 (aja).

*image was taken from firemasterxd.devianart

Common Expression

I have long been watching Korean dramas.  While everyone is addicted watching Grey’s Anatomy or Glee, I took my sweet time watching Korean dramas or movies.  For the past 2 years i think I have watched more Korean movies than a local or English one.

Since I don’t get to speak with a Native Korean and just exchange emails with some friends, I think watching Korean movies and dramas or listening to Korean songs would at least help me stay in touch with the language.  This way I get to practice pronouncing Korean words and expressions.

One of the most common expressions i think, which never fails to be delivered in most of the Korean movies and dramas I watched,  are these two expressions:

  • Fighting
  • Aja
Figthing is best remembered in the drama Full House.

In English, fighting would mean engaging your self in a battle, game or struggling.  You don’t hear it as a common expression unlike the way Koreans use this terms.  Fighting which is written as 화이팅 (Hwaiting) or 파이팅 (paiting) in Hangul is an expression that can translate to ‘go for it’.  It’s an expression that connotes encouragement.  When i first encountered this expression written in Hangul i looked for it in the dictionary and failed to find what it means.  Then i realized this expression is actually English.   So given that this is borrowed, romanization is not standard i get to see people writing it 화이팅 or 파이팅.

aja! aja! this one is used frequently in the drama Lovers in Paris

Another similar expression is 아자 (aja).  It is said with the same gesture but this one means more as ‘bring it on’.   Very slight difference in use but both connotes positivity — i can do it or i can make it  attitude.

Happy New Year!

새해 행복하세요! (Sae hae haengbokhaseyo!) 복 많이 받으세요! (Bok manhi padeuseyo!)

These are some of handy greetings for New Year.  The first one literally means Happy New Year while the next one in most cases stands for the same meaning but it actually May you have many blessings or lots of fortune.

I am not the type who makes new year resolution which is very common in our country whenever the year is about to start.  It’s like changing something for the better.  I am not sure if Koreans have something like that.  Nevertheless I will really try to focus a bit more time in my  study of the Korean language so I will try to manage my time properly to allow me to study a bit more.   If  my schedule will permit, I will pursue Korean 2 classes on January 2010. I am crossing my fingers.

다시 한번 새 해 행복하세요!