Vocabulary: Travel

It’s barely a week before Christmas.  People are busy shopping preparing for gift giving.  But right now my mind is already traveling to South Korea because it’s 10 days to go before i hit South Korea again =)

I love traveling and i won’t be bored or tired going back again and again to South Korea. So i thought of sharing what travel is in Korean, its 여행 (yeohaeng) as noun and 여행하다 (yeohaenghada) as verb that means to travel.

  • 다음 주 서울에 여행할 께요. (Daum chu Seoure yeohaenghal kkeyo)  – I am traveling to Seoul next week.
  •  서울 여행이  좋아요. (Seoul  yeohaeng choayo) -I like traveling in Seoul
  • 나도  서울 여행을 좋아해요. (Nado Seoul yeohaengeul  choahaeyo.) – Me too, I like traveling in Seoul.

Good thing they made it even more easy to go to South Korea by not asking too much document if you are an OECD visa holder.  More so, visa is gratis for Filipino traveling to South Korea for less than 60 days.

다시 한 번  서울에 좋은 시간을 보내고 싶어요. (Dashi hanbon Seoure choeun shiganeul bonaego shipeoyo)  Once again, i want to spend a good time in Seoul.


Common Place Nouns

Whenever I watch Korean movies, drama or any TV shows,  I always hear these commonly used nouns.  In fact in many cases where I took taxi in Seoul, the driver always ends up asking me ‘여기? ‘.  These are the common words that that are indicative of location:

  • 이 (i) this
  • 그 (gu) that, referring to something  nearby
  • 저 (jo) that , similar to over there or something far from the speaker

Now if you add -기 after this words they become place nouns with exception of 이 which becomes 여기 (yeogi);  그기 (keugi) and 저기 (cheogi)  for the other two.

Sometimes it gets confusing when you try to listen to actual Korean conversation because you will hear 요기 (yogi), 고기 (gogi) and 조기 (chogi) apparently pronouncing the words this way add some sort of cuteness.  Well I am not really sure about how cute that is but hearing someone speak in Korean produces that pattern and rhythm that i love to hear.

More about ‘You’

I found another Language  Exchange Partner (LEP).  I am trying to learn conversational Korean and it’s really hard compared to writing.  Well its always been hard to be spontenous when talking.  Your thought processing should match your ability to translate these thoughts into correct format…and that area is where I am poor.

For the longest time i am wondering of this word 그대 (kudae) which i often hear in songs.   I could not find it on my dictionary but when i try to google it to translate, it says the word means you.  I have only known 너 (neo) and 당신(dangshin) to be the Korean word for you.  My LEp told me there are more ways to say it and 그대 is one of them.  Then he said this is often used in poetry and songs.  Hmmm so this is why I only hear it used in songs (because i have not read or heard of any Korean poem yet).   This is never used in conversational Korean.

Another word which is also not commonly used in conversation is 니 (ni). It also means you and I specifically heard of this in one of the recent songs from Taeyang, Wedding Dress.  One of the lines in the song  says 니가 입은 wedding dress.   This line got me confused for quite sometime because I know for a fact the Taeyang is saying the wedding dress you are wearing.  I guessed that 니가 was actually product of pronunciation style for singing R&B and that  its the same as 내가 (naega) which actually is  ‘I’.  My LEP cleared up this thought balloon of mine.

I am really glad to have another LEP, it’s always good to have someone native whom you can practice and validate your understanding.

Naming Colors in Korean

This is officially my first post for this year as I continue to learn Korean.  Some suggested i post something about colors as my header is really colorful =) So i thought of studying colors in Korean.  In fact when i started downloading some applications via iTunes,  i got this flash card type app and colors are one of the most words flashed.

So i read about this lesson on colors in Korean, i thought it was easy though there was some interesting facts i learned which makes it quite complicated for someone who is just starting to learn Korean.  Colors as we know in English is  noun of course and the counterpart in Korean is called 색 (saek – color).   To name colors in Korean, 색 is normally attached to the color it self like the sample below:

  • 파란색 (Paransake) Blue
  • 검정색 (Geomjeongsaek) Black
  • 하얀색 (Hayansaek) White
  • 빨간색 (Ppalhansaek) Red
  • 노란색 (Noransaek) Yellow
  • 초록색 (Choroksaek) Green
  • 주황색 (Chuhwangsaek) Orange
  • 보라색 (Borasaek) Purple
  • 핑크색 / 분홍색 (Pingkeusaek/Bunhongsaek) Pink
  • 은색 (Eunsaek) Silver
  • 금색 (Keumsaek) Gold
  • 갈색 (Galsaek) Light Brown
  • 밤색 (Bamsaek) Brown
  • 회색 (Hoesaek) Gray

All the words above pertains to color it self  when you want to modify a noun using color as modifier (i.e. blue car, red bag, pink shirt etc.) then another form is used.  This is where the little complication begins, the adjective form is a bit different from the noun form.  I may have to write another post about it.  As I have learned back then on  Korean sentence structure,  if there is an adjective form of word in Korean then the word can be used like how they use verb, not only as noun modifier but even as the end part of the statement (since verb , the most important part of Korean statement,  always comes last).

So to say  ‘The house is color gray‘  in Korean would be:  집이 회색이에요 (Jipi hwisaek-ieyo) in casual style or 집이 회색입니다 (Jipi hoesaekimnida) in formal style.  In this sentence form, the subject is described by stating its color.  Another example would be 테마 색이 파란색이에요 (Tema saeki paransaek-ieyo) which means — The theme color is blue.

Another Modifier -는

Another modifier I learned today is -는 which is similar to topic particle used for words ending in vowel.  This new modifier is almost similar to -(으)ㄴexcept that it is specially used for processive verb. 

This modifier doesn’t mind the final character of the word whether vowel or consonant it is directly added to a processive verb.  Amazingly, unlike (으) ㄴ, this modifier cannot be used to descriptive verbs or adjectives.  Here are examples of its  application in certain processive verb:

  • 만나는 (manneun) from 마나 (manna) which means meet
  • 쓰는 (sseuneun) from 쓰(sseu)  which means write
  • 기다리는 (kidarineun) from 기다리 (kidari) which means  wait for
  • 가는 (kaneun) from 가 (ka) which means go
  • 먹는 (meokneun)  from 먹 (meok) which means eat
  • 보는 (boneun) from 보 (bo) which means look

This modifier added in a processive verb placed before a noun has a present meaning, that someone is verbing or doing.  This should somehow make this statement clear:

  • 쓰는 사람 (Sseunen saram) –> the person who is writing
  • 읽는 책 (ikneun chaek) –>the book that [he] is reading
  • 걸는 선생님 (keolneun seonsaengnim) –> the teacher who is walking.

So obvisouly for descriptive verbal nouns which takes auxiliary verb 해요,  one there is always the form descriptive verb+한 like this example: 깨끗한 방 (kkaekeuthan bang) would mean a room that is clean. 

However, for a processive verbal nouns with 해요, the verb 하 functions as processive so it taked the modifier 는. Such as 산보하는 사람 (sanbohaneun saram) which means a person who is taking a walk.  Comparing to the last modifier i learned -ㄴ when this is used on the example given –> 산보 사람 (sanbohan saram) it now means a peron who took a walk. Its meaning becomes past.

Ways to Say: Concerning, About

There are two ways to express what in English means about, with respect to, concerning etc.  This is through the use of the following postpositional phrase:

  • -에 대해서  (-e daehaeseo)
  • -에 관해서 (-e gwanhaeseo)

Of these two, the second one tends to mean more formal or bookish.  I just realized that my other site about my favorite Korean artist is actually using this postpositional phrase  in the tag line 왭사이트 휘성에 관한  at (http://wheesung.wordpress.com).   I wrote this tagline over a year ago using my dictionary and some early learnings on particles.

Here are some other examples:

  • 어빠는 자동차에  대해서 많이 알고 있어요.  (Oppaneun chadongcha daehaeseo manhi alko isseoyo.)  My brothers knows a lot about cars.
  • 필리핀사람들은 언제나 정부에 관해서 이야기를 해요.  (Pilipinsaramdeuleun onjena jeongbue gwanhaseo iyagi haeyo.)  The Filipinos always talk about the government.

Honorific Nouns

On my earlier days of studying Korean, i have been introduced to some words that are called honorific.  These are words that are used when talking to someone with high social status, government official, foreign guest, teachers etc.

When honorific words are used the polite (-요) or formal (-ㅂ니다/습니다) style of speech. Many of the honorific words I learned before are actually verb such as 주무시 (chumushi) instead or 자 (ja) for the word sleep or 드시 (dushi) instead of 먹다 (mokta) for the verb eat.   Apart from these verbs, there are noun that are considered honorific.  Here are some of the examples:

Regular Noun

Honorific Noun

English Meaning

집 (jip) 댁 (daek) House
나이 (nai) 연세 (yeonse) Age
사람 (saram) 분 (bun) Person
밥 (bap) 진지 (chinji) Rice
아이 (ai) 자 녀분 (cha nyeobun) Children
자 제분 (cha chebun)

These are the nouns preferred when talking to an esteemed person.

Terms for Kinship and Relations

I added a new page on this site found on the right side.  Its the Kinship Terms or how to address family members or related person.  Just like how Korean uses different styles in communicating (formal, formal-polite and intimate), addressing people may also varies depending on the gender of the person related.  There are also honorifics used for esteemed person (person of higher social status).

I know a lot of Korean movie and drama fanatics are used to hearing 오빠 (oppa), 누나 (nuna) or 언니 (eonni).  Thesea re just some of the terms used to denote relationship which at times are not limited to blood relations.  오빠 can be used by a younger girl to call her boyfriend or old friend who is a guy.  Same goes with 누나, this is not limited to an older sister to a younger brother but can be used to address older girls close to a guy.

To know more about this, check out the page on Kinship Terms.

Another Generalizer 아무 (amu)

This post helps increase vocabulary.  The two syllable 아무 (amu) is a generalizer that means ‘any’ so this can be usually found in front of a noun. It can also mean any old [noun] = 아무[noun].

  • 아무 나 (amuna) anybody, anyone
  • 아무 것이나 – anything
  • 아무 데나 – any place
  • 아무 데서나 – from any place
  • 아무 때나 – anytime

You will constantly hear this two syllables in Korean conversation and even on songs.

Verbal Nouns: Processive

So we know that nouns can act as verb in a sentece, well this happens both in English and Korean language.  For the purpose of this post, verbal nouns (or nouns that acts as verb in sentence) can be further categorized as Processive or Descriptive.   This somehow clears some of the questions I have on verbs and nouns in Korean.

Let’s deal with Processive Verbal Nouns first.  These are the type where the verbal noun can be separated from the versatile verb 하 (ha which means does/ performs action or says/speak.  So literally its verbal noun + verb 하 (infinitive form is 해 for intimate conversation or 해요 as polite verb ending).

Let’s use the example 구경 (kukyong which means watches or views).  This is an example of a processive noun and can be expressed in these ways:

  • 구경해요 – kukyeonghaeyo or
  • 구경을 해요 – kukyeongeul haeyo, where 구경을 becomes an object of the verb 해.

The same pattern will be true for verbal nouns such as 일 (il or work), 청소 (cheongso or clean), 확인 (hwag.in or check) etc.

  • 일(을) 해 – ireul hae or ilhae 
  • 청소(를) 해 – cheongsoreul hae or cheongsohae
  • 확인(을) 해 – hwakineul hae or hwakinhae

I used to think 해 is something optional and wasn’t really clear on when to use it and when not.  This lesson in the book explains it.  Got to read Descriptive Verbal Nouns now.