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.

What Month is it?

Month in Korea is either 달 (tal) or 월 (wol). 월 (Wol ) is commonly seen as the last character block or syllable for each month.  달 (Tal) is more used as a noun.  Below are the 12 months in Korean:

  • 일월 (Irwol) – January
  • 이월 (Iwol) – February
  • 삼월 (Samwol) – March
  • 사월 (Sawol) – April
  • 오월 (Owol) – May
  • 유월 (Yuwol) – June
  • 칠월 (Chirwol) – July
  • 팔월 (Palwol) – August
  • 구월 (Guwol) – September
  • 시월 (Siwol) – October
  • 십일월 (Shipilwol) – November
  • 십이월 (Shipiwol) – December

What Day Is It?

My last posting was about days of the week.  This time I have learned to say what days it is.  I have also learned how Koreans use days in their conversation. 

To say what day it is ->  오늘 <일요일>이에요 Onuel Iryoil-eyo. Today is Sunday.  Just simply change the word in parenthesis to the current day + the copula 이에요 (ieyo).

If you want to want to ask what is the day today –> 오늘이 무슨 날인지 아라? Oneul Mosun Nal-inja ara? This is asking, ‘do you know what day it is?’.  Change 아라 to 아십니까 (ashimnikka) then the question is asked the polite way.

I visited one Korean site which is Korean Class 101 and it says there,  when 2 or more days are mentioned or referred to at the same time, the last two blocks (요일-yoil) are removed such that only the first syllable is used. 

월금토 (wolkumto) referring to Monday, Friday and Saturday.

Days of the Week

This posting is inspired by Wheesung’s 7Days song from his Love…Love…?Love…! album. This is also basic for someone who is learning Korean.  Knowing the how to say the days of the week.

  1. Monday – 워요일  (Wuyoil)
  2. Tuesday – 화요일  (Hwayoil)
  3. Wednesday – 수요일  (Suyoil)
  4. Thursday – 목요일  (Mokyoil)
  5. Friday – 금요일  (Kumnyoil)
  6. Saturday – 토요일  (Toyoil)
  7. Sunday – 일요일  (Iryoil)

Speaking of days of the week what goes with these words are the following:

  • Today which is 오늘 (onul)
  • Yesterday is 어제 (Oje)
  • Tomorrow is 내일 (naeil)

Place Nouns and 에

I learned place nouns as Korean would name it.  The use of this nouns and 에 will help communicate clearly specially when location is discussed.  Among the few place nouns i learned are:

  • 안 (inside) used primarily when describing a space or location that can be loosely filled
  • 속 (inside) same meaning as 인 but is used mainly for space or location which can be easily identified as filled
  • 밖 (outside)
  • 위 (above, on top, over)
  • 밑 (below, bottom, underneath)
  • 아래 (lower, down, below)
  • 앞 (in front)
  • 뒤 (at the back, behind)
  • 근처 (within the vicinity, near)
  • 옆 (next to, beside)
  • 사이 (between)

Positioning of the noun is important since the above place nouns can be used to modify another noun.  I thought the language is not sensitive to such but I was wrong:

  • 문 뒤에 –  would mean behind the door or located behind the door but if word order is changed to
  • 뒤 문 –  it would then mean the ‘back door’ or door at the back or door behind.  뒤 is used to modify 문

 I also learned one important place noun which will be helpful when I travel to Korea, this is 편 or 쯕 which denotes direction or side (as location).  So to say the following:

  • On left – 왼 편에 or 왼 쯕에
  • On right – 오른 편에 or 오른 쯕에