Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

여러분 성탄절 잘 보내고 새 해 복 많이 받으세요!

Yeorobun Seontanjeol jal bonaego sae hae bok manhi paduseyo!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

This is how you greet this holiday in Korean.  Though it literally means spend the Christmas well and happy new year everyone.  One can also write Merry Christmas in Hangul that is 메리 크리스마스.

Seoul…Seoul…Seoul

I am unable to post meantime after the US trip i have been busy preparing for my trip to Korea.  I must say this is the culminating out of country vacation for the year.  This is my 3rd time and I am still excited like its the first time.  I am currently enjoying winter in Seoul and I am super loving it.

The weather for the past two days is ranging from 5 to 12 degrees. It’s colder at night and early morning but walking outside the streets of Myeongdong and Jongno is like seeing my self in one of those movies and dramas.  This year I am lucky I will be able to watch Wheesung perform and YG Family Concert.   I am so excited.

I was likewise able to buy Wheesung’s album and 2NE1 plus i get to buy this new book on understanding some Korean idioms =)

저는 서울에 재미 하고 있어요!

Reflections and Answers

After nearly two months of hiatus i realized that there are hundreds of people reading my blog and there are questions left unanswered.  I personally get frustrated when I don’t get answers to questions so i know how it feels to be waiting for one.  I am actually inspired with all the encouragements I get from reader’s messages so i already registered this hanguladay.com domain which means i really had to renew my dedication towards learning this language.  However, I would like to apologize to those who requests for email correspondences, I may not be able to return emails one on one as I have a day job.

A lot of visitors requests for translations of names.  Just to clarify, I only write names in Hangul and never translate any name to Korean.  Unless your name is a common noun then chances are I can provide the Korean counterpart; like if your name is Rain then 비 (bi) is the Korean for this word.  It’s totally different when you write it straightforward as Rain which is 레인 (Rein).   So I hope readers would understand this, if you want to get a Korean name you need to have someone, a Korean native perhaps, to give you one.

Also, to set things straight, I am not qualified to teach Korean so please don’t go ask me to coach you or teach you the language.   I myself is learning, I can only impart what I have learned from the point of view of someone who is not speaking English as first Language.  Similar to how I have learned English back on my primary days in school,  I try to relate learning Korean with the way English has been taught in school.  This is why I looked for books and other reference materials to learn.   I have question on tenses, grammar, word use etc.  I wanted to understand the Language just like how a young student may seek to learn a second language so I am trying to explain my learnings with this in mind.  With my interest in Korean culture, I read books about their history and promised to visit South Korea at least once every year.   So some questions not related to Hangul but relevant to South Korea, I may be able to answer or provide opinion on. Most specially, I also learn from suggestions. Likewise, I may commit some errors when i type some words so I would appreciate if you can point it out nicely.  I am not competing with anyone’s competency in Hangul.

Thank you for visiting my site.  I hope we learn together and become conversant one day =)

I am Sorry (미안해요)

I didn’t realize that my comments  for approval would turn into hundreds.  I am starting to check each of them.  I have been so busy the past months that I have not been posting and answering questions.

Will try to update as well for those who are looking for one.  Really I am Sorry.

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.

어떡하죠?: What Should I Do?

Today is the first day of work after a long weekend.  Living in a Christian-Catholic dominated country, holy week is strictly observed as national holiday for repentance and reflection.  I may have been a shameless Catholic for having enjoyed the long vacation that started last April 1 for I have spent 75% of this vacation doing marathon viewing of some dramas I missed.

Someone asked if 어떻가죠 (Etteohkajyo) means ‘what should I do?’ incidentally this is one of the Official Sound Track (OST) of the drama i just finished watching last weekend.  It’s actually spelled 어떡하죠 (Etteokhajyo).  This is one of the songs from the light Korean Drama 미남이시네요 (Minamishineyo).  It  literally means ‘you are handsome’ but it was released with an English title ‘You’re Beautiful’.  I am loving this song specifically the one rendered by 장근석 (Jang Geun Seok).

This post is so random.  As it is right now, I want to fly to Korea for no reasons at all.  Reality is I would have to wait until December to be back *sigh*

Back to School

Finally I am back to my Korean class at UP Diliman. I enrolled at Korean extramural class 2.  My first one was like a year ago.  I actually miss going to school even if its just a weekend and what is more exciting is that its all about learning Korean.

It was not the 1st day of school last Saturday (Jan 16, 2010) but the 2nd one actually.  I missed first the 1st session I was out for an earlier commitment before finally deciding to enroll.  I guess i did not really lose that much on the first day as it was a review on forming verb into past.

I have not prepared anything for my first day to class but I think I was able to cope up with it.  The lesson was about the use of past tense  and numbers.  I am really poor when it comes to numbers but that day…i got challenged with it.  I have been doing self study for nearly two year now so how come I can’t focus on memorizing numbers.   It’s as if I got some memory enhancers that day, before the end of the class I can say I am more familiar with Sino Korean numbers. The native Korean way of counting is another hurdle though.

Well I guess this is the advantage of going to formal classes, you are compelled to study and understand so you keep with the pace of the teacher.   Not for anything else, being back to Korean class is something that I am so excited and happy with.

It Has Been Ages–I am Back!

I hibernated for so long. Honestly I have not been reading my book since the last post I made.  I have so many excuses — yes they are excuses because when you are determined to do something you will make time for it.   My other activities made me escape such determination to fully learn Hangul.

I was a bit disappointed with myself.  After reading Elementary Korean which is seriously thick and started with Continuing Korean (advance book), I had this thinking that I am advance as well but I wasn’t — and I figure it out in a little painful way.  Sometimes you really have to humble yourself.   It kinda distracted me in away. 

Anyway I am back with my senses and there are two key learnings that are too basic but I almost neglected, first, it’s best to apply what you learned by communicating to someone who is native either orally or written.  Second, make sure you review what you have learned. 

In this post let me share some points I have learned from my Language Exchange Partners (LEP).   I really did not stop from learning but took the time to see other venues to learn the language.  Thanks to my LEPs 🙂

One very important thing to know is the use of words.  In any language there are synonyms and it’s quite important to know when to use one from another.  It also allows you to understand better the meaning of the statement.

From my previous post on couting days, I have learned that  day is 일 (il) in Korean, which also means one (1) in Sino Korean or the verb ‘work’.   So there is a possiblity of hearing 일일 (iril) to day one day but a month is normally used with it such that 삼월 일일 (samwol il il) means 1st of March.

Still on the word day, I also encountered 하루 (haru) which also means day but is specifically one day.  I first encountered this word when another LEP wrote to me 하루 잘 보내요 (haru jal bonaeyo – have a good day).  According to my LEP this is more used to pertain to 1 day than 일일.  So this is how 하루 하루 (Haru Haru) song of 빅뱅 (Big Bang — a popular boy group in Korea) became known as ‘Day by Day’.   Likewise he said 하루하루 could also mean everyday which is similar to 매일 (maeil).

Another word in Korean which also means day is 날  (nal).  Well, I have no idea this word means day until that song 다음 날 (Daum nal) of Seungri from the same group Big Bang.  I like that song so I tried to find for the translation of the lyrics and in the course, I have learned it means  ‘the next day’ or ‘the day after’.   I also took the chance to clear this with my LEP and he said that this word normally cannot stand on its own.  It cannot be used to with a count word to count  days,  so it’s not normal to hear 두 날 (du nal) to say 2 days such that 일날 (il nal) cannot be used in the context of Sino Korean number 일 (means 1) and word 날 as day together.  Instead 일날 would simple mean day.   This explains why my LEP mentioned that this Korean word is commonly used together with the word 일.   I remember reading about this on Elementary Korean, that it is acceptable to use 날 along with 일 when counting days, seems to be redundant but acceptable.  Likewise, 날 is used to pertain to anniversaries  like 어버이날 (Eobeoinal) which means Parent’s Day.

This learning is really something basic but it worthwhile to know so you can effectively use word in its appropriate context. 

I hope to keep up with this, thanks to my LEPs for helping me to continuously learn despite my excuses.

Upset…기분 상한

I am a bit upset that I only got to have 2 or 3 entries for the month of March in this blogsite.  I have been exaggerately busy the past weeks with so many personal and work related stuff. 

This means I have never been opening my book for 3 weeks already =(  I really hate to break the promise but reading the lessons just once is not enough with the advance lessons from Continuing Korean book. 

I wish things would slow down… It pains me to see that the last time I read the book was March 3.

No Post for 2 Days

I was out of town for two days and I missed posting during those times.  So I am trying to catch up with my readings and learnings.

내가 세부에 가기 때문에 포스트를 없었어요. 그리고 미안해요.