Vocabulary: To Write

I have downloaded an application from iPAD that allows me to doodle.   It kinda let you practice your Hangul writing without wasting papers and inks. The word 쓰다 (seuda) is the dictionary form of the verb write, so it means ‘to write’.

To use this in a sentence you have to identify the base or infinitive form of the word that is 쓰(seu) and 써 (seo) respectively.  Here are some use that I can think of:

  • 여기에 이름을 써 주세요 (Yeogie ireumeul sseo juseyo) – Please write your name here.
  • 친구에게 편지를 썼어요 (Chinguege pyeonjireul sseosseoyo) – I wrote a letter to a friend.
  • 나중에 블로그 엔트리를 쓸거에요 (Najunge beullogeu enteurireul sseulkoeyo) – I will write ( I have an intention of writing) a blog entry later.

Try the Doodle application in iPAD it’s just cute and nice way to practice Hangul writing. It’s also cool that iPAD has enabled writing on most east asian fonts and that includes Hangul.

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Location and Duration

I have been following Talk to Me In Korean (TTMIK) in Facebook and I really like their lessons, I am thinking of buying their PDF lessons in bulk but some of it I have already encountered.   I will be posting some of my favorite lessons from TTMIK.

You know how easy it is in English to express duration and location.  This is done by simply using the combination of from and to.    The Korean equivalent for this is 에서 (-eoseo) and  부터 (-buteo) for the word from and 까지 (kkaji) for the word ‘to’ or ‘until’.  While 에서 and 부터 means the same, 에서 is used more to denote location while 부터 is more associated with time.

The way these are used is that it is attached directly after the noun or pronoun as shown on the samples below:

  • 인천에서  (Incheoneseo) – from Incheon
  • 오늘부터 (oneulbuteo) – from today
  • 집까지 (jipkkaji) – to home/house
  • 내일까지 (naeilkkaji) – to tomorrow or until tomorrow

Therefore it is not appropriate to see 인천부터 (Incheonbuteo) even if 부터 would mean from, neither would it be right to say 오늘에서 (oneuleseo).

I love this type of lessons especially that it clarifies usage of words.

Korean Statement: The Review

When I started learning Korean almost 4 years ago, I thought it would be as simple as learning the writing system which is  항글 (Hangul) and studying meaning of words, then I would be ready to communicate in Korean.   So when I memorized those characters and bought a dictionary, I hurriedly looked for a Language Exchange partner only to find out I am far from being a decent speaker.

Since I don’t have time to attend a formal class I opted to buy a text book that will allow me to understand Hangul.  I learned my first big lesson, this language is not like learning English.  The basic structure of a Korean sentence is Subject-Object-Verb or  SOV in short.   No wonder I sounded like a fool putting up those words based on their dictionary meaning just how I would construct my English sentence.  The sentence  structure alone is a big difference.  So when we typically say ‘I love you’,  in Korean, the order would be ‘I you love’.  The order of words in a sentence also signifies their importance.  The first in the order is the least important and that the verb is the most important component of the sentence.  The first words in a sentence are most likely to be dropped.  This is because the subject or even the object  can be implied in a conversation.

Using the sample statement ‘I love you’, this is 나 너를 사랑해요 (na noreul saranghaeyo) in Korean.  Let’s dissect this simple statement.

  • 나 (Na means I)
  • 너를 (noreul means you)
  • 사랑해요 (saranghaeyo mean love)

You might have heard 사랑해요 (saranghaeyo) in dramas and songs which actually means i love you as well. The subject and object in the statement were dropped but the meaning stays the same.  This is why the role of the verb in a sentence is important.

Of course creating a clear statement doesn’t end with knowing the word order.  Although subject and object can be dropped in a sentence this should not be taken as a rule of thumb.  In the Korean language post-position and markers are used to emphasize the role of the word in a sentence.  Again using the example above 나 너 사랑해요, 너 which means you is marked as object in the sentence without it the sentence would be vague since the subject 나 (i) is not marked.

Can you just imagine how it is to create a compound or complex sentence in Korean?  I am not even at that level but I am trying =)

Choayo 좋아요 vs Choahaeyo 좋아해요

The word 좋다 (choda) is something you always hear in a Korean conversation.  In fact, in this blog of mine the phrase I like you in Korean is one of the most visited posts i have.  좋다 is the base form of the word like.  it’s a verb which can mean is good, like or in some case  it is also used to express wish.

One of the variations in the use of this verb is the expression 좋아요 (choayo) and 좋아해요 (choahaeyo).  It both means the same the only difference is that for clarity of use in the sentence, the verb 좋아요 cannot take an object meaning to say you cannot pertain the use of this verb to something that is marked -을 (eul) or -를 (-reul) which are actually object markers in a Korean statement.  For clarity, 좋아요 is used with a subject marked with either -가 (-ga) or 이 (-i).   Here is an example–  비빔밥이 좋아요 (bibimbap choayo~ I like bibimbap).   The sentence 비빔밥 좋아해요 (Bibimbapeul choahaeyo) would mean the same but this time the object is marked and the verb became compound with the addition of 해 (from 하다 – hada which mean to do or happen).

So i learned for simple sentence you can drop the markers but for complex ones the role of the marker becomes very important to put across the right meaning of a sentence.  Hmmm… I am truly like the  Korean Language.  정말 한국어를 좋아해요!

Clause Modifier for Sentence with Processive Verbs

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post. As I mentioned it’s abit different when you want to transform a sentence ending in a processive verb into a noun phrase (then subsequently use it as Clause Modifier.

What makes the difference?

  1. It can either be present or past
  2. In Korean it comes before the noun instead of the usual English order when it comes after the noun.
  3. The noun phrase from derived from a sentence with processive verb ending can have direct object.

Here are some examples:

With modified noun as original subject:

  • 밥을 먹은 사람 (Papeul meokeun saram) – the person who ate
  • 밥을 먹는 사람 (Papeul meokneun saram) – the person who is eating

With modified noun as original object:

  • 제인 씨가 사은 가방 (Jein sshiga saeun kabang) –  The bag that Jane bought
  • 제인 씨가 사는 가방 (Jein sshiga saneun kabang) – The bag that Jane is buying

With the use of particles to make the meaning unambiguous:

  • 나의 친구 본 사람 (Noui chingureul bon saram)  – The person who saw my friend
  • 나의 친구 본 사람 (Naui chinguga bon saram) – The person that my friend saw.

My nose is bleeding at this point of the lesson, noun phrase  from a processive verb is really one hard thing to  digest.

Transforming Sentence into Clause Modifier

Complex sentences sometimes make you sound fluent and fluid. Although technical writers may not agree to this, joining two simple sentences that are somehow related creates an impression.

A simple Korean sentence can be tranformed into a clause modifier by using one of the modifier endings  -(으)ㄴ  or – 는 (attached to the final verb of the sentence) and then placing a noun after it.  The result of which is a noun expression and no longer a sentence.   This noun expression can then be used as a subject or object just like any other noun expression.

To give you an illustration on how this works:

  • He is  —> is my friend
  • Ms. Jane Reyes —> is my friend
  • The lady wearing a pink dress —> is my friend
  • The lady standing between Ms. Reyes and Atty. Cruz —> is my friend

For descriptive verb, it’s a bit simple just the way it works for English.  Here are some examples:

  • 작은 책 (chakeun chaek/ small book) <—- 책이 작아요 (chaeki chakayo / The book is small)
  • 예쁜 여자  (yeepeun yoja / beautiful lady) <—- 여자가 예뻐요. (Yojaga yeppeoyo/ She [the lady] is beautiful)

There is an exception though which is in the use of verbs 있어요 (isseoyo) and 없어요(opseoyo):

  • 가방이 있는 사람 (Kabangi ittneun saram) –> the person who has bag
  • 연필이 없는 사람 (Yeonpil opneun saram) –> the person who has no pencil.

For the case of processive verbs, its a bit different . There are some other things to consider when transfoming  sentence ending in processive verb into noun phrase.   This I have to read on…

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.