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.

아주 (Aju) and 너무 (Neomu)

These two Korean words have the same meaning. 아주 and 너무 both mean very or too in English. For the longest time i am always inclined to use 너무 than 아주. Last Saturday in my Korean class, my 선생님 (seonsaengnim — yes this is how teachers are addressed in Korean) gave a tip on how to differentiate the use. 

According to my teacher 아주 is positive compared to 너무.  The latter tends to be negative and a bit exaggerated.  It may even sometimes sound sarcastic.  So when complimenting people it would be safe to use 아주 instead.