Common Drama Words: Geureom (그럼)

I have been watching Korean drama lately.  I just finished watching 별에서 온 그대 (byeoleseo on kudae).  Although the English translated title of this drama is very popular, i still love breaking down the words of the title.  별 (byeol) means star with the place marker 에서  and 온 (on) is from the verb 오다 (oda) which means to come but since it’s in modifier form 온 actually denotes past event, this two words means came from star. 그대 means you which is typically used on songs and poems.  I am not sure if this is still being used in normal Korean conversation though.  So 별에서 온 그대 would mean You (who) came from stars 🙂

Anyway, after watching this 21-episode drama in marathon, i came to realise that there is this word I often hear at the end of the conversation.  This word I am referring to is  그럼 (geureom).  I actually had double thoughts if I heard the word right.  From what I know 그럼 means ‘so’ or ‘by the way’ as such I don’t expect it to be said right at the end of a statement.  It was weird that in most cases where I hear this word from the drama, the scene is the person who just said 그럼 would leave the person he/she is talking to.

To end my curiosity, I asked two of my Korean friends if I am hearing this word right.  This is what I learned from my them,  other than the meaning I know this word is apparently used frequently at the end of Korean conversation.  It means to end discussion and would suggest that the speaker is about to leave or bid goodbye.

Such a little thing but to someone who is eager to learn Korean, this is worthy to know especially that I someday still dream of being conversant in this language.

이거 지금 친구에서 알았어요…그럼 ^^

Quoting Someone

I have always been wondering how to say ‘Someone said..’ in Korean.  In a usual conversation it is common to quote a person for saying something.  I have not read about this lesson yet so I asked my language exchange partner (LEP) how to say it in Korean.

There are two ways to say this according to my LEP:

  • 말했는데 – malhaenunde (formal)
  • 그러던데 – geureodeonde (informal)

The pattern is subject + 말했는데 or 그러던데+ the thing or event that has been said.  This post is triggered by someone saying that Jinhae (a place in Korea) is a very beautiful place to visit during spring because of cherry blossoms.  Then i asked my self how do I say that in Korean?

My friend said the place is really beautiful –> 내 친구 말했는데 거기 정말 아름다운 곳이래.  The sentence can be broken down as follows:

  • 내 친구 (nae chingu) – my friend
  • 말했는데 (malhaeneunde) – said
  • 거기 (kogi) – there, referring to a place
  • 정말 (chongmal) – truly or really
  • 아름다운 (areum daeun) – beautiful
  • 곳이래 (koshirae) – place

I am so happy I learned this sentence pattern.

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.

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.