Thursday, 3 January 2008

Mind Your Korean 3: The tale of the uncooperative tissue paper

Orchid and Liz brave the heavy rain and traffic jam (while Rooster zonks out in bed) to reach class 15-minutes late and share with you their adventures and misadventures with the Korean language in MYK 3!

“When” and “Yesterday”

We were at our 3rd Korean language class and have yet to complete learning all the Hangeul consonants and vowels. We started the class with the four vowels combinations, which were 애, 에, 얘 and 예.

While going through words that utilised the vowels, we learned some new words.

Teacher: 어제 (eo-je) means yesterday. But many of my students mix up 어제 with 언제 (eon-je), which is the word “when”. Just remember that 언제 has that extra ㄴ = n.

Watch = clock

Then Teacher moved on to the next word, which was 시계 (shi-ge). My study notes showed a picture of a clock beside the word.

While looking at my spanking new watch, which was a Christmas present, Teacher asked: 시계 있어요? (shi-ge isseoyo?) Which I understood to be “Do you have a clock?”

I answered 없어요 (oep-seo-yo = don’t have). But 선생님 kept giving me this strange look, so I went:

Liz: Does 시계 mean watch as well?
Teacher: 네, yes it also means watch.
Liz: Ah, then 있어요!

Hospital = clinic

As class progressed, we came across the word hospital, which was 병원 (byeong-won).

Teacher: Students have also asked me how to say “clinic” in Korean. It is the same word, 병원.

Hmm, I’m beginning to like this language, less words, less complications, no? Hee hee.

Then we came across the word 의자 (ui-ja = chair).

Teacher: 의자 is chair. Can anyone tell me what “doctor” in Korean is?
Fellow student: 의사 (ui-sa)!
Teacher: 맞아요 (ma-ja-yo)! That’s right. People tend to misuse and mishear these two words, even us Koreans, because they sound so similar. So when we call a doctor, we usually go: 의사 선생님 (ui-sa seon-saeng-nim) to make it clear that we are calling the doctor and not the chair.

Ah, now that made things clear. Everytime I watch a Korean drama, the characters call the doctor 선생님 (seon-saeng-nim) and I’ve always wondered why they kept calling the doctor Teacher.

Written word vs. Pronunciation

Teacher also taught us how to pronounce words correctly, for a more natural and “smoother” speech.

Take for instance the word Foreigner = 외국인 (we-gug-in).
The written form for “A foreigner” would be: 외국인이에요 (we-gug-in-i-e-yo) however,
You pronounce it this way: 외구기니에요 (we-gu-Gi-Ni-e-yo)

For shoes: 신발 (shin-bal)
Written: 신발이에요 (shin-bal-i-e-yo)
Pronounced: 신바리에요 (shin-ba-Ri-e-yo)

For clothes: 옷 (ot)
Written: 옷이에요 (ot-i-e-yo)
Pronounce: 오시에요 (o-Shi-e-yo)

Tissues for everyone

No, Teacher didn’t make us cry. She was teaching us the five tensed consonants, namely ㄲ, ㅃ, ㄸ, ㅆ and ㅉ when she handed each of us a tissue paper. She wrote this on the whiteboard.

ㄱ (g) ㅂ (b) ㄷ (d) ㅅ (s) ㅈ (j)
ㄲ (gg) ㅃ (bb) ㄸ (dd) ㅆ (ss) ㅉ (jj)
ㅋ (kh) ㅍ (p) ㅌ (t) ㅊ (ch)

Teacher taught us how to pronounce the consonants within its own “family”, each has a slightly different but distinct pronunciation.

Teacher: Hold the tissue paper in front of your mouth and pronounce the words. Look at my tissue paper when I say the consonants.

Teacher then proceeded to pronounce ㄱ, ㄲ and ㅋ with the 아 (a) vowel.

가 (ga) – the tissue didn’t move; 까 (gga) – a strong “g” but the tissue still didn’t move and finally 카 (kha) – the tissue was moved by the “air” being expelled when saying the word.

Then Teacher got everyone to try a “family” within the alphabets with their tissues while seated. There were 6 students and 5 “family” of alphabets. My turn came last.

Teacher: 리즈씨, you read ALL of them.
Liz: Alamak! (I guess I should be going “Omo!” (or is it Aigoo?) next time, huh? ;-)).

I tried the 가, 까, 카 while seated but the air conditioner kept blowing my tissue paper about.

Teacher: Come, stand in front of the class and do it.
Liz: *oh geez*

It went OK for the first few words, but then I got confused and started to mess everything up.

Most of the time, my tissue paper didn’t move when saying the last word. So when I got to 차 = cha, I was so fed up with my uncooperative tissue that I blew on it to make it move. Ha ha.

Class adjourned. Enough embarrassment for the day and Teacher said she will teach us how to introduce ourselves in Korean in the next class. Can’t wait.

Mind Your Korean series:
MYK 1: I'm sorry (미안합니다) - You're welcome (아니에요)
MYK 2: The one where 선생님 beats Liz to the punch line
MYK 4: From learning the alphabets to self-introduction
MYK 5: Simple conversations in Korean
MYK 6: 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷...come on and count in Korean!
MYK Quiz 1: The Match Up
MYK Quiz 1: Answers and winner announcement
MYK 7: Location, location, location
MYK Tidbits
MYK 8: 일, 이, 삼, 사...come on and count in Sino-Korean!

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ladida said...

the "uncooperative tissue" incident..haha.."aigoo" <-- what i meant to say was "how cute" Btw, how do u say "cute" in Korean? I'm also curious about the pronouns in Korean. In Chinese, he/she are pronounced identically (but diff. chars). "Unni" "noona" "hyung" "oppa" Ara-se-yo..but I've also heard "nam-jie" [however, i don't think i pronounce that word correctly]; anywhoo, if boy/man is "nam-jie", then is "noon-jie" a word for girl/woman?

Clammy said...

In your case, Omo would be more appropriate if surprised or startled. Although eeeEEEHhh!! would be even more appropriate!

Shinbal is the noun shoes but Shinbalieyo, rather than just being a written form means these are shoes. Likewise, Ot is clothes but Otieyo means these are clothes and etc.

Labdida, I'm not sure what you are trying to say with nam-jie. Namja means a man though. You don't call someone namja though, you refer to them as such. Yuhja is a woman. The more formal version noona or hyung is noonim and hyungnim.

Clammy said...

Oh yeah, cute is Kiyowoh or Kiyopdah.

ladida said...

clammy, kam-sa-ham-nida! :) haha..i figured that i was probably wrong about my pronunciation of 'namja'. Up to now, i have always assumed that 'man' in korean sounded identical as Cantonese 'nam-jie' where jie sounds like tie.
Aahh.."kiyopdah" that sounds familiar; now i know the meaning attached to it. Thanks! Speaking of which, what's 'thanks' in korean? i know it's a 2 syllable word. Am I right? o.O Last question & i promise not to pester you too much. How do you say 'he' or 'she' or 'it' in korean?

Orchid said...

Hi Clammy,

Are you using Microsoft XP? If you want to type Hangul characters, just follow these instructions and install the International Language Support for Windows.

Clammy said...

Well you say kam-sa-ham-nida all the time and that means thank you (formal)! You can also say gomapsumnida or gomawo for short, neither of which is two syllables so uh... I'm not sure which word you are referring to.

Oh wow... uh pronouns.. Um, Korean pronouns don't really work like they do in english. As I referred to before with unnie, oppa, hyung, and Noona, those are like pronouns. It really depends on who you are actually referring too. There is also yeh (different from yes), jeoh and geu but they aren't used by themselves. You usually have to use one of the other reference titles (unni, noona, ajjoshi, aggashi, etc) after them except with yeh. But then it's actually saying THAT lady or THAT man. That's pretty much how Korean pronouns work. Otherwise, you can also use their titles. "It" would almost always use Geu (again, meaning THAT).

Clammy said...

Orchid Yes, I'm running XP and I do know how to install international characters (I work in the IT field!) but I can't type in korean! ha ha! I don't really feel like re-learning how to either! Thanks though!

meiruo_chan said...

Hi guyz! Oh...nice class Liz and Orchid and nice discussion too here. Orchid I did install Hangul with my XP a year ago. Haha... just modified your keyboard a bit. Then you can type everything in Hangul.

Clammy what is yeh? I know jeo and geu. Like 'jeo saram' or 'geu saram' means that person. Or do you mean 'i' as in Hangul (이)? Like 'i saram', means this person.

meiruo_chan said...

'Kiyowoh' and Kiyopdah'.

I always used this word, when I see something cute and pretty these days. Haha... Even the sounds is CUTE!

kpop_rub said...

hahah those consonant families confuse the heck outta me.. well I get the difference between the normal and aspirated but the double consonant will never make any sense to me cuz it sounds the dang same as the regular one to me :-P Supposedly there completely distinct but I still don't buy it!

like ㅈ and ㅉ...I really don't hear a difference! Maybe ㅉ is slightly crisper but not that I could differentiate which is which just by listening to someone...

Anonymous said...

Oh YAY! Thanks a lot to K-popped! I finally know the difference between those consonants. :DDDD

(randomness xD)

charming_khalela said...

I’m so jealous of the k-popped trio for being able to study Korean formally.
Keep it coming, I love reading all your entries :)

Clammy said...

meiruo_chan I mean yeh like yeh-ga which like he/she or that guy/that girl. It's extremely informal.

kpop_rub Just think of them as hard accented versions of the consonant.

Grace said...

clammy pretty much covered everything I had to say! Oh, and like clammy said, yeh-ga is really informal, so I'd suggest you not use it unless you're talking to a close friend of the same age. Saying "예가 사람 [yeh ga saram/this person]" can be considered really rude. Elders would probably either be offended or just laugh at you because you don't know better.

And so you guys can impress your teacher next week, here's a head start on introducing yourself! The simplest way would be just to say "(name)입니다." [(name)ibnida. I am (name).] 입(ib) isn't pronounced so much like eeb as it is a soft ib, or im. I suppose that's why it's understandable for non-Korean speakers to think that they should say "(name)임니다(im-ni-da). You could also use "내/제 이름은 (name)입니다." [Nae/Je ileumeun (name)ibnida. My name is (name).] or "저는 (name)입니다." [Jeoneun (name)ibnida. I am (name).] Any of those should work fine.

ladida, do you mean 감사 (gamsa)? That's the noun form of thanks, like appreciation or gratitude. I'm not sure if you were asking about 'thanks' as in 'thank you' or as a noun, but that's the only 2 syllable phrase of thanks I could think of.

Grace said...

Oh, I've just realized I made a typo. "yeh-ga saram" should mean "that person" not "this person." Sorry!

Grace said...

Since clammy can't type in hangeul, cute would be 귀여워(kiyuhwo) or 귀엽다 (kiyubda).

Clammy said...

Your not a Grace Lee are you?

Clammy said...

er You're..

ladida said...

thanks Grace but Clammy pretty much read my mind. 'gomawo' is what I was thinking of. Oh boy, looks like I better start listening carefully the next time I watch K-dramas & not just focus on the subs ;P

meiruo_chan said...

Now I know what is 'yeh'. I don't heard this word too often. Maybe I didn't notice or didn't hear the words properly. Even when I chat with my Korean friends usually we use formal form, like 'jeo' and 'neo' or 'dang-shin'.

Ladida, you should start doing that. Haha...I've tried this when I started to learn Korean and it's very addictive, especially when you caught what they're saying about and you know the meaning. And try to listen to korean songs too. I was like 'oh...this is what the meaning!'. Getting too much excited for knowing a little! Hehehe...

ladida said...

meiruo_chan, can I say 'neoneun'? anyway, neo kiyopdah :)
I have a tendency to just read the subs & not follow the actual conversation. Sometimes it's really hard to keep up w/the subs cuz they disappear from the screen so fast. But yeah, i like to pick up a few words cuz' i find korean such a pretty language. Even my mom said so :) The language just flows in my ears (unlike some languages that sound harsh)

Clammy said...

labdida neoneun is just you in a conjugated form, kinda... you would use it in like what are you doing? How about you? You are. etc etc. It's the informal version. More formal versions would be Jjagi or dangshin because you could directly replace Neo with those.

meiruo_chan said...

Thanks Clammy for answering. Instead of 'neo', I like to use 'dang-shin' more.

ladida said...

meiruo_chan & clammy, gomawo.
I'm not familiar w/the word 'dang-shin' [you are] . So 'dang-shin' phonetically sounds like the way it's spelled or like "dahng-sheen"?
I know I have prob'ly troubled y'all enough already & I can't thank you enough, but if i may continue to abuse my privileges...
can u please translate these following words/phrases:
Good luck
Please take care
Hey babe
Happy or sad
I forgot

meiruo_chan said...

Ladida, you are allowed to continue to abuse your privileges. Hehe... This are the translation for the words. These are in formal way of speech:-

Good luck - Haeng-un-eul pimnida
Congratulations - Chukha hamnida
Hello - Annyeong-haseyo (formal)
- Annyeong (informal)

Goodbye : Korean have 2 phrase to say Goodbye. So you need to figure out which one is right for the situation. Annyeong-hi-kha-se-yo is used when you are staying at the place and bidding the other person who is leaving goodbye. Annyeong-hi-gye-se-yo is used when you are leaving that place and bidding the other person who is staying goodbye.

Happy or sad :
Happy is Haeng-bok imnida or kippeumnida.
Sad is seul-peun-imnida
I forgot - ijeo beorimnida

Clammy said...

A few minor corrections,

Chukha-hehyo can be used in a manner of saying Goodluck.

Anyeong can be both hello and goodbye informally. An easy way to remember the difference between Anyeongi-GAH-Seyo and Anyeongi-GEH-seyo is that GAH is go and GEH is like the root form of stay.

It's Haeng-bok Hamnida, Haeng-bok-imnida would be more like I am in the process of being happy.

Seul-peun is sad. I am sad would be Seul-peumnida. (no -im)

Ijeo Beorimnida would also be like saying I am in the process of forgetting. It's "ijeo Beoryohsohyo". Actually, that means I lost it. But it's used for I forgot (as in memory) as well.

meiruo_chan said...

Clammy just love you a lot!!! Cham... I didn't know please take care and hey babe in Korean so didn't post it here. What are they in Korean?

Haha...I was torn between seul-pumnida and seul-peun-imnida. But I choose the latter. Turns out wrong. :( Same goes with Haengbok.

Clammy said...

although I'm not sure about the literal translation, if you mean take care like a goodbye, then you could say Jal-jinheh.

Uh Hey babe? Uh... I'm not quite sure about that one! ha ha. Do you mean like to get a girls attention, what do you mean exactly?

ladida said...

ooh, yes! yes! XD this is so exciting!! big, big thank you!!
Umm, 'hey babe' used like in term of endearment; an affectionate way couples address to each other.

sarah said...

heh, wow, I always wondered that about why they were calling the doctor teacher, too. thanks for sharing!

Grace said...

clammy Haha nope, I'm not Grace Lee. Yoo!

ladida Hmm, terms of affection? There are two phrases that are commonly used, 자기(야) [ja-gi(-ya), the 'ya' is optional] and 여보 [yuh-bo]. Both terms can be used for girls and guys.

And, for those who'd like the phrases in hangeul, here they are:

Congratulations/Good luck - 축하합니다 [chukhahamnida], 축하해요 [chukhahaeyo]
(*These are more commonly used than 행운을 빕니다 [haengooneul bimnida].)
Hello - 안녕하세요 [annyounghaseyo], 안녕 [annyoung] (informal)
Goodbye - 안녕히 가세요 [annyounghi gaseyo], 안녕히 계세요 [annyounghi gye-se-yo]
I'm happy - 행복합니다 [haengbokhamnida]
I'm sad - 슬픕니다 [seulpeumnida]
I forgot - 잊어 버렸어요 [ijuh bulyuhsuhyo]

Grace said...

Ah, it was mentioned but I forgot to add it to the list. 안녕 (annyoung) is also the informal way of saying goodbye.

Clammy said...

Yuhbo is only used between spouses, I think. But yeah Ja-gi is the closest one I guess. Koreans also give pet names to eachother.

Ha ha, have you ever heard of the Grace Lee Project?

Orchid said...

No Clammy. What's the "Grace Lee Project" all about?

Clammy said...

Grace Lee is a very common Korean American name. This filmmaker was the only Grace Lee growing up in her hometown in Missouri USA but when she left, everyone she knew seemed to know another "Grace Lee" and it was always the same description of the person (in terms of character). So she went out and made a film about all the Grace Lee's that break the mold of what people think "grace lee" should be. Which btw, is always percieved to be a shy, dutiful, piano-playing academic over-achiever. I know at least 3 myself!

meiruo_chan said...

Clammy, that Grace Lee Project is kinda confusing. (^_^)!

Thanks Grace for the Hangul. Will put them in vocab book, DEFINITELY!

Orchid said...

meiruo_chan: You have a personal vocab book? Cool. I think i must follow and keep one too!

meiruo_chan said...

Orchid : You should have one too. Make it easier to refer when you forget something.

Grace said...

clammy I haven't heard of the Grace Lee Project, actually. Sounds interesting, though. I know a bunch of Grace Lee's also! Haha it seems like the name Grace in general is such a popular Korean-American name.

Clammy said...

Yup! Grace, Esther, Jennifer, Christine... so many of them!

ladida said...

thank you, Grace. Thank you guys. So far I have 3-pages worth of notes. Good or bad, I guess that's the question. ;P Now it's only a matter of planting my newly acquired language permanently in my brain. ...Yeh, chukhahaeyo, ladida! XD


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