Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Mind Your Korean 4: From learning the alphabets to self-introduction

While Rooster continues to play Sleeping Beauty, Orchid and Liz attend another enjoyable Korean language class. They share with you their adventures and misadventures with the language in MYK4!

We had two teachers in class that day. One was the original 선생님 (if you don’t know what this means, you’d have to backtrack to the first article of the series) and another was a 선생님-in-training who was there to observe the session. Omo, two Teachers in one class? Give us a break already ;-). (Yesss, I’m sure I used “Omo” correctly here, pats self on the back).

It’s “bit” not “bich”

Teacher (the original one) started off the class with the five final consonants of ㅋ, ㅍ, ㅌ, ㅊ and ㅎ and the pronunciation when the alphabets appear at the end of a word.

Teacher: You pronounce the word like the original consonant it is “birthed” from.

For instance, 엌. Just remember that ㅋ (kh) is derived from ㄱ (g/k), thus you pronounce the word as if it was written 억 (eok).

Thus: ㅍ = ㅂ --> 앞 = 압 (ap)
also ㅌ = ㄷ = ㅅ = ㅈ = ㅊ = ㅆ = ㅎ --> 낱 = 낟 = 낫…and so on (nat)

While practising with our notes, we came across the word for “ray of light”, which was 빛. I chuckled a little because without learning the rule, I would have gone “bich”, which sounds so similar to the English word for she-dog. However, now I know that it’s pronounced “bit” a more similar sound to a quick “bid”.

Teacher: It is “bit”. Don’t pronounce it like in English, don’t go “bit-th”. You must say it as one syllable only. Cut yourself off and say “bit”.

Double trouble

Wrapping up our study on Hangeul was the two final consonants of ㄲ, ㅆ and a few more combinations which we will meet as we progress with the language.

The above pronunciation rule applies here as well: ㄲ = ㅋ = ㄱ and ㅆ = ㅅ. Everything was fine and dandy until we came across the word for chicken = 닭 and price = 값.

Teacher: For cases like this, sometimes we pronounce the word using the 1st (bottom) consonant, sometimes the 2nd. There is no set rule to it; it’s on a case by case basis.
For chicken 닭 (dalk), we say “dak” and not “dal” choosing to use the 2nd consonant. But for the word price 값 (gabs), we go “gab” and not “gas”, choosing the 1st consonant.
Fellow student: Huh? Like that how do I know which is used?
Teacher: 나중에, later, we learn this. In Beginner 2 class, we learn more of this. But in Beginner 1 class, we just learn the Hangeul first. And with that, we have learned all the consonants and vowels of the Korean language. 박수! (bak-soo = clap hands)

Countries and nationality

We learnt the names of some countries in Korean, some sound like English while others sound like Mandarin.

In Korean, the countries America, China and Australia sound similar to Mandarin:
America = 미국 = mi-goog = mei-guo in Mandarin
China = 중국 = jung-goog = chung-guo in Mandarin
Australia = 호주 = ho-joo = ao-zhou in Mandarin

The ones that sound like English include:
Russia = 러시아 = leo-shi-a
France = 프랑스 = peu-rang-seu
Mexico = 멕시코 = mek-shi-kho
Malaysia = 말레이시아 = mal-lei-si-a

Korean seems to be a pretty straightforward language. Like say, you want to tell someone you’re Malaysian or American or Korean, you’re just saying “Malaysia person”, “America person” and yeah, “Korea person”.

So when Teacher asked us this question: 어느 나라 사람이에요? (eoneu nara saramieyo?) Literal translation: Which country person?, basically the question: Where are you from?

For me, it would be 저는 말레이시아 사람이에요 (jeo-neun mal-lei-shi-a saramieyo), literally translating to “I’m Malaysia person”. Cool.

Self-introduction (자기 소개)

We finally arrive at learning how to introduce ourselves. Thank you, Grace, for the headstart of (name)입니다. However, Teacher went with the 이에요/ 예요 instead.

The text we have to learn included introducing our name, nationality, hometown and occupation.

It went (some information has been omitted to protect the innocent, tee hee):

저는 리즈예요. (jeo-neun li-jeu-ye-yo = I’m Liz)

저는 말레이시아 사람이에요. (jeo-neun mal-lei-sia saramieyo = I’m Malaysian)

고향이 _____ 이에요/ 예요. (ko-hyangi _____ i-e-yo/ ye-yo = _____ is my hometown)

저는 회사원이에요. (jeo-neun hwe-sa-wonieyo = I’m an office worker)

만나서 반갑습니다. (mannaseo bangapseumnida = Nice to meet you)

Teacher said that in the next class, she will ask every one of us to introduce ourselves in Korean.

Alrighty, bring it.

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 3: The tale of the uncooperative tissue paper
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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meiruo_chan said...

Nice lesson here! Well, basic is important. If you don't do well on it, might be in trouble later.

Liz, I remember the time when I learn (eonu nara saramimnikka? That sentence glued in my head! Hehe...if you watch the lesson by Arirang, the person acted in it is sure funny. I mean the way he talk. And yes I catch he did a bit mistake, but never mind. we all learn form mistake right?

Look forward to your next lesson! (^-^).

kpop_rub said...

I didn't know Miguk came from the Chinese word :) MMM cool!

처는 미국사람입니다


oo Talking about how to pronounce 닭 reminded me of this korean lesson
Yunho is a good 선생님 ^^

Clammy said...

When I was little, when someone said we were going to have "dak" to eat, I wasn't always sure if they meant chicken or DUCK because I was in the U.S. and wasn't sure if they were speaking Konglish (mixture of english and korean) or straight Korean!!

Anonymous said...

i like this section alot.. ^^ it helps me recall what i learn in my korean class too.. ^^

ladida said...

Cool stuff. Things are getting more interesting

Gail T. said...

i remember when i first followed the arirang series to learn korean (before i learned the alphabet), i misheard a lot of words. for instance, i thought they were saying "tonin" for 저는.

anyway, 저는 Gail이에요. 필리핀 사람이에요. 마나서 반갑습니다.

(i don't know if Gail equals 가일 or 개일... ^_^)

ladida said...

hey, this might be a long shot, but i suppose there's no harm in just tossing around ideas, right?
Each wk, Liz & Orchid post new materials they have learnt in class. I thought, perhaps, it'd be more fun & interesing if we could get a volunteer(s) [Calling out to Meiruo_chan, Clammy, Grace, or all 3? ;->] to write a short paragraph using only Korean words acquired thru out each wk's session [MYK 1-4]. (Korean words written in both Hangeul & its romanization; in my case, preferably in romanization)
To make it a game so that anyone can play along, the teachers/writers will not provide the students/players the correct translation until the next MYK session comes out. But there's one catch: the player only gets one chance to post his/her answer. (Even better, player shouldn't peek at someone's answer) :)
Of course, no actual prizes are awarded to players who can intrepret the sentences with no or least amount of errors. The point of this assignment (mini-quizzes) is to help beginners (like myself) seek pleasures in just having the skills to understand Korean.
I know this sounds like a lot of work for the teachers/writers. Sorry, no rewards for you too. :(
Sooo, do I sound like a wishful thinker, or do u think this is possibly doable? :)

champong said...

i just realized how much of the korean language i've taken for granted. like the dak, gab thing, i always knew how to pronounce those even though i'm not fluent, but it makes me wonder what else i'm missing.
anywho, loved the post! hopefully you guys go to class for the rest of my life so i can learn more. hehe.

ladida said...

actually, the more i think about it the more it sounds implausible. Nahh, sorry guys. Just cross out my wacky idea. Maybe I should have some of that ice cream. XD

Liz said...

meiruo_chan, when did you watch Arirang? We don't have it here in Malaysia, right? Singapore has the channel.

kpop_rub, the vid is cute. They left the translation in English of some words out though :-)

Rooster said...

ladida: Haha! Almost broke cold sweat upon reading 'assignment'. ;p But not so implausible. Hmm, maybe a fun mini quiz? Will put it in the idea file. ;)

Clammy said...

Bring the idea up again at the end of the class sessions (how many weeks are you girls doing this anyways?) and we'll come up with one long story or something using the learned words/phrases. Everyone gets one guess without cheating and who ever gets it right the most first, I'll send off a korean dvd to or something? How about that? (this requires cooperation from the other korean speakers here cause uh.. I kinda don't want to do it all!)

Orchid said...

Clammy: Our Beginner 1 Korean has 12 classes. We go for 1 class per week.

Orchid said...

Gail...i think it's this one

처도 마나서 반갑습니다.
(jeo-do ma-na-seo ban-gab-seum-ni-da)
It's nice to meet you too.

honjangnim said...

orchid: its 저도 .. though kind of pronounced like a ㅊ

so which one of you are rain's fan?
then next lesson should introduce yourself as 저는 비 아내예요 -and you'll have a lot of mouth gawed at you :-p ...or probably something more conservative: 비 여자친구예요?

so does the teacher use a text book or just give notes off hand??

Clammy said...

puaHA HA HA! Go around saying the second one loudly and proudly!

Orchid said...

저도 - Thanks hongjangnim.

저도 마나서 반갑습니다.
(It's nice to meet you too.)

Yes i am a 비 fan. Liz too.

저는 비 여자친구예요
(I am Bi's girlfriend.)

저는 비 아내예요
(I am Bi's wife?)


We have a Student Book (Text Book) and a Work Book(teacher calls it a Practice Book). Teacher also gives us hand-outs to practice our Hangul writing and when learning the alphabets.

(So glad we have bonafide Koreans here who can correct us and spot mistakes! Thanks guys & gals.)

Liz said...

Hello everyone! I can't help but laugh when I see the comments here. Such an enthusiastic bunch in learning Korean. And Clammy, your input here is invaluable. 감사합니다!

Clammy's idea of having a little quiz for readers at the end of our lessons sounds plausible. A weekly thing will be a little too taxing? Thanks Ladida for the idea.

As Orchid has mentioned, we have 12 classes, eh or is it 10? Can't recall right now but we'll work together with our de facto Korean language tutors at our site once we near our final class.

Umm, de facto Korean tutors, we'll be in touch ;-). I hope you guys are OK with it. Clammy, you are de facto tutor #1. Mwah ha ha ha ha...tee hee.

meiruo_chan said...

Woo-ho...this post is getting interesting!

Ladida: That was such a nice idea. I don't mind that for my Korean improvement.

Liz: Yes, Malaysia don't have Arirang. Go to arirang website and find Let's Speak Korean. They have bunch of videos there. But mostly is new one. I downloaded the video at clubbox. From the first lesson. They are in season 3 right now and the episode is more than 300 already. The new format is great, they invite celebrities to speak few sentences and we can follow along.

Orchid: you forgot the 'ㄴ' in 만나서 반갑습니다.

You guyz really loves Bi right? Ever watch him in his first drama ?
상두야 학교 가자! (Let's go to school, Sang Doo!). I watch him first in Full-House but personally I like his acting better in this one. A very touching and heart-warming series. Give it a shot!

kpop_rub said...

oh yeah and Gail is spelled 게일. If you do pronounce it the English way. I'm not extacly sure how it's pronounced in the Phillipines. But English orthography is way messed up which is why no version of the "A" equivalent ㅏ or ㅐ is used ^^

kpop_rub said...

Liz, all the phrases in the video where translated, look in the upper right corner.

Orchid said...

meiruo_chan, yes i have seen Bi's first drama sang-doo-ya, hak-gyo ka-ja! Sang-doo, let's go to school! in which he plays a male gigolo who is struggling to do the right thing while supporting his ailing child.

I watched this drama after the highly popular "Full House". Full House is a fun watch but personally, i think this drama is better. There is a lot of depth to Cha Sang-doo's character and Rain did a very good job.

I also like the songs in Full House, but i LOVE one the songs in the Sang-doo OST. I even bought the OST for Sang-doo. ;-)

* By the way, as i am typing this, Liz is watching FULL HOUSE on KBS World. It's in the original Korean with English subs. I think it's the 3rd or 4th time running on Msian TV. *

hjn said...

oh? what's the title of the workbook/ text that you are using?

quiz nice...
so you guys really giving out VCDS/DVDs if we answer correctly?
**rub rub my hands and evil-ly grin**

Grace said...

Clammy I'm not sure how much I'd be able to help, since I'm pretty busy with school. But! Once the sessions ends and this topic comes up again, I can see if I can help out some. I'm not a very fluent speaker, but I'll try to contribute. And, I think a story might be too difficult, but we'll see, considering how much is taught during lessons.

Orchid Yep, 아내 (ahnae) is wife! Husband would be 넘편 (nampyun), so you could say 비는 제 남편이다 (bineun je-nampyun-ida/Bi is my husband)! (*^ㅂ^)=b

Gail T. said...

nice thread we've got here now. MYK is a real popular feature on k-popped! kudos.

a quiz would be very fun.

thanks, kpop_rub. i had been using 가일 for myself because it's a lot closer to my spelling. at first, i was very concerned that my short name would have weird meanings when written in hangeul since it's not so obviously a loanword. but 게일 does sound more phonetically accurate.

ladida said...

thanks for taking my ideas into consideration. The responses were much better than i had originally thought. But i agreed with Liz; Clammy's idea sounds far less stressful (intimidating factor still remains the same ;P). If the readers (hopefully a bunch, including the Kpopped sis -- the more the merrier, right?) as well as the de facto teachers aren't against the idea, then let's have the fun test :P


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