Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Mind Your Korean 8: 일, 이, 삼, 사…come on and count in Sino-Korean!

Orchid and Liz dig deep into their Chinese roots to get a grasp of the Chinese-based Sino-Korean numbers while Rooster happily counts sheep – in Chinese, mind you – in her sleep. They now share with you their adventures and misadventures with the Korean language in MYK8…oh, excuse me, MYK팔 (pal)!

Our usually upbeat 선생님 (seon-saeng-nim = Teacher) looked refreshed and cheery after the long Lunar New Year break. She returned to Korea for the holidays and bought souvenirs for us; we each received a ball pen (볼펜 - bolpen).

선생님: I bought this at Insadong, please treasure it. It usually takes 3 – 4 hours from my hometown to reach Seoul. However, because of the Seollal holidays, my 오빠 (oppa – elder brother) and I were stuck in traffic for 10 hours!
Fellow student: 선생님, flying to Korea from Malaysia takes 6 hours, you mean you took so much longer to get to Seoul from within Korea?! Ha ha ha!

한자 숫자

In this lesson, we learn Sino-Korean numbers.

선생님: It’s called 한자 숫자 (hanja sutja) and we use it when we talk about date, money, pages of a book, license plate numbers and even telephone numbers.

These are the numbers to remember:

0 = 공 = gong
1 = 일 = il
2 = 이 = i/ ee
3 = 삼 = sam
4 = 사 = sa
5 = 오 = o
6 = 육 = yuk
7 = 칠 = chil
8 = 팔 = pal
9 = 구 = gu
10 = 십 = ship

It does have similarities to Chinese numbers and for me, although a non Mandarin-speaking person, I find this set of numbers easier to grasp than the pure Korean numbers of 하나 (hana), 둘 (dul), 셋 (set) etc.

There’s a sense of “familiarity” when counting in Sino-Korean, even when dealing with the larger numbers of 백 (baek = hundreds) and 천 (cheon = thousands). In Hokkien, the dialect I speak, 백 is “pak” while 천 is “cheng”…see the similarities?

The 일 and 이 mix up

Many tend to get the numbers 1 & 2 or 일(il) & 이(ee) respectively, mixed up.

선생님 explained: “In fact, Koreans can also get these numbers mixed up because both of them sound so similar. So let’s say if you want to say “012 = 공 (gong)일(il)이(ee)”, it is OK to go “gong hana ee”.

If you haven’t already spotted the difference, we have replaced the Sino-Korean number for 1 (일 = il) with the pure Korean version, 하나 (hana).

Phone numbers

And with that, you can now sashay up to that handsome오빠 (oppa) or pretty 여자 (yeo-ja = girl) who has caught your eye and ask him/her for his/her phone number.

Just go: 전화번호가 몇 번이에요? (Jeon-hwa-beon-ho-ga myeot beon-i-e-yo? = Phone number what number? (literal)) OR

핸드폰 번호가 몇 번이에요? (haen-deu-pon beon-ho-ga myeot beon-i-e-yo? = What’s your handphone number?)

Let’s just say his/her number is 016-4727491, notice the dash in between the numbers? How do we address the dash? Well, just go “에” (eh).

Thus, the number above is read: 공일육에사칠이칠사구일이에요. Did you get that?

Now that you know Sino-Korean numbers, we wish you all the best in getting a date with that handsome 오빠/ pretty 여자! ;-)

See you in the next class.

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 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

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Joe said...

Mmm.. Very interesting. I always thank you for these entries:-)

Chianz said...

Thanks for upload ur new korean lessons ya... yeolsimi ya gals... ^^ Oh,is easy for me... bcoz korean sounds similiar like hakka so I can memorize it or speak it out by using my fair hakka language!!!! :'p its interseting! can't wait for ur new next new lessons...

kismetology said...

I speak Hokkien, too, and I have also noticed similarities between Korean and Hokkien, like the word for room. Koreans pronounce it with an h sound though, so it sounds like "pangh" or something like that. It's so interesting to see those little connections.

Orchid said...

Sino-Korean is easier for me compared to pure-Korean numbers (especially after 20 and above!).

@kismetology - yeah...both Korean and Hokkien word for "room" is almost the same "pang-keng".

who? said...

i dont speak chinese. and i knew the existence of pure korean numbers (hana dul set) first. but still i find the sino-korean numbers easier!

Clammy said...

I don't think I've ever heard anyone superimpose the korean over the sino-korean unless you get confused the first time around. Which with 1 and 2 happens a lot in phone numbers. Although where I am, we just superimpose english over it!

gailT said...

LOL, my dreaded topic once again. but thanks for the new entry!

how many more classes are there left?

oh, i need help with some real life korean conversations, if you please. :D a well-dressed korean lady (ajummonim?) always takes my bus, and several times, we've struck a conversation. she now knows i'm trying to learn some korean, but aside from "annyeonghaseyo" and "annyeongikaseyo" i've never really spoken any korean. (i'm a really shy around native korean speakers). any tips on other things to talk about on the short walk home from our bus stop?

Liz said...

@joe: Your welcome :-)

@Gait T, we have another three more lessons before the exam. If we pass, we will be certified and can move on to the next level :-)

Yeah, Korean can sometimes be similar to Chinese and its various Chinese dialects.

Here are some more examples for the Hokkien dialect:

운동하다 = oon-dong-ha-da, which means exercise. In Hokkien, we call exercise "Oon-tong" :-)

진짜 = jin-jja, which means really. In Hokkien, it's "jin-ia"

감사 = kam-sa, which is thankfulness/ gratitude. In Hokkien, you say "thank you" by going "kam sia".

Liz said...

@gailt on conversations with Ajumma...boy, that's so cute. Too bad I can't help you at all. It would be a case of the blind leading the blind!

I was at this Korean jewelry shop the other day to collect something and met the ajumma who is the owner of the shop.

So I thought I'd tell her about K-popped! and what we stood for. Orchid was with me so she can testify to my misuse of the Korean language...ha ha.

I went: 우리는, 한개 브로그 있어요. Everything Korean 좋아해요.

Ha ha, OK I cheated. Is the sentence OK? That's how far I could go with Korean. Darn.

But I know this gail, if all else fails, use your hands, gesture wildly and attempt some sign language...that seems to get messages across ;-).

Gail T. said...

thanks for the tip, liz. i haven't seen my bus ajumma in a while so i haven't practiced my sign language yet. LOL. it's because i think in english. by the time i've translated what i wanted to say into korean and gotten my courage, it's time to say goodbye. LOL.

so did your jewelry shop ajumma say anything back? did you really insert that english phrase right in the middle? LOL. that's too cute.

ladida said...

Cool! I do see the similarities betw Korean & the various Chinese dialects. Also in the examples Liz provided:
In Korean, "oon-dong-ha-da"; in Hokkien, "Oon-tong" In Teochew, "oong-dong"

"jin-jja"; "jin-ia"; "jin-ia (or) jing-sik"

"kam-sa:; "kam sia"; "gam-sia"

And 'room' is "bangh"

Liz said...

@gail, hi, the ajumma just looked at me and smiled and she went 아 조아해요?. And that was about it :-).

Clammy said...

I'm confused, didn't you say you just started the actual chapters of your book? How far are you going to get in the book before the class is over?

Liz said...

Hello Clammy, the text book contains the introductory chapters and the actual chapters.

However, it will be used for Beginner's Level I & II. Currently, we are only in Beginner's Level I.

If we pass and choose to continue with class, we will be using the same text book :-). 알겠어요?


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