Archive for December 2009

Last week, I watched 순정만화. I'm not here to review this movie as I've already covered a bunch here and here but I will say that I liked it. Why? It was a cute film with believable characters save for 채정안's typical cringe-inducing bad acting. Above all else it had simple Korean dialogue. I was so happy that I could watch this with no background knowledge and just Korean subtitles. Sure, a few times I had to pause and ask my grirlfriend for clarification but overall, I got it. Nice.

So, I feel like posting some of the script here. I've learned a few things that I'd like to share. There are possibly some spoiler alerts in the script, so if you would like to watch it for your own practice (and enjoyment) watch it first. What I like about the script is how natural it sounded. Even if you haven't seen the film, the script can prove useful if you're studying Korean. As in some of my other translations,  I may or may not translate exactly. Sometimes, the nuance is much different so I may type what is implied in English isntead of that literal translation.

여기가 아니라 저긴데
not here but over there (talking about putting trash in the wrong container)

마스크 쓰고 가. 황사 온데.
put on your mask (as you go outside) yellow dust is outside.

너 이제 죽었다
you're dead from now on (because she forgot her tie, her teacher will scold her)

동사무소 다녀요?
you work at a local 동 office?

거기도 넥타이 꼭 해야 돼요?
do you absolutely have to wear a tie there?

우리는 넥타이 안 하면 화장실 청소해야 되는데
if we (students) don't wear a tie, we have to clean the bathrooms

좀 빌려주세요
can I borrow yours?

나 아저씨 같냐?
do I seem (look) like an 아저씨 (an old man)?

전부 눈 감아
everyone close your eyes

손 내려
put down your hands

다 버린 거야
all of these are abandoned (left behind) *this can be a question, too. 버린 거 없어? is something I hear a lot from someone close to me when we leave a restaurant

좀 벗어 봐 . 벗어 금방 돼
take off your clothes. just do it already (shirt in this case because there's something on it and the old lady wants to clean it)

배불러서요 한 숟갈만...
since I'm so full, please just one spoonful... (sweet older people trying to feed him)

저기 아까... 전철역에서 많이 기다렸죠?
hey about earlier... you were waiting a lot at the train station, right?

이 집 떡볶이 진짜 맵네
the 떡볶이 is really spicy here

저 결혼 안 했는데요
I'm not married...

띠 동갑 이네요
we have the same zodiac sign

동안이 시네요
you look young (you have a baby face)

그런 소리 많이 들어요
I hear that a lot

지금 뭐 하시는 거예요?
what are you doing (polite)

얘 이름이 고양이에요?
that dog's name is "cat"?

네, 내가 지어줬어요
yes. I made it up myself. (I invented it)

it's dark (so I can't take a photo)

it's the last train (of the night)

그냥 말 놔
just talk (don't use polite language)

이리 와서 앉아 봐
come over here and sit next to me

나한테 이렇게 얘기해 봐
say this to me:

아이씨 권하경이 왜 이렇게 많아 씨발
holy crap why are there so many HaKyoung Kwons? f***...

욕하는 거 싫어 하지
(oh that's right) you don't like swear words

착 한 척 좀 그만 해
okay you can stop being such a nice guy...

이거 저 주는 거예요?
is this something you're giving to me?

무슨 문제 생기면 바로 연락해요
if you think of anything, just ask me (and I'll help you)

난 이제 어름이야
I'm an adult from now * opposite = 어린

어제 비를 맞아서..
yesterday I got rained on...

원한 거라도 한잔?
would you like something cool (to drink)?

내가 얼른 준비할게요
I'll prepare something quickly.

이거 예쁜 것 같은데, 그치?
this is pretty, right?

왜 짜증인데? 생리해?
why are you so annoyed? are you on your period or something?

이 것들이 진짜 죽으려고
these two are really dead now...

내가 못 도와 줄 것 같아
seems like I'm not able to help you...

혼자 먹어도 맛있게 먹어요
even if you are eating alone, eat well

그래요 너무 늦게까지 공부하지말고 일찍 자요
okay. since it's so late don't study anymore and go to bed early

공 좀 주세요
give me the ball

내가 맛있는 거 사줄게
I'll buy you something delicious

데려다 줄게
I'll go with you (i'll accompany you; I'll walk you to your house)

너 진짜 멍청 하다
you're really such an idiot

무슨 생각해?
what're you thinking about?

자존심 상해
you hurt my pride

돌아가셨어요 어릴적에
my parents died when I was young

did you get into a fight?

원조 아니지?
you're not some perverted old man who sleeps with young girls, right?

he finished his military service (discharged)

So I want to study more. Like the rest of the world, my funds are a little low to do so. Enter: Scholarships. I've been researching possible scholarships and whether or not I'd even qualify for them. Ideally, I'd love 2010-2011 to be a great year for studying.

So, here's what I've found:

Study In Korea - Korean government's poorly edited English website to help those looking for language schools.  The only real helpful tool is the search engine that lists all schools throughout he country who have Korean language classes. Helpful for those living outside of Seoul, for sure. Look for "Language Center Search"

Critical Language Scholarship Program - this summer intensive program is open for Americans who have desire to go abroad and study a language deemed in critical need. No need to point out that Korean is one of those languages. The only part that makes me ineligible is the fact that I'm not enrolled in an American college right now. One must be a student to qualify.

The Korea Society - this one seems to be the most promising. read the flyer and drool. I already did. I shot them an email asking for 2010-2011 info. I'll update if I hear back. UPDATE: due to lack of funding, there will be no recipients this year. lame.

That's all I can seem to find in the meantime. I hope I can qualify to study on a more full time basis. Who are these lucky souls who receive such good fortune and what do I need to do to be one of them?

Christmas message

So it's Christmas time at my school and I thought I would send the entire staff a holiday message via a sort of inter-office messaging system. I felt bad that I wasn't attending the outing, so I wanted to send some warm holiday greetings. I wrote the message in about five minutes. I'm sure there are mistakes in my message, but it seems the point was well received.

So, I am reposting it, mistakes included. As a bonus, I'm posting some responses I received. I've edited out the names but kept the teaching position if applicable. For example, "5-6" Is the Fifth grade teacher who teaches class number six.  "???" represents an office worker or other position. Since I don't want to post his or her real name, I'll just include question marks. My favorite response? 4-3. hands down.

original message

여러분 안녕하세요! 매튜 스미스 라고하는데 원어민 영어 선생님임니다.
이제 곧 2009년도 끝이구나요! 제가 한국에 4개월 동안 있어서 행복합니다. 사실은 바빠서 외롭지않아요. 여러분, 보살펴 주셔서 감사합니다!
저는 미국 사람이지만 한국말을 공부하고있습니다. 그래서 저보면 긴장하지마십시오. 제가 한국말 잘 못해서 간단한 얘기하면 좋겠습니다 ^^
아무튼 항상 건강하고 행복하게 지내세요! 즐거울 성탄절 되세요! Merry Christmas everyone!
responses are as followed

ㅎㅎ 멋진 매튜샘*^^*
즐겁게 한해 마무리 하시구요~
새학기 새마음으로 더 좋은 학교생활 되세요~*^^*
선생님 안녕하세요~
그 동안 선생님 보면 긴장되고 쑥스러워서 인사 제대로 못드렸어요.
다음에 만나면 꼭 인사드릴께요.
즐거운 겨울 방학 보내세요~ *^^*
메튜~교과실에서 함께 지내면서 즐거웠어요!
개인적으로 올해 바빠서 얘기나눌 시간도 많지 않아
내년에 전 교과는 아니지만 복도서라도 마주치면 반갑게
인사해요 ^^
^^* 즐거운 방학 보내길
늘 밝고 맑은 매튜 선생님....
우리 강월학교에 선생님처럼 좋은 선생님이 계셔서 얼마나 좋은지 몰라요.. ^^
선생님도 2009년 마무리 잘 하시구요...
2010에도 보다 좋은 일만 가득하시길 바래요....^^
I am 4-3 teacher(preety women^^).
I have been pleasured for your English time.
thank you
맞춤법이 하나도 안 틀리네요. 대단해요.
매튜도 건강하고 즐거운 성탄,새해 맞이하세요.
오늘 친목회 행사에 안가시나?
크리스마스 잘 보내고,
다가오는 경인년 새해도 잘 보내시길!
낯선 타향이겠지만,
따뜻한 연말연시 맞이하길 바래요~

매튜를 만나면 늘 반갑고 좋았어요.
외국인이기보다는 이웃집 동생을 만난 것 같았어요.
학생들과 친하게 진지내는 모습이 매우 보기 좋았어요.
우리말을 잘 하고 열심히 학생을 가르치는 매튜를 칭찬합니다.
방학도 잘 보내시고 행복하게 지내요.
Merry Christmas and Happy new year!
장가 가야지?
지난번 지향산에서도
영어를 못해 잠시 긴장되었지만
매튜덕분에 너무 즐거웠어요~
매튜도 새해에 건강한 웃음과
기쁨이 함께 하시길 바랍니다!!
Merry Christmas & Happy new year^^
한국어를 잘 하시는 핸섬한 선생님! 도대체 몇 개 국어를 ...그래서 긴장이 되곤했습니다.
한국에서 지내는 생활이 어려움도 있을텐데 항상 밝게 생활하시는 모습이 좋아보입니다.
건강하고 행복한 새해되시길 바랍니다.
Do you remember me? 흠 ~~샌드위치!^^
반가운 메세지군요
한국에서 많은 추억과 보람있는 일로 가득했으면 합니다
새해 복 많이 받으시고 행복하세요
멋진 메튜선생님..
이렇게 우리말로 보내니 참 좋아요.
항상 맘이 따뜻한 느낌이 전달되곤했었는데 아무말도 할 수가 없어서 많이 죄송하기도 하고 영어에 대한 자심감때문에 내 자신이 초라했었어요...좋은 글 감사합니다..
항상 행복한 일만 있으시길..
Merry Christmas Happy New Year!

Thank you for sparing your precious time for kangwol elementary school.(맞는 표현인지 모르겠군요)
Merry Christmas and Happy new year!!

여러분 오랜만이에요.

제가 마지막으로 영상을 올린 후로 많은 것이 바뀌었어요.

먼저, 저는 그 동안 잘 지냈어요. 지금은 서울에서 살고 있고 요즘 한국말을 많이 하고 있어요. 그래도 아직 그렇게 잘 하지는 못해요. 사실은 한국에 도착하고 한국어 공부를 빨리 시작 했어요. 하지만 제가 고등학생이었을 때나 아니면 좀 더 어렸을 때 한국어 공부를 시작했어야 했는 데 말이예요.

왜냐하면 여자친구의 부모님과 이야기 하면서 유창하지 않아서 좀 부끄럽거든요. 하지만 저는 이대에서 공부를 많이 하고 있기 때문에 괜찮아요. 그 과정이 저에게 많은 도움이 되었어요. 앞으로 더 많이 배우고 싶어요.

그리고 요즘 한국 역사에 관한 책을 많이 읽고 있어요. 언젠가 한국 역사를 가르칠 수 있으면 좋겠어요. 얼마나 멋진 일일까요?

한국에 사는 것은 언제나 즐거울 거예요. 여기 있어서 행복해요. 다음에 또 봐요. 바이바이!

originally posted elsewhere

My thoughts on the Korean Language program at Ewha Women's University.

Someone emailed me yesterday and asked me my thoughts on Ewha. What a great time to write about it seeing as how class just started again.

I've written about Ewha before and I would recommend reading those posts first. Also, I recently participated in a podcast recording over at LanguageCast that deals with my experiences at Ewha. I highly recommend listening to this mp3 if you're wondering what it's like to be a guy at a women's universityUPDATE: link up and running ^^

But like other people on the internet looking for a good 오학당, I was disappointed to only find info on Yonsei (연세) and Sogang (서강). Surely there must be others? Like you, I was disappointed about the lack of info on Ewha. I could only find reviews of Sogang and Yonsei.

While I can't speak directly about those university programs but I have friends who went to both programs and said "it was good, but..." as in good for speaking but not for writing and vice versa. When prompted to speak about Ewha, I have only good things to say.

In my opinion, Ewha is well-balanced. The program focuses on all four parts of language: speaking, listening, reading, writing. The textbooks is in all Korean with a lot of supplemental material in class. This means that 100% self-study is not possible through the textbook itself - you must attend class to get the point. The facilities are clean and accommodating. The textbooks are cheap (under 50 USD for textbook, workbook, and study guide) and are clearly laid out. The homework is mostly relevant. The daily work is very helpful. The in-class speaking activities are especially helpful. I have no real complaints about the program. It's very comprehensive and is of the highest quality in my opinion. Studying diligently on your own and taking the classes seriously has a strong possibility to produce some seriously fluent speakers.

Of course the classes are available to both men and women as the language center is separate from the actual university. The teachers are well-trained and clearly take their job seriously. Don't expect just some native speaker - these are qualified instructors who value your interest in learning Korean.

Since the classes are small, having no more than ten students at a time in my experience, the teachers are able to address each student individually. This small class atmosphere also helps to build good relationships with your fellow students, whom I ended up hanging out with plenty after class. Learning to only use Korean with fellow students (who may or may not speak English) was a great way to keep me on my toes.

Now for the good part - have I learned anything? As of this writing, I have been studying Korean for two and a half years (coming from no prior knowledge of Korean) and I'm able to speak conversational Korean. My accent isn't the best, my grammar isn't always perfect, and my vocabulary is limited. However, it's a process and I've seen huge levels of progress since last year.

So am I perfect? No way. But I have noticed crazy amounts of improvement from the classes. I highly recommend anyone in Seoul to take classes at this language school versus a 학원 or some other language school.

If anyone reading this blog has taken classes at Ewha also, please post your thoughts, too ^^

Which brings me to the present.

I'm in level three (3) now. How did I go from level one to level three without going through level two? Not sure but I like my class. I'm understanding at least 70% of all that my teacher is talking about at all times which is amazing for me. I like my classmates and it looks like this semester will be a productive one. Now, if I can just pay my tuition on time...

UPDATE: Night classes are tough but very productive. I highly recommend taking a class or two. Worth every penny.

I don't remember where I found this. I ran across it about a year ago and I'm looking for the original poster. Either way, it's a great little grammar point. UPDATE: found it. of course it was by none other than the superman that we all know as 선현우

I should have gone. 갔어야 했어요.
I should have gone a little earlier. 좀 더 일찍 갔어야 했어요.
I should have gone by myself. 혼자 갔어야 했어요.
I should have done it. 그걸 했어야 했어요.
I should have double-checked it. 두 번 확인했어야 했어요.
I should have helped him. 그 사람을 도와줬어야 했어요.
I should have studied more. 공부를 더 했어야 했어요.
I should have studied harder. 공부를 더 열심히 했어야 했어요.
I should have bought that book. 그 책을 샀어야 했어요.
The reason why I bring it up today is that I was thinking to myself that i should have started studying Korean sooner. 한국어 공부를 일찍 시작했어야 했어. I wonder if this is right?

Watch the horror here. (Alt link)

It's been a year since I redid this speech. Goodness it seems like years ago.

I seriously need to work on my speaking skills. Granted it's been a year since this post, but I was (unrealistically) hoping to be crazy fluent. Perhaps I am and I just don't know it. I'm the worst judge of my own ability because I honestly feel like I can't speak Korean to save my life. It all depends on your perspective. Sometimes I hear "wow your Korean is amazing! You;re so fluent" and other times I hear "You have such a long way to go".

Allow me to put my own perspective. If one's goal is to order drinks at a bar, say cute things to kids and say a few Korean sentences to someone who is speaking English to you in an effort to make them feel more comfortable, then that's fine. I have no problem with that. But that's not at all what I want. I want as close to native speaking as possible. I want to be able to realistically convey all major ideas and opinions I have as well as debate historical interpretations and the like. I want to speak to my parents-in-law without ever skipping a beat. I want to speak to my future wife in 90% Korean and 10% English. These things may never happen. But that doesn't stop me from studying. Part of studying is charting your progress and looking to the past in order to look to the future. I can honestly say I've improved tremedously since this recording which was in fact a re-enactment of the speech that took place a year and a half ago. Confusing timeline aside, I am confident that if I continue to study I'll get there someday. Or close to it. I have a long way to go.

As it stands, I need to record more youtube. The lady-friend is out of the country at the moment which provides me for a distraction-free weekend that might actually produce a video. Fingers crossed.

The video makes this song five times more cute. Watch it now.

Ah~ Ah~Ah~ carrot song!
나 보고싶니? 당근
do you miss me? (carrot!)* but it sounds like 'of course!' - kind of like a play on words
나 생각나니? 당근
do you remember me? of course!
알러뷰 유럽미 당근당근당근
I love you, you love me.. of course!

나 좋아하니? 당근
Do you like me? of course!
나 사랑하니? 당근
do you love me? of course!
알러뷰유럽미 당근당근당근
I love you... you love me.. of course!

너 변하지마 당근
Don't ever change.. of course!
언제까지나 당근
Never ever.. of course!
좋아해 좋아해 당근당근당근
I like you.. I like you.. of course!

늘 행복해요 당근
I am always happy! of course!
늘 즐거워요 당근
I am always joyful! of course!
사랑해 사랑해 당근~쏭
I love  you.. carrot song!

때로는 짜증나고 때로는 힘들어도
When you are tired or annoyed,
너에곁에 언제나 웃고 있는 날 생각해
think about me who is beside you always happy and smiling.
때로는 슬퍼지고 때로는 외로워도
When you are sad or lonely,
너의곁에 언제나 함께하는 나를 생각해
just think about me who is beside you always happy and smiling.

This one is super cute and demands its own wikipedia page. Find the mp3 somewhere and smile.

산토끼 토끼야
Mountain bunny
어디를 가느냐
Where are you going?
깡충깡충 뛰면서
hopping (hoppity) as you run
어디를 가느냐
where are you off to?

산고개 고개를
mountain peaks
나 혼자 넘어서
I climb them by myself
토실토실 알밤을
Plump (juicy) chestnuts
주워서 올테야
I'll find and bring them

Yeah okay. Children's books to children's songs. Not the most creative step but hey I'm trying, right?

곰 세마리가
Three Bears

곰 세마리가 한 집에 있어
Three bears are in a house
아빠 곰 엄마 곰 애기 곰
Daddy bear, Momma bear and baby bear
아빠 곰은 뚱뚱해
Daddy Bear is fat
엄마 곰은 날씬해
Momma bear is skinny
애기 곰은 너무 귀여워
Baby bear is so cute
으쓱 으쓱 잘한다
Oh boy! They all do well!

That last line has always got me as just something that doesn't translate over well. oh well.
Also, can't seem to find a mp3 of the song. Simply google three bear song or 곰 세마리가 and you'll see the Full House episode that has the lovely 송혜교 dancing and singing.