Archive for April 2010

This blog has virtually nothing to do with my current job, but occasionally something comes up which might interest Korean learners. Like my other teaching English using Korean post I want to introduce something that might benefit Korean language learners. It's a small powerpoint called Konglish of the Week that I use to teach (rather, unteach) bad Konglish in my 5th and 6th grade classes. The kids really like the culture differences and explanations. Afterwards, they are quick to correct their classmates when they use a bad Konglish word outside of class.

If you really want to check just how much Korean vocabulary you really know, why not compare with what 5th and 6th grade Korean students are learning in English? I compiled the English words used for Seoul public school kids, and with the help of my coteachers, translated them all into Korean. They take a spelling quiz twice a week. So, want to find out if you're smarter than a fifth grader? Are you sure you know all of these words forwards and backwards? You might be surprised.

 Fifth Grade 한국어, 영어 Vocab
 Sixth Grade 한국어, 영어 Vocab

Lastly, a summary of my teachers' English class might give you some insight into the complexities of Korean-English as well as give you something to think about when learning a second language.

"Do you know about something" or "do you know how to do something" has already been covered with ㄴ/는지 알아? but this one is slightly different. What makes it different is instead of asking if someone knows about or what something is, this is more focused on how to do something. Think of abilities (능력) and ways of doing things (방법).


젓가락을 사용할 줄 알지요?
You know how to use chopsticks, right?

영어 할 줄 아세요?
Do you know how to speak English?*

아이폰을 쓸 줄 몰라요
I don't know how to use an iPhone.

그는 불안해서 어쩔 줄 몰라 했어요.
He was so embarrassed that he didn't know what to do.

너무 좋아서 어쩔 줄 모르겠어요
I'm so happy I don't what to do.

A: 일본어 할 줄 몰라? 거기서 오래 살았잖아.
You don't know how to speak Japanese? You lived over there for a long time, you know...
B: 그래. 일본어 못 해. 한국어는 할 줄 알아?
Yeah, I can't speak Japanese. So what? Can you speak Korean?

*compare this with 영어를 할 수 있으세요? Can you speak English? Both ask the listener if they feel comfortable speaking English as a foreign language but each has its own feeling. 할 수 있다 might be a little more formal sounding but both virtually mean the same thing despite the English translation's hair-splitting difference.

I received this friendly little reminder from the wedding planner (실장님) with some helpful tips to remember before taking the photos. For those that don't know, taking wedding photos for a Korean wedding is a monster of a chore that resembles a real life fashion shoot complete with backdrops, wardrobe change and enough cheesy couple themes to make you throw up. Nonetheless, I am participating in good faith because it's a once in a lifetime chance to pay a lot of money to look like an idiot with your spouse.

Below is the original Korean with my own non-literal English translation. Enjoy.

- 리허설 하루전 check point -

신랑, 신부님 한복 (특히 한복 속바지) 꼭 준비하세요
Groom and bride-to-be, make sure to prepare your own Hanbok; especially the undergarments.

신랑님 검정구두, 검정색 양말, 흰 양말 잊지마세요
Groom-to-be, don't forget to bring a pair of black shoes, one pair black and one pair of white socks.

신랑님 머리는 미리 (2~3일전) 자르고 오세요
Groom-to-be, get a haircut two or three days before the photoshoot.

신부님 샴푸만 하시고 린스는 하지 마세요
Bride-to-be, use shampoo but not conditioner on your hair the night before.

얼굴엔 스킨 로션만 바르고 오세요
Just use facial lotion but don't put on any makeup before coming.

귀중품 (악세사리)는 두고 오세요
Don't bring your own valuables or earrings to wear in the photoshoot.

헬퍼비 잊지 마세요
Don't forget the helper fee. (which happens to be around 100 USD)

숙면 하는 것 잊지마세요
Don't forget to get a good night's sleep

거울보고 표정 연습 하세요
Practice your facial expressions in the mirror

신부님 제모 잊지마세요
Bride-to-be, don't forget to shave your underarm arm.

발관리 청결 요합니다
Get your feet done.

신랑, 신부님의 앞날에 항상 행복만 가득하시길 빌어요
Groom and bride-to-be, I hope that your future by filled with happiness

new words:

- 잊지마다 don't forget as in "내 말 잊지마라!" (Mark my words) or "잊저버렸어요" (I forgot)

- 숙면 (熟眠) a deep sleep or a sound sleep

- 제모 shaving a women's underarms. 면도하다 is just for a man shaving his face unlike the English word "shave" which could be used anywhere by anyone.

- 발관리 a pedicure

- 청결 to be clean

- 요하다 to demand or require that something be done

- 앞날에 ahead, the future, or while lies ahead

가득하다 to be crammed or filled

- 빌다 to wish or pray

To ask if someone knows about something or how to do something in general, use ~(으)ㄴ/는지 알아요? or ~(으)ㄴ/는지 몰라요? I would advise you to use this with care because to directly state or ask if someone older than you knows (or doesn't know) about something might come off looking like an asshat so just be careful.


언제부터 방학이는지 알죠?
I'm sure you know when is your your school vacation.

한국에서는 대통령이 누구인지 알아요?
Do you know who the President is in Korea?

김치 만드는지 몰라죠?
You don't know how to make kimchi, right?

미국에서는 가장 유명한 배우 누구인지 아세요?
Do you know who is the most famous actor in America?

A: 공립 도서관에서 고서를 어떻게 빌리는지 알아요?
Do you know how to borrow old books from the library?
B: 잘 몰라요. 아마 외국인등록증 주면 빌릴 수가 있을거예요
Not really. Maybe if I give them my Foreign Registration Card...

A: 소현이랑 사귀는 남자가 누구인지 알니?
Do you know who Sohyeon is dating now?
B: 사귄다고? 택규랑 사귀었어? 역시...
What? She's dating? With Tekkyu? I knew it...

A: 로버트 씨가 언제 한국에 왔는지 아세요?
Do you know how long Robert has been in Korea?
B: 네, 알아요. 80년때에 왔어요.
Yeah I know. He came here in the eighties.

In my search of helpful hanja, I found a neat little way to express approximation in time, especially in regards to months:

初 = 초 = near the beginning of the month
中 = 중순 = near the middle of the month
末 = 말 = near the end of the month

초 = 初等學校 = 초등학교 = "beginning rank school faith" = Elementary school
중 = 中學校 = 중학교 = "middle school faith" = Junior high school
고 = 高等學校 = 고등학교 = "high rank school faith" = High school
*("high school" uses a different hanja)


10월말이나 11월초에 이사할 겁니다.
I'm going to move sometime either in the last part of October or the early part of November

2월초에 취직하기 좀 어려울것같아요.
Finding a job in the beginning of February seems kind of difficult...

5중순은 졸업식 시즌이야.
The middle of May is graduation season.

한국에서는 5월중순이 공휴일이 인가요?
In Korea, isn't there a public holiday in the middle of May?

아니요. 5월초에 어린이날있는데...
No. In the beginning of May is Children's Day...

올해 1월중순 엄청 추웠죠?
Wasn't the middle of January this year cold?

7월말에 보너스를 받을 거에요.
In July, I'm going to get a bonus check.

8월중순이나 말에 미국에 이사 할 겁니다.
I'm going to move to America either int he middle of the end of August.

11월 말에 떠나자
Let's leave in late November

fresh off the heels of just getting comfortable with ~는 대로 I come to find out that it it isn't all that common. In fact, there's a whole nother grammar point that does the exact same thing, ~자마자. So, what's the difference?

~는 대로 is used mostly for things in the future (미래)
~자마자 can be used for all three tenses (과거, 현재, 미래)
So, although 미사를 끝나는 대로 어머님께 전화했어요 (Right after Mass ended, I called mom) is grammatically correct and will be understood, it might be more natural to say 미사를 끝나자마자 어머님께 전화했어요 since it was in the past.

Saying 수업을 끝나자마 밥 먹으러 가자! (right after class is over, let's go get some food) is also fine, but sticking with 수업을 끝는 대로 밥 먹으러 가자 might be better. Keep in mind that they indeed mean the same thing but like my teacher pointed out, 는 대로 might not be as common. How she drew it is on the bottom of this post.


화장실을 사용하자마 손을 씻어요
Right after I use the bathroom, I wash my hands.

집에 도착 하자마자 배달 음식을 주문해요
Right after I come home, I order delivery.

새 책을 사자마자 책 안에 내 이름과 구입한 날짜를 써요
Right after I buy a new book, I write my name and purchase date inside.

월급을 받자마자 거의 모든 돈을 와이프에게 줘요.
Right after I get paid, I give almost all my money to my wife.

버스를 타자마자 멀미가 나요
Right after I ride a bus, I get motion sickness.

밥을 다 먹자마자 달콤한 것이 먹고 싶어요.
Right after I finish a meal, I want to eat something sweet.

나쁜말을 하자마자 죄책감이 들어요.
Right after I say bad words, I feel guilty.

To ask permission, use this lovely little guy <동사> + 도 되다 If unsure when to use 되 or 돼 check what I wrote and it might help ^^


창문을 열어도 돼요?
Can I open the window?

책 읽어도 돼?
Can I read a book now?

이 빵을 먹어도 되지?
I can eat this bread, right?

선생님, 집으로 가도 돼요?
Teacher, can I go home now?

A similar expression is ~면 안 되다 which is refusing permission. When used in a declarative sentence, it stands for refusal such as:

여기 담배를 피우면 안 돼요 (There's no smoking here)

However, it is also a way of expressing a desire to do something. This has kind of a linguistic baggage to it. You are wanting to do something but are checking to see if it's okay before you proceed. You are expecting the answer to be "sure! go ahead" but you're just checking. You also may just be asking out of politeness. It can go both ways so use your politeness in your tone.


지금 자면 안 돼요?
(you mean to tell me that) I can't sleep now? [Can't I just go to sleep?]

먹으면 안 돼요?
I can't eat this? [what do you mean I can't eat this?]

여기 차를 세우면 안 돼요?
I can't park my car here? [so where else might I park it if not here?]

같이 가면 안 돼요?
We can't just go together?

When you guess something and you're really sure about it, you use ~테니까. It conveys a slightly different feeling than 인니까 as they both explain the reason behind something but 테니까 is more like 75-80% sure while 인니까 is closer to 100% sure.

Comparison example:

비가 올테니까 우산을 가지고 가요
Since it's probably going to rain, take an umbrella with you.

비가 온니까 우산을 가져가요
Since it will definitely rain, take an umbrella with you.

Normal examples:

주말에는 명동이 붐빌테니까 다음 주 화요일에 쇼핑 할래요?
Since Myeongdong is probably be crowded on the weekend, do you want to go shopping next Tuesday?

걸어서 가면 시간이 많이 걸릴테니까 지하철을 타고 갈까요?
Since it's probably going to take a long time on foot, should we take the subway?

퇴근하는 대로 우리 외이프가 오면 피곤할 테니까 제가 집에서 저녁 식사를 차릴게요.
Because right after she gets off work my wife will probably be tired, I'll cook dinner home for her.

오늘 추울테니까 두꺼운 옷을 입으세요.
Since it'll likely be cold today, please wear thick clothes.

내일 도울테니까 반바지를 좀 사주세요.
Since tomorrow will probably be hot, can you buy me some shorts?

일본에 한동안 살아서 일본어 수업 들으면 쉬울테니까 걱정하지마요
Since you lived in Japan for a long time, if you take a Japanese class it'll probably be easy so don't worry.

자막이 없는 한국 영화를 보면 어려울테니까 미국 영화 볼래요?
Since watching a Korean movie without subtitles will probably be difficult, do you want to watch an American movie?

On a side note, there's a Kpop song that has this grammar point in the hook (or was it the bridge?) but I can't find it. The song sounded like 다라 from 2NE1 but I don't think it was one of her singles. Anyways, if you know it, leave a comment.
UPDATE: found it. It was 2NE1 not just Dara and it was "In da club". The bridge has the following lyrics:

니가 다짐했던 약속 다 가져가줄래
사소한 습관까지 작은 기억까지
모두 태울테니까
내 안에 살아있는 널 잠재울꺼야
니가 여태알던 내 모습은 이제 없는거야

Stay with me because this one is a bit tricky.

As you know, ~어/아서 is a connection to show order with reason.
"Because A happened, B happens" as in:
늦어서 미안해.
Because I'm late, I'm sorry.

But, so does ~으니까/인니까 show cause and effect order with reason.
"Because A happened, B happened" as in:
어제 피자를 먹었으니까 오늘 냉면을 먹자.
Because yesterday I ate pizza, today let's eat noodles.

So, why not flip them? Why can't I say these:

(x) 늦으니까 미안해.
(x) 어제 피자를 먹어서 오늘 냉면을 먹자.

Here's why. If you're asking for a:
favor or a request (blah blah해 주세요),
an order (blah blah 해라/blah blah으세요)
or a suggestion (blah blah을래?/blah blah을까?)

then you use ~으니까. Examples:

추우니까 따뜻한 옷을 입어봐.
Because it's cold, wear warm clothes.

자기야, 비가 오니까 우산을 가져 가요.
Honey, since it's raining take an umbrella with you.

감기 걸렸으니까 푹 쉬세요.
Since you caught a cold, rest well

몸이 안 좋으니까 일찍 가세요
Since you're not feeling well go (home) early.

여러분 금요일이니까 외식 하자!
Everyone, Since it's Friday, let's go out to eat!

시간이 없으니까 우리 택시 타는게 어때?
Since we're running late, should we take a taxi?

제가 외국인이니까 이해 주십시오.
Since I'm a foreigner, please try to understand me

So when does one use ~어/아서? Most commonly when it's an apology. Also, past tense is never reflected in the first verb. One would never say "늦었어서". Instead, "늦어서".

~어/아서 examples:

너무 늦어서 죄송합니다
(lit) Because I'm too late, I'm terribly sorry.
Sorry I'm so late.

연락을 못 드려서 미안해요
(lit) Because I didn't hear your call, I'm sorry.
Sorry I didn't hear your call

늦게 일어나서 밥을 못 먹었어요.
(lit) Because I lately woke up, I could not eat food.
I didn't eat breakfast because I woke up late.

시간이 없어서 숙제 못 했어요.
(lit) Because time did not exist, I could not do my homework.
Because I didn't have enough time, I didn't do my homework.

작년 여름에 한 반도 운동을 못 해서 살이 쪘어요
(lit) Because last year's summer I couldn't exercise not even once, I gained flesh.
I gained some weight because I didn't work out at all last summer.

So, in review:
when suggesting/requesting/ordering someone to do something, use ~으니까
When simply stating cause and effect or offering an apology, use ~어/아서

Bonus! Here's my teacher's response to my question. Her explanation is awesome and should help those still with questions as well as serve as a review.

매튜 씨가 질문한 문법은 외국인들이 많이 실수하는 문법이지요.
"아/어서 " 와 "으니까"는 모두 이유를 말할 때 쓰는 문법입니다.
그런데 부탁/요청(아/어 주세요), 명령(으십시오/으세요), 제안(을까요? /읍시다) 문장에서는
 "으니까"만 사용할 수 있어요.
예) 1. 추우니까 문 좀 닫아 주세요.   (   O    )
         추워서 문 좀 닫아 주세요.     (   X    )
     2. 비가 오니까 우산을 가져 가세요.   (   O    )
         비가 와서 우산을 가져 가세요.      (   X    )
     3. 날씨가 좋으니까 소풍을 갈까요? / 갑시다.    (   O    )
         날씨가 좋아서 소풍을 갈까요? / 갑시다.       (   X    )
그리고 "아/어서"는 과거와 함께 사용할 수 없어요.
예) 어제 아이스크림을 많이 어서 배가 아파요.   (   X    )
     어제 아이스크림을 많이 먹어서 배가 아파요.        (   O    )  
두 문법은 이 정도의 차이가 있어요.

I'm not the only one who gets these switched up. Thankfully, it's not nearly as a unintelligible as, say flipping the word "pork" for "fork" in English (think "Use a pork at the table") but it is important to make sure to say the right word. Yes, even some Koreans get these two words mixed up but that isn't much of bragging rights; it still carries the connotation that you're an idiot that doesn't know the difference between "to lose something" and "to forget". There are some situations where the meaning is similar so just be sure to use the right verb with the right situation.

Confusing examples:

어제 집에서 핸드폰을 잊어버렸어.
I left (forgot) my phone at home yesterday.
대안: 어제 핸드폰을 안 가져왔어요.
alt: I didn't bring my phone with me today.

어제 집에서 핸드폰을 잃어버렸어.
I lost my phone at home yesterday.
대안: 어제 내 핸드폰이 없어졌어요.
alt: My phone disappeared (went missing) yesterday.

Non-confusing examples:

ATM 비밀을 엊어버렸어요...
I forgot my ATM password

아들을 잃어버렸어요!
I lost my son!

I tried to think of a mnemonic to remember which one is which but there isn't one that sticks to me. The only thing I can do to remember which one is which is by thinking how are they spelled. 잊 and 잃. 잊어 sounds like /ee joe/ which reminds me of when I was a kid and I would forget to clean up my G.I.Joes. I never lost them, though. 잃어 sounds like /ee loh/ which reminds me of a kilo, as in a kilogram, as in losing weight, as in "I lost ten kilo(s)" 이러 = kilo.

no? then just memorize it:

잊어버렸어요 I forgot
엃어버렸어요 I lost it

Hanja to the rescue! 불- (한자: 不) is a nice little guy who fills in the prefix role of -un, -dis, -ir, -non, and the like. Slip him in front of many hanja based words and you've got the opposite. Negation at it's easiest. Examples:

가능하다 to be possible
불가능하다 to be impossible
예) 회의가 불가능할 것 같아요
예) 회의를 못 할 것 같아요.
Ex) I can't make it to the meeting.

규칙 (명사) rule, 규칙적인 (형용사) regular
불규칙적인 (adjective) irregular
예) "만들다"는 불규칙 동사이지요?
Ex) Isn't "만들다" an irregular verb?

합격하다 to pass a test
불합격하다 to fail a test
예) 중간고사를 못 봤어요. 불합격할 테니까 이제 수업을그만둘거에요.
Ex) I bombed the midterm. Since I'm pretty sure I'm going to fail, I'm just going to drop (quit) the class.

편하다 to be comfortable
불편하다 to be uncomfortable
예) 이 옷은 불편해요.
Ex) These clothes are uncomfortable.

법적인 legal
불법적인 illegal
예) 영화나 노래를 인터넷에서 다운로드 하는 것은 불법이에요.
Ex) Downloading movies or music off of the internet is illegal.

The only exception to this, as far as I can tell, is that if 불 is placed in front of words that start with aㄷ or ㅈ then it changes to 부 as in:

도덕하다 moral
부도덕하다 immoral
예) 뇌물을 받는 것은 부도덕한 일이예요
Ex) It's immoral to take part in bribes.

정확하다 accurate
부정확하다 inaccurate
예) 그 퍼스터에있는 정보는 부정확해요.
Ex) The information on that poster is inaccurate.

예) 내 발음이 부정확한가요?
Ex) Is my pronunciation inaccurate?

For more negation goodness, check out the page on the Korean Wiki Project.

Another reason my teacher is awesome is that she'll answer just about any question I have regardless of how trivial or basic it may seem. Today's puzzle was as follows:

I see "~하지오" a lot. I have always been confused by ~하지오 and ~하지요. I know that ~하죠 is just a shortened form but what is the original, correct spelling? Form the horse's mouth:

"잘 지내지오?" - 이것은 spelling 맞춤법이 틀렸어요
"잘 지내지요?" - 이것이 맞아요.
"잘 지내죠?" - 이것은 "지요?"의 shortened word (줄임말)이에요. 지요 = 죠

There you have it. Just like 께 and 게 it's a simple spelling error that doesn't really ruffle up any feathers. Thus ends another tasty Korean Grammar You Should Already Know.

사랑 수칙

We were learning about jotting down a note or making rules on a board in class, so instead of demonstrating the use of "ㄹ 것" on a normal set of rules (규칙) I wanted to write some ones for the misses. Kind of like the last ones but I actually made these. Enjoy.

신뢰 해야할것
동시에 화내지 말 것
자기전에 화내지 말 것
나뿐 음식을 먹지 말 것
자주 맛있는 음식을 요리할 것
매일 적어도 문자 한 통씩 보낼 것
양가 부모님께 존경심을 것
문제 있으면 얘기할 것
비밀 만들지말 것
배우자 말할때 잘 들을 것
항상 서로 사랑할 것

전새미, 계속 사랑할거예요

A quick self-reminder: 아무거나 does not always mean "anything". Yes, it means "anything" as in:

A: 뭐 먹을까? 국수? 만두? 찌개?
(What should we eat? noodles? dumplings? stew?)

B: 아무거나
(anything [is fine for me])

but it does not mean "anything" as in:

A: 어디에서 먹을까? 김밥천국? 본죽? VIPS?
(where should we eat? Kimbap Heaven? Bon Juk? VIPS?)

B: 아무거나. 다 괜찮아
(anything is fine. It's all good) (x)

That's a mistake. The implication is "anything is good" but the question was "where?" So, the answer should reflect a location as in "본죽에서 먹고싶어" (I want to eat at Bon Juk). But, if you want to eat anything at anyplace, then use 아무데서나 which is a shortened form of 아무 어디에서나. Lastly, Person B could have also said "아무데서나 먹자" which is to imply "I'm so hungry that I could eat anywhere"

Here's some more useful "any~" words:
아무나 anyone
아무때나 anytime
언제든지 anytime
아무데나 anywhere (에)
아무데서나 anywhere (에서)
아무거나 anything

to see a few notes on the ~no prefix, look no further.

When you want to press pause in your Korean, use 다가.

A similar connector "~면서" means "at the same time" while "~다가" means "stopped A and instead did B" with or without the intention to resume A at some point in the future. Another way to play with this grammar is by making it past tense: 갔다가 or 했다가. The difference is subtle but distinguishable. It's the difference between almost doing something and then doing something else and having done something and then change to something else.

I think I just confused myself. Don't worry. It's an easy point.

Some examples:

이토씨는 회사에 가다가 서류를 준비하지 않아서 다시 집에 되돌아 간 적이 있었어요
Ito was on his way to work when he realized that he didn't prepare the documents for work, so he had to turn back and go back home.

나는 한국 영화를 보다가 어려운 단어가 있어서 사전을 찾았어요
When I was watching a Korean movie, some difficult words came up so I paused the film and looked them up in the dictionary.

어젯밤 내 동생은 노래방에서 놀다가 급한 일이 생겨서 밖에 나갔다 왔어요
Lats night, my little brother was having fun at a karaoke room when something happened and he had to go outside for a minute.

우리 누나는 방에 음악을 들고있다가 전화가 와서 전화를 받았어요.
My sister was in her room listening music when the phone rang and she answered it.

버스를 기다렸다가 집에서 학원까지 멀어서 한자 수업을 빠졌어요.
I was waiting for the bus but since it's so far from my home to the school, I just skipped class.

옷을 샀다가 사이즈 안 맞아서 백화점에서 교환 했어요.
I bought some clothes but since they didn't fit, I exchanged them at the department store.

오늘 선글라스를 썼다가 좀 안 어울려서 뺐어요.
Today I was wearing sunglasses but because they didn't look all that great on me, I took them off.

I'm not one for comparing levels in school; honestly I think it's pointless to brag or claim one's level because I know people "lower" than me who speak awesome Korean and those "higher" than me whose Korean makes me cringe. An academic score or level does not always correspond to actual ability. Having said that, someone might wonder what it's like to study at Level 4 out of 6. I can't tell much other than obviously the class is in 100% Korean with the aid of a new textbook with minimal English explanations. What I can tell you is what kind of vocabulary to expect.

The following words are new to me in my level and I thought I might share it. If you know all of these words, you're doing fine and can expect to be placed in an advanced class if not already formally studying. If not, no problem because we all have to start somewhere. No shame in that whatsoever. Language learning is a process. I can't help but smile thinking of how I couldn't even tell time in Korean two years ago but now I'm functioning in all Korean language environments. I may not be leading the conversations or anything like that but I certainly hold my own.

Anyway, this is a selected list from the first half of my class. Expect a part two sometime towards the final exam.

청반지 blue jeans
면반지 cotton pants
인상착의 appearance
압머리 bangs
정장 formal clothes
농구 선수 basketball player
정확하다 to be exact
꽃다발 flower bouquet
마중하다 to go out and meet someone
동그랗다 round
네모나다 square
장례식 funeral
천 cloth
가죽 leather
이상형 ideal type
활발하다 active personality
상관없다 irrelevant
첫인상 first impression
자연스럽다 natural
영돈 pocket money (allowance)
소리 sound
학기 semester
돌잔치 first birthday
자동판매기 vending machine
행사 event
축제 festival
거의 almost
공공장소 public places
정리하다 to put in order
애완동물 pet
키우다 to raise
이미 already (벌써)
요금 fee
소포 package
속히 quickly
서명 signature
부족하다 to be insufficient
매진되다 to be sold out
부치다 to send something via mail
들르다 to stop by someplace on your way
환전하다 to exchange money
반납하다 to return a borrowed item
신분증 ID card
지루하다 to be boring
중간 middle (as in 중간 시험 "midterm test")

To wish for something in English carries a few meanings. it could mean "What did you wish for?" "무슨 소원을 빌었어요?". However, it could sometimes also mean "hope". This example:
"I wish (hope) that you would all take your seats" is
고객 여러분, 모두 자리에 앉아 주시기 바랍니다.

Since it demonstrates a level of respect that's pretty high, it's most frequently heard as "~기 바랍니다". Also, it should have (를) attached as in 기를 바랍니다 but to omit the marker is fine. Also, since this is a announcer type of speech, you might not use it all the time, but to hear it and know its meaning is important. When I first heard it, I thought it was 바람 as in "wind". Good job. Anyways, you can here this on the subway or any other time there's a pleasant announcer telling you to do something.

More non-wind examples:

우리 형이 새로 식당을 열었어서 사업이 잘 되시기 바랍니다
My brother opened up a new restaurant, so I hope he does well

사장님의 아들 돌잔치가 있어서 아이를 건강하게 오래 사시기 바랍니다
Because the boss's kid is having his or her first birthday party, I hope he or she will live a long and healthy life

이모가 병원에 입원해서 빨리 회복되기 바랍니다
Because my aunt went to the hospital, I hope she gets better soon.

I like this grammar point and kind of wish English had something similar. <동사>는 길 is the equivalent of "On my way to I'll " Between Point A and point B there's an easy-to-access Point C that is no problem to drop by. Any example would be a spouse calling the other and asking to:
"Buy some milk on your way home" 
집에 가는 길에 우유를 사주세요. 

To complete the sentence structure of "picking up something on the way" or "dropping by somewhere" we need a new verb that is hard for me to pronounce. The verb to drop by something on one's way is 들르다, as in "집에 가는 길에 우체국에 들러서 우표를 사주세요" (Pick up some stamps at the post office on your way home).

More examples:

A: 지금 어딘데? Where are you?
B: 집에 가는 길이야. 왜? I'm on my way home. Why?

기숙사에 오는 길에 우체국에 편지를 부쳐 주시겠어요?

On your way to the dorm, could you mail my letter for me?

학교에 가는 길에 도서관에 책을 반납할래? 

Can you return my book to the library on your way to school? (lit. Do you wanna...?)

춘천에 가는 길에 강변역에 울진행 버스표 두 장 사주세요 

On your way to Chuncheon, please buy for me two bus tickets to Uljin at Gangbyeon Station.

교무실에 가는 길에 부장님에게 서류를 전해주시겠습니까? 

On your way to the teacher's workroom, could you please hand these papers to the supervisor?

Learning Korean can be incredibly frustrating especially when the seemingly most simple vocabulary escapes you. I know all of these words now obviously but I learned them incidentally through embarrassing moments with tutors, teachers and patient parents-in-law. There's nothing wrong with not knowing a new word but these are way too basic to not know. If you're learning Korean on your own, make it a point to burn these to memory.

문법 grammar
주어 subject
목적어 object
동사 verb
명사 noun
형용사 adjective
부사 adverb
자음 consonant
모음 vowel

제목 title, topic
문장 sentence

연습 practice
복습 review

억양 intonation
발음 pronunciation *
사투리 dialect
표준어 standard speech

규칙 regular, class rules
불규칙 irregular

문전 thing
장소 location
단어 word
표현 phrase, expression

첫글자 first letter
대문자 uppercase letters
소문자 lowercase letters
글씨 handwriting

* not to be confused with 바람 (wind)

KGYSAK - 게 vs 께

What in the world is the difference between 그렇게 할께요 and 그렇게 할게요? Anytime I see 할께요 and 할게요 I just get frustrated not knowing which one is which. I learned 을 게요 of course but I very often see 을 께요 which one is right? Is one different from the other?

After asking countless number of people this question and never getting a straight or consistent answer, I was starting to lose hope. Thankfully, my teacher finally clarified. There are indeed the same thing. Both imply future intent but only one is spelled correctly. ㄹ께요 is just a cute or common mispelling that sticks.....kind of like "light" and "lite" to describe a food's sugar or calorie count. We know "lite" is wrong but accept it anyway.

I have actually heard that the prior to 1988 it was officially spelt as 께 but I can't verify that. Either way, it is currently spelled as 게.

Scratch that one off the list.

Korean Advertisements - Australian Beef

Coming in off the last wave of anti-American beef protests, this ad seems a little bit much a little too late. People are still conscious of where their food comes from as evident by the small signs posted up in most restaurants claiming that their chicken comes from Korea, their pork comes from Korea and their beef comes from Australia. Curiously, Chinese rice is usually left out in the description if applicable. Moving on. This simple subway ad puts a smile on my face which is quickly erased when I realize how much my mind was in the gutter.

Download Link



아이를 생각하면
When you think of your children...

마음속까지 미소가 활짝!
you can smile from the bottom of your heart!

이 맛에 산다!
(see below)

Australian Beef - Clean & Safe

Some fun things to note:
- "마음속" is just your plain ol' ambiguous "마음" but with 속 added. "속" means in the inside or in this expression "the bottom of your heart"
- "미소" is smile and "활짝" is wide but the English expression "you can smile widely" is just weird. A smile is already wide.
- "이 맛에 산다!" was kind of hard for me to translate actually. I mean, I know it's referring to the taste, but what exactly is "산다" in this context? It seems to mean "This taste is alive!" but that's kind of strange, right? Maybe it implies "This is what life is all about!" as in the taste of life should be full of wide smiles and no worries from evil infected American beef. Maybe it's a double meaning...

Korean Advertisements - Taxi

This cute-as-a-button message can be seen in most taxis in Seoul. I think it's a pretty straightforward message. I mention it here because it is one of the few ads that at first glance I understood everything about it. A milestone for sure.

Download Link


손님 무엇이 물편하십니까?
Customer, Is there anything uncomfortable?

작은 불편이라도 연락주세요!
Even if there is a small inconvenience let us know!

(company name)
customer satisfaction center

Some fun things to note: 

- 고객 and 손님 both mean customer but the former is more polite. Like other titles, it's usually followed by "님" as in "고객님"
- the "불" in "불편하다" is a great little Hanja that negates any verb. in this case, "편하다" - to be comfortable. "불편하다" - to be uncomfortable. another common example would be "가능하다" to be possible and "불가능하다" to be impossible, a great way to tell your boss that, no, you can't prepare all that he or she asked for in less than 5 minutes before the meeting. it's a polite and indirect way of saying "nuhh-uh"

Korean Advertisements - English School (여어 학원)

Perhaps a new feature to the blog might be the inclusion of some interesting advertisements. I'm not really interested in collecting Engrish or the sort; this will be more of some culturally or linguistically curious decisions that the ad people have made. I've taken a few photos and I'll host them to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about. However, I'll blur a few identifying features just for safety's if copyright even exists in Korea.

The first one I'd like to talk about is an ad I see on the back of the chairs on almost every bus I take. It's an ad for an English 학원 and it is really something. If you've ridden a bus in Seoul within the last year or so, you've seen it. The art is just classic for this type of ad. I love the depiction of the blond guy getting some form of respectful deferment from the bashful Korean woman. Plus, some of the literal translations really make me laugh. I stare at this almost every morning. It's an effective ad, sure, but good lord is it creepy.

Download link


구구단 잉글리쉬는 이런 분들께 추천해 드립니다.
99English is recommended for these types of people.

"영어를 배울기회가 없었어요~"
"I've never had a chance to learn English~"
영어공부를 한번도 못 해보신 분
People who have never studied English before.

"수업을 빠질때도 있고 진도가 너무 빨라요"
I missed class and the pace of the class was too fast"
항상 영어고부에 실패 하셨던 분
People who always fail at English

"꾸준히 하지 못하고 중간에 포기하게되요"
"I constantly try but I always give up halfway"
학원 수업과 진도가 맞지 않는 분
People who thought previous classes and paces did not fit their style

"외국인 앞에서는 왜 꿀먹은 벙어리가 될까요?"
"Why do I choke up in front of foreigners?"
외국인 앞에선 입도 못 떼시는 분
People whose lips don't move in front of foreigners

2개월 29,000원
Two months for 29,000 Won
출시기념 선착준 1,000명
This introductory offer is only available to the first one thousand people

Some fun things to note:
- while 구구단 is the name of the 학원, it's also the name of the multiplication tables in Korean. I believe the name is derived from old math charts that went up to 9 thus making a 9 x 9 grid or a 九九段= 구(nine)구(nine)단(division, block). I assume that means that the school operates in a structured environment and goes by the rules of grammar.
- "잉글리쉬" is just a butchering of the word "English". ever wonder why some Koreans can say the word "English"? I blame it on stuff like this. If one wants to say "English" in the English language, you need to properly read and write English. Otherwise, just say it in Korean. There's nothing wrong with saying "영어" when referring to English. I have the same gripe in English, too. "Ahnnyeonghaseyo" should not be used for "안녕하세요". Simple say "Hello" if speaking English. Rant over.
- "특종" means "exclusive" or "scoop" or in this case, can be understood as "special deal"
- "분", "사람" and "인" are all ways of expressing "person". 분 is the most polite, as in "남편은 한국분이세요?" (Is your husband Korean?)
- "추천하다" is to recommend. One can see "추천" in bold letters on many menus.
- "배울기회" is two words in one. "배우다" to learn and "기회" opportunity. The implication is "the chance to learn" or "the opportunity to learn"
- "한번도" means "not even once". Careful not to mispronounce this into the word for the Korean peninsula "한반도"
- "꾸준히" is "constant" or "consistent"
- "중간" is "the middle" and "포기하다" is to "give up", "abandon" or "renounce". The implication is "to give up in the middle" or "quit when you plateau off"
- "꿀 먹은 벙어리" means to be deaf but the feeling is to "choke up" from either shyness or lack of confidence
- "출시기념" is two words in one. "출시" is "release" or "debut" and "기념" is "memorial" or "commemoration" as in "결혼기념" (wedding anniversary) or "전쟁기념관" (Korean War memorial hall)

Ask me why I mix these two up? I have no clue. They have virtually nothing to do with each other besides sharing similar pronunciation. I felt silly asking my teacher but she assured me that I wasn't the only idiot who had these two mixed up.

외해서 is "for" as in:

와이프 외해서 사는 것이예요
This is a gift for my wife

나를 외해서 한국말을 배우야지
I should learn Korean for my own benefit*

*스스로 is another similar expression:
이제는 스스로 한국말을 배워여
From here on out, I'm going to study Korean for my own sake

대해서 is "about" as in:

오늘 사 생활을 침하기 대해서 예기 하고싶어요
Today I want to talk about the invasion of privacy

한국 역사 관심을 대해서 한국에 왔어요
lit. Because I have interest about Korean history, I came to Korea

이것 대해서 말 해 주세요
Tell me about this

Picking right up after the last grammar point about order comes one that I find helpful. If you want to express a sequence of events that implies a direct progression, as in:

"Right after work, I leave immediately for night class" then one can say:
"퇴근하는 대로 수업에 가요".

If you find yourself trying to say "바로 그다음에" in a vain attempt to express something that happens (or happened) right after something, then you've found your new grammar point.

More examples:

과장의 택배를 받는 대로 저에게 연락 해 주세요
Call me when our boss's package arrives

인터넷 요금이 나오는대로 여기에 놓아 주고 보지마세요
When the Internet bill arrives, put it right here and don't look at it

아침 식사를 하는 대로 이를 닦아요
Right after I eat breakfast I brush my teeth

사람들이 모두 도착하는 대로 시작하겠어요
We'll start when everybody arrives

수업이 끝나는 대로 병원에 들릴려요
After class is finished, I'll drop by the hospital on my way home.

다 만드는 대로 먹으려고요
After it's all made, let's eat.

서울에 도착하는 대로 전화해
After you arrive in Seoul, call me

이 책을 다 읽는 대로 빌려 드릴게요
After I'm done reading this book, I'll let you borrow it.

Seems like I have a grasp on things but maybe this grammar point has more than one use to it.