Sunday, February 06, 2005

What does 좀처럼 mean?

좀처럼 is an adverb that can mean "rarely; seldom; least likely" or " (not) easily; (not) readily." Here is my dictionary's definition:

[여간해서는] seldom; rarely; hardly; scarcely; [쉽사리] (not) easily; (not) readily.

¶ 좀처럼 성내지 않다 be slow to take offense. 문이 좀처럼 안 열린다 The door will not open. 그는 좀처럼 그곳에 가지 않는다 He hardly[scarcely] ever goes there. 그는 일요일에 좀처럼 집에 없다 He is seldom at home on sunday. 그것은 좀처럼 얻기 어려운 기회다 It is a rare chance./(일생 단 한번의) It is the chance of a lifetime. 그런 사람은 좀처럼 없다 He is one in a thousand. 그는 좀처럼 승낙하지 않을 걸세 I don't think he will give a ready consent. 나는 좀처럼 남에게 속지 않는다 I am not easily fooled.

You may notice from the above example sentences that the adverb, 좀처럼, is used with negative sentences, not positive. For more examples, here is a link to the Naver dictionary.

I am writing about 좀처럼 because I do not use it in conversation, but think I should, even though it seems a little awkward to say. I am not sure why it seems awkward, but maybe it is because it has three syllables instead of two? Afterall, the English equivalents "rarely" and "seldom" have only two syllables. Or maybe it seems awkward because it sounds similar to 처음처럼, which means, "like the beginning"? At any rate, from now on, I will try to use 좀처럼 more often in conversation.

By the way, I wonder if 좀처럼 could have possibly come from 조금처럼, which would mean, "like a little"? Is such an expression even possible?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

What does 더불어 mean?

더불어 has three meanings, but it usually means "together" (함께). Here is my dictionary's definition:
1 [함께] together; […과 함께] with; together[along] with; in company with; […에 따라서] as; with. ¶ 나이와 더불어 with(the) years/with one's years/as one grows older. 더불어 살다 live together/live under the same roof. 그와 더불어 고락을 같이하다 share joy and sorrow with him. 더불어 운명을 같이하다 share one's fate/cast in one's lot . 시대와 더불어 나아가다 keep pace with[abreast of] the times.

2 [한가지로] alike; equally. ¶ 남녀[노소]가 더불어 men and women[young and old] alike.

3 [상대로 하여] with; against. ¶ 적과 더불어 싸우다 fight with[against] the enemy. 그와 더불어 다툴 필요가 없다 need not quarrel with him.
Notice that 함께 can substitute for 더불어 in all the examples in the first definition, so why do Koreans use 더불어, given that 함께 sounds so much better? Personally, I think they use it to confuse foreigners who are studying Korean. However, maybe foreigners are not the only ones confused since I have seen some Koreans use 더불어 and 함께 together, as in "더불어 함께," which is redundant.

As with 함께, 더불어 is usually preceded by 와 or 과; however, you may notice that it is used without 와 and 과 when it is used to mean "alike," as shown in the second definition.

I cannot rememeber ever hearing 더불어 used in conversation, though I see it all the time in written Korean. I suspect that Koreans like to use 함께 in conversation, and 더불어 in written Korean, possibly in an attempt to sound more intelligent?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

What is this guy talking about?

Sometimes, even Koreans cannot understand what Koreans are saying. The following is a transcript of some "city construction designer" talking about a new book on the KBS program, "TV 책을 말하다."The guy is Korean, really.
제가 사실은 이제 이 책에서 저도 상당히 현실을 강조를 하는데 사실은 이 책이 제가 보고 있으면 참 재미있어요. 일본에 사실 92년도에 사실은 뭐 이 책은 시오노 선생님이 일본 사람들에게 얘기하고 싶은 내용을 담았을 겁니다. 그런데 지난 10년을 보면은 일본 같은 경우 잃어버린 10년이거든요. 그런데 여전히 이 책이 나왔어도 여전히 일본은 지리멸렬하고 우리도 여전히 뭐 우리는 그렇게 표현은 안 하겠습니다만. 하여튼 이제 뭐 그렇게 뭐 하여튼간에 저 뭐 근데 그런 이런 얘기가 근데 전 뭐냐면 이 책을 갖다가 지금 진중권 선생님이 얘기하엿듯이 이것이 영웅주의라든가 신화를 꼭 만들려는 것은 아니고 사실은 책을 내용을 보면은 사실은 상당히 저는 현실이 들어가 있다고 생각을 합니다.