Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2008 - General questions or comments about the Korean language

I have started this post to give people an opportunity to use the "Comments" section to ask questions, share information, or make general comments about the Korean language. Feel free to ask or share what you will.

29 comments:

Ed Provencher said...

Maybe you could put a link to this post in your sidebar, in a prominant place, titled "Got Questions? Ask Gerry" or something like that. Otherwise this post will get burried in your archives. Then how will people know they can ask you questions about Korean?

Gerry Bevers said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Ed. I have added a "General Questions or Comments" link in the sidebar.

Ed Provencher said...

Did you know about this: http://www.gugakfm.co.kr/sub_02_program/pop_radio_onAir.asp#

Could be added to your sidebar...

Ed Provencher said...

What does 있자나 mean when it comes at the end of a sentence? I've been told that when used independently, it means "hey" to get someone's attention. You can even say 있자나요 to make it more formal like 잠시만요. I haven't found a Korean who can explain the other use I mentioned in my question.

Ed Provencher said...

A Korean friend suggested that 있잖아 is a short form of 있지 않다 which could mean "isn't it". So when someone puts the form ~잖아 they are saying something like "isn't it" to add emphasis to the fact or idea they just gave. What do you think Gerry?

Gerry Bevers said...

Thank you, Ed. I added your "Court Music" link to the sidebar. That is a good link.

Yes, the sentence ending you asked about is -잖아 or -잖아요, which comes from -지 않다 or -지 않아요. It is used to get confirmation from the person being asked, or it is sometimes used as a filler word when you are getting read to say something or ask a question. As you mentioned, in English it could be translated to something like "Hey, ah...."

You need to know that one because you hear it all the time.

Koa said...

Hello,
I'm french. I have a question for you. What means exactly the expression "쨍하고 해뜰 날" ?
Thank you.

Gerry Bevers said...

Hi Koa,

I had never heard of that expression before you mentioned it, but I searched for it on the Internet, and it seems to have been the lyrics of a song. There also seems to be a book entitled "내 인생 쨍하고 해 뜰 날."

I think it means "The day my problems will be solved." I think Koreans use "인생 쨍하다" when they feel their life is unburdened. Anyway, I hope we can get a confirmation from a Korean visitor to this site.

Thanks for posting that question.

Koa said...

I found this expression in a sentence in my korean studying book : "복더위 보신용 닭고기는 쨍하고 해뜰 날만 기다려야하는 처지가 된다."

Laurent said...

Hello,

I have another question about grammar. Can you explain the difference between this two sentences (if there is a difference) :

1) 여행했으면 좋겠어요.

2) 여행한다면 좋겠어요.

Thank you.

Ed Provencher said...

Can you give me some advice on how to give others deference and maintain my own sense of self-respect? I'm going through some kind of mental culture shock crisis. Deep inside me, a voice says "Don't give respect or trust to people who didn't earn it" but I think Koreans give respect and trust to anyone who is older. I see that as a situation begging for abuses of power in relationships. My boundaries are being tested and I'm really unsure about how to respond.

Ed Provencher said...

This is a strange question and you may be unable to answer it, but here it comes. In ancient Korean texts, did they use punctuation marks? Was the period, comma, question mark, or exclamation point used? In Korean we can ask questions with 어디에 갔니, 갔나요, 갑니까 and each one is clearly a question so punctuation is not necessary. Also, exclamation can be expressed with 하군요, 하구나, 하네요 so the exclamation point is unecessary too. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

I think Gerry created this entry as a way to receive feedback rather than to be inundated with personal questions about grammar.

Anonymous said...

At the previous Anonymous said "I think Gerry created this entry as a way to receive feedback rather than to be inundated with personal questions about grammar."

Gerry said "I have started this post to give people an opportunity to use the "Comments" section to ask questions, share information, or make general comments about the Korean language. Feel free to ask or share what you will."

Suji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suji said...

It's quite a while ago, but I think I have to answer Koa's questions.

"쨍하고 해뜰날"
This used to be a really popular song many years ago in Korea. That was my grandfather's favorite song.

"내 인생 쨍하고 해뜰날"
Before we guess what the sentence means, we should devide the sentence first.

"내 인생 / 쨍하고 해뜰날"

내 인생,
you know it's my life

쨍하고 해뜰날,
쨍하고 is not a verb. It's more like an adverb describing the sun.
쨍하다 actually has no meaning. It just describes the sound which is very sharp.
For example, if you hear 쨍한 sound, that means it's almost like the sound is poking deep inside of your ears like a needle.
e.g.쨍 울리다.

쨍하고 해뜰날. Even though the word "쨍하다" is just a describtion of a certain sound, Koreans often use this word to describe a sunny day.

Now you should have a picture here. 쨍하고 해뜰날. The day when the sun rises 쨍하고. The sun rays, very sharp, and bright, powerful, and even very hot.



Let's combine the two parts again.
"내 인생 쨍하고 해뜰날"
"The day when the sun rises 쨍하고 in my life"

If the sun rises brightly in your life, that means you're really happy, have no problems, or you're successful.
("뜰" of "해뜰날" implies future tense. To express it in present tense, we need to say, "해뜬날" )

Later the lyrics goes like this.
쨍하고 해뜰날, 돌아온단다. which means
"I'll be back on the day when the sun rises brightly."
That means, "I'll be back when everything's perfect."





"복더위 보신용 닭고기는/ 쨍하고 해뜰 날만 기다려야하는 처지가 된다."

복더위 is from the word 복날. 복날 means the hottest day of the year. There are three 복날 in a year, and they are marked on the lunar calendar. 복더위 simply means the hot weather on 복날. We eat 닭고기(chicken) on 복날.
In this case, "쨍하고 해뜰 날" just means 복날. I'm not quite sure because I don't know the whole story, but I'm quite sure that means a very hot day.

If I paraphrase the sentence, that could be this.
"복날 보신용 닭고기는 복날만 기다려야하는 처지가 된다."
"Chicken for health on 복날 just has to wait for 복날"

That means, Chicken has to wait for 복날 to be eaten.

Huidok Choi said...

Hellow Mr. Bevers...
This is my second comment since I've heard your name from my prof. Kim dusik and I love your blog.
I think your visitors are surprisingly good at Korean culture and language so I hope that more and more foreigners can visit and read all articles from this blog.
And I also impressed by Suji's description about that complicate question. I love that answer.
But I wonder why she didn't answer about the previous question.
I guess that the question about

여행했으면 좋겠어요,

여행한다면 좋겠어요.

I think this question is tricky even for Korean natives.
Usually 했으면 can be expressed as past tense and 한다면 present tense.
But in that case there's no intension of past expression. I guess that kind of expression shows the remoteness of the feeling like as in English tense.
But nowadays these two expression used quite same way.

But if somebody say 여행했으면 좋았겠어요 or 여행했으면 좋았을 걸, it expresses 'counterfatual conditional' meaning and they regret about their regret about not did that trevel.

I wish my small knowledge about native language can help you some way, and I would like to see any other's opinion.

I wish good lucks to you and hopefully see you again and I really had a good time in this community. Good night.

Huidok Choi said...

Hellow Mr. Bevers...
This is my second comment since I've heard your name from my prof. Kim dusik and I love your blog.
I think your visitors are surprisingly good at Korean culture and language so I hope that more and more foreigners can visit and read all articles from this blog.
And I also impressed by Suji's description about that complicate question. I love that answer.
But I wonder why she didn't answer about the previous question.
I guess that the question about

여행했으면 좋겠어요,

여행한다면 좋겠어요.

is tricky even for Korean natives.
Usually 했으면 can be expressed as past tense and 한다면 present tense.
But in that case there's no intension of past expression. I guess that kind of expression shows the remoteness of the feeling like as in English tense.
But nowadays these two expression used quite same way.

But if somebody say 여행했으면 좋았겠어요 or 여행했으면 좋았을 걸, it expresses 'counterfatual conditional' meaning and shows their regret about not did that trevel.

I wish my small knowledge about native language can help you some way, and I would like to see any other's opinion.

I wish good lucks to you and hopefully see you again and I really had a good time in this community. Good night.

Gerry Bevers said...

Thank you, Huidok.

Huidok & Laurent,

When you use 았으면, 었으면, or 였으면 and 좋겠다 together, it essentially means "I hope." For example, if you said 여행했으면 좋겠어요, you are saying that you hope you get to take a trip. The sentence breaks down as follows:

여행하다 = travel; take a trip
였으면 = "if (a certain situation existed)
좋겠다 = it would be good.

The past tense 였 is used with the "if" conjuction 으면 to imagine a certain situation already existing. The future tense marker 겠 is used with 좋다 (be good) to mean "it would be good. It all combines with 여행하다 (to take a trip) to mean "If I were able to take a trip, it would be good." In other words, "I hope I get to take a trip."

You can also use 해요 or 싶다 instead of 좋겠다. If you wanted to say that someone else hopes something, then you would have to use 해요 instead of 좋겠다 since 좋겠다 is used only when the person doing the wishing is the first person (I wish). See the following examples:

김교수님이 여행했으면 좋겠어요.
I hope Professor Kim takes a trip.

김교수님이 여행했으면 해요.
Professor Kim hopes he can take a trip. or I hope Professor Kim takes a trip.

Therefore, ~았으면 해요 can be used when the wisher is either first person (I wish) or third person (He wishes), but ~았으면 좋겠다 can only be used when the wisher is the first person (I wish).

Here are two more examples:

친구가 빨리 왔으면 좋겠어요.
I hope my friend gets here quickly.

내일 비가 안 왔으면 해요.
I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.

시험을 합격했으면 싶다.
I hope I pass the test.
------------

What is the difference between 여행했으면 좋겠어요 and 여행한다면 좋겠어요?

Great question. Unfortunately, I can only guess at an answer.

First, ~한다면 is the reduced form of ~한다고 하면, which is indirect speech. Therefore, I would guess that 여행한다면 좋겠다 means that you hope someone else goes on a trip, rather than yourself.

Anyway, I do not like the 한다면 expression because it is vague. Does 여행한다면 좋겠다 mean "I hope he is on a trip" or "I hope he is going on a trip"?

Huidok Choi said...

It is exciting to see what does the korean language look like if foreigner analyse it.

This experience is almost similar to look my face by mirror first time.

Thank you for your concern and effort about our language... It will get great value when Korean language is studied seriously sometime later...^^.

Martin said...

Hello, Gerry Bevers.
I'm a brand new visitor to your blog. While I was looked up your postings, I could find many intertesting points in Korean language which native korean have not find out hitherto.

By the way, I'm wondering if you could answer a question of a nuance of english words.

"shut up, thank you." btw perfect strangers.

You may know the recent case foreign tutor in Korea hit an old man in a bus in Korea.(http://vo.to/ZZ)
The old guy said to the tutor who spoke loud in a bus.

Is
"shut up, thank you" offensive remark enough to piss anybody off to hit the counterpart?(I know the meaning of it, but I don't exactly know the degree of offensiveness.)

Gerry Bevers said...

Martin,

"Shut up" is equivalent to 입 닫쳐 and is not something you would say to a stranger unless you were ready for a fight. It is something that an angry parent might say to a crying child or an angry friend might say to a teasing friend. In other words, it is a threatening expression that is usually said in anger.

Adding "thank you" would probably only make the other person more angry since it makes "shut up" sound more intentional.

If you want a stanger to speak quieter, you should say one of the following:

- "Could you please lower your voice."

- "Could you please speak quieter."

If you want a person to say nothing at all, you could say the following:

- "Could you please be quiet."

Martin said...

Thank you, Gerry
I didn't know the 'thank you' remark in this event has "more" offensive connotation.
(At first, I thought it's a soothing or polite way to add 'thank you' like '~ please'.)

Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin said...

Btw, just a tip for you.
Shut (the mouth) up=입'닥'쳐. not 닫쳐 casue it's rerived from '닥치다'
which means '(입을)다물다'.
If you insist to use '닫다' in this case, here's the expression '입닫어' which is uncommon these days.

Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am perplexed about a construct that I heard in watching some korean drama. The formula is roughly as follows:

speaker 1: claiming a fact using a particular verb form

speaker 2: that same verb form + 긴 with a slight firm tone after it.

What exactly does speaker 2 trying to say to speaker 1?

Ed Provencher said...

@Anonymous
I think that sounds like this pattern to me: ~기는(요)

I'll explain it, but if I'm wrong, I'm sure someone else will correct me. I'm learning too. :-)

My Korean grammar book translates this generally as:

"What do you mean "..."?

"Surely you can't be serious when you say "..."?!

Describes it this way:

In this pattern, the form in ~기는(요) functions as a final ending, and is used to express humility in response to a compliment or praise from one interlocutor. More generally, it is used when one is unable to share or concur with the opinion of one interlocutor. The final (요) is used for politeness.

*I believe the pattern can be shortened to ~긴, and you don't need the second half of the sentence because the purpose of the grammar is clear, to disagree with with what was just said.

Books examples:

기억력이 좋으신데요?
좋기는요. 저도 자주 이저 버려요.

시장 물건이 싸지요?
싸기는요. 백화점 물건값과 비슷해요.

그 사람 부지건히 일하죠?
일하기는요. 옆사람과 얘기만 하고 있던데요.

Anyways, the grammar book is called "Korean Grammar for International Learners" and is a good book for reference. The information I put here came from pages 322-323.

정안지 jung ahn ji said...

Hello
i've been study korean language since 2008 , my fave singer is 비(Rain)
i use twitter website everyday i have many Korean friends who are also dedicated fans of 비(Rain)
we together share his news , pics , vids etc.
and now here's my problem
sometimes we enjoy doing pics spam in twitter with writing nice tweet about the pic
i want to learn some Colloquial Korean comments..so i can talk like a native Korean person ^^
thank you in advance ~