Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
"Let's Learn Korean"
Also, Yahoo! has set up an English-language portal page targeting foreigners in Korea:
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
For some reason, in Korean, 생전 (生前) means "during [one's] life," which seems strange since 生 means "life" and 前 means "in front of" or "before." Why doesn't is mean "before one is born"?
생전 처음 봤다
"It is the first time in my life to see that."
If I were in charge of the Korean language, I would change 생전 처음 봤다 to 생후 처음 봤다 since "생후" (生後) means "after birth" or "since birth." Doesn't it make more sense?
- 生 (생) - life; birth
- 前 (전) - in front of; before
- 後 (후) - behind; after
I think I understand most parts of the above expression, but I do not understand the function of 乎 . Here is what I understand:
세상의 사람들은 모두가 다른 사람이 자기의 같은 것을 좋아 한다.
All people in the world like people who are similar to themselves.
- 世俗之人 - the people of the world
- 皆 - all
- 善 - like
- 人之同 - people who are similar
- 乎 - to (Thanks, Taemin. See "comments" section.)
- 己 - themselves
Can someone explain to me the grammar of 人之同乎己?
Taemin has explained to me that 乎 means "to" in the above expression, so 人之同乎己 means "people who are similar to themselves." Therefore, 同乎 (동호) could be generally translated as "similar to." The opposite meaning would be 異乎 (이호), which could be translated as "different from." The following is a sentence that uses 異乎 (이호) from King Sejong's "Hunmin Jeong-eum" (訓民正音).
國之語音 異乎中國 與文字 不相流通
국지어음 이호중국 여문자 불상유통
나라의 말 소리가 중국과 달라서 문자와 더불어 서로 통하지 못하다.
The sound of our language is different from China's, so the writing, as well, cannot correspond with each other.
- 國之語音 - The sound of our language
- 異乎 - is different from
- 中國 - China's
- 與 - likewise
- 文字 - the writing
- 不 - cannot
- 相 - each other
- 流通 - correspond
Many people may be interested in learning Korean, but not really interested in learning old Chinese sayings; however, here are a few modern examples of the 동 (同) and 이 (異) characters being used in speech today:
- 이동(異同)이 없다. - There is no difference.
Notice that the characters for "different" (異) and "same" (同) combine to form a word that means "difference." I do not know why "different" wins out over "same," but it does. By the way, it does not matter if 동 (同) comes before 이 (異), as in 동이, it still means "difference."
- 이국(異國) - a foreign country; a strange land
- 이국(異國)적인 - exotic
- 이상(異常)하다 - strange; different (異) from the ordinary (常)
- 동반(同伴)하다 - to accompany
- 동생(同生) - a younger brother or sister
- 동시(同時)에 - at the same time
- 동의(同意)하다 - to agree with; to have the same (同) opinion (意)
- 동포(同胞) - fellow countrymen; brethren
- 동행(同行)하다 - to travel together; to go in company with
(In a restaurant) 동행은 세 사람입니다. (We are a party of three.)
Sunday, April 13, 2008
- 百花 (백화) : all kinds of flowers (百 = 100; 花 = flower)
- 滿發 (만발) : full bloom (滿 = full; 發 = bloom)
It seems to be quite common to use 百 (100) with other characters to mean "all" or "various." Other examples are as follows:
- 百計 (백계) : all [every] means; all resources
百計(백계)을 다 쓰다. Try every means available.
百計 無策 (백계 무책) : helplessness
- 百憂 (백우) : all [a variety of] concerns
The Chinese name for the antidepressant drug "prozac" seems to be 百憂解 (백우해), which literally means "relief from all concerns."
- 百行 (백행) : all [a variety of] behavior or conduct
孝百行之本也 (효百行之本也) - Filial piety is the foundation for all conduct.
If anyone has other good examples of using 百 to mean "all" or "a variety of," please post them in the "Comments" section.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
- 山 (산) - mountain
- 高 (고) - high
- 於 (어) - than
- 海 (해) - sea