Friday, January 18, 2019

What's the difference between 잇다 and 있다?

ANSWER: Besides their meanings and spellings, there is also their pronunciations.

잇다 means to join or to connect, and 있다 means to exist, so they have different meanings, but the only difference in their pronunciations is that 잇다 is pronounced with a long vowel sound, and 있다 with a short one. In other words, the 이 in 잇다 is pronounced longer than the 이 in 있다.

Korean-English dictionaries do not usually mark short and long vowel sounds, but many Korean-Korean dictionaries do, which is a good reason to also consult a Korean-Korean dictionary when learning a new word. Korean-Korean dictionaries usually leave a short-vowel sound unmarked but mark a long-vowel sound with a colon after the vowel sound. For example, 있다 is listed as "있다," and 잇다 as "잇:다" in many Korean-Korean dictionaries. That means 있다 is pronounced /읻따/, and 잇다 is pronounced similar to /이읻따/.

But do long-vowel sounds really make that big a difference when speaking Korean? Well, except for the 을 and 에, the only other way to distinguish the following two sentences in spoken Korean is by using the short-vowel sound in the sentence with 있는 and the long-vowel sound in the sentence with 잇는.
  • 남과 북에 있는 [인는] 다리
    a bridge between the North and the South
     
  • 남과 북을 잇는 [인:는] 다리
    a bridge connecting the North and the South

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How should you pronounce 계산, the Korean word for "calculation"?

ANSWER: as either /계산/ or /게산/

When the Korean consonants ㄱ, ㅁ, ㅍ, and ㅎ attach to the Korean vowel ㅖ to form 계, 몌, 폐, and 혜, the syllables can be pronounced either as /계/, /몌/, /폐/, and /혜/ or as /게/, /메/, /페/, and /헤/.

Why? Because so many Koreans these days are pronouncing 계, 몌, 폐, and 혜 as 게, 메, 페, and 헤 that whoever is in charge of making the rules has decided to declare both sets of pronunciations as acceptable. However, 예 and 례 are still pronounced only as /예/ and /례/.

What about the other consonants: ㄴ, ㄷ, ㄸ,ㅂ, ㅃ, ㅅ, ㅆ, ㅈ, ㅉ, ㅊ and ㅌ? Well, apparently there are no longer any Korean words with the syllables 녜, 뎨, 뗴, 볘, 뼤, 셰, 쎼, 졔, 쪠, 쳬 or 톄, so they are irrelevant. Koreans used to use 녜 to mean yes, but now most Koreans simply say 네 or 예, which seems to show that the pronunciation /네/ won out over /녜/, similar to how the pronunciations /게/, /메/, /페/, and /헤/ seem to be winning out over /계/, /몌/, /폐/, and /혜/.

Monday, January 07, 2019

What is a 선술집?

ANSWER: a standing bar, a stand bar

선술집 literally means a standing (선) liquor (술) house (집). The 선 in the name comes from the verb 서다, which means to stand. During the Yi Dynasty, a 선술집 was a place where customers had to stand while drinking their wine and eating their anju (안주), the food served with drinks. Back then, sitting at a stand bar was not an option. In fact, I have read HERE that if someone were to sit, he would have been berated by other customers because it was considered undignified to do so. These days, however, a stand bar seems to refer to a bar where people sit or stand at the bar counter and drink.

The following is a Joseon-era painting of a stand bar (선술집) by Sin Yun-bok (신윤복 - 申潤福), who lived from 1758 to 1813. Notice there is no table at which to sit.


Saturday, January 05, 2019

What Korean tree names should you know?

ANSWER: Those in the list below

A great resource for Korean language learners is a Korean-English terminology dictionary by Lee Jin-yeong (이진영) entitled "이진영의 동시통역 기초사전," which translates as "Lee Jin-yeong's Beginning Dictionary for Simultaneous Interpretation," but the English title on the dictionary is "Korean-English Terminology for Beginners."

Though the title says the dictionary is "for beginners," it is really a dictionary for anyone, from beginners to advanced learners. The dictionary gives concise and accurate translations of terminology used in twenty-four different major categories: 1) Society, 2) Culture, 3) Media & Advertising, 4) Sports and Leisure, 5) Education, 6) Religion, 7) Public Administration, 8) Law, 9) Politics, 10) International Politics, 11) Security, 12) Economy, 13) Business, 14) Finance, 15) Trade, 16) Primary Industries, 17) Major Industries, 18) Energy, 19) Transportation, 20) Distribution, 21) Science & Technology, 22) Information & Communication, 23) Environment, & 24) Medicine.

The list of trees and bushy trees listed below were under 임업 (Forestry), a subcategory of the "Primary Industries" category.

My 2004 version of the dictionary has a total of 830 pages, including Korean and English indices in the back of the book. I paid only 25,000 won for my book soon after it came out, but a newer version of the dictionary, "이진영의 통역번역 기초사전," is now selling HERE on Amazon for $58, so it is now somewhat pricey. If you sign up with Bandi Books US, a Korean bookseller here in the U.S., you can get it for $36. See HERE.

Anyway, below is the list of common Korean trees and bushy trees from my dictionary. It would be good to learn these names since they are commonly mentioned in Korean literature and media, though I do not remember hearing or reading about the Rat Turd Tree (쥐똥나무), also called Amur privet.

I have added to the original list and made some changes:

Friday, January 04, 2019

Have you heard of "변해가네," by 김광석?

This is the kind of song to which guys can relate, and maybe women, too.

  

느낀 그대로를 말하고 
Said exactly what was on my mind. 

생각한 그 길로만 움직이며 
Went down only the roads I wanted to go. 

그 누가 뭐라해도 돌아보지 않으며 
I'd never look back no matter what anyone said. 

내가 가고픈 그곳으로만 가려했지 
I was only going to places I wanted to go. 

그리 길지 않는 나의 인생을 
In my relatively short time here on earth, 

혼자 남겨진거라 생각하며 
I thought there would be nothing left behind but me. 

누군가 손내밀며 함께 가자 하여도 
Though there were some who offered to go along with me, 

내가 가고픈 그곳으로만 고집했지 
I was stubborn and just went to where I wanted to go.

그러나 너를알게 된후 
But then after I came to know you, 

사랑하게 된후부터 
after I fell in love with you 

나를 둘러싼 모든것이 변해가네 
everything around me now seems to be changing. 

나의 길을 가기보다 
Rather than going my own way 

너와 머물고만 싶네 
now I just want to stay with you. 

나를 둘러싼 모든것이 변해가네 
Everything around me now seems to be changing. 

우~ 너무 쉽게 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so easily. 

우~ 너무 빨리 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so quickly. 

우~ 너무 쉽게 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so easily. 

우~ 너무 빨리 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so quickly. 
------------- 
그리 길지 않는 나의 인생을 
In my relatively short time here on earth, 

혼자 남겨진거라 생각하며 
I thought there would be nothing left behind but me. 

누군가 손내밀며 함께 가자 하여도 
Though there were some who offered to go along with me, 

내가 가고픈 그곳으로만 고집했지 
I was stubborn and just went to where I wanted to go. 

그러나 너를알게 된후 
But then after I came to know you, 

사랑하게 된후부터
 after I fell in love with you 

나를 둘러싼 모든 것이 변해가네 
everything around me now seems to be changing. 

나의 길을 가기보다 
Rather than going my own way 

너와 머물고만 싶네 
I now just want to stay with you. 

나를 둘러싼 모든 것이 변해가네 
Everything around me now seems to be changing. 

우~ 너무 쉽게 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so easily. 

우~ 너무 빨리 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so quickly. 

우~ 너무 쉽게 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so easily. 

우~ 너무 빨리 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so quickly. 

우~ 너무 쉽게 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so easily. 

우~ 너무 빨리 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so quickly. 

우~ 너무 쉽게 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so easily. 

우~ 너무 빨리 변해가네 
Yes, things are changing so quickly.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

What does 거기서 거기야 mean?

ANSWER: It's all the same

거기 means there, and 거기서 means from there, so 거기서 거기야 literally means From there it's [right] there. For example, if someone calls you and asks you how to get to a certain place and then tells you he is standing in front of a place that you know is right next to the place he wants to find, you can say, "거기서 거기야," which translates as "From there, it's right there." Or if the place he wants to find is in the same building he is standing in front of, you could also say, "거기서 거기야."

The meaning of 거기서 거기야 then expanded to include the meaning it's all the same. A good example of the second meaning appears in the lyrics of the song "Wave," by Hail, which I recently posted. Here is that portion of the lyrics:

우리 노래가
People say our songs

거기서 거기래, Ha!
sound almost all the same, Ha!

내 가사도 얘 멜로디도
They say her melodies, my lyrics

틀에 박혔다나
are both set in frames [conventional], 

The 래 in 거기래 is a reduced form of "~라고 한다," which means "[people] say."

By the way, the "Ha" after 거기서 거기래 means the singer disagrees with the suggestion that their "songs sound almost all the same."

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Do you think "Wave," by 헤일 (HAIL), is conventional?

ANSWER: Neither do I. 

I had a little trouble translating this song, but it was fun. I hope I got the sense of it right because it is a neat little song that the girls seem to be using to respond to critics of their style of music.



Wave 
파도소리따라 
With the sound of breaking 

Wave 
몸이 가는대로 
Let your body move with 

Wave 
리듬에 맞춰서 
With that wavy rhythm, 

이번여름에는 
why don't you this summer

헤일과 함께 춤을 
come out with Hail and dance? 

맴맴맴 매미 왔다 
With the cicadas singing 

여름 곡 써야지 
we need a summer song,

통기타 뚬바뚬바 
a doomba, doomba guitar 

쳐보고있는데 
jungle strumming song 

자꾸만 생각나네 
I keep on thinking that 

우리보고 뭐 뭐 
you'll see us and say, “What?” 

우리 노래가 
People say our songs

거기서 거기래 
sound almost all the same. 

내 가사도 얘 멜로디도 
They say her melodies, my lyrics 

틀에 박혔다나 
are both set in frames [conventional], 

틀이 뭔데 뭬 창틀이야 
But what kinda frames? A window frame? 

빵틀이야 뭐야 
A bread baking frame? What? 

이 노래 완성시키면 
If we finish doing this song, 

땅을 치고 후회할거다 
and it's a flop, we'll be really sad. 

범생이 헤일과 
Though Hail is nerdy, 

춤이나 춰.
still dance with us. 

Wave 
파도소리따라 
With the sound of breaking 

Wave 
몸이 가는대로 
Let your body move with 

Wave 
리듬에 맞춰서 
With that wavy rhythm, 

이번 여름에는 
why don't you this summer

헤일과 함께 춤을 
come out with Hail and dance. 

Wave, Wave, Wave 
Wave, Wave 
Wave, Wave

Wave 
헤일과 함께 춤을 
Come out with Hail and dance! 

이래도 말할텐가 
Even so, will they still say 

틀에 박혔다고 
we are conventional? 

방금 꿀렁꿀렁 
Just now I was loosely 

춤춘 거 다 봤는데 
dancing. You all saw it. 

아직도 꼼짝않네 
Yet, you are still not moving 

따라해봐 Yo Yo 
Follow along. Yo! Yo! 

이거까진 안할랬는데 
They said I wouldn’t even say this: 

“Huh, drop the beat.” 
“It’s time to boogie with me.” 

아직도 가만히 있니 
Are you guys still not moving? 

이건 swag, feel my swag 
This is swag; feel my swag. 

범생이들의 swag 
The swag of us nerds. 
Oh, yeah! 

봄바람은 이미 휘날렸고 
I’m already waving with the spring wind. 

씨스타도 이제 못 보잖아 
Now you can’t even see Sistar (a disbanded Korean girl group), 

이제부터 여름엔 뭐 
So, this summer you might as well 

헤일과 함께 춤을 
come out with Hail and dance 

Wave 
파도소리따라 
With the sound of breaking 

Wave 
몸이 가는대로 
Let your body move with 

Wave 
리듬에 맞춰서 
With that wavy rhythm 

이번 여름에는 
why don't you this summer

헤일과 함께 춤을 
come out with Hail and dance 

Wave, Wave, Wave 
Wave, Wave 
Wave, Wave 

Wave
헤일과 함께 춤을 
Come out with Hail and dance!

헤일과 함께 춤을 
Come out with Hai-il and dance! 

Wave 
파도소리따라 
With the sound of breaking 

Wave 
몸이 가는대로 
Let your body move with 

Wave 
리듬에 맞춰서 
With that wavy rhythm,

이번 여름에는 
why don't you this summer

헤일과 함께 춤을 
come out with Hail and dance 

Wave, Wave, Wave 
Wave, Wave 
Wave, Wave 

Wave
헤일과 함께 춤을 
Come out with Hail and dance.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Why would anyone want to attend a boarding school in Hawaii?

ANSWER: I don't know. Maybe because it is in Hawaii?

Below is a collection of writings in Korean by high school juniors and seniors who attended the Asia Pacific International School (ASPI) during the 2016-2017 school year. ASPI is a college preparatory boarding school in Hauula, Hawaii, but there is also a Seoul campus. The poems and stories look pretty interesting. The school's Web site is HERE.


 

Monday, December 31, 2018

Preparing to breakup? "헤어지기 위하여," by 헤일 (HAIL)

Well, the girl in this video is prepared.

I like the voice, I like the lyrics, I like the style, but I do not really like the English translation in the subtitles, so I have posted my own translation below the video.

The translator of the subtitles seemed to think the girl was the one planning to break up with the guy, but the whole point of the song was to say the girl sensed that her boyfriend was preparing to break up with her, so she was preparing for it by taking away all of the excuses he might use for it. For example, he would no longer be able to say he was breaking up with her because he did not like her wearing her short skirt.




헤어지기 위하여
“In Order to Break Up with You”

요즘 부쩍 달라진 너를 보면서
These days, as I see you quickly changing,

아니 사실 오래전부터
No, actually you started long ago.

너도 나름대로 많이 노력했겠지만 나도 많이 애썼어
You probably tried hard in your own way, but I tried hard, too.

너무 오랫동안 붙잡고 있었나
Have I been trying to hold on for too long?

이제 놓아줘야 하나

Is now the time to let go?

혼자인게 어색할 테지만
Though being alone will probably be awkward.

평소보다 생각하면서
I’ve been thinking of you more than usual

연락도 자주 하고
and contacting you frequently.

입지 말아던 내짧은 치마도
And the short skirt you told me not to wear

옷장에 깊숙이 넣고서
is now stored deep in my closet.

고집 부리며 고치지 않았던 작은 것까지 모두
And all the little things I stubbornly refused to fix

그렇게 완벽해져서
are now [fixed] just as you wanted

너와 헤어지기 위하여
in order to break up with you.

자존심 버리고 간절히 부탁했잖아 제발
I put aside my pride and begged you

예쁘다고 해줘
to please tell me I’m pretty.

그런 내가 귀찮은 보지도 않고 말해
As if I were a nuisance, you said without even looking at me,

노력해도 되는 어떡해
“Why? It won't change things?”

너무 오랫동안 붙잡고 있었나
Have I been trying to hold on for too long?

이제 놓아줘야 하나
Is now the time to let go?

혼자인 어색할 테지만
Though being alone will probably be awkward.

평소보다 생각하면서
I’ve been thinking of you more than usual

연가도 자주 하고
and contacting you frequently.

입지 말라던 짧은 치마도
And the short skirt you told me not to wear

옷장에 깊숙이 넣고소
is now stored deep in my closet.

고집부리며 고치지 않았던 작은 것까지 모두
And all the little things I stubbornly refused to fix

그렇게 완벽해져서
are now fixed just as you wanted

너와 헤어지기 위하여
in order to break up with you.

혜어지자고 말하는
So that the day you say, “Let’s break up,”

니가 아무 말도 못하게
you will have nothing to complain about.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

What does 동떨어진 소리 mean?

ANSWER: an absurd remark

동떨어지다 means to be far apart or to have a space between and can refer to the separation of places, things, or relationships.  By itself, 떨어지다 means to fall or to drop, but it can also mean to separate or to be detached. As for 동, it seems to come from the Chinese character 同 (동), which can mean either the same, a group, or together. That would mean 동떨어지다 would literally mean either to be separated from someone or something that is the same or to be separated from a place or a group. Here are some example sentences using 동떨어지다 from my Donga Prime Korean-English Dictionary:
  • 5마일이나 동떨어진 곳
    the place 5 miles away from here
  • 두 사람의 나이는 너무나 동떨어진다
    There is such a great disparity of age between the two.
  • 그 길로 갔더니 가야 할 길과는 동떨어진 데로 나오고 말았다.
    The road took us far out of our way.
  • 그건 이것과는 동떨진 추측이다.
    Your guess is way off the mark.
Considering the 동떨어지다 meaning, "동떨어진 소리" could literally translate as "noise separated far from [the conversation]." Here are two example sentences from my book of Korean idioms entitled "뜻도 모르고 자주 쓰는 우리말 숙어 1000 가지":
  • 그 친구는 가끔 이야기 중에 동떨어진 소리를 해서 듣는 사람들을 김빠지게 한다.
    That friend sometimes makes absurd comments during a conversation, which causes other people in the conversation to lose interest.
  • 그는 나이로는 아버지뻘 되는 조카에게 어떻게 말문을 열어야 할지 몰라 동떨진 소리를 했다.
    Because his nephew is about the same age as his father, he was not sure how to start the conversation and said some absurd things.
Be careful to say 동떨어진 소리 and not 똥 떨어진 소리 because the second phrase means the sound of falling poop.

Friday, December 28, 2018

What do you eat when you are 출출해?

ANSWER: Ramyeon? Cereal?

출출하다 means to be somewhat hungry. So instead of always saying the same boring 조금 (좀) 배 고파, why not add to your vocabulary and surprise your Korean friends with "출출한데 우리 라면이나 끓여 먹을까?"

Translation: "I'm a little hungry. Shall we cook (boil) and eat some ramyeon or something?"

It is cold and snowy here in Amarillo, Texas, and I am 출출해, so I'm getting ready to make myself some ramyeon.

How do you translate "누군가의 당신을 사랑한다는 것"?

ANSWER: Different ways, I guess, but I translated it as "Loving Someone's You."

"누군가의 당신을 사랑한다는 것" is the title of another interesting song by the dynamic duo HAIL, of whom you may be able to tell I am becoming a fan. My translation of the title is pretty much a literal one, which I like even though it may be a little hard to understand. The suggestion is that a woman is in love with another woman's man, which makes the woman feel guilty.



"누군가의 당신을 사랑한다는 것" 
“Loving Someone’s You” 

나는 당신이 
About you, I--

빙수를 먹다가도 
even while eating shaved ice 

집에 가다가도 
even while going home 

빨래를 널다가도 
even while hanging laundry-- 

생각나고 
am always thinking. 

그런데 당신의 그녀는 
Yet, she, your woman-- 

아무것도 모르는 채 
knowing absolutely nothing about 

이제야 나에게 오려는 당신을 
your current thoughts of leaving her for me-- 

그대로 사랑하고 있겠지 
probably still loves you as before. 

내가 지금 누굴 걱정하는 거야 
For whom am I now worrying? 

길 잃은 내 마음 
My heart has lost its way 

방향도 못 잡은 채 
and can't even choose a way. 

왔던 길 따라 가야 하나 
Should I go back the way I came? 

당신과 그녀든 
You and her? 

나와 당신이든 
Or you and me? 

마음 편히 사랑할 수 있을까 
Could my love possibly survive the guilt? 

시작조차 못했지만 
Though I haven’t even started, 

겁이나 
I’m afraid. 

그냥 함께할 순 없을까 
But couldn’t we do it together? 

나 왜 이리 못 됐지 
Why have I become so wicked? 

너무 보고 싶어 
I want so much to see you. 

안아쥈음 싶어 
I wish I could hold you. 

내가 하고 또 내가 듣는 말 
I’m saying these things to myself. 

왜 이런 사랑을 시작했던거야 
Why did I begin this kind of love? 

길 잃은 내 마음 
My heart has lost its way 

방향도 못 잡은 채 
and can't even choose a way. 

왔던 길 따라 가야하나 
Should I go back the way I came? 

당신과 그녀든 
You and her? 

나와 당신이든 
Or you and me? 

마음 편히 사랑할 수 있을까 
Could my love possibly survive the guilt? 

시작조차 못했지만 
Though I haven’t even started, 

하나 뿐인 그대 손 끝에 누군가 
someone at the fingertips of my only love 

내 마음이 미안해 
makes my heart uneasy, 

눈물 채로 지운다 
so I erase [the pain] with tears.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

What does 알바 mean?

ANSWER: part-time job

알바 is a shortened form of 아르바이트, which means side job or part-time job. 아르바이트  is the Korean pronunciation of the German word arbeit, which, from what I have read, just means work or job, so Koreans seem to have changed the meaning from job to part-time job.

Below is a nice but sad little song by a young female duo named 헤일 (HAIL). The two girls' names are 우지원 (U Ji-won) and 박예린 (Pak Ye-lin). They came up with the name HAIL by combining their family names 우 and 박 to form 우박, which is the Korean for the English word hail. Ji-won is the singer, and Ye-lin is the instrumentalist.

The title of the song below is "알바" (Part-time Job), from HAIL's extended play recordings "말로 표현할 수 없었던" (It could not be described with words). According to the lyrics of the song, the girl is working part-time in what seems to be a bar. Apparently, the girl used to have a boyfriend who is now a famous singer, and whose song is one of the songs that plays every thirty minutes in the recorded music used in the bar. And every time she hears the song, she is reminded of her heartache.

I really like the way the focus is on the lyrics while the guitar and other instruments are used only to keep a subtle beat and to introduce and punctuate.

우지원 on the left and 박예린 on the right -- Source



"알바"
"Part-time Job"

다섯 시가 됐어 빨간색 유니폼
It's five o'clock, so I'm in my red uniform

오래된 운동화 그래 그 운동화
and my old tennis shoes, yes, those same tennis shoes.

30분에 한 번 돌아올 우리 노래
Once every thirty minutes our song will replay

우리를 예쁘게 박제한 니 가사
your lyrics, the ones that beautifully preserved us.

퇴근할 때까지 정확히 14번
Before work ends, it'll play exactly fourteen times,

나오는 우리 헤어지지 말자 어쩌구
saying, "Let's always be together," blah, blah, blah.

눈물이 날 것 같지만
Though I feel I might start crying,
  
아직 손님이 많아
still too many customers.

착하지 마음아
Heart, be nice, [don't make me cry].

오늘도 난 테이블을 닦아 
Today again I'm wiping off tables.

음음 음음 음음

술병을 정리해 
Stocking liquor bottles

음음 음음 음음 

난 주문을 받아
Taking people's orders.

음음 음음 음음 

너의 목소리는 언제나 빛나네
As always, your voice is bright and glimmering.

여전히 누구나 공감할만한 곡을 써
As before, your songs speak to everyone's heart.

그때의 나를 맘대로 지어내놓고서
Back then you freely wrote me into all your songs. 

우리라는 말로 잘 포장해놨네
[Back then] you nicely wrapped them up with the word "we,"

시간이 지나면 분명 너의 노랜 
[Back then I knew], in time your songs would surely be 

유명해져서 어딜 가나 흘러나오고
famous and playing everywhere we would go.

난 세상이 존경할 이름이 될 거라
I knew your name would be respected 'round the world

우린 뜨겁게 꿈을 꿨는데
Back then we were dreaming fiery hot dreams,

오늘도 난 테이블을 닦아 
Today again I'm wiping off tables.

음음 음음 음음

술병을 정리해
Stocking liquor bottles

음음 음음 음음

난 주문을 받아
Taking people's orders.

음음 음음 음음

다섯 시가 됐어 빨간색 유니폼
It's five o'clock, so I'm in my red uniform

오래된 운동화 그래 그 운동화 
and my old tennis shoes, yes, the same tennis shoes.

30 분에 한 번 돌아올 우리 노래
Once every thirty minutes, our song will replay

우리를 예쁘게 박제한 니 가사
your lyrics, the ones that beautifully preserved us.