Friday, May 17, 2024

Can Koreans still read Hanja (한자)?

ANSWER: Of course, some Koreans can still read Hanja, but it seems to be mainly the older Koreans. In the video below, many of the younger Koreans seemed to have a hard time recognizing even simple Chinese characters. Many of them, for example, couldn't even read the characters 未安 (미안), which means "sorry."

What happened to the 1,800-character standard for Korean high school graduates? Is that no longer a standard or a goal in Korea? Is learning Chinese characters in Korea now as unpopular as learning Latin is in the United States?


Why did Korea create the character 㔔, a character not used anywhere else but in Korea?

ANSWER: Because Koreans apparently needed a character to represent the Korean sound /덩/.

 But why would represent the sound /덩/ instead of the sound /강/, given that its component character is pronounced /가/, not /더/?

ANSWER: Because they used the pronunciation of the pure-Korean "meaning" of (가), not the pronunciation of , and the pure-Korean meaning of in 더, which means "more." And then they just needed to add the /ng/ sound of the Hangeul letter "ㅇ" to the character to represent the Korean sound /덩/.

 But instead of (가), why didn't they just use a Chinese character that is pronounced /더/ as the component character?

ANSWER: Because there is no Chinese character that is pronounced /더/.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

What do "Ants (螞蟻 마의) Climbing a Tree (上樹 상수)" look like?

ANSWER: Delicious

Why do the Chinese call this dish "Ants (螞蟻 마의) Climbing a Tree (上樹 상수)"?

ANSWER: Because when they hold up the noodles with their chopsticks, they think that the ground beef that is stuck to each noodle looks like ants climbing up a tree (the noodle).

The Chinese have not only interesting food but also interesting food names.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

What does 結束 (결속) mean?

 ANSWER: It depends. In China, 結束 (결속) means "to end," "to finish," or "to conclude," but in Korea, it means "union," "unity," or "solidarity."

I am not sure if it was China or Korea, but one of them has screwed up.

Friday, March 15, 2024

When would a Chinese person say "丫"?

ANSWER: When a doctor is looking in his or her mouth.

Doctor: "Open (張開 장개) mouth (嘴巴 취파) [and] say ( 설) 'Ahh' ( 아)."

Thursday, March 07, 2024

What does the Korean word 콘서트 mean in English?

ANSWER: 콘서트 is the transliteration of the English word "concert."

The Sino-Korean word for "music concert" is 음악회 (音樂會), which can literally translate as "sound" (音) enjoying (樂) meeting (會)," but Koreans also use the transliterated word 콘서트 to mean "music concert."

Though Koreans seem to use word 음악회 (音樂會) to mean just "music concert," they seem to use the transliterated word 콘서트 to mean both "music concert" and "lecture." I wonder why.

Besides meaning "sound," the character 音 (음) can also mean "talk," so 음악회 (音樂會) could also literally translate as "a talk (音) enjoying (樂) meeting (會)," which could describe "a lecture." 

It is interesting that the following video clip from the TV series "Young Sheldon" equates "a concert" with "a lecture" since Koreans sometimes also do that, though usually just in book titles. In fact, I am kind of getting tired of seeing Korean book titles with the word "콘서트" in them.

Below is a photo of a book I have that is entitled 과학 콘서트, which literally translates as "A Science Concert" but which really means "A Science Lecture," a book in which the author explains and answers questions about "Science."

I hope you have enjoyed my brief "concert" on the word "콘서트."

Thursday, February 22, 2024

What does 太平間 (태평간) mean in China?

ANSWER: I don't want to tell you right now, but I will give you a hint. 太平間 (태평간) literally means "a very (太) peaceful (平) room (間)." To find out what that means, you need to read the story below.


()()()()()()()()()()()()()(), ()()()()().

When a doctor finishes his shift in the emergency room, it is already midnight as he prepares to go home.

()()()()()(), ()()()()()(), 便()()()()()()()().

He walks to the elevator entrance and sees a female nurse. They then take the elevator down together.

()()()()()()()()()(), ()()()().

But when the elevator arrives at the first floor, it doesn’t stop and still continues downward.


When it arrives at sublevel 3, and the elevator door opens.


A little girl appears in front of them and, with her head lowered, she says she wants to get on the elevator.

()()()()()()()()()()(). ()()()()()()(): “()()()()()()()()?”

Upon seeing this, the doctor hastily closes the elevator door. Baffled, the nurse asks, “Why didn’t you let her get on?”

()()(): B3()()()()()()()()().  ()()()()()()()()()()()()() ()()()()().()()()(), ()()()()()()()()()().

The doctor says, “Sublevel 3 is our hospital’s morgue, and the hospital always ties a red ribbon around the right wrist of every corpse. Her right wrist, on her right wrist, there was a red ribbon.”

()()()()()()()()()()()()()()(): “()()()()()()()()()()()()?”

Hearing this, the nurse gradually extends her right hand, and with an evil laugh asks, “Was it like this red ribbon?”