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.