Archive for the ‘Korean’ Category

I’m here at school (feeling rather sick) trying to learn Korean verbs for a test this afternoon. Korean stems are so different from Japanese in that they all end in 다. The conjugation depends on the stem which lies before the 다. For example 알다 becomes 알아요, whereas 먹다 becomes 먹어요. It’s all dependent on the last vowel of the stem. Of the stem 알다, the last vowel is “a” and so the conjugation is “a yo”. For 먹다, the last vowel is “o”, so the conjugation becomes “o yo”. Basically, it can be summed up as:

If the last vowel of the stem is either 아 or 오, ~아요 is used. All other stems take 어요. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule (when aren’t there exceptions!!) But I’m not going to go into them this morning…

Japanese conjugation (when compared to Korean) is much harder since there are many more ways to conjugate everything. Endings (such as ~ru or ~u) play a major role with 買うbecoming 買いますand 食べる becoming 食べます… but not all ~ru verbs conjugate as ~ru (some are ~u) and not all ~u verbs conjugate the same.

Mmm cappuccino. This makes my day so much better! Now I just need to remember these 20 verbs for my test this afternoon and how they’re conjugated. >.< It never ends!


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I made 군만두 (goon mandu) for the first time yesterday. They are fried (and part-steamed) Korean dumplings filled with all sorts of yummy stuff. I was surprised how well they turned out. I should have taken my own photo, but here from the web is a photo of ones that look very similar…


Yummacious! Really! With some dipping sauce (soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sliced green onion etc etc)… mmmm….

And on to grammar:


“even if, although”  – used when that which is expressed in the main clause is not what is expected from the content of the dependent clause. (huh? what? eh???)


I’ll go even if it rains


I’ll go out even if it is cold

To me, it seems almost the same as saying “despite” (though I’m sure there’s a different phrase for that in Japanese.. ^.^)

Some more examples:


Mr. Nakayama doesn’t read books even if he buys them


I didn’t get tired although I walked for four hours


^ this is an idiomatic expression used to request permission to do something.

ても can also mean “no matter what, who or where”

だれに話しても = no matter who someone talks to

何を話しても = no matter what someone talks about

どこで話しても = no matter where someone talks

It seemed a little confusing to me at first, but it is pretty easy to use this formation in every day speech. It comes quite naturally, since in English we often say “although x I still y” or “even if x I will still y”

That being said, I am going to go finish my coffee and play some pointless video games. I studied so hard for my linguistics exam (and got a 92%!!) so I feel justified in my slacking!! ^^;

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Things have been super crazy–hence the lack of blog posting! I pimped out Maggie Sensei this week and had some good feedback about that (and several questions about why I’m pitching someone else’s site and not my own!! I just think it’s a really good place to start, continue, or end! LOL).

I got my Korean exam grade back… *drum roll* … I got 100% !!! =^.^=  yeah! So I am extremely happy about that.

I’ve been watching 꽃보다 남자 (known as 花より男子 in Japan) and at first I was completely put off by the difference (I loved the characters in the Japanese version, so getting used to the Korean actors was a bit… difficult). The plot line has some major deviations and I was intrigued by those too. Now I’m on episode 15 and finally liking everything about it!


I was unsure about 구혜선 as the lead female character (금잔디), but I think I’ve finally accepted her! 井上真央 was so good as the corresponding role in the Japanese version that I was a bit… let down at first with the Korean attempt at this. However, 꽃보다 남자 is just a new series in Korea (airing earlier this year) and so it isn’t as established as the Japanese version (plus the original was from the corresponding manga).

I’m already finding that I can understand many of the words they’re saying to each other. In some of the episodes the subtitles have been slightly delayed, so I’ve tried to work out as they speak. It’s pretty awesome!

It’s frustrating that this is the only “immersion” I get in the language though, and that makes becoming fluent hard. I know some people who’ve done it though, and I plan to talk to them about it soon–and I will definitely update this blog with all that information (one person has lived in Korea for 20 years and is now a Korean citizen, and the other lives in the US and is married to my Korean professor–but he had to learn all by himself other than a little help from her!!)

Anyway, I’m off to finish this 酒 and have some more kimchi


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Greetings, in both Korean and Japanese, are very different to those in English. For example, usually we just say “hello!” or “How are you?” or “Nice to see you” no matter the time of day or the person we’re speaking to. In both Japanese and Korean there are many more rules about what to say and to whom.

For example, in Japanese greetings are largely dependent on the time of day:

おはようございます = good morning

こんにちは = good afternoon (said after about 11am)

こんばんは = good evening (said after about 4pm)

as well as the “level” of the person you’re talking to.

おはよう = to a friend or one of lesser standing (a senior to a junior)

おはようございます = to anyone of higher standing (boss, teacher etc)

Korean too has different ways of addressing people.

안녕하세요? = are you well? can be said to anyone, usually those of higher standing.

안녕= only to friends or those of lesser standing.

Neither language specifically addresses “you”. Often they omit “you” and “I” when it’s (supposedly) obvious. However, sometimes in conversation this can present problems. If you don’t know whether the person is of higher standing or not (are they a professor or are they a graduate student?) the best thing to do is simply opt for polite (but not overly so) address until you can discern where they lie on the “politeness-spectrum”.

And something completely unrelated:

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So I changed my major successfully and it looks like I’ll be graduating next fall (still good news, although I was SO hoping that it would be in the spring). I have a LOT to do for graduate school though. In fact, the list I received from OSU is very, very long! I may possibly have to take my GRE this semester! And I need to find three people to write letters of reference… my Korean professor will, for one. But the other two, I have no idea!!!!


And I discovered that the program I thought they did they don’t, so I’ll be doing a Japanese Literature program with (hopefully) a minor in some kind of Korean. AHHHHHH!!!

*freaking out*

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… I still haven’t decided on whether or not to drop Japanese. I’m really at a loss as to what to do. I need the 300 level for my degree… but maybe I can *change* my degree to something more fitting. I’m not sure though. Like switch to History (only they don’t have an Asian History focus which all my classes are in) or Geography (but I don’t know if I’d have to do all the lame lab classes for that which I hate).

Right now I just want to flippin’ graduate. Period. Maybe I’ll email several department heads and see what they suggest. I might spend my time better doing other things. Instead of what I’m currently doing…

I just… don’t know and that’s killing me right now. I’m determined to keep learning Japanese–but I actually think it IS better on my own. I’ll do what I can until I graduate and go on to my MA, then I’ll hope to be able to find some Japanese friends to help me work on conversation. I’m also determined to keep learning Korean and have a meeting with my Korean professor on Monday. I’m really looking forward to that!! 😀

So, I guess I’ll toddle off now and I’ll write more tomorrow after I do some investigation about my dilemma. Maybe post a video on YT asking all the Japanese speakers what they think…



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So. I have a dilemma. Korean is really taking a lot of time and is pretty hard. I have decided that I want Korean to be my second language and Japanese my third. This of course throws a spanner in the works for taking Japanese this semester–in that it’s going to be a little too much I think. Of course, I can work through the book myself and work online with all the available resources and probably improve quite a lot myself. Most people I know who have become fluent have done so by themselves… and not through University classes.

However, my friend レベッカ was sort of counting on me to help her get there etc etc. Now, if I quit I’m afraid that she’ll completely freak out. Of course, I never do things based on other people like that–but it doesn’t make the choice any easier, because her reaction is always there in the back of my mind.

I just… need to do what I need to do. It might make my time in college a little longer–but my aim is to be fluent in Korean as soon as I can. When I graduate I want to get a job in translation or what have you, perhaps working for the government. If I am fluent in Korean and fairly fluent in Japanese I’ll be a double whammy. It’s just so hard to convince people that I can do it. Others want to go to Japan to live and work–I don’t. Never ever. Maybe visit… but I’d rather go to Korea–since we have family there and we’d be able to get much more interaction and so forth. Besides, with the North Korean crisis, I might be able to get a job assisting refugees. Now, THAT would be a worthwhile job!!!

Okay. Enough rambling. I don’t think anyone reads this, so I can’t exactly ask for opinions, LOL…

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