Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

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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Wow, what a feast! We went to Jungle Jims here and ended up buying a lot of yummy food (and drink!)

The 酒 is Hakushika and is YUMMY!!


From the website:

hakusHakushika means “white deer.” This brand name comes from the mystic legend of a white deer with spiritual powers in China… Once upon a time, Emperor Hsüan-tsung (712-756) found a white deer straying into the lotus garden of his palace. It had a copper medal at the base of its antler. The words engraved on the medal proved that this beautiful animal had been alive over a thousand years. Emperor Hsüan-tsung was so delighted at this good omen as to give a feast and he cherished the white deer as a holy animal. According to this tradition, White deer—Hakushika—has been recognized as a symbol of longevity of a thousand years. We named our sake Hakushika after this auspicious holy animal with a wish that our sake should be always synonymous with life energy flow, longevity and good omen.


We also had 鰻のすし and 大福餅… so now I am sooo …. full!!! 「食べ過ぎだよ!」

So, there really won’t be much else in this post ^^;   I am just too full and sleepy now!!



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I got my new books for class today. I’m taking a couple exciting classes–300 level Japanese of course, Korean, and Language and Culture (which is a linguistics class). I’m super excited!!! I can’t wait actually. I’ve been building my Kanji list over at Smart.fm and it’s starting to look good. I’m sure it’s going to help out a great deal.

So, my new Japanese book is called “An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese” and seems to be a continuation of the Genki series. It comes with 2CD’s and a workbook (for separate purchase).

On first look it seems a little… strange. Some kanji we’ve learned aren’t included, and some we have not are. It’s rather strange. However, I plan to start going through and putting furigana (small hiragan) above each kanji I’m not familiar with, so that I have a good head start. It’s a pretty daunting book though. So much more is written in Japanese and the explanations are fairly limited. However, I am still excited!!


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Sometimes, I get so frustrated with my inability to actually say what I mean in Japanese. It drives me insane. I’ve found that while I think I am getting better, my writing skills seem to be pretty much the same regardless. I don’t know. I feel like I know more things but seem unable to put them to use. Perhaps I’m just overthinking things? =sigh=

In other news, I watched “Ramen Girl” the movie with Brittany Murphy last night. It’s a pretty cool movie, and really quite surprising. Here’s the trailer:

Anyway, I’m off to shower and then attempt to study.

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From johnnywander.com/

Escape Chute!!

Escape Chute!!

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I have several Japanese dictionaries. Both hard copies and those online. I find myself using the hard copy when I am writing a journal entry on lang-8 or perhaps an essay for school. I also tend to use the JLPT-Kanji website quite often too. I’ve heard good and bad about both methods and feel justified then, in using both.

The hard copy dictionaries I use most are Kodansha’s Furigana: Japanese-English Dictionary (hard back) and The Starter Oxford Japanese Dictionary (paperback). The Kodansha is amazing, but rather large. It adds Furigana readings to all kanji, provides over 16,000 vocabulary words, and adds many sample sentences as examples. Sensical definitions in clear English, along with sample sentences in modern Japanese makes this dictionary indispensible. I would definitely recommend it to any serious Japanese student. The use of furigana and hiragana (and not romanization) make this a step in the right direction for continuing studies.

In contrast the Oxford Starter Dictionary is smaller, lighter and aimed more towards the upper-level beginner.  The “How to use this dictionary” section in the beginning has perhaps the world’s best chart for converting conjugated verbs back to their dictionary form. (Making them much easier to look up.) All Japanese entries are in Japanese syllabic script (kana), and followed by their kanji character if they have one. (They are also arranged kana-betically in the J-E section.) The “Glossary of grammatical terms” is a fantastic refresher for those who haven’t taken high school English in quite some time. Headword entries are colored blue to help draw the eye and words which have issues associated with their use, have, after their definition, a special explanation which is marked with an “!” and enclosed within a blue box. Multiple senses of a word are each bulleted and different parts of speech are numbered.  Most words have examples of usage, and/or arrow points offering page numbers of related entries. All verbs are followed by their -te, -nai, and -masu forms as an aid to beginners and particles which can be used with a particular verb, are displayed in circles in the verb’s entry.

So, if you’re looking for a dictionary to aid your studies, I definitely recommend either of these (or both). They are both indispensable in their own ways and can aid your studies greatly.

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