Monthly Archives: February 2010

Do they still use these?

First off, I’m addicted to an ongoing fusion sageuk drama, Chuno (추노). It has got to be, hands down, one of the best Korean dramas I’ve seen—and I’ve watched more than my share of Korean dramas. :D

Anyway, because the setting for Chuno is during the Joseon dynasty, some (or maybe a lot; I’m not exactly sure) of the words and expressions used in the drama are olden and may not exactly be heard in today’s Korean language. A good proof of this are snippets of information being shown when an ancient word is used in the dialogue, like the one below:

Chuno introduced me to some new terms that I don’t think people actually use today, like:

  • 오라버니 – used by women to refer to older men; possibly the equivalent of today’s 오빠 (but according to Wiki, 어라버니 is the honorific equivalent of 오빠, so perhaps people somewhere still use it…?)
  • 나으리 – used by commoners during the Joseon dynasty to refer to people of higher status, but below 대감 (His Excellency)
  • 서방(님) – used to refer to one’s conjugal partner, but I’ve only heard this used by women in Chuno, so this could probably be used only to refer to a husband
  • 성 (? I’m not sure how it’s spelled) – a southwestern version of 형
  • 언니 being used to refer to an older male

I was also made aware of the hierarchical status during the Joseon dynasty through watching Chuno. I recall learning a bit about Korean history through Asian History in my sophomore year in high school, but because it was a very broad subject, we never really got into the finer details of life during that time (not to mention the fact that we were too busy memorizing the Chinese dynasties in order and the significant contributions of each to Asian civilization). Now I know a wee bit more about 양반, 노비, and about Korean history during the Joseon dynasty in general. I’d like to know a bit more but my only resource for now is the internet.

Apart from that, it was fun to hear the dialogues being spoken in varying degrees of politeness. The nobles speak to each other using very formal Korean, whereas the commoners speak to one another in informal form. Hearing the characters speak in the 하오-form makes me happy (eg. Wangson saying ‘나 다시 가오’ or one of Cheon Jiho’s men saying ‘언니, 사랑하오’). ^^

(And no, this is not a pimp post for Chuno, although I bet that’s what it sounds like. ^^)

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한복 (Hanbok), is the traditional Korean dress. Even before watching the first episode of Cultural Trilogy, I really liked the hanbok—there’s just a subtle yet deep beauty that comes with the flow of the skirt and the design on the cloth. People wearing it seem to give off an aura of quiet grace that’s just so beautiful to see.

I’ve been meaning to draw the hanbok for a few days (or weeks) now, and I have finally given in. :D Behold, the drawing that will make you go wow.

I know, I know—not exactly the prettiest picture, but hey, I actually made some effort on this one. :D The colors didn’t come out as planned (blame the scanner!), but with a few tweaks using the good ol’ ‘shop and here we have a nice little picture of the hanbok. :D

And no, I didn’t actually draw this for the Lunar New Year (설날); I just happened to draw it today. :D I have such great timing, right? XD

Anyway, I’m off to do more studying and Olympic (re)watching—am super excited to see Kim Yu-Na skate on the 23rd(?). I really hope she wins.

새해 복 많이 받으세요 여러분!


002. So, what’s up?

The sky, duh.

I just finished the first book of the Integrated Korean series, WOOT! *throws confetti and blows horn with added fireworks* I still have lots of learning to do, obviously, as this is only the start. I’m glad that I’m making progress with Korean though, however small it may be.

…Progress how? Well, for starters, my sister commented on how my reading has somewhat developed over the week (has it only really been a week? two weeks tops, maybe?)—I can read Hangul faster now, and I can understand things quicker. Although I can’t say much for my writing—because I know I absolutely need more practice—I’m glad to see that, yes, with time, practice, and TONS of determination and absolute willpower to understand the language, I am better than I was a week or two before I started this (serious) Korean learning. Mind you, I’ve learned a lot more this past week than I’ve probably had in the past year that I was just idling by and passively absorbing information from TV shows and random photos with Korean text in it.

So hurrah to me, and hopefully this absolute want to learn Korean will continue on. I’m deeply sorry I can’t stick with Japanese, though I still want to learn the language, of course. Japanese is the first language I’ve fallen in love with (as influenced by anime, anime, and more anime) and I will continuously want to become better at it. For now, however, it doesn’t command my attention as much as Korean. I don’t know what brought about the change (추노, maybe?), but I’m grateful for the change. :D

Now I shall go back to hitting the books. :)


Cultural Trilogy

Want to know more about Korean culture, as well as Chinese and Japanese? Well, Dramafever now has a documentary in their growing library of Korean dramas that specifically examines the cultures of three East Asian countries: Japan, China, and Korea. Entitled Cultural Trilogy, it is a cultural guide that is certainly very entertaining and packed with significant information about the similarities and differences between the three cultures. Topics range from clothing, martial arts, traditional houses, etc.

I’ve only watched the first two episodes and I must say, it’s fascinating to learn more about the cultures of these countries. The first episode focused on traditional clothing (Kimono, Qipao, and Hanbok), as well as the process of making them. I enjoyed watching the episodes and am certainly anticipating the episode focusing on martial arts. :D

US and Canadian residents can watch Cultural Trilogy on Dramafever. :D


연습 001: Redundant, much?

01. 스티브는 매일 학교에 가요. 4 과목을 들어요. 월요일, 수요일, 금요일은 음악 수업이 있어요. 숀버그홀에서 해요. 컴퓨터는 화요일하고 목요일에 있어요. 웨스트홀에서 해요. 생물학은 화요일하고 목요일에 있어요. 무어홀에서 해요. 한국어 수업은 매일 있어요. 이스트홀애서 해요. 스티브가 12시에 점심을 먹어요.

02. 마이클은 오전 7시쯤에 일어났어요. 8시에 아침을 먹었어요. 9시 20분 전에 기숙사에서 나왔어요. 걸어서 기숙사에서 학교까지 10분쯤 걸렸어요. 9시에 한국어 수업 했어요. 3시에 린다하고 테니스를 쳤어요. 6시 반에 기숙사 식당에 저녁을 혼자 먹었어요. 그다음에 도서관에서 공부했어요. 10시에 집에 갔어요. 그리고 11시에 잤어요.

EDIT: My sister was confused, so I’ll just type this in. This is just a practice thing I did—took it from Integrated Korean. :D

(Typing this took me 10 years.)


001. Frustrations

Learning a language is no easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort to be able to understand the simplest sentences and thousands of words. After all, the basics of language learning require the learner to study everything from scratch: how a chair or a pen is called, etc. From the most basic of things down to the most complicated, one has to master these (and more!) to become fluent.

Right now, I’m still hopelessly a beginner in Korean. Slowly improving, yes, but not to the extent that I can proudly show off my writing skills. My biggest hurdle in learning Korean is certainly writing. I have no problems understanding the sentences and paragraphs I read, but composing even one paragraph is…just so hard. There. I’ve said it. It’s extremely difficult to do without someone actually reading and correcting what I’ve written down. What makes sense to my beginner eyes may be ultimately incorrect to those who are at least in the intermediate level.

However, it’s not easy for me to make someone read what I’ve written. (I cry at the thought of native speakers laughing at my compositions.) I’m scared of looking foolish with my Korean gibberish when I can perfectly express myself in two other languages. D:

BAH. Oh, well. Sucks to be a noob, but you gotta start somewhere.


Composition 2.1

왜 한국어를 공부해?

나는 이유가 많아요.

…but for now, refer to this post. >.< I’m not confident enough to type it all in Korean.

고양이 화이팅!


Composition 1.1

내 언니 ‘사라’

저는 언니만 있어요. 그녀의 이름은 사라예요. 언니는 22살이에요. 언니가 한국어를 공보해요. 잘 못하지만, 열심히 공부해요. 음악을 들어요. 그리고 영화를 봐요. 언니와 저는 사이가 참 좋아요. 저는 언니를 사랑해요.

GOAL: To make this longer.

How’s my Korean?


Why I’m Studying Korean (The Short Version)

It started with Korean dramas. Then came K-pop, started by my addiction with Super Junior, then Big Bang, then DBSK. Then came watching variety shows—which are infinitely awesome, by the way.

Then came the language. And the culture. Before I knew it, I wanted to know more.

…Fast forward to now and here you have pihaenggi (비행기, airplane), which I hope will become my blog for all things Korean. :D