Tag Archives: Dramas

Learning Korean NOT through textbooks

I haven’t been studying a lot of Korean these days, textbook-wise. The Integrated Korean book I borrowed from my sister is now back to its hiding place, as I haven’t touched it since school started–now that I remember it, I actually did, and I even brought it to school. Alas, I never read it; I just slept inside the library (I do it all the time now T-T).

Textbook studying aside, I am doing some sort of studying…if we count drama watching (heh, can it really be counted?) and comic reading. I’m still learning stuff, although it’s a different sort of learning. Comics give me new words and the casual kind of speaking style people use in everyday stuff; the bad thing with reading comics is that sometimes the artist doesn’t really use the correct spelling and instead write out the dialogs the way they’re said (e.g. 용 at the end of a speech instead of 요 to make it cuter, etc.).

As for dramas, I know some people don’t think one would learn anything in dramas, but there is something there. If you try to not just watch a drama for the sake of watching and try to catch whatever a character is saying, your brain gets to try and decipher the sentences as you watch it! Of course watching dramas tends to be easier than having to listen to all Korean podcasts like the 이야기 series of Talk to Me in Korean (which I love listening to) because there’s clues you get from seeing what they’re doing or knowing what the plot is, but you get some kind of practice nonetheless.

And culture points! Culture points! I once did a culture/language post while watching 추노 (Slave Hunters), dealing with the Joseon-era speaking style (more deference, less casual style). Now, while watching 공주의 남자 (The Princess’ Man–a short digression here, but isn’t the Anglicized title a little…weird-sounding? To me it’s not as fluid as the Korean title…), I noticed that unmarried women style their hair in long braids, whereas once they get married they switch to low buns with that hairpin decorating their hair. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that before, but I do now!

Here’s the change, from when Princess Kyeong Hye is still single

to when she’s already married.

See? I’m actually learning stuff! XD Not huge stuff, but it’s still fascinating to see these things.

A few more things I learned:

소자 = means I, me, myself, used when speaking to parents. Naver’s English dictionary doesn’t say whether this term is explicitly for sons or if it can be used by daughters, but I’ve only ever heard the male characters say this in 공주의 남자. The daughters use 소녀 when speaking about themselves to their parents, mostly–at least, from what I’ve understood from watching.

송구하옵니다 = I didn’t find the right term in Naver Dictionary (only found 송구스럽다, which is kind of the same, I guess, but not really) but as I searched through the web I found that someone out there wants to know what this means (just like me!), and asked this question at Nate 지식, which is kind of similar to Yahoo! Answers. Someone gave this answer:

송구는 두려울 송(悚), 두려워할 구(懼)를 사용해 ‘두려워서 마음이 몹시 거북하다’는 뜻입니다.

미안하다, 죄송하다란 뜻이죠.

Hmm…what else? I kept a list of them somewhere but it seems I’ve lost it. D:

Anyway, yay! I updated! I was feeling a little disappointed with myself for not updating this after I said I’d move to WordPress. I’m glad I did.

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2011 Dramas

(Copied from parent journal, [info]ice_cobalt)

2011년에 내가 본 드라마들


그여자 – Secret Garden OST

Note: This was originally posted in my other journal, , on November 23, 2010.

I admit I still suck at translating anything, but this song is so haunting and beautiful that I had to give it a shot. :D

그여자 – 백지영

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드라마하고 책하고 외국어

Note: This was posted in my other journal, [info]ice_cobalt, last November 2, 2010. I figured I should post it here as well, to sort of revive this little language blog of mine.


성균관 스캔들 (Sungkyunkwan Scandal) is ending tomorrow. Although I love this drama to bits, I felt that my excitement for each episode dwindled slightly through the end, much like how I felt when I watched 내 여자친구는 구미호 (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho). Still, it’s one of my favorite dramas of the year.

And speaking of favorite dramas of the year, what are my 2010 favorites? There’s 추노 (Chuno/Slave Hunter), of course, 내 여자친구는 구미호 (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho), 아직도 결혼호고 싶은 여자 (The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry), and 성균관 스캔들 (Sungkyunkwan Scandal). I would have thought Rain’s 도망자 (Fugitive) would be included since the Writer-Director tandem responsible for 추노 (Chuno/Slave Hunter) made this one as well, but I…couldn’t love it no matter how much I tried and have stopped watching it. Then there’s 파스타 (Pasta), which was cute–but had nothing special to offer, 신데렐라 언니 (Cinderella’s Sister), which had an excellent start but dragged on til the end. 개인의 취향 (Personal Taste) was okay, but it wasn’t one of the best that I watched. I had high expectations for 로드 넘버원 (Road Number One) since 윤계상 (Yoon Kye Sang) and 소지섭 (So Ji Sub) were there, but meh…I couldn’t watch it.

…AND I still have yet to watch the entirety of 동이 (Dong Yi), 제빵왕 김탁구 (King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo), 장난스런 키스 (Playful Kiss), and 산부인과 (OB/GYN). And then there are dramas that have yet to air, such as 시크릿 가든 (Secret Garden–I LOL at the Korean spelling, which, when romanized, is sikeurit gadeun) and 메리는 외박중 (Mary Stayed Out All Night). :D



the SNU Korean textbooks and workbooks

Just last Friday my sister ordered a huge list of Korean textbooks online and, owing to excellent customer service (and perhaps because the package comes only from LA, LOL), we already have the books today!!! :DD So now we have Seoul National University’s 4 Korean textbooks plus workbooks, two Korean Grammar books, and the Yonsei University reading books I’ve lusted over for months now. :D All in all, 15 books. They’re obviously quite expensive, but not to the extent of Yonsei University’s pretty, pretty textbooks, which are loads more expensive.

In any case, I’m happy even though the textbooks aren’t mine. :D Why? Cause I get to use them as well ㅋㅋㅋ.


I’ve had…*counts* four language blogs–1 Japanese, 1 Korean, 1 Tagalog/Filipino (yeah, it’s not foreign to me, but I’ll include it in anyway), and 1 smorgasbord-ish blog–all of which are now idle and have not been updated in a long while. Yeah, making blogs are easy; maintaining is hard. SOOO I figured I should just put my foreign language thoughts in this blog instead. It makes perfect sense to me since I don’t update LJ that often anymore (there’s nothing really fun or exciting going on in my life that needs to be recorded, meh D:) yet I still visit it every single day for Omona and other communities, mostly for Omona. XD

So I will be posting in Korean (and sometimes in Japanese–I hope) and will record my progress here. Not sure how this plan will go, but I’ll be a positive thinker for once and hope that I’ll be constantly updating this and see some progress in my Korean (and Japanese?). :D

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Went to Sanseido today with and she got me the Genki II as a sorta belated birthday gift (for last year, LOL). So now I have both Genki books, the Elementary Japanese books, Japanese for Everyone, plus two Kodansha dictionaries, not to mention tons of podcasts I got back when I had a premium subscription at JapanesePod101. In other words: I’ve got the goods to study. Whether I can make full use of the material I have to really study Japanese or not…well, that’s the question.

D: See? I have yet to even try making a Japanese post. Where was that little journal suggestion I had? Nowhere. D: BAH.

And and I saw a few Doraemon dictionaries and bilingual mangas–thank God I had my sister there and had not one cent on me, or else I might have tried to buy every single Doraemon thing I saw there. T-T


I watched episode 6 of 내 여자친구는 구미호 without subs because I was really itching to watch it. I managed to understand some dialogue–BUT I can’t really know if what I understood is absolutely spot on or not until I actually read the subs tonight. EEP.

For some reason, I feel like my brain comprehends more Korean than Japanese, even though I’ve been exposed to 日本語 far longer than 한국어. Maybe it’s because I seriously studied Korean and had a freaking schedule to study Korean in between studying for my real tests–yeah, I was that serious.  is thinking of buying a few more Korean textbooks (YAY)–this time the SNU textbooks, so I guess I’ll be able to mooch some knowledge off of the books. WHEEE.

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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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