Sunday, December 2, 2012


I'm really disappointed in myself. I am leaving for Seoul in less than two weeks and I still can not hold a conversation. I've failed not only myself, but also you. I've had so much school work to do, including writing a paper on Cochlear Implants, exams, etc. Then I had my part time job. And the last few weeks with the American holidays have thrown me out of whack.

As the school semester comes to an end, it feels right to temporarily take a break from blogging about the language.

Here's what's coming up for me:

Cochlear Implant paper (2000-2500 words)
Microeconomics Exam
Financial Accounting Exam
Packing for South Korea
Packing for California

Oh yeah, I'm moving to California in January 2013. As you can see, I really can't make time to personally learn the Hangul, but I have a better chance of getting a class on Korean Language in California than in Florida.  My current major is Management Information Systems (M.I.S.) in the College of Business. I've been the one to start something, but almost never finish it.

This blog has been proof of that. My goal was to learn enough Hangul to communicate well when I visit South Korea. I failed.

I wish to try again next semester, maybe picking up where I left off, or just generally reviewing what I've learned if I've managed to snag a Korean class. I've greatly improved in my time management skills when it comes to doing assignments, but I really need to improve more because this goal I set for myself wasn't achieved.

As of now, this will be my last month of posting this year. (Ha ha).

I really wish the best for you students, if you are one, and I will try harder to achieve my goal next year that I didn't achieve this year.

And I hope my trip to California will be a smooth one. I'll be moving to the Los Angeles area, so if you are around that area, drop a comment and I'll be sure to meet with you!

Happy Holidays everyone. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kimbap Memories

김밥, it's a wonderful light meal and you can make it ANY way you want. How awesome is that?!

It's very similar to a Japanese sushi, but without the raw fish and seafood. Well, you can still add seafood. The blogs I've mentioned before, K.A.M., KC, and Beyond Kimchee, all have different recipes for each Kimbap they made.

Which version would you prefer?

Korean Cuisine comes with Galbi:

Here's the link to the recipe found at Korean Cuisine.

K.A.M. (Korean American Mommy) doesn't come with meat, which is a plus for vegetarians, but it's more suitable for breakfast.

Last, but not least, Beyond Kimchee shares her Kimbap recipe and memory. Her memory is that of a classmate in middle school who was seen as a "geeky" girl, but became the most popular girl in school the next day after participating in a local talent show. 

I really enjoyed reading this post because I'm a fan of Michael Jackson's music, and that's what her favorite memory of Kimbap was. 

If you ever made something, like a homemade dish, and there was a favorite memory associated with that dish, what was it?

I remember having my last Thanksgiving meal with an old family friend before he passed away. I had made my mother's Pink Stuff for the first time. (SECRET RECIPE) It's a nice memory to have of him that's lasting.

TV Shows

The last two weeks have been incredibly busy for me for school and family reasons. I have not been able to get a moment to teach myself more Korean vocabulary, which is disappointing to me. I'm leaving for Seoul in less than a month and I'm not close to speaking a basic conversation.

I want to share with you what I have done in my free time the last few months in terms of relating to Hangul.

I've watched Korean Dramas on Netflix, which is a online streaming media that provides movies and TV shows at a monthly subscription.

They have a huge variety of Korean Dramas, which I am very surprised about but I like it.

Right now, I'm in the middle of My Fair Lady, which is about a heiress of a large multimillionaire company falling in love with her butler, whom used to be a gigolo.

I don't pick the dramas I watch by popular demand, but rather by what Netflix suggests. They have a way of allowing you to rate the movie/show you've just seen, and suggest more movies/shows based on your rating.

My favorite one so far, is Secret Garden, which is about a rich man of a big company (I'm sensing a pattern here, are you?) who falls in love with a poor stunt-woman. But here's the kicker, look at the picture below and tell me if you see anything strange.

The man is acting a little too feminine isn't he? It's interesting once you find out just why he is. This one was really fun to watch and not too frustrating on the viewer's side. 

Do you have any shows you've seen that you'd like to recommend? Whether it's Korean, Japanese, American, they're all worth a trial period to see if it's a good series or not. 

I really liked The Sopranos, the ending on the last season made me sad that it ended. I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Catching up

It's so nice to catch up with old friends, especially ones that live far away. Gregory (mentioned in the last post) was one and I spent another weekend catching up with more friends.

They wished to not be pictured, but the food they chose were good enough.

As per usual, I had my 순두부찌개, but it was extra special this time since the egg they put in was raw. My best friend also ordered the same soup, which was a first for her since a few months because she always ordered the 돌솥 비빔밥. My long time friends came from Georgia and California. They didn't receive their food when this picture was taken but one ordered the 갈비탕 and the other ordered the 해물파전. 

I wish to share with my Tampa Natives this restaurant, it's a literal hole in the wall place. This restaurant is family owned, hence it's name One Family. As for the food, here's what the 갈비탕 looks like:

Fortunately, there is someone who was able to create this from scratch. Her name is Susan and her blog is COOKING WITH SUSAN. I included all searches of Korean food just for you.

The 해물파전 is not usually an entree, but rather an appetizer. My friend did not know what it was, and according to the menu, it could be served as dinner. It's basically a Korean Pancake, made with seafood, green onions and various ingredients depending on how the chef usually makes it. 

This is an actual pancake that was photographed from the same restaurant, I found this picture on How convenient it is to share pictures online with complete strangers to tell them of how the food looks. 

Let me know if you are willing to meet with me to have some Korean noms, I'm more than willing to share with you my Korean secrets.... 

Here's one: I have none. 


Sunday, November 4, 2012

First timer

My blog supporter, Gregory, has finally had his palate exposed to Korean Cuisine. He drove from Tallahassee in North Florida to Tampa, which is about a 5 hour drive. Let me introduce ourselves,

On the left is me, Harmonity (aka Dorothy) and on the right is Gregory.

We went to a local restaurant in Tampa called Sa Ri One, which is it's popular's name, and I invited my other two friends to come along. I had my usual 순두부찌개, and my two friends had the 돌솥 비빔밥. Gregory, however having no idea what he wanted, I suggested something that I never had myself, but had all the small experiences Korean Cuisine could offer. 뚝배기 불고기, which is beef broth with 불고기 and noodles found in 잡채.

As you can see above, it was a very nice gathering of Korean Dinner.

Here is a video of how wonderful Gregory's soup was from Steve Miller's eyes.

I found this personal blog, but also a professional blog for Korea's Tourist Industry, of a traveling video journalist who visited South Korea. He's the guy in the video above and his blog is located at this website.


November is upon us, and we are expecting a cold front this winter. When you think about it, South Korea has a very cold winter. Let's look at how Eat Your Kimchi, a Canadian married couple staying in Korea, try to stay warm.

I thought Martina was quirky in how she explained the different methods of staying warm. At the end, she says another way to stay warm after all of the other clothes, was a Spudgy. Spudgy is their pet that has been with them since May 2008. That's impressive to me for being there for at least 4 years and still rocking their English. I definitely want one of those animal capes... To my dismay I have not been able to find it.

I can find full pajamas, but I think that would be inappropriate in a normal city setting.

More other ways that are not mentioned, are floor heaters and your food. Martina explained that floor heaters don't have the same benefits on them since they are Canadian and they love to cuddle.

The foods are almost never mentioned, but I wanted to give a shout out to all the stews and soups that we have tasted and found delicious that keeps us warm inside.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dinner time!

순두부찌개, my favorite soup.

There are many different variations, which some include seafood or pork instead of beef. I prefer the one with beef, which I honestly prefer without the beef itself. The blogs I've been following, Beyond Kimchee, Nosh on me, and Korean American Mommy, have different variations of 순두부찌개. Below is Nosh on me's picture of her soup from her local Korean restaurant with seafood.

For those curious, it usually comes with Oysters, Clams and any kind of fish they put it with. Usually white fish. Beyond Kimchee has a recipe on this, but she has Clams and Beef. Interesting combination and she made it herself, which doesn't matter how it should be made since you can really customize it.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. This soup usually comes with a raw egg on top because the soup is boiling as it gets to your table at any Korean restaurant, which cooks it while you wait for it to cool down. 

Korean American Mommy has such a great flow in her blog about the making of the soup, it made me hungry after I just ate dinner. She showed pictures of her using beef, boiling the water to make beef stock, the addition of other ingredients, and the final product.

Kudos, K.A.M. 

Mini Vocabulary with Countries

Now it's time to put your handy Korean skills and figure out the meaning of the following words!

Because Hangul is partly influenced by English there are some borrowed words.
Let's try it!

스타 벅스

In case you were not able to get them all: television, computer, sofa, coffee, Starbucks, jazz, camera, hamburger, bus, coat, romance, sandwich, hot dog.

Hangul does not have a "f", "c" and "x" sound in their vocabulary. This is compensated for the sound of what it sounds like to them in their natural language if you were able to match the translation with the Hangul.

Imagine the countries!



Those were the easier ones. Here are the harder ones:


필리핀 제도

Here is the list in no particular order: France, Spain, Italy, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Norway, Philippines, England, Canada.

And last but not least, America (미국).

~안녕히 가세요~

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Numeral Systems

미안합니다, I have not been true to making posts for everyone to read that is directly connected to learning 한글. I have been extremely occupied with school, work and my family. October is usually my worst month, and I am really sorry for not organizing my time.

To make up for this I will move onto numbers, which will be a little complicated than you think.

So, there are two number systems. There is the Native Korean and the Sino-Korean systems.

A little history will help understand why they have two numeral systems. Sino-Korean is the lettering that is influenced by the original Korean lettering called Hanja. Because Hanja is mostly influenced by Chinese characters, that's where the Native Korean comes in. It's adapted from English and other various languages.

Now that we understand why there's two systems, why can't we just use one?

I honestly have no idea. I searched the inter-webs for an answer that could have been posted, but to no avail. I will ask someone I know personally to get a better understanding. I *presume* it's because the Sino-Korean was passed down, and then the Native Korean was adapted. Don't hold me against that.

Now, the numbers!
I will show you the basic 1 - 10.

Sino-Korean Native Korean Number
하나 1
다섯 5
여섯 6
일곱 7
여덟 8
아홉 9

Remember Professor Oh? Sure you do! Here she is for the NATIVE KOREAN numeral system.

And here is she again for the SINO-KOREAN:


Friday, October 19, 2012

Seasons of Korea

Five hundred twenty-five thousand 
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five
Moments so dear

Five hundred twenty-five thousand 
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure,
Measure a year?

Korea likes to measure their years by their distinct four seasons. It is believed among the Koreans that they are the only country in the world where the weather does look like their respective season, only because they are proud of their country. I don't blame them, Korea is beautiful in the pictures I can see. I strongly look forward to seeing 겨울 (kyeo ul). Here are the seasons with their respective names from left to right each row:  봄, 여름, 겨울 and 가을. 

In December of this year, I will be flying to Seoul, South Korea for two weeks. I will be celebrating the holidays and the Western New Years. The weather at this point will be Winter. There will be snow, lots of snow, and did I mention snow? If the weather is already cold in Jasper, Georgia (thank you family vacation), Korea is going to be extremely cold. According to the Korean, who writes a response to people asking an actual Korean person questions they want to ask but are afraid to offend them, writes that it is just a sense of pride of their weathers, but when they learn English, it comes off as a bit much

However, it was stated at the end that the four distinct seasons pride could favor towards their seasonal holidays. Last week we celebrated 추석, which is the holiday of 가을, 설날 for the 겨울 which I won't be able to celebrate in Korea, 대보름 for 봄, and 단오 for 여름. The last two celebrations, I've never heard of until now. 

대보름 is the celebration of the first full moon of the lunar calendar, after 설날. It literally translates to Full Great Moon, and it's not very exciting as the last two celebrations, but it is a deep respect of their culture to respect the first full moon because it is believed the first person to see the rise of the moon will get good luck for the rest of the year, or grant one wish

단오, also known as 수릿날, is celebrated on the 5th lunar day of the 5th lunar month. They like the number five, don't they? It is a celebration for the end of the sowing season, thanking the high god, which is the translation of 수릿날. This holiday actually originated from North Korea, but recognizing the significance, South Korea adapted it for the same reasons. 

It is fascinating to know there are four major holidays associated with the four seasons respectively. I can't wait to see how they prepare for the Lunar new year. 

Until next time!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My expectations.. Exceeded.

안녕하세요, I hope you all had a great week. I've come to tell you about my experiences of 추석. It went amazingly great and exceeded my expectations. I wasn't able to take pictures of everything, but I did get the fun parts. There were booths lined up to tell you about South Korea and it's culture.

The first booth you saw as you walked in, was a booth based solely on visiting Seoul (서울), the capital. I spoke with the girls a little, and it turns out you can get a Korean name for yourself if you visit a temple in Seoul. However doing some research online, I was not able to find it (drats).

The next booth of five was about Hanbok. Hanbok is the traditional Korean clothing that consists of two different styles. The females wear a long dress that starts at the cleavage, ends on the floor. It can be many layers depending on the seasons. The dress is covered by a small jacket that ends around your waist. Below you can see the red fabric is for the female, however it's not enough to show you the full outfit.

The males wear large "baggy" pants that's very suitable for sitting on the floor with a large overcoat. Their traditional outfit also includes shoes and a hat for the respective genders. The females don't really wear "hats" but rather hairpieces that signifies their social status. You can find more information of this webpage about hanboks.

The next booth was on 태권도.

I found it to be very fascinating because I asked what the difference was between Tae Kwon Do and the other marital arts, and the booth leaders stated,
"The main difference is where it originates from, and at with this particular form, it means to strike with foot. We emphasize on continuing the military form of 태권도 and we emphasize on perserving the history of this method."
 They also had a performance.

The rest of the booths were basically about Korean cuisine and Barley tea. I saved you from the trouble of getting hungry by not taking any pictures. 

There were two more performances I found very critical to the culture of South Korea. One was 부채춤, and the other was another traditional Korean dance, but to my dismay, there are several of those. 부채춤 translate literally into "fan dance" and this is what it looked like.

Her movements mostly resembled a butterfly, which was the whole purpose. It was very entrancing to watch as well as the traditional dance.

The traditional dance was at first used in the Joseon Dynasty to entertain the royals. The dancer had to be very graceful and to show her talents, such as tightrope walking, horse riding, and throwing a ball. Simpler times calls for simpler entertainments. 

I also found an area that no one visited mainly, because it was a study abroad booth. Not connected to the local Korean club, but it was on a school campus, so the placement made sense. 

I found a student inquiring for details of Yonsei University. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

To be thankful

Everyone likes parties, especially when it's your kind of party. I'm attending a party this evening called:


    Yes, you are right, it's Ch-oo-s-euh-k. It's a Korean Thanksgiving celebration in honor of good harvest. It happens on the 12th day of the 8th lunar month. I did some quick research, and to no avail could I understand the lunar calendar. Here's an example. The last day of September was a full moon, as was the first of October. So really, 추석 could happen either tonight or tomorrow night. However the event my local Korean Association is throwing is tonight. 

I look forward to this "celebration" here, but in South Korea, they don't celebrate it. They do honor the "holiday" as we call it, but it's more of a day of remembrance to them. They get up in the morning, go to their hometowns, visit their ancestors and trim their tombs, and prepare for the harvest. I expect there should be lots of food, because when they visit their ancestors, they must pay their respects to them. It's more of praising the ancestors for their support and teachings that they can share with their children. I look foward to eating some 잡채, 불고기 and 송편. I've never had 송편 (s-oh-ng p-yeo-n), and it's a delicacy in traditional Korean cuisine. It's rice cake filled with something sweet of their choice. See below:

That looks goooooood...... For a snack, that is. I found a recipe for this snack-worthy dish, but it came from a full Korean blog, called .... Now about the other food choices I mentioned. 잡채 (j-ah-p ch-ae) is commonly a side dish based of clear noodles and vegetables, but it can be a main dish served on top of rice. The picture is also a secret gateway to the recipe, Beyond Kimchi.

And last but not least, 불고기 (b-oo-l g-oh g-ee). This is Korean BBQ marinated beef, and it's very popular in South Korea as well as other countries with Korean cuisine. It is expensive too, so come with a hefty wallet and an empty stomach to enjoy it more.

I give full credit to Beyond Kimchi for making such delicious recipes and food porn for Korean cuisine. Oops, did I say food p*rn? My bad :).

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eating a Stone Pot.

It was lunchtime and my stomach grumbled, I thought about what to eat for lunch, and I decided on 돌솥 비빔밥. It's also know as 비빔밥, but the difference is how it's served. 비빔밥 (b-ee-b-ee-m-b-ah-p) is mixed vegetables with rice served cold. 돌솥 (d-uh-l-s-uh-t)  비빔밥 is served in a pre-heated stone bowl. The bowl keeps cooking the rice, and you turn it over every so often so the rice gets crispy and not burnt.

Thanks to a food blog on Korean and American cuisines, Nosh on me, for her wonderful picture above. As for the meaning of the dish, 돌솥 means "stone bowl", and 비빔밥 is "mixed rice". There is a huge convenience of  돌솥 비빔밥, which is a Korean classic dish, making it easy to cook. I've prepared another picture from a food blog, Korean Cuisine, in case you were hungry. You can thank me later, just say 잘 먹었습니다, 감사합니다 (jahl-muh-guhs-ssouhm-nee-dah, kahm-sah-hahm-nee-dah).

The biggest part about this dish, is there is a certain way to eat it. Some dishes are presented to look good, but you have to mix it up to it's "boring" state to get the full punch of the flavors. Trust me, this dish is a must  for your first time. Also, this dish comes with side dishes and a 비빔밥 sauce. Here's what they look like:

(I don't know all the names for these dishes, but they are all called 
which literally translates to "side dish")

And the sauce (고추장):

The sauce is not too spicy, but it has a sweetness spicy flavor to help the blandness of the rice. All this talking about 반찬 and 돌솥 비빔밥 is making me in the mood for some 순두부찌개. 

Until next time, 안녕히 가세요.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012


   K-pop bands are usually a group of girls or guys that all dance well, look cute, and can sing. Most singers in America are solo, and I believe it's harder for them to break through because of so many people competing against each other. K-pop bands have less compared to single artists. I want to introduce you to a female k-pop band, Girls' Generation, that started in 2007. They became international around 2010 when they became popular. 

This is K-Pop band Girls' Generation's Oh!

   Neat that I found one with subtitles. Don't stress out too much on trying to read it there, I will post the lyrics. The first line is the Hangul, second is Romanization, which is the pronunciation of the Hangul, and the English translation of the lyrics.

Here is the Hangul lyrics. Make your own Romanization so you can practice it yourself and improve your Korean reading. (P.s. there are double consonants. They just have more stress on the sound. 오빠 is said "oh ppah" with extra effort on the "puh" sound. GOOD LUCK)

전에 알던 내가 아냐
Brand New Sound
새로워진 나와 함께
One More Round
Dance Dance Dance You’ll be wrong This Time
오빠 오빠 I’ll be I’ll be Down Down Down Down
오빠 나좀 봐 나를 좀 바라봐
처음 이야 이런 내 말투 Ha!
머리도 하고 화장도 했는데
왜 너만 나를 모르니
두근 두근 가슴이 떨려와요
자꾸 자꾸 상상만 하는 걸요
어떻게 하나 콧대 높던 내가
말하고 싶어
Oh Oh Oh Oh 오빠를 사랑해
ah ah ah ah 많이 많이해
수줍으니 제발 웃지 마요
진심 이니 놀리지도 말아요
또 바보같은 말 뿐야
전에 알던 내가 아냐
Brand New Sound
새로워진 나와 함께
One More Round
Dance Dance Dance To Me Promise Town
오빠 오빠 I’ll be I’ll be Down Down Down Down
오빠 잠깐만 잠깐만 들어봐
자꾸한 얘기는 말고
동생으로만 생각하지는 말아
일년뒤면 후회 할걸
몰라 몰라 내 맘은 전혀 몰라
눈치없게 장난만 치는걸요
어떻게 하나 이 철없는 사람아
들어봐 정말
Oh Oh Oh Oh 오빠를 사랑해
ah ah ah ah 많이 많이해
수줍으니 제발 웃지 마요
진심 이니 놀리지도 말아요
또 그러면 난 울지도 몰라

전에 알던 내가 아냐
Brand New Sound
뭔가 다른 오늘만은 뜨거운 난
Down Down Mirage The Find Now
오빠 오빠 이대로는 NoNoNoNo
Tell me boy boy love it it it it it ah!
Oh Oh Oh Oh 오빠를 사랑해
ah ah ah ah 많이 많이해
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh 오빠를 사랑해
ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah 많이 많이해
또 바보 같은 말뿐야
Oh Oh Oh Oh
ah ah ah ah
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh 오빠를 사랑해
ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah 많이 많이해
Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh 오빠를 사랑해
ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah 많이 많이 Oh



    This past week, I got to attend my Hangul club, but sadly, I didn't get the email that it started earlier and the location changed in time. I made it for the last 30 minutes where they went over the basic sayings of hello, goodbye, thank you's and sorry's. Luckily, they used the same website I provided in the last post. If you missed it, here it is again.

   As for greeting another person, I've come to the understanding that you should not over-smile, and bow respectfully. The lower you bow, the more respect you show to the other person. Don't bow all the way down to 90 degrees. Unless you're really apologetic. Eye contact is a big deal in South Korea. Here are more things to look at about their culture.

    The teacher was very informative on how to pronounce the alphabet correctly, and she is fully Korean, so that helps. It's easier and right to learn a language that is from someone whose first language is that particular language. When I learned American Sign Language at a community college, my teacher could not hear at all. It was faster to pick up on the signing than it is to have a speaking teacher "waving" her arms around. Granted reading this blog may not help you pronounce it correctly, but this does give you an option to learn it from here, or go out and bask in the sun with another Korean fellow. 

    My teacher used real-life examples, such as, if someone bought you a birthday present, and you know the person really well, what would you say? The student would respond, "고마워" (koh mah woh). If it was someone you didn't know, "감사합니다" (kahm sah hahm nee da). If you did something wrong and you feel really bad, you would say "죄송합니다" (chee sohng hahm nee da). A more informal way would be "미안합니다" (mee ahn hahm nee dah).

   The Hangul Club gave me homework where I combine all the consonants with all the vowels, minus the double consonants and compound vowels. Here is a sample chart:

    I got this from a similar blog, King Korean, which the writer is an attendee of St. John's University. I read through the blog, and it doesn't really go slow enough that you can understand from reading the blog only. It did say it was based on an e-book, so maybe it was for a class. Every detail matters, so it was good she/he put on the fact it was based on the E-book written by their professor.

   I'll be posting another one shortly, and you will get a FUN TIME BLOG! I hope you like K-pop!

Hello, Good bye!

    Here is a good visual of the letters that you should remember from the Alphabet and Vowels posts. The vowel combinations, we haven't gone over, but it's easy enough to understand. You just combine one vowel with another to get the sound you're looking for. Like the a in "Caitlyn" and as stated below, "sale", you make the ㅏㅣ combination.

   If you weren't really able to figure out your name in Korean, this is a great way to easily make it now!

Let's move onto greetings. I used a website I found called, which is associated with Professor Oh videos. Here is the page of the greetings.

There are two ways to say hello

One is 안녕하세요 (ahn nyeong hah seh yo) 
which is the formal way to say it. Mostly used.

Another is 안녕 (ahn nyeong)
This one is very informal. You can use it with good friends or as a casual hello.
Don't use this with meeting new people, it's a sign of disrespect. 

There is a third one, but it's very formal, and I'm not able to find the correct writing for it. 

Next, to say goodbye, you say 안녕히 가세요 (ahn nyeong hee kah seh yo). It's slightly different, but it makes the difference in saying hello and bye.

예 is yes, 아니오 is no, those two are vital if you ask someone a question.

Next post we will talk more about how to properly present yourself.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vowels time!

Now it's time to move to the second part of the video, the vowels!
(starting at 6:30~)

          Notice how all the vowels start with ㅇ. As stated before, it is a silent character at the beginning.
Here are the vowels without the ㅇ that Professor Oh said.

 ㅏ   ㅑ   ㅓ   ㅕ  ㅗ   ㅛ   ㅜ   ㅠ   ㅡ  ㅣ

         These vowels are the most common vowels you will be using. There are more consonants and vowels, but for now we'll start with those.

        Now to understand how to put together those characters to form a group of characters, there are horizontal and vertical vowels. I managed to snag a book, Integrated Korean: Beginning 1, from a good friend from his Korean class. It explains in text very simply:

"One block of character has at least one consonant, and only one vowel, should there be two separate vowels, it would create a new block"

To explain it in a video form, fast forward to 2:57 in the following video:

     It shows you the word for "child" which is 아이. You are more than welcome to watch the whole video too! A good start would be to write your name in Korean!

      Make sure you write it according to what it sounds like, because all the "ahh" sounds are not "aay".

        Caitlyn, the a in this name would be ㅐ(ahh + eee). It's a compound vowel, putting ㅏand ㅣ together. See how the sound makes the difference?

    Comment on what your name is! Harmonity would be 하몬이티.

 ~  안녕히 가세요 ~!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Learning the alphabet!

It's time for the Alphabet song!

No not that one. This one:

  ㄱ        ㄴ       ㄷ      ㄹ     ㅁ         ㅂ       ㅅ         ㅇ    
kiyok    niun    tikut   riul   mium   piup    siot      iung    
(g, k)      (n)     (d, t)    (r, l)   (m)    (b, p)    (s, sh)    (ng)    

  ㅈ       ㅊ     ㅋ       ㅌ     ㅍ       ㅎ
 jiut   ch'iut   k'iuk   t'iut   pp'iup   hiut
(j, ch)   (ch)      (k)     (t)      (p)    (h, ng)

The above letters are consonants of the Korean alphabet. The first row, as you can see, is a Korean letter. The second row is the name of the letter. The third row is the sound it makes either at the beginning or end of the word. For example, 곡 is pronounced "gok" (We will get to the vowels later). Notice how the character is is starting with ㄱ and ending with ㄱ with a vowel in between. That's what the parentheses mean.

For more understanding on how to pronounce correctly, here is Professor Oh!

When you read Hangul, you will see three characters put together in a block. It never starts with a vowel. It can hold two or three letters, but never one. In fact, in the word "receipt", the p is silent. So, when you hear "annong haysaeyo" you'll think, wait, it starts with a vowel. That's where ㅇ comes in. If you didn't watch the video I linked, you should go to 6:30 to see her pronouncing it. Didn't hear it? That's why... It's silent at the beginning. When ㅇ is at the end, it's not silent. Professor Oh has started the vowels, so that should give you a head start on the vowels, which will be posted next!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grammar what?

       Did you know in Hangul, the verb is actually at the end of the sentence? My current language book by Tuttle Publishing, Essential Korean, says there are special markers you use to define the subject. If the subject ends with a vowel, you add (-ga) at the end of the word, for a consonant it's (-i). For the object, if it ends in a vowel, you use (-reul); for a consonant (-eul). Let's try a sentence in english:

                            A cat chased the mouse.

       We understand, a cat (subject) chased (verb) the mouse (object). What if we switched it around?

                             A mouse chased the cat.

       Now that's just silly, but in the Hangul form, you add the ending to the subject and object. For this, we'll use what the book is saying. The book gives the following example:

                    The cat-ga a mouse-reul chased.

     One thing the book did not mention. The Korean word for cat is 고양이. It ends in a vowel but in the English language, a consonant. I got confused when I read it because I thought it would be cat-i. However mouse is 마우스, which also ends in a vowel. The book failed to mention that it would be using the Korean word for the examples. Glad to clear that up! Now if we switch the nouns around, it still would make sense in the Hangul language because the subject has been clearly marked.

                    The mouse-reul cat-ga chased.

     The mouse is still the object and the cat is the subject. If anyone has taken American Sign Language, it's the same basic set up in sentence and describing what happened. Oh, did you know, in Hangul, you don't need the subject if you talk about it enough. That's what I assume.

        Next post, we'll learn about the alphabet!! I'm excited because this will help us get started on the language and writing of the Hangul language.

Until next time!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The beginning of a beginning.

Are you ready,
Are ready for this,
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?!

Great re-mix of Queen's "Another One bites the dust".

Anyway, back to this page.

        Have you ever been to Seoul? It's located in South Korea just below North Korea. I've never been to Seoul, but I am visiting at the end of the year. I'm really excited. But I have some flaws. I am not familiar with the language nor etiquette of South Koreans. So I decided to start a project on learning the Korean language, or others may call it, Hangul. So many links to follow. You don't need to look at the page for Hangul, as I will explain it all in my following posts... Should you choose to the "read" pill..... Anyone seen The Matrix?

        Enough with the references! My name's Harmonity. I'm an online personality, and that's all you need to know!

         Recently, I ate at a Korean restaurant, and I talked with the locals about learning the language. They have said, "Hangul is probably one of the hardest languages to learn because we have so many formality and respective responses." Kudos, for those who believe Spanish is the hardest, Korean just ousted it. Now, what "formality" are we talking about? I'll explain. Looking from a female's view, you have to call your elders by a particular name (mind you I'm learning also), your older sister would be called "un-ni" but from a male's view on the same older sister, would be "noo-na". Now let's do an older brother: Females would say "op-pa" but males would say "hy-ung" (pronounced hun-ung, not hi-ung).

         Must be why Korean books are so difficult to understand because they're teaching to the general public. Don't worry! I will be separating it for males and females so we both can learn easily. After all, you are reading this.

        I have plans to learn this language as painless as possible. I found a local Hangul Language Club, and they meet once every two weeks, and the teachers are volunteers. Oh did I mention it was free? NIFTY! Then I'm going to a local Korean church because I was told by the locals from the restaurant that the Pastor's wife teaches Korean. I am looking forward to that, but for now, I leave you with the globally famous song by PSY...