Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Vocab: 삼성화재 안내견 학교 - 강토 편

평생을 달리지 않는 개가 있습니다.

발을 밟혀도 짖지 않는 개가 있습니다.

평생: whole life
달리다: to run
밟다: step on 밟히다:steped on
짖다:to bark
있다:to be exist, to have

Monday, 29 November 2010

니돈이 내돈이고, 내돈이 내돈이지

니돈이 내돈이고, 내돈이 내돈이지.

nidoni naedonigo, naedoni naedoniji

(Your money is mine and my money is mine)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Chuseok : 추석

Chuseok (Korean: 추석), originally known as Hangawi (한가위) (from archaic Korean for "great middle"), is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. Like many other harvest festivals, it is held around the Autumn Equinox. As a celebration of the good harvest, Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and share a feast of Korean traditional food such as songpyeon.. more pls click "Source"

권선징악: 勸: 권할 권 善: 선할 선 懲: 징계할 징 惡: 악할 악

권선징악: 勸: 권할 권 善: 선할 선 懲: 징계할 징 惡: 악할 악

선을 권하고 악을 징계한다

어불성설: 語: 말씀 어 不: 아니 불 成: 이룰 성 說: 말씀 설

어불성설: 語: 말씀 어 不: 아니 불 成: 이룰 성 說: 말씀 설

말이 말이 되지 않는다. 사리에 안 맞는다

천고마비<天 하늘 천. 高 높을 고. 馬 말 마. 肥 살찔 비.>

천고마비<天 하늘 천. 高 높을 고. 馬 말 마. 肥 살찔 비.>

겉뜻 ; 하늘이 높고 말이 살찐다는 뜻.

속뜻 ; ① 하늘이 맑고 오곡 백과(五穀百果)가 무르익는 가을을 형용하는 말.

② (흉노에게 있어, 전하여 오늘날에는 누구에게나) 활약(동) 하기 좋은 계

절을 이르는 말.

천고마비의 계절-가을!

죽마고우<竹 대나무 죽. 馬 말 마. 故 옛 고. 友 벗 우.>

죽마고우<竹 대나무 죽. 馬 말 마. 故 옛 고. 友 벗 우.>

겉뜻 ; 어릴 때 같이 죽마(대말)를 타고 놀던 벗이란 뜻.

속뜻 ; ① 어렸을 때의 벗. (소꼽동무)

② 어렸을 때 친하게 사귄 사이.

③ 어렸을 때부터 오랜 친구.

백전백승<百 일백 백. 戰 싸울 전. 百 일백 백 勝 이길 승.>

백전백승<百 일백 백. 戰 싸울 전. 百 일백 백 勝 이길 승.>

겉뜻 : 백 번 싸워 백 번 이긴다는 뜻

속뜻 : 싸울 때마다 반드시 이긴다는 말.

독서망양 < 讀 읽을 독,書 책 서,亡 잊을 망,羊양 양>

독서망양 < 讀 읽을 독,書 책 서,亡 잊을 망,羊양 양>

겉뜻 ; 책을 읽다가 양을 잃어버린다는 뜻

속뜻 : 다른 일에 정신이 뺏겨 중요한 일을 소홀히 하게 된다는 비유.

도원결의 <桃복숭아 도,園동산 원,結맺을 결,義옳을 의>

도원결의 <桃복숭아 도,園동산 원,結맺을 결,義옳을 의>

겉뜻 : 복숭아 밭에서 결의를 맺는다는 말

속뜻 : 뜻이 맞는 사람끼리 한 목적을 위해 행동을 같이 할 것을 약속한다는 뜻.

노마지지: 老 늙을 로. 馬 말 마. 之 어조사 지, 智 지혜 지.

노마지지: 老 늙을 로. 馬 말 마. 之 어조사 지, 智 지혜 지.

겉뜻 : 늙은 말의 지혜란 뜻

속뜻 : 아무리 하찮은 것일지라도 저마다 장기나 장점을 지니고 있음을 이르는


Thursday, 9 September 2010

새 발의 피 (Blood on a bird's food)

"No problem!"
When people feel things are so easy to be done, Koreans say like this.

예문: 걱정하지마! 내가 다 알아서 할거야. 뭐 "새 발에 피"지 뭐~

노리개: Norigae (Korean Accessory)

Korean woman in Hanbok is beautiful. Korean women put "Norigae" when they put on Hanbok (Korean traditional dress). It showed their social status with Norigae which is made of jade and silk. In these days, many people buy Norigae (Norigae with cheaper materials) and appreciate the beauty at home because it became an accessory to decorate our home!

Traditional Way of Bow Down (for female)- Etiquette

Adopt Gong-su position (with your hands):

For men, you put your left hand over your right with fingers straight and arms hanging calm at the waist

Gong-su traditional Korean bow. Thumbs under.
For women, put your right hand on your left, and keep your hands straight facing each other. Thumbs under, and hands clasped at your stomach, right under wherever your Jeogori reaches, which for me wasn't nearly far enough...
Do a Keunjeol (big) bow:
For men, take Gong-su, stand in front of your elder buddy, bend your body until your hands reach the floor, drop your left knee, and bend your right one down until you are sitting on your heels. Slowly lower your head to your hands, which should be in triangle format, still left over right on the floor in front of you and hold for 5 seconds. raise your head, then elbow, and come back up, right knee, then left knee. All in fluid motion of course.
For women, take Gong-su, bring your hands up in nice parallel format so your hands touch your forehead and shield your eyes, bowing your head slightly. Drop the left knee, and bring yourself down like the men, but minding your poofy dress so you don't fall. when you get to the floor, don't drop your hands, but how your body from the waist 45 degrees, and patiently hold for 5 seconds
Gong-su hand position. Come back up, bring up your right knee, trying not to step on your dress, then the left leg, and stand, then after a pause, drop those hands.
Of course, after each of these, short bow with hands at stomach for both genders, I suppose for the performance of bow? sigh. It should be noted that our lady leader in this demonstration nearly bit it twice on her own poofy dress, giving me hope that it is not just me, but that the procedure is hopelessly hard, and therefore probably pleasing to elders, who don't get out much anymore, and need any entertainment they can get.  Common bows are called Pyeongjeol, and can apparently be used at any time between equals, though it still involves hitting the floor, and really should only be used for super super successful people or really super duper ancient people. I think.
Koreans I've met in my short time here usually opt for the quicky arms to the stomach head bow, of different lengths depending upon situation and people involved, but I'm eagerly awaiting the day when someone busts out Pyeongjeol!
So far, I find Korea most fascinating because of it's incredible similarities in industry and cultural function, tempered by that rare idiosyncrasy which reminds me that whoa, I'm not in Kansas anymore, but quite a different culture with vastly different internal views, values, and culture. Source

Sunday, 5 September 2010

날짜읽기 (Reading Korean Dates)

Many new generation Koreans often confused to count dates in Korean.
Here are the right answers for the reading Korean dates.

1월: 정월         1일: 하루
2월: 이월         2일: 이틀
3월: 삼월         3일: 사흘
4월: 사월         4일:나흘
5월: 오월         5일: 닷새
6월: 유월         6일:엿새
7월: 칠월         7일:이레
8월팔월           8일:여드레
9월:구월          9일:아흐레
10월:시월        10일: 열흘
11월:동짓달    15일: 보름
12: 섣달           20일: 스무날     30일: 그믐

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

발이 넓다 (He/she has got big feet!)

Someone with good and many connections. Also, we call the person as "Madangbal" (마당발). It means a foot as big as a front yard at home. Madang is the front yard of a traditional Korean house. If a homemaker has "big hand"(큰 손), she is generous in her cooking and spending for others. Also, this "big hand"(큰 손) means for someone who control the biz largely such as property and stocks in the market. There was a lady whose name was Jang Yong Ja, was greatly involved in those markets to move the numbers up and down in 1980's.

예문: 영자씨는 정말 아는 사람도 많아요~ 어떤 문제가 생겨도 영자씨한테 부탁하면 해결이 되지요. 역시 "마당 발"이야...

장영자씨는 강남의 "큰 손"으로 유명했지요.

우리 어머니는 손님을 초대하면 음식을 많이 준비하세요 왜냐하면 어머니는 준비한 음식이 모자를까봐 늘 더 많이 준비하세요. "큰 손"이라니까요..!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The first Korean language course at NEX (Catalog) 2004


The first Korean language course was introduced in NEX catalog 2004.
Korean course AD in JAS member's magazine.
Posted by Picasa

Newspapers 2


Posted by Picasa

Newspapers & Magazine

19 September 2008

Newspapers & Magazine

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 27 August 2010

Ms Yang Mi Kyung@NUS Extension

Ms. Ebony Bae, KLP Co-ordinator, and Mr. Brian Koh (extreme right),
NUS Enterprise Senior Manager, talking to Ms. Yang Mi Kyung (extreme left)

02 November 2006

Ms Yang Mi Kyung@NUS Extension

The following excerpts are taken from NEX.

"GlobalActress Yang Mi Kyung visit on NUS Extention's Korean Language Programme

- By Vignash Naidu, NUS Enterprise; Photo courtesy of Mr. Maurice Lim

The visit by the Korean Actress and ambassador to Singapore on 17 August 2006 was a remarkable event. Ms. Yang Mi Kyung, the supporting actress for the drama serial - Da Chang Jin (大长今), The Jewel in the Palace, graced upon the National University of Singapore Extension's (NEX) and interacted with the students and teachers in the Korean Learning Programme (KLP) class. "

Get the full version here. 

Opening Korean Language in Singapore-Historical Moments

29 October 2008

Introduction to KLP in NUS Extension & NUS opened Korean in 2008.

Introduction to Korean Language Programme (KLP) in NUS Extension

NUS Extension was opened in 1960 as the Extramural Studies Department of the National University of Singapore. Now, NUS Extension has 3 major centers of learning, namely, Center for Enterprise Leadership, Center for Professional and Management Development, and Center for Lifelong Learning.
The Center for Enterprise Leadership offers selected courses and programs for top and senior management. The subjects include Leadership and Influence, Business Ethics, Strategic Management and China Business. The Center for Professional and Management Development offers a range of courses and programs for professionals and business executives. And the Center for Lifelong Learning offers Korean language courses, amongst many other courses, and in which NUS lecturers and non-NUS lecturers hold classes. NUS Extension has over 300 various types of long-term and short-term courses and the diploma courses in its 3 centers, so it is operated quite differently from most private institutes that are commonly known in Korea.

In October 2003, a proposal and plan were put up. After the initial internal inquiry, unlike the English and Chinese language courses which have faculties in NUS itself, the decision to open a Korean language course at NUS Extension itself was made in October 2003. And since its beginnings in early 2004, the Korean language course is one of the fastest growing courses in NUS Extension. (Initiated in Oct 2003, 480 in 2004, 580 in 2005, 1,000 in 2006, 1,500 in 2007)

Firstly, teaching method will be based on the Korean university textbook used by the Korean universities, and surveys will be conducted every year to understand students’ requirements. From the 2nd semester, overseas studies opportunities will be sourced out through universities in Korea and the Ministry of Education. These overseas short-term or long-term stints will help improve students’ ability and also upgrade the standard of the programme. Overseas studies scholarships can be provided to stress the importance of and give opportunities to immerse in the Korean culture, students will then be motivated to further their studies. In the following year, the school should aim to be the local KLPT (Korean Language Proficiency Test) test center. This will encourage students to pursue their Korea studies, and not only learn it as a hobby.

Secondly, access to Korean will promote greater understanding of the language. The Korean Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Ryu Kwang-sok, made a donation of approx 500 books(worth of US$7,000) to NUS Extension and two Korean university text books are currently available at NUS Central Library. It is important to have these books for research purposes and to understand the culture better, nonetheless, it is difficult to acquire Korean books and proper textbooks in Singapore, so it will great resource for the learners to search right information.

Thirdly, the department will hold Korean culture classes. TV dramas can be used to help improve listening and understanding skills; books and other visual aids can be incorporated in special classes for students to understand deep-rooted traditional Korean culture, apart from what is commonly known form popular culture. Those cultural pictures are donated specially and NUS Extension uses for Korean Cultural course.

The first Singaporean teacher to teach in NUS Extension is presently taking a master’s degree course in Korean language after receiving a scholarship from Korea Foundation.

If you ask me why? Then I might say....... "I consider myself as a teacher first and I have a passion for teaching. I think teaching is not just a process of transferring knowledge but inspiring student to develop the love for learning. I feel a strong need to open Korean program in Singapore. Surely I know it will create a variety of opportunities in many ways. I began teaching Korean at NEX (NUS Extension) only because of my passion for teaching at first. As the program begin to gain popularity, I began to see the possibility of opening Korean Language in universities. I don’t really know what drives me to do this, but I guess that it is because of my love for Korea and pride in Korean language as a Korean citizen and teacher. The language of a country represents the country itself and its culture, and is a powerful tool for communication and understanding each other. I hope this will open a gateway for academic research complementing and contributing to both countries’ social diversity and economic development".

NUS to launch Korean as a foreign language department in August 2008.
National University of Singapore has decided to launch a Korean language in August 08. NUS has many corresponding conditions to help meet Korea Foundation’s goal to globalize the Korean language, and thus KF (Korean Foundation) will provide full support as per below response.
KF said“The Foundation's screening committee recognized the significance of your university's initiative to launch a Korean language program in response to the increasing demand for Korean language learning evidenced by the NUS Extension, and in order to equip NUS students with Korean language proficiency for opportunities to participate in exchange programs between NUS and several Korean universities as part of global education.”
As a reference, many universities are interested in opening a Korean language department. But in spite of its strict examination, KF’s prompt response signals the strong will of the Korean government to introduce the Korean language to world-renowned universities.

Launching a Korean language programme at the world-renowned NUS holds more meaning than a mere set-up of a Korean language program or department in any university.

Firstly, there are, and will be, many bilateral ties between Korea and Singapore in economics, trade, tourism, education and culture. Many talents who will contribute in these fields are expected to be grown from this programme in this established university.

Secondly, specialized academic research can be accomplished. Currently, the understanding of the Korean language is based largely on culture contents due to the “Korean Wave”. By having specialized teachers and lecturers to teach in the Korean language programme, a more proper education system can be established. Under NUS’s expertise and systematic approach, research done by the students can narrow the academic gap between the two countries.

Thirdly, this is an opportunity for long-term study and development of the Korean language. As of now, undoubtedly, the popularity of the Korean language is due to the “Korean Wave”. However, if the phenomenon dies down, the learning interest will lessen accordingly. But establishing a program in NUS is for the long run, and not temporary.

NUS has done various research and inquiry before establishing this program. Much expertise has been employed to prepare for the launch in August 2008, as officially announced. NUS curriculum will take into account on NUS Extension’s successful Korean Language Program case and students’ feedback in NUS campus. Thus compared to the set-up of other languages’ program, the Korean language faculty should be more well-assured for its launch.

YTN News 2005

News feature in a local Korean news network, YTN.
NoteThis is not a good representation of my normal lessons. I don't usually show the flash cards so fast. I was a bit nervous with the presence of the YTNews crew and it's a pity that the news did not air the students' activities. 

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

말에 뼈가 있다 (His words have bones)

Sometimes, although you learn Korean langauge for sometime, when you watch dramas, you may hear the sentences right but you may see different reactions from the parties. His/her comments harbor hidden meaning or criticism. You may know as this as "His word brstle with thorns."

한국 사람들이 비꼴때...

예문: 다음 대통령은 정치를 잘 아는 정치인 중에서 선택하는 것이 옳은 일이다.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Sunday, 15 August 2010

언제 국수 먹지?

In olden days, many couples could not afford to have grand weddings due to poverty.

In a wedding, a bowl of noodle soup is given to each guests after the wedding ceremony and that was very common. When people ask “When can I have a bowl of noodle soup?” (언제 국수 먹지요?) means "when are you going to marry?" indirectly.
When I was twenties, my carrier was important so I did not think of marriage too much although my friends were married on time (early 20's ~ mid 20's). After my mid 20's, hearing this question like "언제 국수 먹지?" became a pressure. So, you may have to be careful to use... it can be fun for someone but it can be a stressful question for someone.

When I was young, I used to eat this noodle soup when I went to old type of markets with my mother... I still like the taste and I still make this for my family sometimes at home.

김망재선생 언제 국수를 먹지요? (언제 결혼해요? 중매를 해 준 사람으로서 당연히 궁금한데... )

Places to Eat in KOREA!

Source from: Korean Times

가가호호 (家家戶戶)

한자의 뜻: 집(家) 지게문(戶)
뜻: 집집마다

예:인구 조사가 시작되자, 조사요원들이 家家戶戶 방문하여 그 집 식구의 숫자를 파악하고 다닙니다.
인구: population

Monday, 26 July 2010

격세지감 (隔世之感)

틈(격), 세계(세), 어조사(지), 느낄(감)

풀이: 많은 변화에 다른 세대처럼 느껴 질 때.

예: 아이들을 가르치면서 많은 격세지감을 느낀다.

유유상종 (類類相從)

무리(유), 서로(상), 따를(종)

비슷한 사람들끼리 모이다.

예: 같이 어울리는 사람들을 보면 "유유상종"을 실감할 정도로 비슷한 성격을 가지고 있다.


등질(배), 은혜(은), 잊을(망), 덕(덕)

은혜를 잊고 도리어 배반함.

예: 은인 집에서 한달 동안 거저 살고 일자리도 얻고 남편도 은인의 중매로 만났어도 그 은혜를 져버리고 배신한 행동을 할 때 "배은망덕"한 사람이라고 한다.

예: 은인 덕분에 목숨을 건졌어도 오히려 그 은혜를 악으로 갚는 사람들을 "배은망덕"한 사람들이라 한다.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Common Error in Korean 1 (자주 실수하는 말)

No worries mate! Even Korean people make mistakes in Korean language!
These are the ones and a bit comfuzzzing!!!!

맞추다(assemble, fix up..)/맞히다(hit right)?
답: 퍼즐을 맞추다.
답을 알아맞히다(guess right).
가르키다(indicate)/가르치다(to teach)?
답: 영어를 가르치다.
사진을 가르키다
다리다(iron out)/달이다(boil down with slow fire)?
답: 옷을 다리다.
한약을 달이다.
잃어 버리다(lost)/잊어버리다(forget)?
답: 약속을 잊어버리다.
연필을 잃어버리다.
부치다(send)/붙이다(glue it)
답:우표를 붙이다.
편지를 부치다.

Friday, 25 June 2010

가족 호칭

무슨 띠예요? What is your zodiac?

This year (2010) is the tiger year.
It is special year because it is the white tiger which comes in 60 years time.
이번 년도는 호랑이띠 해입니다.
60년에 한 번 오는 특별한 호랑이 띠죠... 백호(백호랑이)라고 하는....
쥐, 소, 호랑이, 토끼, 용, 뱀, 말, 양, 원숭이, 닭, 개, 돼지입니다.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

죽도 아니고 밥도 아니다. (it is neither rice nor porridge.)

When a project or an event that goes nowhere, Koreans say this.
When someone wants to cook rice but it turns neither rice nor porridge.

예문: 일을 시켰는데... 이게 뭐야?  죽도 밥도 아니네... 처음부터 다시 하세요!

지금 포기하면 어떻게해? 거의 다 했는데... 조금만 더 잘 해서 끝내봐... 지금 끝내면 "죽도 밥도 아니야". 알았지!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

ㅂ-Irregular Verbs (ㅂ-불규칙 동사)

1. ㅂ irregular verbs drop ㅂ before an ending beggining with a vowel, and then add 오/우.
2. Usually 우 is added, but the verbs 돕다(to help) add 오when follwed by the edning '어 (아,여).


Verb -어/아/여요 -(으)면 -ㄹ 을 거예요
반갑다(glad) 반가워요 반가우면 반가울 거예요
고맙다 (thankful) 고마워요 고마우면 고마울 거예요
아름답다 (beautiful) 아름다워요 아름다우면 아름다울 거예요
맵다(spicy) 매워요 매우면 매울 거예요
춥다 (cold) 추워요 추우면 추울 거예요
돕다 (help) 도와요 도우면 도울 거예요

만나서 반갑습니다.
만나서 반가워요.
반가우면 악수를 합니다.
옛날 친구를 만나면 반가울 거예요.

도와줘서 고마워요.
고마우면 항상 기억하지요.
도와주면 정말 고마울 거예요.

한복이 아름답습니다.
한국말도 아름다워요.
경치가 아름다우면 사진을 찍고 싶어요.
바다에 가면 경치가 아름다울 거예요.

김치는 맵습니다.
김치가 매워요.
음식이 너무 매우면 잘 못 먹습니다.
김치가 아마 매울 거예요.

겨울에 너무 춥습니다.
날씨가 너무 추워요.
날씨가 추우면 보통 집에 있습니다.
내일 아마 추울 거예요.

한국학교에서 돕습니다.
친구들을 도와요.
불쌍한 사람을 도우면 기분이 좋습니다.
그 친구가 지금 아프리카에서 사람들을 도울 거예요.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Jjim Jil Bang-Korean Souna 찜질방 한국 사우나

Picture from My lovely Sam Soon
Watch My lovely Sam Soon
(내 이름은 김삼순)

A typical jim jil bang consists of various sauna rooms, some dry and some full of steam, ranging in temperatures from room temperature to 90 degrees. There is almost always a "cold" room as well, where customers can recover from a rapid increase in body temperature. The saunas scratch only the surface of what the typical jim jil bang has to offer. There are often computer rooms, sleeping rooms, game rooms, movie rooms, a restaurant and snack bar, "nora bang" or singing rooms, massage rooms and massage chairs. Bookworms can also check out the latest comic books. While some customers visit the jim jil bang strictly for medical reasons, many people look at a visit as a chance to get out of the house, chat with friends, watch a movie and eat a meal. Some adventurous souls are known to spend the entire night relaxing at the jim jil bang. Most jim jil bangs are open 24 hours a day and cost only 5,000 or 6,000 won from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and slightly more during the evening. There is no time limit for a customer's stay. more stories

교실 용어 (敎室用語)

1. 선생님(을) 보세요. Please look at the teacher.
2. 말하세요. Please speak.
3. 크게 말하세요. Please speak loudly.
4. 들으세요. Please listen.
5. 읽으세요. Please read.
6. 쓰세요. Please write.
7. 알아요? Do you know?
8. 몰라요. I don’t know.
9. 알겠어요? Do you understand?
10. 질문(이) 있어요? Do you have a question?
11. 대답하세요. Please answer.
12. 책(을) 덮으세요. Please close your book.
13. 숙제하세요. Please do your homework.
14. 연습하세요. Please practice.
15. 외우세요. Please memorize.
16. 다시 하세요. Please do it again.
17. 잘 했어요! You did good job!
18. 좋아요. It is good.
19. 안 좋아요. It is not good.
20. 맞아요. It is correct.
21. 말하기 Speaking
22. 듣기 Listening
23. 쓰기 Writing
24. 읽기 Reading
25. 예. Yes.
26. 아니요. No.
27. 1과 (課) Chapter 1
28. 1급 (級) Level 1
29. 선생님 Teacher
30. 학생 Student
from Basic Conversational Korean Textbook.

Korean must save face: 체면 (Chae Myeon)

사진: 양반탈 (Picture: Hahoetal)
Most Koreans are concerned about what others think of them that’s why they try to dress up , look good to keep up with the Jones’. We call this 체면(Chae Myeon). (한국사람한테 체면이 아주 중요해요). Chae Myeon mens “to save face". It can be translated as "maintain dignity in the presence of others.
It might sound a little strange or overly self conscious but it’s a part of Korean culture. Some people even get loans to buy fancy cars or the latest cell phons so as to show that they are not less than their peers. In Down town Korea, we often see many well dressed women who look like cook wherever shoe goes. As you can see, Korean culture is probably some what different from all over the world, there are cultural differences from historical and social, so consider theym carefully with an open mind. When you begin to accept and understand the differences between the Korean culture and that of your own, you will meet a whole new world the warm-hearted Korean people. Source

I am embarrased by Koreans!

Picture from
Koreans are asking so many personal questions!!

Yes, I understand this. Ha ha, It is natural to some Westerners to say hi to strangers with a smile. Some Korean people may misunderstand that you like them. You are saying "Hi~" to them whenever you see them and they think that you are interested in them. Then they may start to ask some questions to get to know you better. Many Koreans are really thoughtful and caring people so if they get to know someone, they want to become closer by asking about the person's personal life. For instance, you may have questions such as "How old are you?", "Do you have a religion?", or "Do you have a boy or a girl friend?". Do not be embarrassed! Koreans regards asking these kinds of questions as a way of getting to know you more closely and being a friend. Especially Koreans care so much about a person's age. Korea maintains the strong hierarchical relationship between the olds and youngs. If Koreans know that you are older than them, they will treat you in a more respectful way. Therefore, the question "how old are you?" originates from cultural and historical reasons. Source

Koreans eat from the same dish!

Koreans eat all together from the same dish!

It may be really shocking and strange for you to discover that Koreans share their food from and eat out of the same dish without using serving spoons or individual plates. It is a Korean custom to share their food in this matter. For the Koreans, having a meal together is not merly eathing but also a sharing of the mind and a chance to get closer to one another. If you feel uncomfortable eathing out of the samedish, you can ask the host to give your individual plate before hand the start of the meal. They will be delighted to do that. Nowdays, the wester style eathing culture has caught on in Korea. So Korans understand that eating out of the same dish can be unacceptable to Wester Culture and even some Koreans! So, do not hesitate to say” Mai I have my own palte?” (개인 접시 좀 주시겠어요?) before the start of the meal. However if you have an advaenturous sprit, you are always welcomed to try meal together the Korean way, be close to them and experience a new culture. 출처
김치찌개는 조금 맵지만 아주 맛있어요. (Kim Chi Jji gae is a bit spicy but it is delicious)

Culture Shock in Korea : A toilet paper on the table

1. A toilet paper on the table?

You might be shocked see toilet rolls in the living room or even on the dining table. You might be more shocked when your Korean friends suggest that you could use the toilet paper or to wipe your mouth or face. In Korea, toilet paper is used everywhere in homes, offices and classrooms. Please don't think it is dirty or unhygienic, after all the paper comes form the same factory as he tissue boxes and it’s just matter of presentation. This toilet roll has never been in the bathroom before. Each culture has different ideas about what is acceptable or not acceptable. So don't prejudge that this practice is unhygienic but rather, try to understand the thinking behind this social practice with an open mind. Source
티슈: Tissue, 물 티슈: Wet Tissue, 화장지: Toilet paper or bathroom paper, 휴지: Waste paper

Korean Greetings

Picture from left: Casual Greeting, Common Greeting, Formal Greeting

한국 인사말

1. 안녕하세요?
2. 안녕히 가세요. Good bye.
3. 안녕히 계세요. Good bye.
4. 드세요. Please try. (this food)
5. 잘 먹겠습니다. Thank you for the food. (Before the food)
6. 잘 먹었습니다. Thank you for the food. (After the food)
7. 천만에요. You are welcome.
8. 안녕히 주무세요. Good night. (Respective form)
9. 감사합니다. Thank you.
10. 고맙습니다. Thank you.
11. 축하합니다. Congratulations.
12. 미안해요. I am sorry.
13. 또 만나요. See you again.
14. 실례합니다. Excuse me.
15. 만나서 반갑습니다. Nice to meet you.

Cultural Note: Korean Greetings

There are many greetings in Korea. When you greet someone, it is polite to bow your head down. However, you may have to give a bigger bow when you greet your elders. There are two ways of saying “goodbye” in Korean. 안녕히 가세요 is said to the person who is leaving. On the other hand, 안녕히 계세요 is said to the person who is staying or not leaving, to the host.

from page 10, Basic Conversational Korean Textbook

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Delicious! 맛있습니다!

맜있습니다. Delicious! 더 주세요: Please give me more 더 드세요: Please eat some more
When you drink alcoholic drinks with an elder or more, you should turn the head to side to drink. When you have a meal with more than two people, the eldest must pick up the spoon or chopstick first then you can start your meal.

Don't risk your life!~ 목숨 걸지 마세요~

(Moksum gulji maseyo)
Take one's death upon : ~에 목숨을 걸다.
e.g.: lay[or put, place] it on the line: (목숨~돈 따위를) 위태롭게 하다, 걸다. 돈을 걸다.
Only $5! : 단 돈 500원! e.g.: 가방이 단 돈 10,000원 싸지요? (싸다: Cheap)
President's room/director's room: 사장실 (社長室):

Insadong - a place to experience Korea's past

A hundred years ago, it is said that Insa-dong was full of stores providing high quality wares for the palace. Modern day Insa-dong is made up of antique stores, used bookstores, hand made craft stores, and traditional teahouses. In carefree disregard of the high-rise buildings in its backdrop, the stores here are usually one-story buildings that have maintained the atmosphere of the past. Here, in the myriad of fine craft stores that line both sides of the street, you can find anything from a simple hanbok (traditional Korean clothing), key chains costing only 1,000 won to beautiful Goryeo era vases. All sorts of items representative of traditional Korea, small and large, are gathered here. Recently there has also been an influx of items that have dominated an era yet can't entirely be considered Korean, as well as foreign peddlers selling items from various countries around the world. Insa-dong can now be considered a giant flea market. And more..
Insadong Pictures

A Cup of Tea - Traditional Teahouses of Insa-dong

After a long day strolling about town, nothing is as rejuvenating as sipping a cup of Korean tea in a traditional Korean teahouse, or chatjip. These enchanting places are a wonderful medley of tastes, aromas and sounds, brought together in a warm and quintessentially Korean setting. Go with a friend and share an intimate conversation over tea and Korean snacks, or go by yourself to relax and soak in the atmosphere. The charming Insa-dong neighborhood, with its plethora of galleries and antique dealers and craft shops, is home to many Korean traditional teahouses, each one unique in its own way.

Monday, 26 April 2010


from Hwang Jin I Drama

The grass always looks greener on the other side. 남이 떡이 커 보인다.

Pronouciation: Namui tteoki keoboinda.

We all love to compare and when a person often do and complain, people often advise with this idiom.

예문: 너무 효리를 부러워 하지마.. 항상 남이 떡이 더 커보이는 거야.. 자기 만족! 알았지!


Koreans culd not find nor bother to find nor proper translations. Ha ha, Koreans use English into Korean slang. When Soulth Korea adopted English, the words flooded into our culture as all internet new languages are made among new generation and used... They shorten the word or put the word together with Korean "하다" often and use conveniently.

오늘 뭐 했어? 응~ 쇼핑도 하고 인터넷에서 채팅도 하고.... 해피한 날이야!

Korean Language in Australia

The immigration of Koreans has increased since very early 90's and is expected to grow more. No one knows how Koreans came to Australia and when but number of Korean population is increasing steadily. Although Korean Hangeul School on Saturday is available and Korean language course is available in universities or colleges, the students are rarely taking Korean language. Compare to New Zealand, at least Australian government has been supporting Korean schools (Hangeul School on Sat.) for immigrants’ second generation and foreigners (locals) but the given budget from both (Australia and Korea) countries are insufficient as our immigrant society is economically weak and teaching manpower and materials are lacking.

I often compare with my experience in Singapore when I started setting up Korean courses for first time in Singapore and feel that I took a time-machine in Perth. However, I can see a potential for Korean languages for our next generation and foreign students to experience the great deal of benefits from learning Korean Language one day as my students have been experiencing in Singapore from the zero generation in Korean language learning if we consider below points and contribute.

1. Korean government needs to provide intensive supports for the revitalization of Korean Language Education providers especially for Hangeul Schools and universities. Korean books are must be in local libraries for young learners to improve their reading skills that also gives a connection to the culture in Korea from young.

2. Australian government should have more confident in introducing Korean language as Korea is in their top trade business countries and top universities should adopt Korean language in their SAT II test system as well as other Asian languages.

3. Korean Hangeul Schools must consider to have more trained teachers with teaching supports such as textbooks, materials, updated information in teaching, right honorarium etc.) and the schools must provide proficiency tests for the learners yearly so that the learners may aim for working or studying in Korea with the scholarship or own. Language is a tool and these students will contribute the economy for both Australia and Korea.

4. Second generation children should speak more than one language from this era as many South Asian countries education system has already implemented in their curriculums (e.g.: The Bilingual Education Policy in Singapore, Singapore) from two decades ago. All parents should be aware of importance of speaking Korean as it is their identity in them. Following up and checking their study and practicing it together at home should be carried out and there are useful information in the internet as well.

5. Foreign Students should have a confident to explore to study the language and the culture as many countries are doing business with Korea. Korea business market has been aggressively expanding internationally from late 90’s as everyone sees Samsung, LG, Hyundai, logos around us because Korea is now a business hub of Asia. Masters courses with the scholarship programs are given to many international students in Korea and getting the schoparship has been getting comptitive among international students and this shows the strong demands among international students and new generation Koreans.

To the immigrants, How about if our children do not have the Asian’s values in them anymore nor other speaking foreign languge from very young? I met foreign parents enrol their chileren to Hangeul schools for them to learn Korean. Both parents are not Korans.

To the countries, are we able to avoid the multinational society in Australian culture from now? Do we put enough budgets on our education system including second or foreign language programs? Not only the education can be the investment for ten decades but also it is intangible cultural assets for both countries.

Today, people used to be busy to be westernized but people want to be orientalized with many reasons. I might be unrealistic to point out above points with my one year living in Perth but there is a hope for everyone to make a difference from zero generation stage for our children and locals who value Korean culture in Perth.

24 April 2010

A Glance of Korea - Tradition Martial Arts Foods


To understand Korean culture, this movie is highly recommanded. 100 Best Korean Movies
including Shiri, Shilmido and others
Plot: While digging up remains at a Korean War battlefield to set up a memorial site, the South Korean Army excavation team notifies an elderly man that they identified some remains as his own. He believes that they may be those of his brother and drives over to the site with his granddaughter. Continue with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taegukgi_(film

Friend : 친구 (Chin Ku)

At a time when students had to fasten their collars and crease their slacks till they're razor sharp, these four friends strutted around in their own custom-fashioned uniforms. They walked the streets with their heads held high, shoulders straight, and chests out, fearing nothing when they were together. Joon-suk, a son of a vigilant gang boss; Dong-su, the only son of an undertaker; Sang-taek, a diligent student; Joong-ho, who never keeps his mouth shut. Those are the gang of friends who share their fantasies about naked woman on the porn magazine and their awe at Bruce Lee's Kungfu.Each of their lives takes different turns as they grow up and their paths cross in conflict with each other's. Joon-suk becomes the leading henchman of his father's crime ring and Dong-su is serving for Joon-suk's rival gangs. Sang-taek and Joong-ho find themselves helplessly watching their two best friends wield knives at each other...
In this movie, the actors use heavy "Busan" accent and we call "Saturi" 사투리. Seoul accent is standard.

The empty cart makes more noise. (빈수레가 요란하다)

Binsurae ga yoranhada.

For centuries, Koreans have applauded tacifurnity and frowned on chaterboxes. In the culture, people prefer to a man with less words.

요란하다: noisy, loud, boisterous..
요란한, 요란스럽다, 요란하게

오토바이가 요란한 소리를 내면서 지나갔다.
콘서트가 아주 요란하게 시작했다.
배가 고파서 "꼬로록" 소리가 요란스럽다.
옆 집 아줌마가 옷을 요란스럽게 차려 입었다.

Ppalli, Ppalli!!! (빨리, 빨리!!!)

Be Hurry, hurry!!! Koreans say "Ppalli ppalli' when they want to other to speed up. The term now symbolizes Korean's penchant for rushing things. Although Koreans do not need to be hurried, they seem always in a hurry to do things.

예문: 빨리 빨리 가, 빨리 빨리 숙제 해! 빨리 빨리 샤워 하고! 빨리 빨리 자! 한국사람들은 그저 빨리 빨리...

Monday, 29 March 2010

Basic Conversational Korean Textbook

While I was teaching at NUS Extension, we had found that one of institutions copied my materials. Not only had they erased my names on the pages but also they use for their Korean courses with my book in mid 2005.
Before Korean Language Course became Korean Language Program (KLP), all lecturers have to prepare their own notes to teach under “course”. Following KICE guide line is vital to design the course because I had a vision to teach Korean language with university level with a university textbook for first time in Singapore so that the students can immerse into the classes in Sogang university without a great deal of problem. After Korean Wave had arrived in Singapore, teaching Korean was getting easier as many people have a minimum level of knowledge from media such as greetings 안녕하세요? So teaching Korean became easier than I started to teach Korean in late 1990's with the internet's help too.

My textbook was for local students and the textbook lead them to next basic level of university textbooks smoothly. Below reasons made me to print my own textbook with NUS publishing with Dr. Kim C.W.'s advice and help.

As NUS Extension did not give any budget to buy textbook in advance, I had to put my money, some thousand dollars to order the Sogang University textbooks in advance and the order tooks three months to arrive. When the textbooks arrived after few months later then I could able to claim the money to NUS Extension but the payment took another few months to come back to me so I had been putting around S$6,000 ~ S$7,000 or more to order the books till Korean Language course became Korean Language Program. My basic level of textbook could lower the course fee too.

When I look at my textbook, I never forget the memory of hardship that I went through to make the Korean Language Program from the uneasy start.

It was the first born tailor made textbook with feedback of my students in Singapore taken into account. I never forget the students who helped me.