Categories
Alphabet Korean

Introduction to Korean

First, let’s learn the Korean alphabet!

First make sure your browser can read Korean characters. Make sure your browser encoding is set to Unicode, or UTF-8. If you can see this character (한국), then you are fine.

The Korean alphabet is called ‘Hangeul’, and it is constructed the same way English is constructed, with consonants and vowels! That means you only have to memorize 40 characters, compared to 26 in English.

Each Korean word starts with a consonant, followed by a vowel, either positioned to the right of it, or below it. Korean words are formed by 2-4 characters as one syllable.

A word like 한 is one way of stacking, having the vowel to the right of the first consonant, with the third character under those two. 글 is the other main way of stacking, where the vowel falls below the first consonant, with the third character below the second. A third character will always fall on the bottom. You will never have three characters in a row on the top.

Does this make sense to you? If so, continue on to the next part!

Categories
School/Work

Korean Grammar, Verb/Noun Conjugations, Continued…

Continuing from my previous post on learning korean, I’ve found that many textbooks and beginning korean grammar books are insufficient. Mainly, they’re too old fashioned and often teach you very formal, polite ways of saying things. But I want to be able to talk to my korean friends using colloquial modern usage!! I’m not going to Korea on business or anything, I just want to make some korean friends. So those books don’t help me there. (the best book out there is probably this one).

But luckily I found a site that is pretty good at teaching korean called Talk to me in Korean, and it often gives examples that are very colloquial, which is good. I will summarize noun/verb conjugations here, when I use brackets or parens, its to denote different politeness levels, or different vowel/consonant conjugations.

Noun conjugations:
-은/는, to denote topic noun, which is more general than the subject, also used for contrast.
-이/가, to denote the subject, which is more specific than the topic.
-들, to emphasize plurality on a noun.
-을/를, to denote noun being acted on by a verb (the object).
-으로/로 , to denote a noun is being used (by,with), or direction, or selection, or change.
-의, to denote possession between two nouns.
-(이)나/아니면 – to link nouns with ‘or’ expression.
-에, which can denote place, time or quantity. It’s equivalent to [at / on / in].
-에서, which indicates a dynamic location or source of action. It’s same as 에 but has to be action happening there.
-와/과,-하고,-(이)랑 to link two nouns together. 와/과 is most formal, (이)랑 is most colloquial.
-도, which adds the meaning of also/too/even to a noun.
-만, which adds the meaning of just/only to a noun.
-이나/나, which means something similar/or/as many as/about.
-에서/부터,-까지 which means from a time/place to another time/place.
-한테, -한테서, which means to someone, and from someone.
-[noun1] [noun2]-보다 더 [verb] – to compare two nouns.
-를 위해/위해서, to add meaning of ‘in order for’ to a noun.
-[noun1] 하고 [noun2] 중에서/중에 – adding meaning of ‘amongst/between’ two nouns. -사이에서 is used for meaning of ‘amongst’ between people. -사이에 is used for meaning of ‘between’, talking about physical space between two nouns.
-아무(런) + [noun] + -도 + (없어요) = there is no [noun] of any kind
-(이)라고 + [verb1] – adds meaning of ‘they say that (something is) + [noun]’ (quoting). -(이)래요 + [verb1] is another way of quoting someone, more colloquially. -(이)라던데(요) is another way of quoting someone, but expecting a response from the listener.
-[noun1] 말고 [noun2] – expressing not [noun1] but [noun2]
-에 비해서 – means compared to something. -에 비하면 – means if compared to something
-대신에 means ‘instead of’
-가장 + [noun] + 중의 하나 – adds meaning of ‘one of the most’ to a noun/verb.
-(이)라는 건 – ‘what they call…’ ‘so-called…’
-에 따라 다르다 / -에 따라서 달라요 / -마다 다르다 – it depends on [noun].
-같이/처럼 = like + [noun], as + [noun]. [noun1]-같이 and -같은 + [noun2] – the thing (noun2) which is like [noun1]
-만큼 – as much as [noun1]. -얼마만큼 – how much of [noun1]
정말 -고 싶지만 – as much as I would like to….
-(이)라니까(요) – ‘I said I…/I told you that I…’
-적 -ic, -ical, -like, a sort of

Verb conjugations:
안 + [verb] / -지 (않다/않아요/않아), which adds negative form of the verb.
-아/어/여 (주세요/줘), which adds meaning of ‘favor/do this for me’ to the verb.
만약 + [sentence], -(으)면, which adds meaning of ‘if’ to a verb.
-고 – which links verbs together with ‘and’.
-거나,-든지,-든가 – which links verbs together with ‘or’.
-지만 – which links verbs together with ‘but’.
-아/어/여요,-자 (casual), which adds meaning of ‘let’s do’ to a verb.
-아/어/여서 linking verbs, to show reason (because), result, or purpose.
-라도, which is used in suggestions to mean that it isn’t the best choice or option. Means ‘any’ when used with who/what/when/where/which.
-(으)니까 also links verbs to show reason or relationship, but can be used in imperative sentences as well.
-ㄹ/을 텐데 also links verbs, but its about assumption or guessing, more uncertainty.
-기 위해/위해서, ‘in order for’
-ㅁ/음 is to turn single words (verbs or adjectives) into nouns, and not full sentences.
-밖에 + [negative verb], ‘only’,’nothing but’
-(으)ㄴ + 다음에,-(으)ㄴ + 후에,-(으)ㄴ + 뒤에, ‘after doing [this]’
-아/어/여 + 도, ‘yet/but still’
-자마자 -‘as soon as’
-ㄹ/을 수록 – ‘the more [verb1], the more [verb2]’
-다가, 하다가 – ‘while I was doing [verb1]’, ‘and then…’ to join the next sentence.
-(으/느)ㄴ 데다가 – in addition to [verb]ing, on top of being [adj]
-(이)라고 + (말)하다 – ‘to say that…’. -(으)라고 – is the same meaning but used for imperative statements.
-(ㄴ/는)다고 + [verb1] – ‘they say that (something) + [verb1]’ (quoting). -(ㄴ/는)대(요) + [verb1] is another way of quoting someone more colloquially. -(ㄴ/는)다던데(요) is another way of quoting someone, but expecting a response from the listener.
-다고/라고 들었어요 is used for ‘I heard that… / they say that…’
-그러니까,제 말은,아니 + [new meaning] + -(ㄴ/은/는)다고요/-(이)라고요/(-(이)라는/-다는) 말이에요 – used to correct yourself in sentences to say ‘I mean..’ [new meaning]
-(으)ㄴ/는지 – adds meaning of ‘whether or not’ or uncertainty to a verb.
-[verb1]-지 말고 [verb2] – expresses not verb1 but verb2
-는 대신에 – ‘instead of’ and ‘in return’
-(으)ㄴ/는 김에 – ‘while you are there’ ‘while I am at it’ etc to the verb.
-(으)ㄹ 겸 (해서) – added to express more than one purpose to the verb, and also functions as a slash (/) meaning.
-(으)며 /-(으)면서 – while; at the same time; (doing) simultaneously.
-(으)러 가다 – giving reason for doing something.
-는지에 따라(서) 다르다 / -느냐에 따라(져)요 – it depends on [verb].
emphasis: -기는 + [verb] (DID do [verb]) / 수는 + [verb] ( COULD do [verb]).
-(으)려면 S: equivalent to if S intends to [verb]
-으러/러 – to show in order to do something
-아/어/여 봤자 + [negative verb] – even if, it’s no use, it won’t work.
-(으)나마나 – no matter whether someone does something or not.
-길래 + [result verb] – doing something as result of observation or judgement.
-아무리 + [verb] + -아/어/여도 – no matter how + verb/adj/adverb. 아무리 -어/어/여 봤자, 아무리 -고 싶어도, 아무리 -려고 해도, 아무리 -(으/느) ㄴ다고 해도 are similar.
아무리 + [verb] + -아/어/여도 그렇지… – no matter how, but still….
-냐고 + [question related word] (물어보다,질문하다,말하다) – makes reported questions, ie. he asked, she asked, I asked…, etc
-기만 하면, -(느)ㄴ 한 (more formal), -지만 않으면 – ‘as long as’
-도록 – “so that”,”in a way that”,”to the point where”. The verb before -도록 either: expresses objective of following verb, expresses effect or method leading to following verb, expresses extent or degree of the following state or action.

Verb-Noun conjugations
To make a verb into a noun (-ing), add -는 것 to the verb. This becomes -는거 when speaking, -는건 when its a topic, -는게, when its a subject, -는걸 if its an object.
There is another way to do this, add -기 to the verb, which becomes -긴 when its a topic, -게 when its a subject, -길 when its an object. But the usages of this way is more specific than using -는 것.
-(는거) 잘 하다/못 하다 – to be good or poor at doing something
-(는거) 같아요 – ‘seems like’, or ‘I think that’, to a noun-verb.
-(기) 전에 – ‘before’ to a verb-noun.
-기 쉽다 – easy to do (something).
-기 어렵다 – hard to do (something).
-(이)라는 + [noun]/것 – adds meaning ‘this thing called…’. For verbs, -(ㄴ/는)다는 것 – ‘what they call…’ ‘so-called…’
-ㄴ/은 + [noun], which turns adverbs into adjectives (present tense noun modifier).
-는/(으)ㄴ/(으)ㄹ + [noun], which turns verbs into adverbs (present tense noun modifier).
-(으)ㄹ + [noun]/것 – to make a verb future tense noun modifier
-(으)ㄴ + [noun]/것 – to make a verb past tense noun modifier
-ㄴ/는 + [noun]/것 – to make a verb present tense modifier
-던 is attached to past or present tense verbs (replacing 다) to modify following nouns (it’s the [noun] that I am/used to [adjective-verb]). .

Copula (endings):
-있다 (base) / 있습니다 (formal) / 있어요 (polite) / 있어 (plain) = to have, to be there.
-이다 (base) / 입니다 (formal) / 이에요 (polite) / 이야 (plain) = to exist, to be.
-하다 (base) / 합니다 (formal) / 해요 (polite) / 해 (plain) = to do.
-돼다 (base) / 돼요 (polite) / 돼 (plain) = to function, to be possible, can do.
-같아요/같아 – ‘seems like’, or ‘I think that’ to a noun.
-군요 /구나 – implies the speaker acknowledges or recognizes something (I see).
-거든(요) – used when giving information or explaining something (because).
-고 (싶다/싶어요/싶어), adds ‘want to do’ to the verb.
-지(마세요/마), ads ‘don’t do’ to the verb.
-ㄹ 수 있다/없다, 못-, adds ‘can/cannot do’ to the verb.
-(으)ㄹ 수도 있다, adds ‘could/might do’ to the verb.
-(으)ㄹ 수 밖에 없다, adds ‘having no choice but to’ or ‘obviously, bound to be’ to the verb.
-아/어/여야 되다/하다, adds ‘should/have to do’ to the verb.
-네요/네, to add an nuance of surprise or expression to a verb.
-는데/은데/ㄴ데 – added to verbs to either 1) add ‘and then/so then’ to the next sentence, 2) add ‘but,however’ to the next sentence, 3) expecting an explanation or asking for explanation when its a question, 4) expressing surprise when used as exclamation, 5) adding meaning of though to the sentence. In 3), 4) and 5), 는데 is the copula.
-(으)ㄹ 리가 없어요 – adds ‘it can’t be, it’s impossible that…’ to the verb
-아/어/여도 되다 – adds ‘it’s okay to, don’t have to…’ to the verb
-(으)면 안 되다 – adds ‘you shouldn’t, you’re not supposed to…’ to the verb
-지/죠 – added to verbs when you are talking about something other person knows about or has opinion about.
-아/어/여지다 (졌요 past tense, 질 거예요 future tense) – adds ‘to become’ to the verb
-게 되다 (됬어요 past tense, 될거예요 future tense) – adds ‘eventually do something, find oneself doing something, ends up that way’ to the verb
-(으)ㄹ 뻔 했다 – adds ‘almost did something’ to a verb.
-(으)시+tense ending – adds honorific form (more respect to person).
-아/어/여 보다 – adds ‘try this’ to the verb
-(ㄴ/는)다 – used to show reaction about a present situation, talking about a present action, used in writing to describe series of actions.
-ㄴ/은/는 편이다 – to give a adjective/verb meaning of ‘relatively’ or ‘rather’
-잖아(요) – used when correcting someone, or providing an excuse, or insisting you are correct (You see? I told you).
-(고 있)는 중이다 – emphasizes that you are in the middle of doing something [verb].
-(으/느)ㄴ지 잘 모르겠어요 – adds ‘I’m not sure if…’ to the verb.
-겠- adds “I guess that…” to the verb.
-(으)ㄹ 때도 있어요 – adds ‘other times’ + verb.
-(으)ㄴ (past)/-는 줄 (present)/-(으)ㄹ 줄 (future) + 알다 (알았어요) – to think/know that someone has done/will do something / know how to do something.
– ^above structure + 안 / + 물다 (몰랐어요) – to not think/know that someone has done/will do something.
-nouns: -(이)군요/(이)구나, verbs: -군요(구나), action verbs: -는군요/는구나 – to add the meaning of realization or “I see” to the sentence.
-(으/느)ㄴ 척/체 하다 – to pretend to do [verb].
-(으)ㄹ 만하다 – it’s possible, or reason to, or worth to do [verb].
[action verb] + -느라고 + [negative verb or state] – giving an excuse for something, can also be used to mention goal or adjective.
-더라(!),던데요(!) – telling someone a fact based on what you experienced. -더라고(요) – makes it more calm and neutral. Can only be used with your emotions, based on what you experienced, but cannot be based on your action or will.
-다니까(요) (adj), -(느)ㄴ다니까(요) (action) – adds ‘I told you so! / I said I…’ to a verb
-(ㄴ/는)다잖아요/-라잖아요 – adds “don’t you see that…”, “come on, isn’t it…” to a verb

Tense:
Present tense:
-아요, -어요, -여요, -해요 to a verb.

Past tense:
-았어요, -었어요, -였어요, -했어요 to a verb
-았/었/였 + -다고 + verb – quotes the verb in past tense

Future tense:
-ㄹ/을 (거예요/거야), 할 (거예요/거야) = simply adding meaning of ‘will do’ to the verb
-(으)ㄹ게요 = focuses more on actions/decisions in reaction to or result of something
-겠 – a more formal way of saying ‘I’m going to’
-(으)ㄹ래요 = strong intention, more casual, equivalent to ‘I’m going to’
-(으)려고 하다 = expressing that something is about to happen, or will happen soon.
-(으)ㄹ 것 같다 – implies you are think for certain something will happen.
-나 보다 (for verbs) / -(으)ㄴ가 보다 (for adverbs) – adds meaning of ‘I assume / I guess / I suppose’ to a verb, less stronger.
-(으)려나 보다 – you have an idea that someone has an intention of doing something (it looks like).
-(으)ㄹ 거 + -라고 + verb – quotes the verb in future tense

Present Progressive:
-고 있어요

Present Narrative:
-(ㄴ/는)다

Imperative;
-(으)세요!! – present tense with a more downward tone.
-어라/아라 – plain form.
-(으)라니까(요)! – ‘I told you/I said…’!

Interrogative:
-present tense with a more upward tone + ? is the standard form
-습니까? is a very polite form
-나요? (for verbs) / 가요? (for adverbs) are slightly less polite than the standard form
-니?,냐?,야? are casual forms of the question.
-(으)ㄹ까요/까?,-ㄹ래요/래?,-시겠어요? / -시겠습니까 ? (formal) – to add meaning of ‘shall we?’ or suggestion to a question.
-지? (casual) / 죠? (polite) seeks confirmation (right?) from the listener, or wondering.
-는데? seeks more explanation from the listener.
-(는 거) 어때요? to add meaning of ‘how about’ [noun/verb].
-(는 거)에 대해서 + (어떤 것 같아요? / 어떻게 생각해요?) – adds meaning of ‘what do you think about’ [noun/verb] to the question..
-아/어/여도 (돼요/괜찮아요/될까요(uncertain))? – adds meaning of ‘do you mind if I…’ [verb] to the question.
-아/어/여 (주실래요/줄래)? – asks someone if they mind doing [verb].
-겠-? – expressing assumption or asking others opinion about a possibility.
-길래 + [result verb]? asking about reason or background for a decision
-(이 with noun)더라?,-았/(이)었/였지?-았/(이)었/였죠? – ‘what was it?, what was it again?’

Passive tense:
-adding meaning of ‘gets, to be, is possible’
-with negation (안), means – can’t or unable to
-아/어/여지다 (With action verbs)
-이 (verbs ending in ㅎ다)
-히 (verbs ending in -ㄱ다, -ㄷ다 or ㅂ다)
-리 (verbs ending in -ㄹ다)
-기 (verbs ending -ㄴ다, ㅁ다, ㅅ다 or ㅊ다)
-이/히/리/기 + -아/어/여지다 (double passive)
-되다 (verbs ending in 하다), which gives meaning of possibility or ‘can be’.
-어 있다 – something is in a certain state as a result of an action.
-게 되어 있다 – something is bound to (or destined to) be in a certain state

Causative tense:
-adding meaning of ‘to make, to cause, to let’
-이 (used mostly after a vowel or sometimes after ㄱ)
-히 (used mostly after ㄱ, ㄷ, or ㅂ)
-리 (used mostly after ㄹ or ㄷ irregular.)
-기 (used mostly after ㄴ, ㅁ, or ㅅ.)
-우/구/추 (various others verbs)
-시키다 (used with 하다 verbs)
-게 하다 – works with all verbs

Vocabulary:
무슨 / 무엇 (뭐) / 몇 = what
언제 = when
어디 = where
누구 = who
왜 – why
어떻게 = how
얼마 – how much
어떤,어느 – which
-Adding -ㄴ가 to the end of the above W’s will give it meaning of ‘some’ in a question.
ie. something = 뭔가? somewhere = 어딘가? sometime = 언젠가?
-Adding 아무+[noun]+나/도 = any/no
ie. 아무나=anybody,아무거나=anything,아무데나=anywhere,아무때나=anytime.
아무도=nobody,아무것도=nothing,아무데도=nowhere.
아무 말도/아무 이야기도 – no word. 아무한테도 = to nobody. 아무렇게나 = whichever way.

이것 / 이건 / 이게 / 여기 / 이곳 = this thing / here
그것 / 그건 / 그게 / 거기 / 그곳 = that thing (closer) / there
저것 / 저건 / 저게 / 저기 / 저곳 = that thing (farther away) / there
조금, 아주, 정말, 전혀, 별로, 진짜 – little bit, very, really
하지만, 그렇지만, 그런데 (근데) – but, however
그리고, 그래서 – and (between sentences), so (and then)
아니면 – or (between sentences)
더, 다 – more, all
제일 / 가장 – most, best
다 – completely, yet
덜 – less, not competely, not yet
아직, 벌써 – still, already
너무 – too much, very
좀 – some

가끔,가끔씩,때때로 – sometimes
어떨 때 – at what times, when. 어떨 때는 – sometimes A, other times B
다른 때는 – other times
훨씬 – much (more), far (more)
앞에, 옆에, 위에, 밑에, 뒤에 – in front of, behind, on top of, under, beside
쯤, 약, 정도 – about, approximately
그래도 – yet, but still, however, nevertheless
그러면, 그럼 – well then, in that case, if so
위하다, 위해, 위해서 – in order to, in order for
괜찮아요 / 아무렇지도 않다 – don’t worry, it’s ok, it’s fine, it’s cool
확실해요 – for sure, certain, without a doubt
가끔, 자주, 별로, 맨날, 항상,전혀,거의 – sometimes, often, seldom, always, not at all, almost
아무것도 아니에요 – it’s nothing
수고하세요/수고해요 – keep up the good work
수고하셨습니다/수고했어요/수고 , 많으셨습니다/수고 많았어요 – thanks for your effort(s)
어차피 – anyway, either way, in any case, after all
진짜예요,진심이에요 – I mean it.
무슨 말이에요? (polite),무슨 소리예요? (casual) ,무슨 말씀이세요? (formal),무슨 뜻이에요? (literal) – what does it mean?
달라지다 – to change. 좋아지다 – to improve, become better. 많아지다 – to increase. 없어지다 – to disappear.
소용 없어요, 안 돼요, 시간 낭비예요 – it’s no use, it won’t work, you can’t do it, it’s a waste of time.

Categories
School/Work

Update: Learning Korean

Update: new, more indepth korean grammar post here.

So a couple posts back, I described how I was beginning to learn Korean, an exciting new language that is both similar yet different from Chinese. So far, I’ve found that although I’ve progressed, I haven’t progressed as quickly as I had when I first started.

The biggest difficulty I have with Korean is that there are just so many particles, so many verb conjugations, and so many ways of saying something using different characters. Its easier when I read Korean, but orally, when someone is speaking Korean fast (like at my church), it becomes very hard to determine what they are saying because first I have to process the context and then what sounds they are using. The double consonants (ㅃ,ㅉ,ㄸ,ㄲ,ㅆ) are very hard to differentiate for me from the single ones. And some words can be completely different if they are using double consonants or single consonants.

And there are alot of particles. The straightforward particles are the topic, subject and object particles. 저는 is the normal way of saying ‘I’ the first time you introduce yourself (‘는’ being the topic particle). But this is a rather formal way of doing it. 나는 is the more plain way of saying it. Of course some Korean words are only used in writing, rather than speech. ‘와/과’ is used more often than ‘하고’ in writing for the word ‘and/with’. And verb conjugations. There are so many irregular verbs, verbs that have silent letters in them, etc. I pretty much just have to memorize which ones are which. The conjugations can be fairly simple like 먹다 -> 먹어요 for the polite form of ‘to eat’ or more irregular like 크다 -> 커요 for ‘to be tall’, with one of the consonants, 으, removed when its conjugated.

And here is a general list of particles I have to remember:
-subject particle: -이/가, to denote subject noun.
-topic particle: -은/는, to denote topic noun.
-plural particle: -들, to emphasize plurality on a noun.
-object particle: -을/를, to denote noun being acted on by a verb.
-case particle: -으로/로 , to denote a noun is being used (by,with), or direction, or selection, or change.
-possession particle: -의, to denote possession between two nouns.
-location particles: -에, which can denote place, time or quantity. -에서, which indicates a dynamic location or source of action.
-conjunction particles: -와/과,-하고, to link two nouns together.
-special particle: -도, which adds the meaning of also/too/even to a noun.
-special particle: -만, which adds the meaning of just/only to a noun.
-special particle: -이나/나, which means something similar/or/as many as/about.
-special particle: -부터,까지 which means from a time/place to another time/place.

Verb particles
-으면/면, which adds the meaning ‘if’ to a verb.
-고, which adds the meaning ‘and’ to a verb.
-거나, which adds meaning ‘or’ to a verb.
-지만, which adds meaning ‘but’ to a verb.
-는, which turns a verb into a present noun modifier. (-ㄴ/은 for past, -ㄹ/을 for future).
-ㄴ/는, which turns an adjective into a present noun modifier.  (-ㄴ/은 for past, -ㄹ/을 for future).

See, that’s a lot of particles. Chinese only has a few (的,得,地,着,被,给,对,向,跟,和,与). In addition, I don’t have opportunity to practice Korean alot. But anyways… here’s hoping I can improve enough to go to Korea next year.