Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Road

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

A man points a gun to his head and pulls the trigger. 2008. Rookie police officer Luis (TJ Trinidad) is awarded a medal of valor despite his inexperience. A woman (Jaclyn Jose) asks for his help to follow-up on the case of her two daughters who went missing twelve years ago. Three teenagers go out for a test drive which leads them into an abandoned road where a car that does not have a driver repeatedly harasses them. 1998. A quiet young man lives alone in an old house. One day while walking down “the road” he encounters two stranded sisters asking for help for their car. 1988. Carmela (Carmina Villaroel) is married to an extreme to the core Catholic pastor (Marvin Agustin), indiscreetly commits adultery, and beats up her son. The plot goes backwards in that part 1 happens in 2008 and jumps a decade back for each of the second and third segments.

Won't Last a Day Without You

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Newbie radio DJ George Harrison “Heidee” Apostol (Sarah Geronimo) receives a distressed phone call from a girl who catches her boyfriend “cheating” on her at a gas station. Coming from a previous relationship that ended badly, Heidee results in giving bitter love advice, like telling her callers in a high pitched voice to dump their significant others. Hearing his name broadcasted on national radio, Andrew Escalona (Gerald Anderson) rushes to the station, confronts the DJ, and threatens to bring the matter to KBP. The threatened DJ agrees to fix what “she has broken” and in a very surprising twist that has never been seen in the big screen before, hold your breath: they fall in love.

中文 - Week 7 (New Practical Chinese Reader 1)


The book I am using is New Practical Chinese Reader 1 by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Volume 1 of the book has 14 lessons. I only study Monday to Friday, two weeks for each lesson, which means it will take us 140 days or 28 weeks to finish the whole book. Target end date is April 13, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Four - 认识你很高兴
It’s time to introduce ourselves! After greetings and asking who this or that person is, it’s time to name names! How do we do this? We’ll tackle it tomorrow, hahaha. Right now we ask for permission first. What if you want to enter a house? Or a room? Just ask “May I come in?” 可以进来吗? You are most likely to hear “Please come in!” 请进. If you hear something else, maybe they don’t want you inside their house, lol. After greeting people and saying what your relation to someone is, you get to the name asking part. To ask a question, say 请问 which is what you say before asking a question. Yes, as you might have noticed, seems to mean “please”.

TUESDAY: Lesson Four - 认识你很高兴
Now we ask about names. There are several ways to do it in Mandarin. The polite way is 您贵姓 which somehow translates to “What is your honourable surname?” The answer to this would more likely be in this pattern: 我姓+surname, +first name. This translates to “My surname is + and my name is +.” This is also the answer to a slightly more informal way of asking for names which is 你姓什么? Which is a straight “What is your name?” Most of the time this is followed by asking or saying your nationality which we learned in a previous chapter.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Four - 认识你很高兴
To say that you are delighted (even if you are not, be civil!) you use the formula “Nice to meet you!” which is 认识你很高兴. Do not confuse the “xing” meaning “surname” and the last syllable of 贵姓, their pronunciation is the same but they have different characters. If you want to be polite, you could replace with the politer version . To say that you are also delighted, just repeat that expression and add for “also” to make it more natural.     

THURSDAY: Lesson Four - 认识你很高兴
The next construction is useful for language institute students! It’s just one sentence which means “I am a language student” and translates to 我是语言学院的学生. This is also where we introduce the particle which is often (emphasis on “often”) used to connect two nouns wherein the first one qualifies the one that follows it, in this case 学院的学生 which connects “institute” and “student” to mean “student of the institute” or simply “institute’s student”. For now maybe you could think of it as “’s”.

FRIDAY: Lesson Four - 认识你很高兴
The verb 学习 means “to study” and by now you might have already figured out that is a common denominator, so think of it every time you want to say something about “studying”. It might have a participation in the sentence you are going to make. Anyway, for the “I am a +” sentences that you are going to make to tell people what you are or what you do, use the linking verb which roughly translates to the English “to be”. If you are not what someone thinks you are, you could negate it by saying 不是.

For next week I will be covering lesson four. We are making progress! The goal is to pass the lowest level of the HSK in September 2012! =)

Monday, November 28, 2011

日本語 - Week 7 (Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1)


The book I am using is Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1 by Eriko Sato from the Tuttle Language Library. Volume 1 of the book has 61 lessons. I only study Monday to Friday, two days for each lesson, which means it will take us 122 days or 24 weeks and 2 days to finish the whole book. Target end date is March 20, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Sixteen - 今、何年生ですか
Let’s continue counting. What if you need to count higher than ten? The good thing about East Asian languages is that they just juxtapose the numbers, sort of, in a way that saying twenty would be like saying two tens 二十 and saying twenty five would be like saying two tens five 二十五.  I think it is easier to remember as opposed to English or German where you have to attach –teen or –zehn and who knows what sound mutations you might encounter along the way. Just practice. You only need to know the numbers one to ten. Anything higher than that but lower than 100 would be a combination of any of those basic ten numbers.

TUESDAY: Lesson Sixteen - 今、何年生ですか
Let’s move on to counters! Japanese usually attach different endings called “counters” to their numbers to denote a different meaning. We already met 年生 in the dialogue which means “academic year”. So far there are no sound mutations for this particular counter. You just attach the counter to the number as it is. Example: “first year level” is 一年生 while “what year level” is 何年生. For “age” you use which is a rather complicated Kanji that I have not memorized yet. There are two mutations: one and eight. Instead of saying いちさい and はちさい you have to say いっさい and はっさい instead. For months you have the kanji and you just attach the numerals one to twelve before it to say the months. Example is August which is written as 八月 and is pronounced はちがつ.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Seventeen - 今何時ですか?
Today we learn another two counters, the counters for “hour” and “minute” . For hour the one for “four o’clock” is a bit different because it is pronounced よじ instead of よんじ. For the numbers seven and nine, you use the alternate pronunciations which would give you しちじ and くじ respectively. For minutes it is a bit more complicated, the -ふん sound could become -ぷん or -っぷん depending on what numeral comes before it. Kindly refer to the book or in the Internet for the differences. I would study them on my own.

THURSDAY: Lesson Seventeen - 今何時ですか?
The words for “morning (AM)” and “afternoon (PM)” are ごぜん and ごご respectively. You say this before saying the time expression itself so that “7 AM” is ごぜん七時 and “7 PM” is ごご七時. To ask “What time is it” you just say 今何時ですか.

FRIDAY: Lesson Eighteen – それはいくらですか
If you want to ask “how much” you have to use いくらですか. There are other ways to ask how much but this is the most common so let’s stick with this for now. “How much is that” would be それはいくらですか. If you have a specific item in mind you could mention it, and then the phrase. “How much is this book” would be この本は いくらですか.
                                                                                                                                                  
For next week I would be covering the second half of lesson eighteen until lesson twenty. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

한국어 - WEEK 7 Korean 1 (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)


The book I am using is 한국어1 which is the Korean for Foreigners course book of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. The book has 35 chapters. I only study Monday to Friday, two days each for lessons 1 - 15 and three days each for lessons 16 - 35 which means it will take us 90 days or 18 weeks to finish the whole book. Target end date is February 3, 2012.

MONDAY: Chapter Sixteen 배가 고파요
It’s time to learn how to say things in the future tense!! This is so cool because we already learned about the past tense last week, now we could expand our language skills to include the future! If the past is characterized by the SSSSS, the future is characterized by the LLLLLL and an extra ~거에요. Anyway, starting today I will just tackle the polite endings. I don’t like the formal endings that much. So this is really simple, just attach an LLLLL sound to the stem and add the ending. Examples! “I will go” is 제가 갈거에요. Since the verb stem ends in a vowel sound, the process was as easy as adding the LLLLL sound directly. What if the stem ends in a consonant? It’s not really that big of a problem, just add a vowel sound, the vague one that sounds like and English schwa. “I will eat” is 제가 먹을거에요. For the ending, you just have to memorize it and it stays the same no matter what so it is not really an issue.

TUESDAY: Chapter Sixteen 배가 고파요
Today we learn about another Korean verb ending. You should get used to this fast; they really do attach a lot of endings to their verbs to achieve a different meaning. For this lesson the construction is verb stem + () 가다/오다/다니다. Notice the parenthesis. If the verb stem ends in a consonant sound you have to add that to easy pronunciation. As for the three verbs that follow, you will notice that they are verbs of movement, meaning that this construction is used to tell what particular activity is the reason for going/coming/attending somehere. So if “I am going to the restaurant to eat” this would be formed as 식당에 먹으러 가요.

WEDNESDAY: Chapter Sixteen 배가 고파요
This would be a short grammar lesson. We will be using 별로 + negative form of the verb to mean “not so”. It’s easy. To say “Korean is not so difficult” you just say 한국말은 별로 어려워요. So you place it before the negative verb. This is a cool word to use because somehow it gives the impression that your Korean is good, haha, because you are able to use such words that affect the impact of the meaning. In this case it’s like you are softening the blow. It’s hard but not too much, instead of just saying that it is hard. Okay, verbal diarrhoea, will stop now.

THURSDAY: Chapter Seventeen여기 순두부 둘 주세요
There are three Korean speech styles. So far we have learned two: the formal and the informal (polite). There is another one called “colloquial” in the book where you only use the stem and add no endings. It is used for friends, I think, and with most people you are sort of intimate with. Take for example the verb 가다 which is our favourite example because it is short, haha. The formal would be 깁니다 the polite form would be 가요 and the colloquial form would be which is easy to memorize because you just get rid of the ending, retain the stem and that’s about it. Unfortunately you couldn’t use it that much without sounding too impolite when you are just on vacation.

FRIDAY: Chapter Seventeen여기 순두부 둘 주세요
Speaking of politeness, you could insert a SSSSHHHH or SSSSS sound to your verbs to make the more polite. They vary in pronunciation but most of the time it’s a or a . Let’s take 가다again as an example, yey! 갑니다 becomes 가십니다 and 가요 becomes 가세요. 먹습니다 becomes 먹으십니다 and 먹어요 becomes 먹으세요. There are also some Korean words that have corresponding formal equivalents used for people you revere. Try to look them up in the Internet, there are quite a few!

For next week I would be covering last third of lesson seventeen, lesson eighteen, and 1/3 of lesson nineteen. We can do this guys! AJA! The goal is to pass the lowest level of TOPIK in April 2012! =)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

한국어 - WEEK 6 Korean 1 (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

The book I am using is 한국어1 which is the Korean for Foreigners course book of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Let’s start! The book has 35 chapters. I only study Monday to Friday, two days each for lessons 1 - 15 and three days each for lessons 16 - 35 which means it will take us 90 days or 18 weeks to finish the whole book. Target end date is February 3, 2012.

MONDAY: Chapter Thirteen - 수영을 잘 해요?
We forgot a certain rule last week. It is when you add a syllable to make the verb more polite. You could add it to formal and polite conjugations to refer to someone that you revere. For example, to go which is 가다 is 갑니다in formal conjugation and 가요 in polite conjugation. Add ~ to make them seem more polite than they already are so that they become 가십니다 and 가세요 respectively. There are changes in vowel sounds as you have seen but the ssshhh sound is ever present.

TUESDAY: Chapter Fourteen -어제 뭘 했어요?
It’s about time to learn the past tense and the only thing you have to remember is that tense SSSSSS sound to add to your stem before you attach the ending, whether it is polite or formal. Let’s take to again as an example: 갔습니다 for formal and 갔어요 for polite. For those whose stems end in consonant sounds you usually add the matching vowel sound before the SSSSS. To eat is 먹다 and you could not add the SSSS sound to the k sound of this verb’s stem ending. We don’t like consonants to clash. This is so not Russian or German. So you add a vowel sound, which match the vowel of the stem, in this case it is 먹었어요 which means “ate”.

WEDNESDAY: Chapter Fourteen 어제 뭘 했어요?
What about those verbs that have two or more syllables and the last syllable of the stem is an sound? It’s simple in that you only choose between an sound or an sound. For first syllable stems ending with an sound you end it also with that which turns 아프다 into 아파요. For everything else, end it with an sound. 예쁘다 “to be beautiful” becomes 예뻐요 and 기쁘다 whose meaning I am still to discover becomes 기뻐요.

THURSDAY: Chapter Fifteen -얼마에요?
We’ve learned that ~한테 is attached to the noun to which/whom the action is done, in short, indirect object, “to whom”. What if you want to turn it around and say “from whom”? You just add one more syllable and still attach it to whomever it is you are receiving the action from. Let’s review the verbs first. “To give” is 줍니다 while “to receive” is 받습니다. “I give an apple to Lady Gaga” would be Lady Gaga한테 사과를 줍니다 while “I receive an apple from Lady Gaga” would be Lady Gaga한테서 사과를 받습니다. As long as you have the correct particles in all the right places, you will be understood... I think.

FRIDAY: Chapter Fifteen - 수영을 잘 해요?
The other grammar point is for the conjugation of some special verbs which I really don’t like to discuss because they are giving me a migraine. I am finding a way to make the conjugation stick on my mind so let us just have a grammar holiday for today, yahoo! Next week we start with chapter sixteen and we allot three days for each chapter. That means more time for in depth explanations!

For next week I would be covering lesson sixteen and two thirds of lesson seventeen. We can do this guys! AJA! The goal is to pass the lowest level of TOPIK in April 2012! =)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

中文 - Week 6 (New Practical Chinese Reader 1)


The book I am using is New Practical Chinese Reader 1 by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press. Let’s start! Volume 1 of the book has 14 lessons. I only study Monday to Friday, two weeks for each lesson, which means it will take us 140 days or 28 weeks to finish the whole book. Target end date is April 13, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Three - 他是哪国人?
Let’s start with the Chinese Character for the numeral ten which is . As you can see, it looks like a cross. Not that it has any relevance to the meaning but it makes it easier to remember. The book says in the illustration that it is derived from the pictograph of two hands. Okay… Whatever! The next character is the one for person which you would be using a lot asking for and giving nationalities because it is a suffix for that, just attach it to the country name. We have three words today. Two of them refer to the third person singular pronoun which is for he and for she. You just change the first character to fit the gender of the person being referred to. The character to the left of the first word is actually the character for person mentioned earlier, but its appearance somehow mutates when placed in front of another character. How do you make them plural? Add the character for door accompanied by the character for person to the left: . This is usually a common mistake for me because I tend to forget to include the first character. Of course, that would be wrong! And so you could say 他们 or 她们. They have the same pronunciation and tone but they are gender specific only when written.

TUESDAY: Lesson Three - 他是哪国人?
A dagger is and for some reason I can’t find the character here. Anyway, just remove the character to the left of the character I just wrote and that’s it. Two strokes, not so hard. The second character is the one which means middle and is the prefix for China before the country character. To describe it simply, it looks like a small rectangle traversed by a vertical line. Our three new words are pronounced the same way. The common character is which is already a combination of two characters and means that. To derive new meaning, you add a new character to the left. To mean which you add the particle which seems to be the character of choice if you want to denote some grammatical function. Do you remember it as one of the characters for the question and tag question particles? And so which is written like . There is another one in the book with the woman character as prefix and is written like this . To tell you the truth, I have no idea what it means.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Three - 他是哪国人?
If you are learning Japanese, you will easily recognize the character which means “sun”. This has four strokes, watch the video if you want to know how to write it. The other character is also common, but I don’t like it a lot. I don’t know, maybe because it looks like another character and I find it confusing. It means “shell” and the character is .

THURSDAY: Lesson Three - 他是哪国人?
means “jade” and I always see this when I read something in Mandarin. I think it is that common. It’s easy to memorize, it just looks like a capital i with a horizontal stroke and an accent on the lower right. The next character means “arrow” and is written as .

FRIDAY: Lesson Three - 他是哪国人?
The first character is quite common because it is used mostly for people and usually comes second to another character. It means “to be born” and is written as and you often see this as the second character for “mister” and “doctor” and the likes. Doctor, for example is written as 医生. The other character is which is more useful as an element of another character than by itself. I don’t know. I just see it that way. By itself the book says that it means “person/thing” which is a rather vague description.

For next week I will be covering lesson four. We are making progress! The goal is to pass the lowest level of the HSK in September 2012! =)

日本語 - Week 6 (Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1)


The book I am using is Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1 by Eriko Sato from the Tuttle Language Library. Let’s start! Volume 1 of the book has 61 lessons. I only study Monday to Friday, two days for each lesson, which means it will take us 122 days or 24 weeks and 2 days to finish the whole book. Target end date is March 20, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Thirteen - 大学のえいごの先生です
Let’s review possession. No, not the demonic kind, although the concept is similar. We are talking about the particle ~ and the easiest way to explain this is to say that it functions like an ‘s which is attached to a name of a person or anything you could think off before mentioning the word being possessed. Its usage is easy. Britney’s dog would be Britneyの犬. However, this particle’s powers are not limited to that, because it could also qualify something as something even without the idea of possession. In English you could say the Filipino teacher. There is no ‘s in there, but in Japanese they would still use the particle we are talking about and will end up with フィリピンの先生.

TUESDAY: Lesson Fourteen - あれはだれのですか
Surprise. Lesson fourteen only has one page, and the grammar item tackled is also about the possession particle. How convenient since we already discussed this yesterday. You know the meaning of this. Grammar break!!!

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Fourteen - あれはだれのですか
Surprise again. As you might have noticed, we dedicate two days for each lesson, and we have nothing to tackle today. So let me just tell you how to ask whose. Just plug in the possession particle to the question word who and you are done, meaning whose is written like だれの. Whose is this would be これはだれですか.

THURSDAY: Lesson Fifteen - でんわばんごう
For lesson fifteen we only have a review of numbers and how they function. Since the title is all about phones we are to expect that we would at least learn how to ask someone’s phone number, right? Well, let’s do that tomorrow since this lesson has two days all to itself. For now let us review the Kanji first for one to ten. Or maybe YOU should, I will just list them all here: 一二三四五六七八九十. What about the higher numbers? Just combine the tens and the ones in a logical way. As for the numbers above 100, there’s one whole lesson in the book reserved for that alone.

FRIDAY: Lesson Fifteen - でんわばんごう
To ask for someone’s phone number just say でんわばんごうは何ですか which is their way of asking “What’s your phone number?” It is not confusing like it is in Korean where they ask “How many/much” your phone number is. Here it is phrased just like it would be in English. For dashes, say .
                                                                                                                                                  
For next week I would be covering lesson sixteen until the second half of lesson eighteen. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

한국어 - WEEK 5 Korean 1 (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)


The book I am using is 한국어1 which is the Korean for Foreigners course book of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Let’s start! But before we do please watch the video after or while reading, it’s meant to complement the content of this blog article. If you watch just the video and not read, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. The book has 35 chapters. I only study Monday to Friday, two days each for lessons 1 - 15 and three days each for lessons 16 - 35 which means it will take us 90 days or 18 weeks to finish the whole book. Target end date is February 3, 2012.

MONDAY: Chapter Eleven - 무슨 약속입니까?
Remember that -하고 particle that we attach to the end of nouns to make a list? We could actually use it with people to say “with”. Example? “I study Korean with Obama” would be OBAMA하고  한국어를 공부합니다. Don’t you just love that sentence? We deleted “I” because it is understood in the context since I already told you what I was going to say before saying it in Korean. As you can see, the word for Korean has the direct object particle () attached to it because it is what’s being done. Direct object! Instant review!

TUESDAY: Chapter Eleven - 무슨 약속입니까?
It’s time to tell the time! Bear with me guy, today on the video we memorize the numbers from one to ten in Sino Korean, which are numerals derived from Chinese. Koreans use them in many ways, and telling the minutes of the time is one of them. Telling the hour is done by using the Korean numerals, so it’s quite confusing at first. How do you ask the time? 몇시입니까? Please tell me that you have recognized a few words at least? In fact only one syllable is new in the question. The question is “What time is it?” The question word is the first syllable, which we already learned when we counted desks in the classroom (imaginary, yeah) last week. The verb is in question form, you should also be familiar to that by now. is the counter for hours when you are telling the time. If you want to say how “many hours” you say 시간. Not that hard! Just one syllable more, don’t be such a wuss. How do you answer? Use Korean numbers and add the counter and then your verb. “It’s one o’clock” is 한시입니다. “What time do you go?”  몇시에갑니까? You remember that particle to express to where you are going? Add that to the end of the question word and the counter and you have “what time”. “How many hours do you study Korean?” 한국어를 몇시간 공부합니까? For the Sino Korean numbers, watch the video.

WEDNESDAY: Chapter Twelve - 얼마에요?
We’ve already meet “how many” so now it is time to meet its sister “how much” which is 얼마 which is always used when asking for prices.  The simplest way of asking is “How much is this” which should be 이것이 얼마에요? but Koreans just say 이거 얼마에요 or better yet, just point at something and say 얼마에요. What is the other grammar point of the day? Informal endings! Yahoo! -읍니다 is just so formal! So if you want to be just polite, cancel those endings you already added and add -아요, -어요, or -해요. This is tricky. What is the trick, then? You have to look at the vowel sound where you would attach the new endings. If they have or for endings, it does not matter if they end in a vowel or a consonant sound, as long as any of these two is present in that syllable, add -. 가다 becomes 가요. If it ends in any of the other vowel sounds other than those two, add -어요. So, 먹다 would become 먹어요 even if it does not end in a vowel. The vowel sound is there anyway. What if two vowels clash? Let’s say for example, “to drink” 마시다? Combine the vowel sounds! 마시어요 becomes 미셔요. As for verbs ending in -하다 you just add -해요. That is self-explanatory so let’s skip the example.

THURSDAY: Chapter Twelve -얼마에요?
We have come to a rather complicated part of Korean grammar, negating verbs. The simple way is to add - before the verb. “to go” is 가요 and “not to go” is 안가요. It is the same with formal endings: 갑니다 >> 안갑니다. Easy. For verbs with the every present -하다 you have to place the negative particle between the stem and the -합니다/-해요 so that 공부해요 becomes 공부안해요. What is the harder version? This is used mainly with prohibitions that go something like “Do not --“ and you do it by attaching -지않습니다/-지않아요 to the stem. “Don’t go” or “Not going” is 가지않습니다. Try to figure it out yourself by trying different examples.

FRIDAY: Chapter Thirteen - 수영을 잘 해요?
Today we add two new particles in this new lesson. Yesterday we negated verbs. Today we could add two other particles to alter the meaning of the verb. The first is by adding which means “cannot” and is more like an issue of possibility rather than permission, which could both be represented in English by “can” (we know it should be “may” for permission, but whatever, right). The second particle is which means “well”. Let’s have an example: “to swim” 수영하다. “I don’t swim” is 수영안해요. “I can’t swim,” as in I can’t because I have no legs, not because my mother does not want me to is수영못해요. “I swim well” is수영잘해요.

See you next weekend! For next week I would be covering the second half of lesson thirteen until lesson fifteen. We can do this guys! AJA! The goal is to pass the lowest level of TOPIK in April 2012! =)
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