Wednesday, November 2, 2011

한국어 - WEEK 4 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. This is a personalized journal of my Korean language journey, and the target audience would be other students of Korean, beginners if possible. 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 Eight - 몇 개 있습니까?
Our grammar point for today is very short, 그리고 connects two sentences and is almost equivalent to the English “and” or better yet “furthermore” but take note that it connects two sentences and NOT words, for that we already studied ~하고 which has a similar ring to it. Example. “There’s a book and there’s also a pencil” would be 책이있습니다. 그리고 연필이있습니다. If you say 책하고연필이있습니다 that would mean “There is a book and a pencil” and would only constitute one sentence.

TUESDAY: Chapter Nine - 어느 식당이 좋습니까?
Today we talk about verbs and conjugating them. Most verbs in Korean end in - when you see them in dictionaries, thus they are called “dictionary forms”. To use the verb in a formal present tense you omit the - and add -읍니다 if what’s left of the verb (the “stem”) ends in a vowel and -습니다 if the stem ends in a consonant. A popular verb that has a consonant ending stem would be 먹다 which means “to eat”. Take away the ending and you are left with - which ends in a consonant sound so you then add -습니다 which gives you 먹습니다. What about vowels? The popular one would be “to go” 가다 which becomes 갑니다. But wait! That consonant sound is “b” and not “m”! Yes, one of the many quirks of Korean pronunciation. Just remember this one in particular because it is common. You’ll easily get used to it.

WEDNESDAY: Chapter Nine - 어느 식당이 좋습니까?
This is a very short lesson which deals with another question word “which”. I told you before that 무슨 is “which”, well surprise, I am wrong! It’s actually “what type/kind of” if you want “which” you use 어느 which you attach at the beginning of the noun to ask “which”. As the title says, “Which restaurant is good?” 어느 식당이 좋습니까?

THURSDAY: Chapter Ten - 어디에 갑니까?
Remember the topic markers we learned about a few weeks ago? Well it’s time to get to know their friends. What if you want to say that something is the one to whom the action directed or done? Let’s say “I eat an apple” the apple is obviously the one being eaten. If we say “An apple eats me” then that would mean a totally different thing. In Korean, just tag the “receiver” of the action with either - or - the former for nouns ending with consonants and the latter for vowel ending ones. 저는 사과를 먹습니다 would be “I eat the apple” while “The apple eats me” would be 저를 사과는 먹습니다. Notice the switching of the particles to denote function? Word order is so English and Mandarin, in Korean and Japanese particles are mostly used so even when you jumble the word order, as long as the correct particle goes with the noun, you would be understood.

FRIDAY: Chapter Ten - 어디에 갑니까?
We are still going to discuss particles today. This time it would be about location. One is just one syllable longer than the other so it won’t really be that hard. To accompany verbs expressing movement from one location to the next, the destination should have the suffix - at the end. If you are doing something in one location, meaning static location, the place name should have the suffix -에서. This does not mean that you are just standing still. You might be studying in the kitchen, but that does not mean that you are not breathing or going from one corner to the other. The point here is that you are in one place. Now, if you go from the kitchen to the living room, that’s another issue because it involves transferring to another place. Example. “I go to my room” (you are NOT in your room, otherwise you won’t have to go there if you are already there in the first place, duh) would be 저는 방에 갑니다 while “I am in my room” would be 저는 방에서 있습니다.

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

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