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! =)

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