Showing posts with label listening exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label listening exercise. Show all posts

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #15 -- Introducing a Korean cartoon series

When I was just starting out in French, I watched a large number of cartoon series dubbed in French. I found that the dialogues were fairly repetitive and clearly enunciated (as they were made for children for the most part), and the vocabulary was at a very manageable level. Plus, it was more fun than poring over grammar books and vocabulary builders!

If you are asked to name a cartoon series, chances are, you are thinking of a series that were made in America (such as the Simpsons, South Park, and so on) or the ones made in Japan (such as Pokémon, or Sailor Moon). But Korea also has a number of fantastic cartoon series, one of which I hope to introduce in this post.

"아기공룡 둘리" (Baby Dinosaur Dooly) is a classic Korean cartoon which began airing in 1987, and new and old series continued to show up on Korean TV for many decades after that. The premise of the cartoon series is that a baby dinosaur, which was preserved in a piece of glacier, finds himself stranded in Seoul, and inserts himself into a family (interestingly, the original manhwa series appeared in 1983, Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park was published in 1990! I guess the interest in dinosaurs was very high in the 80s!) The series deals with various chaos that ensues from it.

Find below the first episode of this cartoon series. I have typed out the transcripts from 0:00-7:00 here (the entire episode is about 22 minutes, so I have transcribed about a third of it). My goal in these listening exercises is to provide access to diverse Korean media, but for sake of completeness, if there is a large interest, I am also considering finishing the transcription in the next two listening exercises. If you feel strongly either way, let me know in the comments or via email!

(Dialogue begins at 1:45)
Penguin 1: 쟨 뚱보? (It's the fat one?)
Penguin 2: 걔잖아? (It's him?)
Penguin 3: 이제 나오는거야? (He's coming out now?)

Grandpa penguin: 아이고, 그놈 살좀 빼야겠다. (Geez, he should lose some weight.)

Sailor: 저게 뭐야? (What's that?)
Sailors: 빙하다! 충돌한다! (It's glacier! We're going to collide!)

News anchor: 정체 불명의 빙산이 서울의 한복판 한강에 나타났습니다. 전문가들은 이 빙산이 남극으로부터 흘러들어왔으며 지구 온난화가 가지고 온 재앙이라고 합니다. 하지만 이 빙산이 무공해 웰빙 얼음이라는 소문이 나면서 생선조합, 냉면연합, 팥빙수협회, 주부 연합등 아저씨 아줌마들이 양동이를 들고 나타나 캐가는 바람에 얼음은 순식간에 그만 뼈만 남았다고 합니다.

(A piece of glacier of unknown origin appeared in the Han river, in the middle of Seoul. Experts call it a disaster from the South Pole resulting from global warming. However, due to rumours that this glacier is pollution-free (무공해) well-being (웰빙; means "organic" in English) ice, many ajussis and ajummas from the "fish union," "the naengmyun association," "the society of bingsoo," and "the association of housewives" showed up with buckets and took the glacier pieces home. So there was only the skeleton of the glacier left in a heartbeat.)

Boy: 아이 깜짝이야! (You startled me!)
Girl: 오빠, 빨리 가봐. 개천에 강아지가 있어. (Oppa, hurry. There's a puppy in the banks of the stream.)
Boy: 왜? (Why?)
Girl: 아직 안죽었어. (It's alive.)
Boy: 그게 뭐? (So what?)
Girl: 근데 그게... 녹색 강아지야! (Well, it's a green puppy!)
Boy: 어, 녹색 강아지? (What? A green puppy?)
Girl: 여기야. 어... 없네? 어디로 갔지? 거짓말 아냐 뭐! 누가 주워갔나? (It was here. Hmm.. it's gone? Where did it go? I wasn't lying! Maybe someone already took him?)

Boy: 영희야, 머리 치워! 머리 치우라니까? 영희야, 귀찮대도? (Young-hee, don't put your head there. Stop! Young-hee, you're bothering me! Here, we learn that the name of the girl is 영희.)
        으아! 이게 뭐야? (Aaah, what is this?)
영희: 그 강아지야 오빠! 얘가 내 뒤를 따라왔나봐! (It's that puppy, oppa! He must have followed me home!)
 And thus, the main character of this cartoon series is introduced. The characters then try to guess exactly what kind of animal Dooly is, until he looks at the dinosaurs on TV and cries, "Mommy!"

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Listening Exercise with Transcript #14: Baby talk

Here is a transcript of a Korean baby (her name is "예빈") having a conversation with her mother. While babies talking is definitely more difficult to understand, this kind of baby talk is often used by the Korean women as an aegyo material, as they often mimic babies in trying to look adorable to their boyfriends!

Without further ado, here is the transcript:

Mom: 예빈이 누구닮았다고? (Who does Yebin look like?)
Baby: 에비느엄마달마쪄요! (예빈이 엄마 닮았어요! - Yebin looks like mommy!)

Mom: 에이~ 거짓말! (You're lying!)
Baby: 즘말즘말! 지짱지짱! (정말정말! 진짜진짜! - Really really!)

Mom: 에이~ 아닌것같은데? (Hmm. I don't think so!)
Baby: 지짱 지짱야~ (진짜 진짜야! Really really!)

Mom: 누구닮았다고? (Who does she look like again?)
Baby: 예비니엄마달마쪄요! (예빈이 엄마 닮았어요! - Yebin looks like mommy!)

Mom: 정말? (Really?)

Baby: 응! (Mmhmm!)

Mom: 진짜로? (Really?)

Baby: 응! (Mmhmm!)

Mom: 진짜? (Really?)
Baby: 응! (Mmhmm!)

Mom: 에이~ 아닌것같은데? (I don't believe you!)
Baby: 지땅 지땅야~ (진짜 진짜야! - Really really!)

Mom: 정말 엄마 닮았어? (You really look like mommy?)
Baby: 응. (Yes!)

Mom: 예빈이 누구 닮았다고? (Who does Yebin look like again?)
Baby: 에분이엄마달마쪄요!  (예빈이 엄마 닮았어요! - Yebin looks like mommy!)

Mom: 진짜로? (Really?)
Baby: 네! (Yes!)

Mom: 진짜? (Really?)
Baby: 네! (Yes!)

Mom: 알았어! 최고! 최고! 따봉! (Okay! You're the best! The best! Tabon!)
Tabon is Korean slang originating from Portuguese. Although it means "okay" in Portuguese, Koreans must have understood this to mean "very good" in their initial contact with Portuguese people (if you think about it, this is an understandable mistake!) So "따봉" in Korean means "very good"

Mom: 예빈이 누구 닮았다고? (Who does Yebin look like again?)
Baby: 네비니엄마달마쓔유! (예빈이 엄마 닮았어요! - Yebin looks like mommy!)

There are a couple of interesting points to note from this short conversation. First, notice that the baby is referring to herself in the third person. This is actually quite normal, as babies are probably learning to talk by mirroring her mother, who is referring to the baby in the third person. In fact, a lot of Korean women attempting aegyo will also refer to themselves in third person, so that they can pretend to be a baby.

Also, the baby conjugates the verbs in an adorable way because she cannot yet speak Korean well enough. Instead of pronouncing "닮았어요" she only manages to pronounce "달마쪄요," which is another common form of verb conjugation in aegyo!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #13: the Korean Pig Latin

Here are some Korean girls speaking 외계어 that I talked about a few days ago. The older members in the show clearly don't know anything about it, and they are shocked that all these young girls know how to communicate with each other using this strange language!

There are many popular Korean girl groups in this video, including GFriend, APink, and IOI, but I won't refer to them by name since not every reader is familiar with everyone.

Panel member 1: 할줄아시는분 계세요?
(Can anyone speak it?)

Panel member 2: 도깨비 언어가뭐야?
(What's the 도깨비 언어? -- language of the hobgoblins)

Girl 1: 어떤거요? ㄹ이요?
 (Which consonant do you use? ㄹ? -- remember that you need to pick a consonant to speak the Korean Pig Latin, and that choice is up to you!)

Girl 2: 아.. 저는 ㅂ으로...
 (Oh, I use ㅂ...)

Girl 3: 저는 ㅅ이요.
(I use ㅅ.)

Panel member 3: 도깨비 언어가 뭐야?
(What is the 도깨비 언어?)

Panel member 4: 일단 시범을 한번보여줘요.
(Can you do a demonstration first before talking about it?)

Girl 1: 펴성소소에세 보소미시서선배새니심 패샌이시에세요소.

Girl 2: 아사 저서도소 너서무수 패샌이신데세.
(The above conversation between the two girls is repeated twice)

Girl 3: 너서무수 귀시여서워서요소.

Girl 4: 가삼사사하삽니시다사. ㅅ은 잘 못하겠어요.

Girl 5: 저러도로 하랄수루이맀스릅니리다라.

So there's the transcript. Can you figure out what they are saying? Here is the translation of the Korean Pig Latin:

Girl 1: 평소에 보미선배님 팬이에요. (I've been a fan of Bomi sunbae -- sunbae is a word referring to someone who has been in your profession for longer than you. For example, a student in a higher year is your 선배, as well as someone who has worked at your workplace for longer than you.)

Girl 2: 아 저도 너무 팬인데. (Oh, I'm a fan of yours too.)

Girl 3: 너무 귀여워요 (You're so cute!)

Girl 4: 감사합니다. ㅅ은 잘 못하겠어요 (Thank you. I can't really speak it well using ㅅ -- here, she messes up slightly in speaking the Korean Pig Latin, and she says that she is used to using a different consonant from ㅅ.)

Girl 5: 저도 할 수 있습니다 (She pipes up from nowhere, telling people that she can also speak it too. But instead of using ㅅ like all the other girls before her, she chooses to use ㄹ, which is presumably the consonant that she is familiar with.)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #12: An advice to those who are in love

Here, a Korean celebrity 홍석천 talks about being in love.

To digress a little bit about 홍석천, he is the only celebrity who came out as gay in Korea. He came out publicly in 2000. Despite his popularity, his career took a severe hit (I have talked a little bit about the status of LGBT rights in Korea in this post) and he took a break from his entertainment career for many years (it is rumoured that he was unofficially blacklisted by the broadcasting companies).

Despite all this, he made a comeback in 2007, and often makes jokes about being gay, and even playfully makes advances on other male celebrities, and all of it is laughed off (but honestly, if another celebrity came out, I think he would also still face backlash). You can tell that there is a lot of hurt in him in the rare occasion when he opens up in an interview, but he generally plays the happy-go-lucky character.

Thanks to his unique position that he is quite literally the only visible gay person in Korea with any public influence, he does a lot of charity work for the sexual minorities of Korea.

Anyway, in this clip, he gives a general advice to people who are in love. Instead of his usual happy disposition, he is in a pensive mood. As such, he repeats himself a bit and rambles on. He also uses a lot of filler words, which I find to be interesting! I have highlighted the filler words in blue, so that you can see how the Koreans might use it. It's not the most articulate of interviews that he's done, but it shows how Koreans might talk when they haven't prepared their speech in advance, and they're thinking as they go.

사랑은 이렇게 내눈을 한번 이렇게 뿌옇게 만드는 묘한 효과가 있어가지고... 뽀샵효과가 있어서
Love has this effect of clouding my eyes... the Photoshop effect

뭔짓을 하고, 뭔말을 듣고, 무슨행동을 하고,
Whatever they do, whatever they say, or whatever they do

그래도 뽀샵이 걸린 상태에서는 제대로  판단을  못하게끔 만들거든, 사랑이라는게.
But under the effects of Photoshop, it's hard to properly make a decision. That's love.

주변사람의 충고, 조언도 안듣고, 막 이런 혼자 자기 고집이생기고.
You don't listen to warning or advice of the people around you, and you become stubborn.

그런것들이 생겨서 사실은 자신을 객관화시키는걸 잘 못해.
Because of these things, it's hard to be objective to yourself.

사랑이 그런거야. 그래서 정신차려야되는거야 사람이
That's love. That's why you need to hold onto your sanity.

자칫 잘못하면 사랑으로 포장된 어떤 관계에 내 인생이 망가지는 경우가 너무 많아.
With one mistake, you could ruin your life through a relationship packaged as love.

그래서 내가 봤을때는 사랑도 마찬가지고, 선택이고,
In my opinion, love is the same thing, it's a choice.

인생도 항상 매 순간순간마다 선택의 연속인데
Just like life, it's about making choices at ever moment.

그 선택을 내가 잘 하느냐에 따라서 내 인생이 잘 풀리느냐 아니면 어딘가에 구렁텅이에 떨어지느냐 이건데
Depending on how well I make the choice, my life could go well, or it could fall into an abyss
사랑도 마찬가지야, 상대가 있기때문에.  혼자만 하는게 아니잖아.
It's the same thing with love, because you have the other person, you can't do it alone.

내맘대로 되는게 아니잖아 사랑이라는게
Things don't always go your way in love.

항상 상대가 있기 때문에. 그 상대를 선택하는것도 내 책임이고
There's always the other person. But it's my responsibility to choose the other person.

상대를 선택하는 기준도 내 안에 있는거지
The criterion for the choice is within my control.

근데 그런것들이 , 커가는환경이라던가, 내가 경험했던 모든거라던가,
 But these things, like your upbringing, your experiences,

내가 그전에 사겼던어떤헤어진사람에 의해서, 내가 배운 어떤 교육에 의해서든
or what you learned from your previous relationships, or your education,

뭐가됬든 선택을 하는거기때문에
whatever [your criteria] are, it's making a choice.

마지막 인생에서 내 인생의 반려자라고
So when you decide that someone is your life's partner, your life's last partner,

진실된 사랑이라고 내가 판단을 해서 웨딩마치를 올리던 반지를 서로 나누던
that it's true love. So when you decide to get married, or share a ring.

그런거 할때는 이게 진짜 내 사랑인가
 When you do these things, you have to ask whether it's really your love

진실된 사랑이고 진실된 인연인가에 대해서
whether it's true love, and a true relationship

고민을 그때가서 정말 심각하게 해야지.
You really have to think very seriously at that point. 

선택을 정확하게 내 인생을 걸고 해야되는거지.
You have to make a precise choice, and you have to bet your life on it.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #11: Dad jokes revisited (feat. Mamamoo)

This week we revisit Mamamoo, because their new song Aze Gag has such wondeful references to the Korean culture. In particular, they did a live performance a few weeks ago, which I thought was absolutely wonderful, as it includes a random bit of a dad jokes in the middle (starting at 1:35).

One other thing to notice is that since the dad jokes are so old fashioned, they have elected to add the subtitles for the dad jokes in 궁서체.

See the clip below, and try to understand what the joke says. The transcript follows (after which is the translation/explanation), where D stands for "the Dude" and M stands for "Mamamoo."

D: 마마무 신곡나왔나봐, 신곡!
M: 네~
D: 야~ 나 이 무대 십년 기다렸잖니. 어?
근데, 나 뒤에서 들으니까... 아재개그 이런거 좋아하나봐?
M: 아, 네.
D: 내가 아주 기가 막힌거 하나 가르켜줄까?
잘들어. 음악의 음이 장음과 단음이 있잖아.
근데 세상에서 제일 긴음, 이게 뭐게?
ㅋㅋㅋ 참기름!
M: ...
D: 참기름, 참기름! 야! 이거 가사에 쓸래, 가사에? 어? 왜? 시.. 싫어?
M: ... 네.
D: 싫으면 시집가!

Here are the translations:
D: Mamamoo, out with the new song ("신곡" where "신" means "new" in Chinese, and "곡" means "song" in chinese)!
M: Yes~
D: Wow, I waited for this stage for ten years, huh?
I was just listening to you guys in the backstage, and... you like dad jokes?
M: Oh, yeah.
D: Can I tell you an awesome one?
Listen. You know how music has long notes ("장음," where "장" means "long" in Chinese, "음" means note) and short notes ("단음," where "단" means "short" in Chinese). What's the longest note in the world? It's "참기름 (sesame oil; explanation after translation)" lol. Sesame oil!
M: ...
D: Sesame oil, sesame oil! Hey, do you want to use this in your lyrics? Huh? Why? You don't like it?
M: ... No.
D: Well, if you don't like it, go get yourself married!

So there are two jokes here.

The first asks, what's the longest note in the world, and the answer is "참기름." In the true dad joke fashion, the word "참기름" should be re-written as "참길음" and separated as "참 길음." The word "참" means "very (a more literal translation would be "truly")," and "길음" means "long."

The clever feature of this dad joke is that musical terms denoting notes should end in "음" as that's the Chinese letter for "note." Interestingly enough, "참 길음" also ends in "음," a happy accident that makes the joke even better!

The second joke is more subtle, and it is a true dad joke in the sense that it was a popular phrase back in the 80s and 90s. When someone refuses to do something by saying "싫어 (I don't want to)!," it used to be the funny thing to say "싫으면 시집가 (If you don't like it, go get yourself married!)" Not being from this era, I'm not really sure why this was even funny, other than the fact that there's a very weak alliteration there. But I do remember being a very young child and saying this phrase to my friends, because my parents thought it was really funny!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #10: Aggravation

In a previous post, I had talked about hostile behaviour against many people, in order to provoke them and create a fight (= internet entertainment.) Such a behaviour is called "어그로," or as a verb, "어그로를 끌다." I also gave an example of such a behaviour, done by a national news outlet.

Here is another example of 어그로, also done by a national news outlet MBC (one of the three largest broadcasting companies in Korea.) Although it's been a long time since this clip was broadcast, the content of the clip propelled it to a legendary status, and it is still talked about in the Korean internet. As always, transcript and explanation follows:

20여명의 학생들이 컴퓨터 게임에 몰입해 있는 또 다른 PC방.
곳곳에 관찰 카메라를 설치한 뒤 게임이 한창 진행중인 컴퓨터의 전원을 순간적으로 모두 꺼 봤습니다.
(Dialogue already subtitled).
순간적인 상황 변화를 받아들이지 못하고 곳곳에서 욕설과 격한 반응이 터져나옵니다. 폭력게임의 주인공처럼 난폭하게 변해 버린겁니다.
(Interview already subtitled).

The news outlet wanted to make the point of the harmful effects of video games. In order to prove its point, it heads out to an internet cafe (called PC방 in Korean, meaning PC room) and shuts down the power for a moment. The people playing games in the internet cafe are of course frustrated and start yelling out and swearing. This quite clearly proves the point that gamers turn violent... yes?

I chose a news clip for this week, not only for its entertainment value, but also because this is one of the best sources to practice your Korean if you wanted to hear clear Korean. Try following along, as the reporter speaks quite slowly and clearly!

A few years later, SNL Korea did a parody of this clip (mostly subtitled):

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #9: Gag Concert, continued

Following last week's listening exercise, I thought I'd post another related clip, which is shorter and easier to understand, that comes from the same "코너" of the comedy show "개그 콘서트." Unfortunately, the video is a little bit out of sync.

Without giving any hints away, I challenge you to listen to the following very short clip and see how much you can understand. Transcript and explanation follows the video, as usual. I have even done a full translation this week!

MC: 여러분, 안녕하십니까? "달인을만나다" 의 류담입니다.
오늘 이 시간에는 세상의 황폐함에 분노를 느끼시고 이 세상의 모든 소리와 안녕을 고하며 스스로의 마음을 정화시키기 위해 무려 16년째 단 한 마디도 하지 않고 묵언 수행을 하며 살아 오신 "음소거 김병만선생님" 모셨습니다. 아, 선생님, 그... 이 현대사회에서 이... 말을 안하고 산다는게 굉장히 어려운 일인데 말이죠. 정말로대단하십니다. 네, 아무튼 반갑습니다.

Guest: 네, 반갑습니다.

The format of the skit is very similar to the one covered in the previous week. This week, the guest is "음소거 김병만." The word "음소거" means "mute" -- you press the 음소거 button of your remote control to mute your TV. So this week's expert is Byung Man "the mute" Kim. As always, he's a fake, and both him and his top apprentice are swatted away by the MC.

This week, I'll provide a translation of what the MC says, because even though he says little, what he does say is fairly eloquent and high-level Korean. (Some orders of words are changed around to make sense in English!)

MC: Hello, everyone? This is "Dam Ryu" of "Meeting the Expert."
Today at this hour, we have as our guest "Byung Man 'the Mute' Kim," the man who resents the barrenness of the world. As a result, he took his leave from all sound in this world in order to purify his mind, and he spent 16 years committed to silence. Ah, sir, it is very difficult not to say anything in this modern society. I have such respect for you. It is a pleasure to meet you.

Guest: Yes, it's a pleasure.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Listening Exercise with Transcript #8: Hurry up!

Here is a short sketch from the TV show "Gag Concert (개그 콘서트)," which, unlike most Korean TV shows, takes the form of live stand-up comedy. It is the longest-running comedy program of Korea, having started in 1999, and it is still ongoing, although its popularity is not what it used to be.

The comedians would prepare a recurring theme, and broadcast a short skit loosely fitting this theme for weeks or months, based on the reception from the audience. So although the sketches were new every week, you could make an educated guess about how the skit would go.

One such theme, which was very popular and ran for years, was called "달인 (world expert)." The rough idea is that an MC of an imaginary show called "달인을 만나다" would introduce a guest (in reality, same comedian every time) who is the world expert at some random thing (the guest always appears with his top apprentice, called "수제자" in Korean), because he practiced it for several years. When they put him to the test, however, he fails miserably, and he ends up being booted from the show.

So the title of this sketch series (it's called "코너" or "corner" in Koreanized English) shows irony -- the letter "달" means "to be an expert at, or to have transcendental expertise." This letter is most used in "통달하다" (to know everything).  The letter "인" means "a person," as in "인부" (workman) or "부인" (wife). So "달인" actually means something more than just a "world expert" -- it's "someone who is so good that it feels like he transcends this world."

Anyway, here is the clip: see how much you can understand! (Warning: the dialogue is fast, so it is normal to not understand a word!)

And the transcript follows: B for the guy in black on right, and W for the guy in the middle wearing white (the guy wearing blue doesn't say anything.) To facilitate your understanding, proper nouns are placed in quotation marks! The explanation of the clip follows the transcript.

B: 네 여러분 안녕하십니까! "달인을 만나다"의 "류담"입니다. 오늘 이시간에는 16년동안 시간의 소중함을...
W: 아~ 빠, 빠, 빠, 빠, 빨리 얘기해. 빨리 빨리 빨리 얘기해. 빨리 빨리!
B: 시간의 소중함을 깨닫고 급한 성격으로 살아오신 급한 성격의 달인, "조퇴 김병만" 선생님을 모셨습니다.
W: 아 거거, 뭐 좀, "조퇴 김병만"이에요, "조퇴 김병만." 빨리 얘기해야지 뭘 그렇게...
B: 어우, 진짜 성격 급하시네!
W: 그 얘기 하는데 길어요? 시간없어 죽겠는데?
B: 네 알겠습니다... 선생님께서 얼마전에...
W: 얼마전에 뭐, 뭐?
B: 네, 얼마전에...
W: 아, 무슨 얘기 하려고 하는데, 지금? 아, 무슨 얘기 하려고, 지금?
B: 아, 아니, 네, 얼마전에 그 책을 쓰셨다고...
W: 아 책 냈어, 책 냈어요!
그... "가는 말이 빨라야 오는 말이 빠르다."
B: "가는 말이 빨라야 오는말이 빠르다."
W: 네 그책 냈어요. 아우, 나 목타죽겠다. 가서 물 좀 떠와, 아 빨리 물 좀 떠와! 빨리 가서... 그 하나, 둘, 셋, 놔둬! 임마 안먹어 안먹어 안먹어 늦었어,늦었어 시간없어죽겠는데 그 빨리... 저... 가만있어봐.
어 아가씨 마음에 드는데 어? 나랑 사겨! 어? 싫어? 어? 셋셀때까지 얘기해.
하나, 둘, 셋, 놔둬! 늦었어 늦었어 늦었어! 내가먼저 찬거야, 내가먼저 찼어!
B: 먼저찼다고요?
W: 늦었어 늦었어! 어, 내가먼저찼어.
빨리빨리빨리 얘기해, 시간 없어 죽겠네!
B:  예, 알겠습니다. 오늘 저희가 준비한...
W: 시간 없어 죽겠네, 에이 참!
B: 질문이 한 30가지가 됩니다.
W: 무슨 30가지야! 혼자 "개그콘서트" 다 할거야? 가만있어봐.
요것 아니고, 요것 아니고, 아 요것만해. 맨 끝에거.
B: 맨 끝에것만 하라고요?
W: 아 맨끝에것만 하기 싫어? 자, 하나, 둘, 셋!
B: 나가!

B: 야 수제자! 야~ 넌 느긋하다! 어? 커피도 타먹고.

This transcript is hard to understand for a couple of reason. First of all, the character in white, called "조퇴 김병만," speaks very, very quickly (I also had to listen to certain parts a few times before understanding him!) Also, the characters constantly interrupt each other!

First, an explanation of the name "조퇴 김병만." Back in the days of Joseon Dynasty or older, many learned people (선비) used to give themselves another name. It's not so different from how the anglophones give themselves nickname, such as John "the Dude" Doe, except the tone is a lot more serious. As an example, 이황 (Hwang Lee), the guy on your 1,000 won bills, gave himself the nickname of "퇴계," meaning "leaving this world." ("퇴" as in "퇴장" meaning "exit," and "계" meaning "the world" as in "세계." He probably wanted to leave the messy world of politics and indulge in the nature and other spiritual things dictated by Confucianism!) So now the Koreans often call him "퇴계 이황."

This guy. Hwang "Out of this World" Lee.

So 김병만, the comedian in white, gave himself the nickname of "조퇴" meaning "early dismissal," often used in schools when you leave school early for sickness or other reasons. Somehow this word is not nearly as serious in tone as the other nicknames that the Koreans of the olden days used, so it is already pretty funny! And true to his nickname, he is in a hurry for no reason, speaking very quickly and cutting the man in black (his name is 류담, as he says in the transcript) off all the time.

In this sketch, 김병만 is the world expert of being in a hurry ("급한 성격" meaning hurried personality.) He hurries things up so much that he transcends everyone in hurrying up.

While the MC 류담 is trying to interview him, 조퇴 김병만 is constantly distracted and annoyed at the slow pace of the MC. When the MC is trying to mention the book that he's written, named "가는 말이 빨라야 오는 말도 빠르다," 김병만 tries to complete the MC's sentence. (By the way, the title of the book is a play on the Korean proverb, "가는 말이 고와야 오는 말도 곱다," or "Only when you speak nicely to others, will the others speak nicely to you." He replaces "nice" by "quickly.")

He then wants a glass of water, but when his apprentice is too slow, he gives up. He then spots a cute girl in the audience and asks her out, but when she is not quick enough to respond (until he counts to three), he gives up and claims that he dumped her. Finally, the MC tries to go through the list of 30 questions that they prepared, and 김병만 says that he has no time for this, and that he will only do the last question. MC has enough of it and kicks him off.

Then his top apprentice, who seemed like he was not so much in a hurry (because he fiddles with a coffee mix, presumably to mix it with hot water and make a cup of coffee for himself), just swallows the coffee mix instead of actually making a cup of coffee.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Listening Exercise with Transcript #7: Tunak Tunak Tun!

Korean fundamentally lacks a few sounds. The fact that there is no distinction between the English "R" and "L" is a well-known fact. In addition to this, Korean does not have the rolling "R" of Italian or Spanish, it does not have the guttural "R" or nasal sounds of French, or the guttural "CH" of German. These words are fairly hard to approximate with the Korean language system.

Despite this, Koreans realized that Korean is often excellent at approximating how the other languages sound, if you're willing to think outside the box a little bit. For example, here is how to approximate some of the more common English words (with an American accent) using Korean. The following pronunciation guide went viral on the Korean internet a couple of years back. Read it out loud and see how it improves the usual Koreanization of English words!

I've studied three European languages (French, German, and Italian), and I can vouch for the usefulness of Korean in approximating their sounds as well; in particular, their approximation of the vowels are superior to what I can do with the English language. For example, the French guttural "R" can be approximated with Korean "ㅎ" in some cases. The German ü (as in München) can be approximated by "뮌헨" which is much closer than what I can do with English, etc.

Although I know no Punjabi, it seems that Korean does a decent job of approximating their sound too. Here's a clip that went viral a good 20 years ago, that of "Tunak Tunak Tun."

And see how the Koreans approximated the lyrics using Hangul. See if you can follow along:

어어어어어어어어어 어어어

뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다

돌날라봤자 뚱배발이빴올리 뚜빞을빨하자 빨을렐예뺘아~
돌날라봤자 뚱배발이빴올리 뚜빞을빨하자 빨을렐예뺘아~
돌날라봤자 뚱배발이빴올리 뚜빞을빨하자 빨을렐예뺘아~
돌날라봤자 뚱배발이빴올리 뚜빞을빨하자 빨을렐예뺘아~

뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다

훈이야얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개
술을열어볼래 해굿바람에비다야라

뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다


돌날라간때 멜에날에한씀했누 댈래발이가슴일때 베리메리파스~
돌날라간때 멜에날에한씀했누 댈래발이가슴일때 베리메리파스~
돌날라간때 멜에날에한씀했누 댈래발이가슴일때 베리메리파스~
돌날라간때 멜에날에한씀했누 댈래발이가슴일때 베리메리파스~

뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다

훈이야얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개
술을열어볼래 해굿바람에비다야라

뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다

돌날랐구 짠놈맞춰껐얼때 말일가나홀랗게 락히삭히고
돌날랐구 짠놈맞춰껐얼때 말일가나홀랗게 락히삭히고
돌날랐구 짠놈맞춰껐얼때 말일가나홀랗게 락히삭히고
돌날랐구 짠놈맞춰껐얼때 말일가나홀랗게 락히삭히고

뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다

훈이야얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개구리야
얄알안기라반기나이 베리나이야 청개
술을열어볼래 해굿바람에비다야라

뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다
뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫(읗) 뚫훍뚫훍뚫 따다다

So, it's pretty hilarious for several reasons. First of all, most of these letters never get used in the Korean language (such as 읗 or 훍). And because they never get used, they just look really weird and funny to a native Korean speaker. Also, you are probably aware that the Koreans abbreviate laughter "haha" by "ㅎㅎ" so the excessive usage of the alphabet "ㅎ" gives a weird kind of hilarity to the Hangul lyrics (imagine a song lyric that went lololololol or something!) Even the words that get used repetitively are often used in funny contexts:
  • "뚫" is only used in the word "뚫다." You use this word to describe drilling a hole, but also to describe how you unclog a toilet.
  • "뚱" really only gets used in "뚱뚱하다 (chubby)" or "뚱하다 (sulking, or unresponsive)" both of which are mild insults.
Secondly, although most of the lyrics is gibberish, there are a few words that are clearly recognizable (but of course, they have no context, so it's weird and funny!)
And lastly, if you read the lyrics obeying all the pronunciation rules (and make up a few when there isn't a rule because the letters don't actually exist!) the approximation is uncanny.

So, I found these lyrics to be absolutely hilarious (and cried a little from laughing too hard while listening to it the first time.) I hope you appreciate it, too!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #6: Attention!

Here is a short video clip of some women talking to each other. Although it is getting better, in an organizational setting (most notably in military, corporate setting, or in schools,) Koreans like to have something called "군기." This non-slang word coming from Chinese roots mean the rules and standards of an army. The letter "군" is Chinese for "army," for example "군대" means "army" and "장군" means a "general." The letter "기" is Chinese for "discipline." For example, the word "기강" also means "discipline."

If a group of people have the military-like discipline, in Korean, we call it
군기가 섰다 or 군기가 잡혔다.
If some older person is trying to establish some military discipline to the juniors, this act is called
군기를 세우다 or 군기를 잡다.
It's not as obvious as you might think. Watch the following video, and see if you can figure out what's going on:

Woman 1: 야, 내가 막내때는 진짜, 집에도 못가고 맨날 밤새서 일했어. 너네 진짜 편하게 일하는거야 지금.
Woman 2: 아, 또 그소리 한. 선배가 맨날 나 막내때는, 나 어렸을때는, 이런얘기 하니까 애들이 스트레스 받는거야.
Woman 1: 아 그래? 맞아? 너네 진짜 그래?
(아니! 아니요! 전 아니에요!)
Woman 2: 야, 맞잖아!
Woman 1: 리지야, 너 대답 안한다?
Lizzie:  저는 사실은 정아 (Woman 1) 선배보다는 주연 (Woman 2) 선배가 더...
Woman 2: 뭐? 야, 너 죽을래?
Lizzie: 아, 완전 사랑스럽다고! 하하하하하하! 어우, 러블리한거봐!
Woman 2: 그러니까 그얘기 할려고 그런거지?
Lizzie: 아우, 너무 이쁘다.
Woman 2: 꾼이 있네.
Woman 1:그러니까 나한테 잔소리 듣기 싫으면 열심히 하라고.

Woman 1, who is pretty clearly the oldest in the group, wants to make sure that all of her juniors (후배) are motivated, and tells them directly to work hard. Notice that everyone else, who is younger than she is, doesn't try to counter her at all (Woman 2 tries, but she is younger and backs off quickly). In other words,
후배들이 군기가 서있네.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #5: A quick lesson in makeup

Here is a short video of a girl named Sulli, who goes through her makeup routine. She speaks in very short sentences, but to me, her speaking seems a lot more natural than what you normally see captured on video. Enjoy!

안녕하세요! 설리입니다. 지금 칸쿤에 와있습니다. 먼저 미스트.

뭘바를까? 이색깔. 짠! 무슨색깔이 어울릴까? 세번째!

복숭아 메이크업이에요. 어떻게 하냐면... 이렇게 하면 뽀뽀치크! 짠!

 During this short segment, she uses two neologism.

First, "복숭아 메이크업" means a makeup that reminds you of a peach. A peach is often white and pinkish red, and it seems popular in Korea to follow this colour scheme when you're doing your makeup. You see this word commonly in Korean beauty articles.

Secondly, she makes up another word "뽀뽀치크." The word "뽀뽀" means a "kiss," usually on the cheek. You use this word when the kiss doesn't have romantic undertone (and often said with a bit of childishness.) For example, if a child kisses her mother, you say:
아기가 엄마한테 뽀뽀했다.
You never say:
아기가 엄마한테 키스했다.
 So Sulli is using a non-romantic word for "kiss," since she kisses her hand to colour her cheeks.

The word "치크" is the Koreanized "cheek." Since she has quite literally kissed her cheeks to get those blush and colours on her cheeks, she is making up a new word "뽀뽀치크," or kissed cheek.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #4: What does he like about you?

Here is a short video clip. Without giving anything away, try to listen and see how much you can understand. The transcript is provided below. You may want to turn off the English subtitles. It is remarkably free of slang, and the informality of the dialogue is very much the kind of conversation that you could have with your close friends, so it might be worth it to practice!

진짜 싫다. 사람들이 알아? 너 평소에 이러고 사는거. 옷을 입었다가 더러워서 빨래통에 넣었다가 결국 입을게 없어서 그걸 다시 꺼내서 입고 심지어 그걸 밖에서도 아무렇지 않게 입고 돌아다니는거, 그사람은 혹시 아나해서. (이래봬도 쓸만해!) 너는 손이 많이가. 나정도 되니까 이런말도 해주는건데, (뭐지?) 너 이러면 사람들이 싫어한다니까? (가!) 좀 안흘리고 먹을수 없어? 이제 막 이유식 뗀 애도 아니고. 욕심은 또 왜 이렇게 많냐? 니가 잘못해놓고 니가 화내고. 먹을것만보면 환장하고. (나 한입만) 하. 안귀엽거든? (야, 우리 가위바위보해서 진사람이 우산사오기할래?) 불길해. 느낌이 안좋아. 아니 너같이 이기적이고 배려심없고 명령 잘하고 가식적이고 예쁜척하는 애가, 아.. 내 옆에 있다는게 불길해. (야, 너 내가 여자로 보인적 있어?) 내가 돌았냐? 내가 아무리... 내가 여자가 없어도. 근데 걔, 니 오빤지 뭔지, 걘 니 어디가 좋대? 좋긴 좋대냐?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #3: Execution in North Korea

One of the privileges that you get from speaking Korean is the fact that you have access to a ton of interviews by the North Korean refugees (we call them "탈북자": the letter "탈" is Chinese for "exit." For example, "to escape" is "탈출" in Korean; to wring out water is "탈수". The letter "북" means "north," and "자" means "person": "남자" means "man," "망자" means "the departed (the dead).") The vast majority of these interviews are not translated into any other languages, so speaking Korean means that you have extra insight into the lives of the North Koreans that is otherwise unavailable.

The following short clip is a part of a TV show called "이제 만나러 갑니다" (Now we go meet them). Most of the people on the show are 탈북자. They all have heart-wrenching stories of how they left North Korea, risking their lives, as well as their families' lives, and now they are very outspoken about educating the public about the realities of living in North Korea. They do have a slight 북한 사투리 (North Korean accent), but they are barely detectable, so see if you can pick up what they're saying. The transcription follows:

Host: 반동 (this is a North Korean word; it does not mean "reaction," but rather it refers to anything anti-communism) 행위로 죽는 사람이 있는거죠? 총살당해서 사람이 죽는걸 보신분? 어렸을때부터.
Woman 1: 중학교 3학년부터 단체로 가서 봐요.
Man 1, talking to people around him: 나도 가서 봤어. (그래요? 진짜로요? 네. 공개처형이요? 네. 공개처형.)
Woman 1: 다 봐요. 학교에서 줄서가지고 뭐한대 막 종 때려요. 그렇게되면 총살한대 그러면 가서 봐요.
Woman 2: 장마당 (this is an old word in Korea now, it refers to a large open space "마당" where a market "장" opens at a regular time interval; of course, there aren't so many of these in Korea, but it seems that this tradition still exists in North Korea) 이나 학교 운동장같은데 가보면 표고문이 있어요. 몇월 몇일 몇시에 어느 장마당 운동장에서 총살 한다고 그렇게 붙여놔요. 그러면 온 동네사람들 아이들까지 다, 애기엄마 애기업고 다 와서 봐요.
Host: 몇명이 쏴요 총을?
Woman 2: 우리가, 우리 삼촌 사형할때는 일곱명이서 네명을 사형하더라고요.
Host: 한번에 다 쏘는거에요?
Women 1&2: 예.
Woman 1: 보통 규정이 세명의 사격수들이 한 사형수에게 세발씩 각각 아홉발을 맞아요.
Man 2 그럼 유현주씨 (this is the name of Woman 1), 그걸 봤을때 한번이 아니라 여러차례 몇번 봤을것 아니에요. 볼때마다 무서워요, 아니면 그냥 그러려니 해요?
Woman 1: 그러려니 해요. 처음에는 꿈에서 나타나고 그러는데 두번째부터 보고 또 세번째 보고 네번째 보잖아요. 아무렇지도 않아요. 어우, 죽는구나. 난 저렇게 죽지 말아야지. 그냥 이런 생각이에요.

You may have doubted your ears about what you're hearing; they often talk about these cruel and inhumane topics in a completely nonchalant way. This breaks my heart to realize that these kinds of things were so commonplace that they are immune to the usual reaction.

Anyway,  I hope that you take advantage of your Korean knowledge, and educate yourself about the goings-on in North Korea, because it seems like a real privilege to be privy to all these information. The information available in English is really a fraction of what you can readily find using Korean!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #2: Let me tell you about the 경상 dialect

On the first listening exercise, I provided the transcript for the first part of a series of two advertisements below. I would like to provide the rest of the transcription today. But before doing so, I need to talk about the dialects ("사투리") of Korea so that you can understand exactly what is going on in that clip.

There are several different dialects in Korea, roughly corresponding with the provinces of Korea, and even within the provinces, there are different dialects corresponding to major cities. Most Korean that you hear on TV is the "standard language" or "표준어," which mostly derives from the Seoul dialect. The Seoul dialect is so close to the standard language that the word "서울말" (서울 + 말 = Seoul language) is often synonymous with the "표준어." However, there are some minor differences!

In your Korean studies, you might have noticed an interesting verb change. The verb conjugation "-(으)려고" signifies your intention to do something. For example, in standard Korean:
"먹다 (to eat)" + "-으려고" --> "먹으려고" (I'm going to eat)
"자다 (to sleep)" + "-려고" --> "자려고" (I'm going to sleep)
However, you might see many Koreans write instead "먹을려고" or "잘려고." This inclusion of "ㄹ" in your verb conjugation derives from the Seoul dialect! But in general, these are minor differences, and the Seoul dialect mostly coincides with the standard language.

The Seoul dialect or the standard language is perceived by the speakers of the other dialects to be gentle and soft (for example, North Korean refugees often remark on just how gentle the Koreans must be, based on their soft accent, or 부드러운 억양.) There are almost no inflections or accents placed in any part of the sentences, and unless the word itself calls for it, no accented strong consonants (such as ㄲ, ㄸ, ㅃ, ㅆ) are substituted.

On the other hand, the 경상 dialect (the major cities using this dialect include 부산 Busan, 대구 Daegu, and 울산 Ulsan, and in Korean we would call it 경상도 사투리) makes heavy use of inflections and strong consonants!

For example, the number "2" and the English letter "E" are both written as "이" in Korean alphabet. So using the Seoul dialect, the two things sound exactly the same. However, in the 경상 dialect, they sound different.

First of all, the inflection is different. The "2" is pronounced at a slightly lower tone than "E." Secondly, while "2" is pronounced in the usual Seoul dialect fashion, "E" is pronounced by trying to make the "ㅇ" a strong consonant by closing your throat completely before releasing the sound (think about the difference between "E" and "Yee.") This distinction enables the 경상 dialect to distinguish the following four mathematical expressions, which the standard Korean speakers cannot do! (Quick note: "a to the power of b" is read "a의 b승" in Korean.) When the Koreans realized this, this blew up the Korean internet for a few days!

Below is a video clip of a speaker of the 경상 dialect pronouncing these four things, compared with the speaker of the standard Korean. Note the strong consonants and a much more exaggerated inflection, not just in these four pronunciations, but also when they are speaking!

By the way, since you cannot describe some of these difference over text, some Korean internet users will use arrows to informally describe the inflectional differences (you might have seen these on the internet!) For example: to pronounce "E," the Koreans will describe its pronunciation as "이↘", signifying that it starts high and ends low. For "2", the right description might be "이→" or "이↗", emphasizing the relative lower starting point of the pronunciation.

Even without these inflections, there are major differences between the standard Korean and the 경상 dialect. For one, 경상 dialect is very short and to the point (leading to the stereotype that the men of 경상도 are the strong and silent type.) For example, it often omits non-essential particles:

"니가 그렇게 하니까 내가 이렇게 하지 (Seoul dialect: It's because you're acting that way that I'm acting like this)" becomes "니 그카이 내 이카지." I first encourage you to read this out loud. Even Koreans won't understand many dialects when it's written out, but usually pronouncing it out loud helps a lot with understanding. The particle "가" is completely suppressed, and only the essential parts of the pronunciation of "그렇게 하니까" seems to have survived!

Another difference that I will mention is that the 경상 dialect uses very few compound vowels, especially the ones such as ㅝ, ㅘ, ㅙ, etc, so "뭐라고? (what did you say?)" would be pronounced closer to "머라꼬?" (note that the ㄱ can become a strong consonant, another characteristic of the 경상 dialect). The people speaking this dialect often has difficulty distinguishing the last names Choi (최) and Chae (채) as well.

Finally, most sentences will end in -다, -라 if it's an assertive sentence, and -나, -노 if it's a question. For example, in Seoul, you may have a dialogue such as "A: 밥 먹었어? B: 응, 먹었어 (Did you eat? Yes, I ate)" while in 경상 dialect, you might hear "A: 밥 뭇나? B: 뭇다." (Again, please read it out loud!)

This is becoming a long post, so without further ado, we turn to the following clip, beginning at 1:26. Here, the two speakers are having a frustrating time, because of the 경상 dialect. First listen, and see how much you can pick up. Try to notice the inflection, the strong consonants, and very short sentences (another characteristic of the 경상 dialect). The transcription and the explanation follows. For some cases, I will provide the corresponding Seoul dialect version as well:

Man: 와? (Seoul: 왜?)
Woman: 오빠, 엄마가 반찬 갖다주란다.
Man: 잘댔네. 이따 올때 내 가면 가온나. (Seoul: 잘됐네. 있다가 올때 내 가면좀 가지고 와.)
Woman: 응? 오빠 가면? 오빠야 니 어디가는데? (Seoul: 응? 오빠 가면? 오빠 어디가는데?)
Man: 머라노? 내가 가긴 어딜가? (Seoul: 뭐? 내가 가긴 어딜 가?)
Woman: 오빠가 니 가면 오라메. (Seoul: 오빠가 방금 오빠가 가면 오라면서.)
Man: 아니, 내 가면 가오라꼬. (Seoul: 아니, 내 가면 가지고 오라고.)
Woman: 그니까. 오빠야 어디가냐고?
Man: 아니, 그게 아니라, 내 가면!
Woman: 그래, 니 가면!
Man: 그래, 내 가면!
Woman: 그래, 니 가면!
Man: 그래, 내 가면!
Woman: 니 지금 내랑 장난하나? 그니까, 니 어디가냐고? (Seoul: 오빠 지금 나랑 장난해? 그러니까, 오빠 어디 가냐고?)
Man: (trying to speak in a Seoul accent) 사랑하는 내 동생 나진아, 이따가 니가 올거잖아, 응?
Woman: 아, 근데?
Man: 그때 내 가면 가 오라고!
Woman: 그니까, 니가 가면 오라메. 그니까 어디가냐고!
Man: 내 가면!
Woman: 어딜?
Man: 가면!
Woman: 어딜?
Man: 가면!
Woman: 어딜?
Man: 가면!
Woman: 아 어딜?
Man: 가면! 가면!

Man: 아우 이게 진짜 오빠한테 진짜!

Man: 이쪽, 이쪽!
Woman: 이쪽?
Man: 아니, 이쪽말이야!
Woman: 아, 쫌!

The issue that is causing the confusion is the fact that the man is using the phrase "내 가면." In standard Korean, this means only one thing, "my mask." However, because the 경상 dialect tends to suppress particles, it picks up a secondary meaning "내(가) 가면," meaning "when I leave."

So while the man is trying to tell his sister "bring my mask when you bring banchan," the sister keeps understanding it in the secondary meaning "bring the banchan when I leave," and wants to know where he's going, leading to massive frustration on both parties. It's a clever ad, no?

As an aside, many speakers of the 경상 dialect would find this advertisement unsatisfactory! It is likely that both actors (the woman for sure!) are not actual speakers of the dialect. In fact, the inflection of "가면" is different for the two meanings, so it would have enabled you to distinguish the two meanings of "내 가면" even with the suppressed particle. To say "mask," the right inflection is "가면↗" while "to go" is "가↘면," so there is a touch of artificiality in the above ad (but most Koreans won't pick up on it, so it doesn't matter, right?)

You could write an entire book about dialects of Korea (and many such books have indeed been written), and these dialects often amuse the internet because even the Koreans themselves are not aware of all of its interesting facts. I hope to write more about the dialects in the future, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will be happy to answer them!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Listening exercise with transcript #1: A disastrous date

Here is a set of two TV advertisements that are very well done! In this post, I want to talk about the first advertisement, between 0:00 - 1:26.

Like everywhere, there is always the fear of going on a terrible date in Korea as well. In this aspect, the phrase "아무거나" is definitely the one that will make a lot of people cringe. In a typical scenario of a couple going on a date, the man is usually the one who is expected to take the initiative, and plan out a fun course for the date. And one of the most important aspects of the date is, of course, where to eat dinner. It's rare for Koreans to be very straightforward with their wishes, because being too open could be judged by others to be uncouth. Thus a conflict arises. The man tries his best to guess what kind of food will make his girlfriend the happiest. The woman, on her turn, tries her best to lead the man to her preferred dinner option. This often leads to frustration, and the feeling of eating "고구마 백개." Indeed, for a typical Korean man, the phrase "아무거나," meaning "anything," might be the most dreaded phrase that one can hear during a date (she doesn't want to sound selfish, so she wants to appear generous and let her boyfriend choose by saying "anything," but more often than not, she does have quite strong opinions!)

"아무" means "any." You see it in many typical Korean usage. For example, if you want to say "in any way," you can say "아무렇게나"; an undesignated person, the Korean equivalent of John Doe, is "김아무개," where 김 is one of the most common Korean last names, and "아무개" has its root in "아무." Sometimes, when people want to humble themselves, or when they don't want to give their name, they might just use their last name with the name "아무개," saying "저는 그냥 박아무개입니다." This last part isn't very commonly used in day-to-day life, although you might see it in literary works. If you want to say "is anyone here?" you could say "아무도 없어요?" (technically it's closer to "isn't anyone here?")

"거" means "thing." "This" is "이거," and "that" is "저거."

"나" as a particle signifies your indifference. For example, your younger brother is bothering you to play with him, and you're tired and you want him to go away. In your annoyance, you could suggest to him that he should "go eat some chips, or something" (but you don't care at all if he actually eats the chips or not.) In Korean, it's "과자나 먹던가." The "나" signifies your indifference, which is expressed by "or something" in the English phrase. In contrast, if you were concerned that your brother was actually hungry, you could have said "go eat some chips!" In Korean this would be "과자 먹어!" Another example that conveys a similar sentiment of indifference is "믿거나 말거나" ("believe it or not.")

Anyway, I have transcribed the first advertisement in the above YouTube video. Try listening to the clip first without the transcript, and see how much you can understand. You'll notice that there is more inflection in the dialogue than usual. That is because there's a lot of aegyo going on between the couple.

Man: 아 근데 웃었더니 배고프다.
Woman: 어! 나도!
Man: 뭐 먹을래?
Woman: 오빠 좋은거 아무거나.
Man: 그래? 그럼... 파스타?
Woman: 면 말고. 면 말고 아무거나.
Man: 그래? 아... 우리 자기가 또 이게... 예뻐가지고 또 입에 묻히는걸 싫어하는구나.
        그러며는, 난 오늘 좀 피자가 땡긴다. 피자 어때? (ed: "땡기다" is a slangy Korean for "having a craving for.")
Woman: 피자는... 오빠 앞에서 예쁘게 못먹잖아.
Man: 나한테 그렇게 예쁜 모습 안보여도 돼. 빨리 가!
       그러면... 빠삭빠삭한 돈까스 먹을까?
Woman: 돈까스 말고 아무거나.
Man: 그래? 짬뽕?
Woman: 매워...
Man: 감자튀김?
Woman: 목맥혀. (ed: the correct pronunciation would have been 목막혀)
Man: 카레?
Woman: 어제 먹었지~
Man: 그렇지... 초밥?
Woman: 어... 비려!
Man: 청국장?
Woman: 냄새배!
Man: 갈치조림?
Woman: 불쌍해~
Man: 추어탕? (ed: this is a spicy soup made from mudfish -- small eels -- which are typically very very alive right up until they are cooked. It's quite a sight and a bit terrifying!)
Woman: 무서워!
Man: 팥죽? (ed: sweet congee made from red beans. It's said to scare away the ghosts and goblins, and it's reddish in color).
Woman: 빨개.
Man: 그러면... 똠... 양꿍! (ed: tom yum kum soup, for some reason all the Koreans love this!)
Woman: 아... 몰라 몰라. 다 모르겠어. 그냥 그거 말고 아무거...

--After the advertisement message --

Man: 아~ 잘먹었다!
Woman: 배불러!
Man: 나두 배불러. 우리 배부른데 영화하나 딱 보고 끝! 어때?
Woman: 나, 오빠가 좋은거 아무거나.
Man: (runs away)
Woman: 오빠! 아무거나!

At the end of his date, he resolves his frustration of 고구마 백개 by drinking a 사이다!

Anyway, as you can guess from the fact this is an ad that was aired nationally, everything that we discussed today is suitable for all ages as long as you're not using 존댓말!