Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How many characters can Hangeul create?

Hangeul (Korean writing system) has only 14 consonants and 10 vowels. Combining them, you can create virtually limitless sounds and characters.

So just out of curiosity, how many characters can Hangeul create?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's African-American in Korean? How's it different from 흑인?

Question today comes from K.B. Ansari about the term "African-American."
I was watching Korean television and I came across someone talking about black culture, hip-hop and so forth. I never knew of a way to say "black" in Korean (other than the color) and always used 아프리카 미국인. To see this other way caught my attention and I wanted to see if it has any other meanings behind it before I started to use it.

Does '흑인' mean anything else? I don't want to start referring to myself and say something degrading. Not to say that I believe it will, but just to be on the safe side.

정말 감사합니다! ^^

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Location Marker: ~에 vs ~에서

Question today comes from onlypenpal about the location marker, "에" vs. "에서"
질문 하나 여쭤봐도 되죠. 왜 "~에서 살고 계세요"나 "~에서 사세요"를 사용하지 않아요? 여러분들 다 " ~에 살고 계세요"나 "~에 사세요"를 사용하니까. 궁금합니다.

@onlypenpal: I will reply in English for those whose Korean language skill is not fluent enough and wants to learn too.

"~에" is grammatically correct. "~에" is associated with verbs that do not have "movements."
서울에 살아요. I live in Seoul
집에 있어요. I am home.

If Korean natives use "~에서" in place of "~에":
  1. It's just a careless mistake.
  2. This mistake is made usually by the uneducated and/or young people. So to soften up the conversation or tone of voice (such as a girl trying to sound cute or business meeting that needs to be toned down a bit), adults may make this mistake on purpose or unconsciously.

"~에서" is "from" or "at" to mean the place of occurrence. Naturally, associated verbs usually involve some kind of movement or action.
대만에서 태어났어요. I was born in Taiwan = I am *from* Taiwan.
집에서 일해요. I work at home.
미국에서 왔어요. I am from America.

Choose either 에 or 에서. Use comment box below.
저는 미국____ 태어났습니다. 할아버지와 할머니께서는 한국 _____ 계십니다. 아버지는 페루____  영사관으로 일하십니다. 어머니는 집___ 인터넷 쇼핑몰을 하십니다. 지금 방금 누님이 학교____ 왔습니다. 식사 후 마켓____ 함께 가려고 합니다.
Note: There's a trick question/answer in this practice. :)