Saturday, February 4, 2012


Just finished watching the last episode of City Hunter and I've finally stopped sniffling and started breathing normally again. I'm a bit sad it's over, actually. If you like action, political scandal, revenge plots, gratuitous fight scenes, spy technology gadgets, and true love stirred into your afternoon tea, I'd highly recommend checking this one out (p.s. it's currently streaming on Netflix). Here... check out twelve minutes and seven seconds of it here. Don't say I didn't warn you about the intensity level. Oh, and everyone in the entire series uses an iPhone.

As of this week, I was only half-way through the episodes and decided I couldn't wait any longer to see how the plot played out. It was taking far too long to watch each scene without subtitles and then go back with subtitles and watch them all again. So I watched the second half with subtitles. In the end, I understand that only watching with subtitles does interfere with my ability to pick out some of the words on my own, but I am willing to cheat a little. Input is input.

Actually, the subtitles helped me get no less than 20 new words into my working vocabulary. Well, into my notebook, anyway. As for their entrance into my long-term memory in a useful way, we'll have to see about that.

Two exciting things have happened with my Korean listening skills: I have enough vocabulary words that are familiar to me now that (1) I am able to recognize several words as synonyms of each other in context of speech. Also, (2) I have just started to hear combinations of familiar words. It's pretty cool.

Example: I know two words that can mean "really": 진짜 (jin-jah) and 정만 (jeong-mal). I have heard the latter used with the word 미안해 (mian-he) which means "I'm sorry," to form 정만 미안해 (jeong-mal mian-he) which means "I'm very sorry." You can also say 죄송합니다 (joe-song-hap-ni-da) to mean "I'm sorry." Hoorah for synonyms!

Because there are so many registers that you must use to address different people in Korean, I am finding that synonyms are many and varied. It's a little intimidating, but the cultural nuances of how they're used are amazing. I guess with a language that has two completely different systems of numbers to count, you have to assume that there will be a few other duplicates ready to spring out and surprise you later, as well.

Just so you know the kind of stuff I'm dealing with here... if you want to count to 10, you can write the numbers out like this, just as we do in English: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. But the actual word forms (one, two, three, etc.) can be as follows:

Native Korean Number System
하나, 둘, 셋, 넷, 다섯, 여섯, 일곱, 여덟, 아홉, 열
(ha-na, dul, set, net, da-seot, yeo-seot, il-gop, yeo-deol, a-hop, yeol)


Sino-Korean Number System
일, 이, 삼, 사, 오, 육, 칠, 팔, 구, 십
(il, i, sam, sa, o, yuk, chil, pal, gu, sip)

Pretty exciting stuff. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me.

Most recently finished KDrama:
시티헌터 "see-tee-hun-tuh" (City Hunter)
TV hours (City Hunter): 36
Total TV hours: 78 (422 left to goal)

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