I have applied to take part in the next Add1Challenge. As you all know, I already am above A1 level in English (native), Spanish, Korean, and Japanese. My next challenge is German! It was difficult for me to choose, because Polish and Italian were also contenders. But, I have tried German before (and failed.) This is my chance to redeem myself. Wish me luck! I made a video about it here, if anyone cares to watch.
This week, we chatted a lot about music and actors. My tutor and I have similar taste, but I like more idols than she does. haha Neither of us find 김수현 attractive. haha Sorry! I think he’s a great actor, but I just find his face too girly for me, personally.
Anyway, we started reading “효녀 심청” from Once Upon a Time in Korea. I only got maybe 1/4 of the way through. But, we did go over a grammar point:
…는 소문을 들었어요. 소문 literally means rumor. So, it could mean “I’ve heard a rumor that…” or just “I’ve heard that…” My tutor’s example was 김수현이 수술했다는 소문을 들었어요. haha Her words, not mine! So, if the thing you’ve heard is past tense, you just take the past tense stem and add 다는 소문을 들었어요. If it’s in the present tense, you add -ㄴ or 는 depending on if the stem ends in a vowel or consonant. For example, 에밀리가 케익을 먹는다는 소문을 들었어요. haha Once again, her words, not mine, but I think this one might be true.
Have you heard any good rumors lately?
I finally finished reading the first volume of 砂時計 with my tutor. We are going to watch a video next time to work on listening. After that, we will either continue with the next volume OR start the first volume of オレンジ by 高野苺, if I can get my hands on it. Kinokuniya only had volumes 2-4 last time I went. I did snatch up some “easy readers” as I call them, though. They’re 10分で読めるお話. I got grades 1-6, of course. I cannot NOT buy language study materials when I see them.
I also bought a Ghibli DVD collection. It has the Japanese and English versions (plus Mandarin and Cantonese, too.) Even though I went to the Ghibli Museum in 2008, I am no expert. I have only seen Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Totoro (my fave, of course!), Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Princess Mononoke, and only in English. I’ve been meaning to watch them in the original Japanese, and I want to see the other movies. What’s your favorite Ghibli movie?
Finally, I have been working on my 漢字. They are, by far, my weakest point in my Japanese studies. I’m starting from the basics, and working my way up. Why do the ones that native speakers write look so pretty, and mine all look like hideous potatoes??????
Last night, I read “은혜 갚은 까치” from Once Upon a Time in Korea. The title alone gave me so much information. I knew that 은혜 means “grace,” because of actress and former Baby V.O.X member 윤은혜. But, I didn’t know that 은혜 갚다 is kind of like “to return the favor.” If a good deed is done to you, you should 은혜 갚다. I had never heard of 까치 before. It is a magpie. Apparently, in Korea, the magpie is known as a good bird. In fairy tales, it is always a kind animal.
선비 – I guess the official translation would be “scholar,” but they are more than that. 선비 were 조선 era scholars who lived modest lives and aimed to have a perfect character, rather than wealth. 선비 are idealized and romanticized in Korean literature. They will often pass up positions of wealth and power in order to live a life of integrity and study. You can also see more of them in the current drama “밤을 걷는 선비.”
과거 – A national civil service exam during the 고려 and 조선 dynasties. In literature, 선비 often prepare for this exam or even pass it, but turn down government positions. Remember, they just want to improve their intelligence, not attain power.
한양 – During the 조선 era, 서울 was named 한양.
새가 울다 – In English, we say that birds sing or call. In Korean, they cry.
구렁이 – A type of sake
둥지 – Nest
나그네 – Literally, “wanderer,” but “traveler” sounds better in English.
복수를 하다 – To take revenge.
There we have it. This story had a lot more cultural and historic points than the last one. I had no idea that magpies were such kind birds. Apparently, crows are known to be a bad omen in Korea, too. What are good/bad birds in your culture?