Korean Language Blog

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Differences in Korean and American Home Design Posted by on Sep 9, 2020

Because I travel often, I have stayed in many different places in equally many different countries. When I stay in different short term rentals, I like to discover just how different things are from my childhood home in Korea.    Living in an apartment is very common in Korea since 인구밀도 (in-goo-mil-doh: population density) is…

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Korean Movies that Reflect Human Rights of the Disabled Posted by on Aug 24, 2020

I was supposed to visit Korea to see my family and friends back in March. Unfortunately, that visit is still on hold, due to Covid-19. When the pandemic first broke out, I was severely 향수병 (hyang-soo-byung: homesick), which led me to binge watching all the Korean movies I could find on Netflix.  One thing I…

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A Review of Honorific Korean (Part 2) Posted by on Aug 17, 2020

In general, I think the quality of customer service in Korea is excellent. Most of the sales clerks that I have ever encountered at shops were polite. Even government official clerks were well-mannered to their customers.  I strongly believe using 존댓말 (jon-dat-mahl :the honorific) is one of the many reasons that most of my experiences…

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A Review of Honorific Korean (Part 1) Posted by on Jul 20, 2020

My husband seems to be more cautious to speak to my parents, especially my father. He thinks that he has to speak perfect honorific Korean to my parents in order to show respect. I told him many times that my father would understand even if he makes some mistakes, but he still can’t be free…

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Korean Words That Phonetically Sound Like English Posted by on Jul 9, 2020

About 20 years ago, I remember how startling it was when I heard a native speaker pronounce the word “chocolate” because the pronunciation of the word “chocolate” was entirely different than what I had known.   There are no other Korean words for this 외래어 (wae-rae-uh: loanword, foreign word usage). Therefore, I thought that native…

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Wait, Is That Korean or English? (Part 2) Posted by on Jun 24, 2020

I have been collecting Korean 허위 동족어 (huh-wee-dong-jok-uh: false cognates) for a while. 허위 동족어 are pairs of words that seem to be cognates because of similar sounds and meaning, but have different etymologies. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_cognate#:~:text=False%20cognates%20are%20pairs%20of,even%20within%20the%20same%20family.) I have more Korean false cognates that I can share with you. I hope this post helps you expand your Korean…

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Wait, Is That Korean or English? (Part 1) Posted by on Jun 22, 2020

As a bilingual in Korean and English, I often secretly giggle inside my head whenever I hear English words that sound like Korean. Sometimes when this happens, it just confuses me for a second. But often the result absurdly twists the entire meaning of the sentence. (https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/09/7-ways-to-fake-pronounce-any-foreign-language-from-a-linguist.html) Korean language is the one of the oldest…

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