To start afresh in the New Year: Tips for when talking to a foreigner + (teensy)UPDATE

One thing I’ve come across a lot when talking to  foreigner who doesn’t know much English or only knows basic English or…in fact any non-native English person that doesn’t have THAT much contact with us native Englishmen/women is the confusion about certain phrases we may subconsciously come out with.

Simple phrases that we use in everyday lingo such as ‘How come?’, ‘What’s up?’ and ‘OH ffs…’ are just weird to them. ‘How come?’ means ‘Why?’ in a casual manner and it most likely derives from the phrase ‘How did that come about?’

We know what it means, we’ve always known what it means, it’s just a phrase we come out with when we’re in conversation however, non-natives, especially those outside of Europe, will most likely not understand what ‘How come?’ means. The words ‘how’ and ‘come’ are two different things, and, well, let’s think about it. Putting these two words together with their original definitions does not logically equal the question ‘why?’

Phrases like this can make speaking to some foreigners slightly difficult so sometimes it’s best to be aware of why they may not understand you. I’m not however saying phrases such as ‘How come?’ and ‘What’s up?’ and the sarcastic phrase ‘Well NOOOOO….’ should be avoided. We should still speak normally, it’s how they learn. They ask what we mean, we explain, they gain extra vocab. It’s good practice. All we should do is be aware of what we’re saying!

On another quick note, as you can see I’ve gone through a lil’ blog refurbishment. I’d been meaning to create a personalised background for a couple of months now and finally drew moi! The actual layout of my blog has changed as well just because I can’t change the colour of the text or title text on my blog as I have to pay (meh) and because it was white it wouldn’t show up with my preferred background. I will switch back to my old layout probably is I ever pay or find a way around it but for now it’s this lovely layout! (: Hope it’s not  too different!

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(neun)는 and (eun)은 and (reul)를 and (eul)을 – not as hard to remember as you think!

I’m going to debunk the assumption that learning the markers/particles in Korean is hard. Specifically when to use neun, eun, reul and eul.

Some of you reading this might wonder why I’m talking about something that’s so easy to get over but a lot of people have a hard time trying to understand WHY there are two different words/markers that mean EXACTLY the same thing but are used in different circumstances. Neun/eun goes after the subject of a sentence and reul/eul goes after the object. Neun and reul are to be used when the last letter you pronounced was a vowel and eun and eul are to be used when the last letter you pronounced was a consonant.

The circumstances you think you have to remember? Forget about them. It’s not a certain situation, it’s not a complicated reason, it’s simply the way you speak. What I mean by this is basically the natural way your mouth moves from pronouncing one letter to another and neun/eun,/reul/eul are there to make this as easy for your mouth as possible. This is not a new thing. This is not unique to Korea. WE HAVE IT IN ENGLISH!

Look at the words ‘a’ and ‘an’. Think about it. They mean the same thing. For example; ‘I stroked a cat’ and ‘I stroked an animal’.

A = the next letter you pronounce will be a consonant

An = the next letter you pronounce will be a vowel

If we said ‘I stroked an cat’ it wouldn’t make sense and our tongue feels a little forced when we try to say it. If we said ‘I stroked a animal’ it sounds a bit awkward doesn’t it? In the same way ‘a’ and ‘an’ are there to make our speech smoother neun/eun and reul/eul are there to make our speech flow.

It is definitely nowhere near as complex as you might think, if you’ve been practicing simple Korean sentences try saying ‘jeo neun namja ida’ 저는 남자 이다(I am a man) or ‘jeo neun yeoja ida’ 저는 여자 이다 (I am a woman).

*If you’re not sure how to pronounce the ‘eo’ sound watch this. To get to the pronunciation of ‘eo’ skip to 6:44, sweetandtasty is brilliant and I highly recommend watching her to understand Korean culture, pronunciation, reading and writing and expanding your vocabulary.*

As you can see once you get a bit faster at saying the sentence is feel comfortable and natural to slip into ‘neun’ right after saying ‘jeo’. Jeo neun, jeo neun ahhhhh so nice. This is why I love Korean language, it’s so flowy. (:

Eun example –  ‘jae i reum eun (your name) imnida’ 제 이 름 은 (your name) 입 니 다 (My name is—)  – reum eun, reum eun, reum eun…sounds a little like ramen but with a weird accent!

reul – just say ‘na reul’ 나를 (me)

eul – just try ‘jib eul’ 집을 (house)

How easily do they just roll of your tongue! So good, it comes naturally I promise. Try saying it wrong. Like’ reum neun’. It sounds uncomfortable. whereas ‘reum eun’ is much more comfy. Just like’ a cat’ and ‘an animal’ is to us English speakers.

So BOOM. Definitely not as hard to get your head round as you might think!Hope that helped you a little if you were struggling! 제 이 름 은 Lily 입 니 다 and I am OFF! (: