What does ~ mean? Korean talk!

So I’d noticed that when I was speaking to my Korean friends I’d see this little symbol all the time added on to the end of a sentence! What the frig does it mean???

Now I’m going to add in a little conversation between me and my Korean friend to demonstrate because when I try to type the little symbol on here it ends up looking like a dash: ~ (as you can see!) (sometimes it looks like a dash sometimes it doesn’t, I checked earlier and it was a squiggle!!)

eugenendlilyYou’ll have to click it to be able to see better!

So as you can see, my friend was using the ~ (screw it just gonna type it anyway even if it fails!) after a short phrase and even repeated it multiple times like this: ~~~~~~~~

I asked my other Korean friend what it meant and low and behold he had an answer! Basically it’s just a way of expressing that you’re being friendly, cute, active or polite. I asked him how to use it and my friend replied with:

davidme

So its mainly attached to words or small phrases like ‘goodbye’ or ‘hello!’ or ‘thankyou!’ but I’ve seen it also used excessively with short words or mini expressions like ‘Ah’ E.g. ‘Ah~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~’ like my friend did in the first picture. Using it like this is expressing activeness or enthusiasm or maybe as an exaggeration!

So the next time your Korean friend uses ~ you’ll know the meaning behind it! 🙂 Go forth and ~~~~~~~!!

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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! (:


Korean pronunciation – American vs English?

Okay, as I’m currently focusing on my Korean at the moment, I thought I’d help some people out by bringing to light the problem with learning pronunciation online. Of course learning how to pronounce certain sounds is going to be easier if you have someone to practice with in person but for a lot of us learning is done through books and online sources. If you’ve found a site that includes audio files so you can hear the pronunciation then you may as well skip this post, but I’m just going to assume that anyone reading it either;

1.) Cannot open the audio files

2.) Doesn’t have a site that includes said files/is learning from a book or printed sheets

3.) Is deaf

So the issue I have with some online learning resources regarding pronunciation is the difference between American sounds and English sounds. In fact BRITISH sounds. There are Scottish, Irish and Welsh people as well y’know! And god there’s even the Australian accent and New Zealand all that jazz but to keep it simple I’m going to just use Standard American vs Standard English.

Firstly I’m going to give you an example. Say the word ‘saw’  in an American accent and then in an English accent (if you can). The ‘-aw’ is pronounced differently.

(The best e.g. I can give it is English – ‘soh‘ and American ‘sah‘).

Some online sites use the word ‘saw’ to represent how the letter ㅓ (Romanization: ‘eo’) should be pronounced, eo = aw.

A further example; the word ‘저’ (Romanization: ‘Jeo’ meaning ‘I’). An American person would probably say it correctly whereas if we used the standard English pronunciation of saw it wouldn’t be right (unless you’re from Yorkshire in which case a lot of people may say it correctly). 저 would be pronounced ‘jaw’ or ‘juh’. Which one you ask? Well it’s somewhere in the middle. Don’t worry guys I’m going to vid this up soon!

This is something I’ve come across and there isn’t really an easy way to fix it apart from actually stating on your site that you’re going to be going by American pronunciation/English pronunciation. Most sites will go by American pronunciation either because they are American or because they feel like most people will assume American pronunciation anyway. I haven’t come across one site yet that states which pronunciation they’re using probably because it’s only minor details that differ between English and American. It is however best to go by American pronunciation just because we all assume that’s the way it is anyway, but I’d like to see it stated on sites more that way people actually know for sure they’re saying it correctly. This isn’t solely Korean pronunciation either but the letter ㅓ is one which you MUST know in Korean but this pronunciation thing can be applied to any language, Japanese etc.

So that’s just something I’d like to get out there! The difference between American and English accents when looking up pronunciations in books or online without being able to hear an example. Please be careful about how you’re pronouncing something and as a general rule just go by American pronunciation. I’ll example this shiz on vid soon so over and out guys!