Category "Korean"

Category "Learning"

Category "language"

December 12, 2006

I finished my card game

I finished making a special deck of cards for my Korean Hangul/Hanja studies. Due to this project becoming extremely complex quickly, I narrowed the focus to the dual number systems, Pure Korean and Sino-Korean. Now I have a set of mock-up cards I can play with to further test and develop learning games for myself and others. Hey, just making the cards I learned most of the characters by heart, so maybe the making of the game is a good way to learn. Just wait until I start playing games with them! I may never be able to forget these Hanja characters. ever.
So I ended up with 21 sets of three cards for a total of 63 cards. With this deck I can play games like rummy, go fish, matching games like concentration, solitaire (putting the numbers in order?) etc. Each set contains three cards, one for the Native Korean word, the Hanja character and the Hangul pronunciation of the Hanja. I combined two different card designs I found into one to make the cards more versatile. Each card shows the other cards in the set along the side. There is no english language anywhere on the cards.
I need a good catchy title in Korean for my numbers game cards so I can make the back. Maybe something simple like the Hanja for the word "Number(s)."
Since I don't have a language partner, I have to design games I can play by myself but also that I can teach to others quickly so If I have the opportunity to play with someone else studying Korean, the barriers are low.

Posted by carl1236 at 10:49 PM | Korean | Learning | language

Category "Korean"

October 22, 2006

A new Korean textbook

Today was a fun day! It started off with working half of last night on an art project, then getting up and going to the coffee shop to study Hanja with a friend. What a perfect Sunday morning. Then we decided to go to Half-priced books in Highland Park to look at their selection of language materials. They have about 20 or so Korean books and I found one that contained good exercises and reading paragraphs. I needed more reading material at my grade level. Haha, elementary. So today after I got home, I've been studying and reading that. It felt good.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:48 PM | Korean

Category "Attitude"

Category "Korean"

October 21, 2006

My love of Kimchi

I don't know what it is but every time I eat Kimchi, I experience intense pleasure. It's like music to my soul, like an aphrodisiac to my taste buds. I don't eat it very often but a few weeks ago I bought a jar of it to make Kimchi-pa-jon and tonight I was having rice with cashew chicken and remembered that it was in the fridge. It was perfect. I must be reincarnated from a Korean. But then again I could have just discovered what Koreans have known for centuries...Kimchi is really good! Why did it take me so long to discover this?

Posted by carl1236 at 7:24 PM | Attitude | Korean

Category "Games"

Category "Korean"

September 29, 2006

I found some Hwa-Tu Cards, let's play!

I now have a set of Korean Hwa-Tu cards (Japanese Hanafuda, or flower cards)! I found them at Kim's Market on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul for $2.49.
So tonight I bought some Kimchi, Jasmine rice and Hwa-tu cards and learned to play the game. It was a bit confusing at first, but the instructions I found online were pretty extensive so we were able to figure it out. And they were right, it is an easy game once you learn the scoring combinations.
Either I didn't catch on quick enough to the strategies of the game or I had really bad luck, because I got whooped, ending the game with zero points! But now I have my first taste of a common Korean game. I can also play it with my friends who are studying Japanese, with a few slight variations in scoring.
If anyone wants to meet for coffee and a game of Hwa-Tu just let me know! It would be fun.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:50 PM | Games | Korean

Category "Korean"

September 28, 2006


A few days ago I was introduced to the the Japanese game of Hanafuda. I found out that Hanafuda, or Flower Cards, is an old Japanese game that was a mainstay of the Nintendo company before computer games came along. The card game is older than that I think, and was brought to Korea during the Japanese occupation of Korea around 1905. The game, called Hwa-tu or a version of it called Go-Stop in Korean basically became very popular in Korea and follows the basic structure and strategy of the original game with the exception of 6 added cards and slight variations in scoring. It looks pretty interesting and fun so now I have to locate a set of cards and someone who can play with me. Anyone around the Twin Cities have a deck? I'd love to try it out!

You can see beautiful, home-made Japanese Hanafuda cards here from Sui Generis. It's been fun and inspiring watching his progress:

Now we just need to get a game going.

Posted by carl1236 at 8:28 PM | Korean

Category "Korean"

Category "Learning"

Category "motivation"

April 30, 2006

Hanja as a motivation tool

I did not know it would happen this way, but it has. This is the brief story of how I regained my motivation to study the Korean language, and languages in General...
First I met a man my age intensely studying Japanese at the coffee shop. He studies daily and has been fun to talk to about linguistics and language learning, AND the commonalities between Japanese and Korean. So we've been talking since about January off and on. His enthusiasm and determination is inspiring. It's catchy you know?! He has the same attitude toward language learning I had in the first two semesters of Korean at the U. In the third semester I lost much of my motivation for learning. I like my new friends attitude. "Can't" is not part of his vocabulary. He's methodical and experimental. When one thing doesn't work, he tries another. He uses both traditional flashcards and watches newscasts and movies. He also listens to audio and practices speaking out loud. Many of these language learning techniques prove to be useful.
He's been studying Hanja, or Chinese characters. He has all of radicals memorized and can look things up in the character dictionary. It was very interesting for me. Yesterday I went to Half-Price Books in the Highland Park business district and ta-da! I found a Korean/Hanja book. It covers the 1800 chinese characters taught in Korean schools, along with the corresponding Hangul. Very cool. My task for today was to learn the Hanja characters for the Korean days of the week. Sun, Moon, Fire, Water, Tree, Gold and Earth. As an additional learning tool, I stopped by a local store where the Chinese shop owner wrote the actual Chinese equivalent of the days of the week, which turns out are the numbers one through seven with the addition of the character for the word 'day', ie. 'day one,' 'day two,' 'day three,' etc.
Anyway, after studying Hanja for a day, I can write these seven characters fairly well by memory. It's motivating and encouraged me to study more. I like it. I think my motivation has been building, because languages really are fun. The thoughts and feelings of people are shared with others through language. I don't think it was the Hanja itself that motivated me but it definately pushed me over the top. Learning the history of Chinese characters was very fascinating and interesting. There are over 50,000 chinese characters, but really only about 4,000 are necessary to be fairly fluent in the common every day language. One thing that is interesting to me is how about 60 percent of the Korean vocabulary is borrowed from Chinese. I love practicing and writing these very specific symbols, that have very specific writing directions. One of my goals with this is to make an artistic calendar of the days of the week in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Hanja using symbology and imagery related to the meanings of the characters. Fun. I am excited by the possibilities and the creative side of learning.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:35 PM | Korean | Learning | motivation

Category "Art"

Category "Attitude"

Category "Korean"

March 19, 2006

God as Place

Today I created this piece of 'word-art' that displays God as a sense of Place. God is everywhere. God is my life. God is my hometown, where I come from and where I currently live...

Posted by carl1236 at 9:42 PM | Art | Attitude | Korean

Category "Korean"

July 20, 2005

어제 날씨

어제 날씨는 매우 멋졌어요! 태양이 비치고 있었어요. 그리고 온도는 시원했어요. 나는 사무실 까지 나의 자전거를 타고 갔어요. 나는 이런 종류의 날씨를 정말로 좋아해요!

매우 very (much); greatly; awfully.
멋지다 (be) stylish; smart; dandyish; refined; chic; splendid; great; wonderful; excellent.
태양 the sun.
비치다 to shine.
직업 job; occupation
이런 such; like this; of this kind.
종류 a kind; a sort; a class; a type; a variety
이런 종류의 날씨 weather of this type

Posted by carl1236 at 8:03 AM | Korean

Category "Korean"

February 28, 2005

Giving it the 3rd Degree

Today I was reviewing the theme of weather in Korean. I was looking in my book and ran across the word for ‘degree’ which is 도. In Korea they always use Celcius, 섭씨, followed by the number then the counter도. Example: 오늘 아침 기온은 섭씨 6도, 낮 기온은 13도가 되겠습니다. “The temperature this morning was 6 degrees Celcius, and it will be 13 degrees in the daytime.”
One problem though. I read this out lound and couldn’t remember if the counter도 uses pure Korean numbers or Sino-Korean numbers. I could not find this information anywhere in my books, but I did see it was part of the listening comprehension, so I listened to how they read the number 6 and 13. It’s Sino-Korean numbers! Good to know! From now on I have to memorize the numbers with the counters! To read this outloud it sounds like섭씨 육도.
This week I have to find some Korean weather reports to watch. 봄이 되겠다.

Posted by carl1236 at 9:57 PM | Korean

Category "Korean"

February 7, 2005

Information Please.

One of the frustrations of learning a language is the lack of the proper words to express what is in my mind.
When I look things up in the dictionary I want to know the correct word to use. But many times there are several words listed without an adequate explanation of what each word really means. So it can be a little like detective work. First I have to go to the Korean section of the dictionary and look up each Korean word given in the definition. This helps me find the correct form of the word I’m looking up, and also can take hours to do. That’s frustrating in itself.
But then I consider that the same word in English can have different meanings. In english the word ‘information’ can be either data or news about something. Example, “There is a lot of information about Korea on the internet,” or “I received information about the conditions in North Korea.”
When looking up the word, “Information” in my dictionary it lists the following words for the definition:

통지 (Comes from Chinese Characters) a notice; a notification; information; an advice (상
업상의 business conference; consultation)
통지하다 to inform (notify) (a person) of (a matter); give notice of (a matter); let (a person) know.

I got (received) (a) notice that I had passed the entrance examination.
입시 합격의 통지를 받았다
Wait until further notice.
다음 통지가 있을 때 까지 기다리시오
I have not received any information about this matter.
이 사건에 관해서 아무런 통지도 받지 않았읍니다
정보 (from Chinese Characters) (a piece of) information; intelligence (비밀의); news.
보고 (from Chinese Characters) a report.
보고하다 to report; to inform (a person of an event.)
보고 (from different Chinese Characters) a treasury; a treasure.
보도 (from Chinese Characters) a report; news; information; intelligence.
보도하다 to report; inform (a person) of (a fact); publish the news.
보도 (from different Chinese Characters) guidance; direction.
보도하다 to lead; guide; direct.
지식 (from Chinese Characters) knowledge; information
지식의 보고 treasure-house of knowledge
지식을 활용하다 to put one’s knowledge to practical use

If I look up these words in the Korean section of the dictionary, I find they don’t all mean, “Information.” To me information is not the same as knowledge. Information is the raw data before we learn it. After we learn the news about North Korea we know something about North Korea. The information came to us, and we now have knowledge.

Except I still don’t have the knowledge to say, “Information becomes knowledge.”

When I look up the word for ‘Data’ I get another clue. In my dictionary it lists both지식 and정보. So now I think the proper word to use in my sentence is정보.

Except even with this information I still don’t have the knowledge to say, “Information becomes knowledge,” without first knowing how to say, “becomes,” or “changes into.”

The verb, 되다 means to become; get; be; grow; turn; develop.
I looked up ‘change’ and found four items for ‘change into.’:
변하다 (from Chinese characters) to change; undergo a change; be altered; turn into; vary.
바꾸다 exchange; change; barter
바뀌다 change [turn] (into); be changed [altered, varied]
...으로 갈아 입다 (갈아 입다 to change one’s clothes)

So I think “Information becomes knowledge.” = 정보는 지식이 되요.

Am I right? Using the reverse lookup method, I feel like I went down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland and emerged hours later to find I’ve been having a bad dream.

Posted by carl1236 at 11:58 PM | Korean