Saturday, March 18, 2017

서울성곽 "와룡광원 ~ 숙정문 ~ 창의문"

Text at Twins Family Blog

가만히 - still (not moving)
나들이 - picnic
후문 - rear gate
위치하다 - to be located
최근 - lately
개방 - open
성곽 - castle
탐방 - visit
워낙 - so, very
산책 - walk, stroll
정도 - degree
꼬드기다 - cajole
집을 나서다 - leave the house

이르다 - reach, attain
허가 - permission
비난 - reproach

한치도 - even one inch
에누리 - discount
정각 - exactly, punctually
신청서 - application
작성하다 - to fill in (a form)
발급하다 - to issue
문화재청 - Cultural Heritage Administration
직원 - staff
상당하다 - to be considerable, sizable
불쾌감 - displeasure
고압 - high pressure
자세 - position, posture
경비 - guard
전경 - police, guards

통제소 - regulating station
철책 - barbed wire
담벼락 - wall
이중 - double
삼중 - triple
둘러치다 - enclose, surround
경계 - boundary
삼엄하다 - solemn
특정 - certain
촬영 - shooting (photos)
왕래 - comings and goings

짜증 - irritation
지리하다 - to be tiresome
흥미 - interest
반항 - defiance, rebellion
못 이기는 척 - pretending it can't be helped

오르막 - uphill
가파른 - sharp, steep
탐방객 - guest, visitor
거칠다 - to be rough
정기 - spirit, vital force
부자 - wealthy person

소요되다 - to be required (of time, or cost)
관절 - joint
좁다 - narrow, small
배려가 - consideration (of others)

The northern section of the Seoul fortress wall was closed to the public for a long time, because of an assassination attempt by North Korea. It was reopened in 2006, but you have to go to the security check point (bring your passport!) and get a visitor badge before making the hike. It's not open before 9:00.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sometimes 밥 is not 밥.

I was just watching this video and discovered that the word for sawdust is 톱밥. (톱 is saw). I already knew 귀밥 was earwax. I can't help but find this amusing.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (book)

I got this book out of the library a few of months ago. It's both fascinating and heartbreaking. The author follows the stories of six different people, all from the city of 청진 up on the northeast coast, who managed to escape and make it to Seoul. The research was all done through interviews (with translators--though there are only a couple of places where it's obvious that the author doesn't really speak Korean). It's definitely the most detailed account I've read about what everyday life there is like for regular people.

The title is from a song, used in this propaganda video which you can watch on the book's official site--"세상에 부럼 없어라."  (The video takes a while to load.)  I followed most of the song fairly well but was curious about the word "넋" and had to look that one up.  Apparently it means spirit or soul.  I don't remember ever hearing this before.

There were a lot of things about North Korea that I hadn't realized. I expect everyone's seen that picture of North Korea at night, where the entire country is blank except for the bright spot in 평양, but it hasn't always been like that. At one point the North was doing better than the South. The descriptions of deterioration and starvation were quite eye-opening. (As well as people's inventiveness in finding ways to make money in a country that officially bans private enterprise.)

This book also answered a few questions that I had wondered about, like what is North Korea's name for South Korea (남조선). One woman hears the name 한국 and doesn't know what it is.

I think this would be an interesting read for just about anybody, but especially meaningful to those who have a personal interest in Korea, of course. I even suggested it for our ward book club (though it does have one F-bomb). They didn't go for it but we are going to read Year of Impossible Goodbyes for February.

(And I'd like to close with a thought for the Christmas season...)

The year that the Berlin wall came down, a couple sang "O Holy Night" in sacrament meeting and mentioned that this verse seemed particularly appropriate:

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

우리 나라 만세!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

(late) 추석 party

Due to scheduling conflicts (a wedding, and General Conference) the Seattle 한인 지부 didn't have their 추석 party till October 9 (which is 한글 Day, coincidentally). We went and took the kids. There was a ton of food, including a mountainous pile of 콩나물, which made me very happy.

(There was also a fruit salad with cherry tomatoes in it. Elder Parsons was helping me dish up some food when I had my hands full with Andy. I mentioned that this was a very Korean sort of thing, to put tomatoes in fruit salad, and he said, "Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen that before.")

A few of the members entertained us with some truly astonishing 뽕짝-style karaoke. (Seriously, this one guy was just amazing. And 뽕짝 is really not my thing, but even I could tell he was amazing.)

Andy enjoyed the chicken and got little messy hand prints all over my pants.

Friday, October 8, 2010

최윤환 장로님과 함께하는 노변의 밤

Elder 최윤환 gave a fireside at the Seattle 한인 지부 Wednesday night (on his way home from General Conference). I really enjoyed his "I Love Loud Boys" talk, and it was fun to hear him speak in Korean. (I found his wife's talk slightly easier to understand than his.)

He showed a video from the SMYC conference that Rachel wrote about. I found out what SMYC stands for--Special Multi-Stake Youth Conference. (I guess "SMSYC" doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well.) The video ended with that 시온의 자매/힐라맨의 용사 medley. It was quite stirring, especially seeing all those young people together in one place. I'm sure that must have been an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

My new word for the night was 담대, which means bold. (The theme for SMYC was "강하고 담대 하라.") I don't remember ever hearing that before.

And I've always wondered what 노변 actually means, so I ran it through the translator, and do you know what came out? Fireside. How about that.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Grammar and spelling checker

I found this site recently --> Korean grammar and spelling checker (run by 부산대학교!)

You type or paste in your text, click the "검사하기" button, and then it corrects your errors for you! (Followed by bewildering and sometimes overly long explanations.)

If there are no errors it'll say "문법 및 철자 오류가 발견되지 않았습니다."

Some words that I looked up:

검사 check, inspect
맞춤법 spelling
철자 spelling (also)
정보 information
오류 error
유사 similar
지적 point out, indicate
의견 feedback

Korean spelling can be so tricky. And spacing. (Spacing gives me fits.) I hope this will be useful!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

당근 쏭 (attack of the singing carrots)

My daughter Kate thinks this video is highly amusing.

I was going to say that I still can't quite understand all of the second part, but through my amazing google-fu I was able to find the lyrics online:

나 보고 싶니? (당근)
나 생각나니? (당근)
I love you You love me (당근당근당근)
나 좋아하니? (당근)
나 사랑하니? (당근)
I love you You love me (당근당근당근)

너 변하지마 (당근)
언제까지나 (당근)
좋아해 좋아해 (당근당근당근)
늘 행복해요 (당근)
늘 즐거워요 (당근)
사랑해 사랑해 (당근~쏭)

때로는 짜증나고 때로는 힘들어도
너에곁에 언제나 웃고 있는 날 생각해
때로는 슬퍼지고 때로는 외로워도
너의곁에 언제나 함께하는 나를 생각해

짜증-irritated, annoyed (the only word I didn't know).'s translator actually rendered this as "sucks." Seems like a useful word.

This guy points out that "당근" is also slang for "of course," which hadn't occurred to me. I love you! Of course!

Now I have this song stuck in my head.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


추석 falls on September 22nd this year. I usually make 떡국 for 설날 but I don't really have anything to do for 추석. I was only in Korea for one 추석, and nobody invited us over, so we just went over to the Elders' house and had a picnic outside their apartment. (In contrast, I think we got fed about three times on 설날). The 한인 지부 here is having an activity, but it's going to be late because there's something else going on this week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

한글 fonts

I found all of these at the Gallery of Unicode Fonts, but it looks like some of the download links are no longer working, so I just bundled everything up into a zip file. (I don't anticipate any problem with this, but I'll be happy to take it down if anyone objects.)

Click here to download the zip file.

Some of these fonts also include 한자:

The HY series fonts are a little unusual--in some programs they show up in the font menu with the 한글 titles, and in some programs (like Photoshop) they show up with romanized titles. I also included the name of the actual font file in parentheses. In my font folder (Windows XP) they have 한글 names, but when I copied them into another folder to zip them up, the names all changed. (Tricksy!)

The UnYetgul font is missing some syllables.