Month: April 2011

Interview with Jung Il Woo (Marie Claire)

Since I’m kind of obsessed with 49 Days‘ sassy Scheduler, I wanted to try my hand at translating an article about Jung Il Woo that I found in the April 2011 issue of Marie Claire Korea.  Well, clearly I bit off more than I could chew.  This was my first time attempting to read (and translate) a rather lengthy magazine article and I think I got the gist of it but there were A LOT of words I did not know.  I would say I had to look up about 10-15% of the words (around 170 words out of a total of 1200).  I would say I’m about 65-70% percent confident in my translation.  There were many things I was unsure of and probably could have phrased better… but this is only for my own personal practice. Again, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this translation.

기대하는 드라마

Only a few more weeks until I graduate and embark on my glorious FOUR-month summer vacation – filled with laziness, guitar, Japanese, Korean, and, of course, Korean dramas.  And the timing is perfect –  this summer looks like it’s going to be filled with some enjoyable dramas.  I’m not expecting all of these to be spectacular, but these are the ones I’m anticipating at the moment. 동안미녀 (Baby-Faced Beauty) – May 2 최고의 사랑 (Best Love) – May 4 내게 거짓말을 해봐 (Lie to Me) – May 9 Romance Town – May 11 City Hunter – May 25 Ripley – May 30 넌 내게 반했어 (You’ve Fallen For me/Festival) – June 29 I’m probably looking forward to Lie to Me and You’ve Fallen For Me the most.  I’m on the fence about Baby-faced Beauty but I’ll keep an open mind.  City Hunter is the one I’m most skeptical about.  I know Lee Min Ho is a decent actor and I adore Park Min Young but in general the quality of Korean adaptations of Japanese dramas/manga are… uh… questionable so I’m going to be watching this …

Biology of the language-learning brain

A lot of my friends are neuroscience majors so, out of curiosity and because I had some extra space in my schedule, I decided to take an intro-level behavioral neuroscience course this semester. BIG MISTAKE. I have never experienced a class so frustratingly boring in my life.  And it’s a real pity because I know that neuroscience can and should be somewhat interesting (it’s the brain, for heaven’s sake) but… it’s not. Except for today. (Source) We started talking about language and cognition and of course my ears perked up because I’ve always had a fascination for the science behind learning a foreign language.  How does the brain comprehend new phonemes and new grammar structures?  Where and how does it form a new “dictionary”?  How does it affect other parts of behavior?  To what extent is language a learned behavior and to what extent is it innate? If anyone else is interested in this topic, I suggest NOT taking a neuroscience class.  Instead, try perusing The Language Instinct by Harvard professor, cognitive scientist, and linguist Steven Pinker. …

CNBLUE – First Step

So, First Step,  CNBLUE‘s first full-length album, released about a month ago and normally I wouldn’t care… but then I got sucked into watching Yonghwa & Seohyun episodes on We Got Married and, well, I started to pay a little more attention to CNB.

Graduate school

This is an off-topic post but it’s such a big part of my life that I have to blog about it at least once.  (If you follow me elsewhere on the web, you may already know about this, so apologies for repeating myself!) Starting this fall, I will be attending Stanford University (School of Medicine) to pursue a PhD degree in Immunology!! Graduate school application is a long and tedious process here in the States.  Let me briefly summarize the events that lead to this.  (I was, of course, very bad at planning and procrastinated a lot so the entire process was stressful.) September 2010 – Took the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) which is an annoying standardized test that everyone has to take to get into an American graduate school. October 2010 – Wrote my personal statement, which was basically an essay about my current research and how that ties into why I want to pursue Immunology in graduate school.  (Immunology = study of the immune system).  As a microbiologist, I’ve always been interested in host response to …

Diminutives

Yesterday, I finished watching Devil Beside You – which, quite possibly, might be the last Taiwanese drama I’ll ever watch.  For reasons I won’t go into here.  Heh. Anyway, I watched DBY with little to no knowledge of Chinese, other than basic “A is B”-type sentences so I was intrigued by the way the characters addressed each other.  Why did everyone call Jiang Meng “Ahmeng”?  Why was Yuan Yi so offended when Ahmeng called him “Ahyi”?  Why did Qi Yue’s friends alternatively call her Qi Yue and Xiao Yue?  Why was Yuan Yi the only one who called Qing Zi “Xiao Zi”?  You see what I’m getting at. Well, I kind of figured out through context that ah (阿) and xiao (小) were diminutives, basically forms of words (usually names though they can be other nouns) that are used to signify either smallness or endearment/intimacy.  In fact, in Chinese xiao (小) actually means “small.”  What is interesting is that some languages, like English, do not have a strict way of forming diminutives while other languages, like Chinese, …

Big Bang SE Mini-album + Inkigayo

Hang on a sec, I need to collect myself.  *hyperventilates* So I’m a huge HUGE Big Bang fan and I adored their mini album TONIGHT (check out my review here). Obviously, I was super excited for their special edition mini-album and I was blown away (I mean BLOWN AWAY!!) by “Stupid Liar” and “Love Song.”  (To be fair, I liked Daesung’s solo “Baby Don’t Cry” too except for the weird whirly sound effects randomly in the song). And then… I saw their second comeback stage on SBS Inkigayo last night. I have tears in my eyes.  I’m not kidding.  “Awesome” can’t even begin to describe how truly awesome the performances were.  It’s not even the performance itself per se; what’s incredible is how much Big Bang has grown over the years as musicians and performers.  Since I’ve only been a hardcore fan for a year (the longest I’ve ever fangirled over an idol group), through YouTube, I’ve seen their past four years in a very short time span.  In terms of music, they’ve gone from traditional …

私は日本語ができるかな.

My penpal Dina assured me that if I learned Korean, Japanese would be easy.  LIES!  Strangely enough, I know a lot of Korean learners who struggle with Japanese and vice versa.  I can’t pinpoint what my problem is with Japanese but I know that it started before I started learning Korean. I tried to teach myself Japanese in high school but only got as far as learning hiragana and the basic “AはBです” type sentences before I got sidetracked with Kanji.  Kanji was a whole other beast… I got so into trying to learn Kanji that I forgot that I actually had to understand some Japanese grammar before I could use it.  Then, I stumbled into Korean (with no intention of learning it!) and it came so naturally to me that I abandoned Japanese until last year. I thought maybe formal instruction would help me with Japanese but it doesn’t.  It’s not that my grades are bad; I just feel sluggish.  It takes me a long time to memorize things and I forget sentence patterns easily – …

귀여운 노래!^^

I’ve never watched 우리 결혼했어요, but I remember I found out about the 용서 couple’s “반말송” (“Banmal Song”) through allkpop.  So when CN Blue’s Jung Yonghwa released a digital version of the song retitled “처음 사랑하는 연인들을 위해” (“For First-time Lovers”) earlier this year, I was curious to hear it because 반말송 was so popular.  It’s really one of the most adorable songs I have ever heard. (Source:  GirlsGenerationSM) What I love about this song is that it is so distinctly Korean.  It’s about something that you can’t really understand unless you know a little about Korean culture and it’s about something I love watching in a Korean drama – progression of a relationship in parallel with changes in speech levels.  How do you gauge when to start speaking “comfortably” to a person you’ve met?  When can you switch from 존댓말 to 반말?  What’s even more interesting (what this song is about) is how to speak to a person who’s just become your lover – how do you get over the awkwardness and the shyness, not only in …

로서 vs 로써

I was reading 세상에 너를 소리쳐 a few days ago and came across a particle I wasn’t familiar with: 로서.  Obviously 로 is used in a variety of situations, but what I wasn’t sure if 로서 was used in a similar way or if it was completely unrelated to 로.  So I did a bit of research and came across an English blog post that did quite a poor job of explaining how to use 로서, 로써, 로인하여 and then went on to conclude that 로서, 로써, 로인하여, as well as 므로 could just be replaced by 로 colloquially.  Well, that sounded a bit suspicious so I brought up the question with CoreanBigSis on Twitter and, sure enough, that was incorrect.  As 언니 explained to me, there are SOME situations where 로 can colloquially replace the other particles and some situations where it simply cannot.  So, I googled something in Korean about those particles and came up with a really excellent explanation on when to use 로서 vs 로써 (which, I assume, are mixed up quite often by native speakers.  Like when …