Month: September 2012

니홍고 감바리마쇼!

Oh, this is fun. I know I’m not the first language blogger to stumble across these videos, but I thought I’d share them anyway.  니홍고 감바리마쇼! (만화로 배우는 일본어) is a YouTube web series that aired from 2010-2011 designed to (you guessed it) help you learn Japanese through Korean. The videos basically run like a podcast, except with cute little comics depicting the scenario around which each lesson is built.  It would have been cool if the story in each video built on the previous one like an ongoing drama, but it’s still cute that there’s a cast of recurring characters.  There’s the bumbling protagonist Park-san, his girlfriend of sorts Sayaka-san, his younger brother in the army Hyunwoo, and their smart-aleck cat Gongnyangi.  I love how the hosts actually spent time developing their characters.  Speaking of whom, the hosts, Rin and Sho, have great chemistry with each other.  I’m proud to say I can mostly understand both their banter and their explanations! Each video is centered around one word or phrase but the full dialogue is pretty …

Book Review: 옛것에 대한 그리움

Before I start, an extra special shout-out goes out to my loveliest of lovelies, Jeannie, who sent this book along with a stash of other goodies from Korea.  She’s forever spoiling me with gifts.  I am so lucky to know you, dear – and not just because you’re my Sugar Daddy.  Haha. I have to admit, I distanced myself from Korean culture and history during my first year of studying the language because a part of me felt that if I learned too much about it, I might come across as a Korean “wannabe.”  As it is, I still keep my passion for Korean a bit under the wraps, but I’ve come to realize that one cannot divorce a language from its culture.  The better I get at Korean, the more I want to know about Korea itself. And on that topic, a few weeks ago while I was watching 아랑 사또전, I decided I wanted to know more about 고수레, or food that Koreans put out to appease ghosts.  I googled it, browsed  few websites, …

Ethnic block

India is a great place to think about language.  Nearly each of India’s 28 states has its own regional language and culture.  There’s Tamil in Tamil Nadu, Kannada in Karnataka, Marathi in Maharashtra, Gujurati in Gujurat… I could go on.  Not to mention, Hindi and English is common to most states.  Imagine moving from New York to California and having to learn a whole new language and script! My mother tongue is Marathi but my ancestors settled in Tamil Nadu generations ago, giving rise to a small group of people whose Marathi evolved into an interesting dialect due to geographic separation; it’s basically old Marathi admixed with the local Tamil language.  Now, I speak my mother tongue fairly decently.  Not fluently enough to communicate complex thoughts and emotions (and basically no one in my extended family knows how to write or read it), but I can hold a decent conversation with my grandparents.  My parents also read, write, and speak Tamil fluently – but I can’t.  In fact, on this trip to India, I came to realize …

Shiseido UNO Fog Bar CM

Okay, so this is a completely useless post.  But really.  It’s not everyday you stumble across a Japanese CM starring four beautiful イケメン.  Hnnggg. I was stalking my favorite Japanese actor Eita a couple days ago and found that he did a recent CM for UNO Fog Bar, a hair styling spray, along with Oguri Shun, Miura Haruma, and Tsumabuki Satoshi.  Ummmm, hello NOSEBLEED.  Looks like this particular F4 has been endorsing Fog Bar for a couple years now because I found this adorable CM from 2010.  (You can practice reading Japanese subtitles a little too!) Hehe.  I love the all シュツ シュツ シュツ (the spraying sounds).  The katakana is fun to write too. I think I have this funny thing where I get really attached to Japanese actors, more so than Korean actors, but I tend to get attached to the characters in Korean dramas more than the characters in Japanese dramas.  Take Eita for instance.  I’ve watched five, going on six, of his dramas and I think he’s brilliant in each one.  (By the way, I highly recommend Last Friends and それでも、生きてゆく.  Those two dramas …

Ten Korean words I can never remember

As you guys might know already, I dislike memorizing vocabulary words.  Most of the Korean words I know are from reading articles and books, listening to podcasts and songs (especially rap – I’ve learned so many great words from Epik High), and watching variety shows and dramas.  I’d rather learn words slowly and naturally through context than force myself to study stacks of flashcards.  It might be slower but the retention rate is better, in my case. There are some words that I hear once or twice and remember forever because of the particular context I read them in.  For example, I will forever remember 고구마 = sweet potato because of 우결 and I learned a lot of entertainment industry-related vocabulary by reading celebrity news. But there are some words that I see over and over and over and over again in different contexts that I have to look up EVERY SINGLE TIME.  I don’t know why they refuse to stick.  I write them down over and over again, to no avail.  Some of these …

Interview with Jo Jung-seok (Singles)

Any fans of The King 2 Hearts’ heart-melting, swooniest of swoony, squeal-worthy Eun Shi-kyung out there?  I’ve been keeping an eye on actor Jo Jung-seok since I first saw him What’s Up, where he plays a nerdy kid with a great voice but terrible stage fright; all I can say at this point is GIMME MOAR. Jo’s actually a well-known name in musical theater, but this year he found his way into the the realm of TV and film and I can only hope he has plans to stay.  I came across his interview in Singles magazine last month and wanted to have another go at translating longer articles, so here goes.  (Disclaimer:  All copyright belongs to the original writer.  I’m not profiting by this translation and I can’t guarantee its accuracy.) Look! At! That! Face!

Greetings from the motherland

Hello, Blogosphere.  I’m currently in India, visiting my extended family.  And sobbing because of the bad internet.  Sadly, I don’t have a proper wifi connection at my grandparents’ house so I’m using this PnP USB Modem which lets you access “India’s Superfast Wireless Broadband” with speeds up to a shocking 10-20 Kbps. I know. When I was younger, I could go 2-3 months without the Internet but at this point in my life, I can’t afford to be offline for more than a  couple days.  It’s not me being spoiled; I need it for work (especially since this is kind of an obligatory vacation my parents forced on me when I still have things to do.) So I guess I will be taking a little bit of a break from K-studying for the time being, though I do have a couple drafts which I may get up in the next few days (or nights, depending on how bad my jet lag is.)  Till then, let me leave you all with one of my favorite Bollywood …