Month: February 2013

마의 16세

This is the funniest piece of Korean slang I have learned EVER.  It’s pure gold. So here’s the context.  The phrase is 마의 16세.  마(魔) comes from 마귀 마, where 마귀 means ‘evil spirit’ or ‘demon.’  It’s the same 마 that’s in 악마 (‘demon’, ‘devil’), 마술 and 마법 (‘witchcraft’, ‘magic’), and 마녀 (‘witch’).  So not a good thing, right?  16세 is sixteen years old, in Korean age (so 14/15 Western age), and this is significant because it is the age when students finish middle school and enter high school. Basically, 마의 16세 refers to one’s transition from an adorable child to an awkward young adult.  Puberty hits and, bam, so does the acne, the growth spurts (either vertically or horizontally), the braces, the glasses – all the physical and emotional changes that made the transition from child to teenager oh-so painful.  This phrase covers the latter part of puberty – the transition into adulthood – and, interestingly, it seems to apply mostly to boys, whose physical appearance changes more dramatically in a short period of time (in some instances), …

Inspirational Japanese

Just popping by to share one of my favorite tumblrs out there, Inspirational Japanese. (click) If you’re ever down, there’s really nothing better than scrolling through a few of their posts. It really leaves you feeling um… inspired… about life… ;D

언어 파트너 이야기

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a long while and now I’ve finally managed to get around to doing so.  This is the story of how I met my new Korean language partner and now dear friend and 언니 of two months. My entire lab is aware I know a bit/am currently studying Korean.  So one morning in December, my deskmate comes in and tells me that she saw a flier on the bulletin board right inside our building.  Someone was looking for an English conversation partner who was interested in learning about Korean culture.  She told me that I should email the person and see if anything comes out of it.  I was really hesitant.  Granted, this is at an academic research institution and the chances of the person being a creep was fairly low… but I still felt weird. I Googled said person’s email and saw that she was a postdoctoral fellow who was working in the same building as me but in another department.  I debated for half a day …