Month: March 2013

힘을 주는 속담

In the course of this month, I came to the sobering realization that 1) I’m unhappy and 2) I don’t know how to fix it.  My academic life took a sharp and painful turn in mid-February and things have been really up-and-down since.  Despite the infrequent posts on this blog, Korean has been a constant source of comfort, not to mention sanity, for me in the past month.  Not a single day goes by without my doing something related to Korean. This is one of my favorite Korean proverbs, and one that I think about often these days. 하늘이 무너져도 솟아날 구멍이 있다. Literally: “Even if the sky falls, there will be a hole from which you can escape.”  As Korean Wiki Project puts it, “There is still hope in even the most desperate of situations.” (I suppose the English equivalent would be “Every cloud has a silver lining” but the Korean version is so much more poignant to me.  ‘Silver lining’ implies that something good comes out of every bad situation; I don’t know how …

뷁!

I thought 헐 was just about the greatest thing, until my LP 언니 taught me this gem. 뷁 is used on the internet when there is no appropriate exclamation or word to describe the extent of one’s dissatisfaction.  That is: NOUN+은/는 좋지 않다 can become NOUN+은/는 뷁같다 or 뷁스럽다. I imagine this is used kind of like “blehhhh” or “mehhhh” – general, noncommittal sounds of dissatisfaction in English.  It’s embarrassing how often I use ‘bleh’/’meh’ to express myself at the cost of using more intelligent adjectives, and now I can do it Korean too!  Not good.  Heh. So I tried looking up a few other things about this word (can you call it a word, even?) and found out that it originated from a lyric that went “왜 날 브레이크” from Moon Heejun (of H.O.T)’s solo song “I.”  When said quickly, 브레이크 (‘break’) sounds a lot like 뷁.  The funny thing is that netizens made fun of the song and his pronunciation by pasting his face onto 100원 coins (백원 = 뷁원).  So mean!  Check out the original …