Month: June 2013

Korean pronunciation II: Colleagues & Pomegranates

Immediately after I learned Hangeul, I stumbled across a long, complicated list of Korean pronunciation rules.  It set off mental alarm bells.  Unlike Japanese kana, which I was learning at the time, Korean apparently wasn’t as simple as learning the alphabet and pronouncing what I see.  My reaction to these “advanced” rules was decidedly not to whip out a deck of flashcards and write out every consonant combination and pronunciation and spend hours memorizing them.  Rather, my reaction was to quickly close the webpage, forget about it, and get back to the Korean drama or podcast or whatever it was that I was listening to. Because, unsurprisingly, the key to really learning how Korean words are pronounced is to constantly listen to them.  Watch enough dramas, films, and variety shows and you will inevitably begin to pick up commonly-repeated words and phrases.  Throw in some light reading or textbook studying, and you’ll figure out how to spell some of those words and phrases (or vice versa).  Soon it will become apparent that some words have …

Korean pronunciation I: 파리(빠리?) 바게뜨

A Korean bakery called Paris Baguette.  I’m going to pretend this makes sense. This post is not a review, but I will say I find Paris Baguette to be fairly underwhelming and overpriced.  Does not stop me from popping in and buying about five red bean buns every time I’m in downtown though. My language partner Kwang-im and I have been here a couple times and she always makes fun of my 500% Americanized pronunciation of its name.  Parisssss Baguette.  Yet when we speak in Korean, I make conscious effort to pronounce it the way it’s written in Hangeul (파리 바게뜨), while internally chuckling at the fact that I am in fact saying Housefly Baguette.  Yum.  The pronunciation took effort, not because the Korean sounded so different from the American English pronunciation but because, for some reason, the aspirated 파 felt weird in my mouth.  After a couple times of forcefully emphasizing the 파 in 파리, Kwang-im gently told me that it is, in fact, pronounced 빠리. WHEW.  Strangely, my ears and mouth had both …

김예림 – “All Right”

Thanks to Jeannie, I’ve known about 투개월 since their Superstar K3 days.  Lead vocalist of the duo, Kim Yerim, has a sultry type of voice that’s sort of a mix between Mad Soul Child’s Jinsil and Casker’s LeeYoong-jin.  I’m not sure what happened to the other half of the duo Do Dae-yoon (I heard that he left to concentrate on his studies?); in any case, it looks like 투개월 might be morphing into a solo act.  Recently Kim Yerim – or Lim Kim, as she’s being marketed now – released her first solo mini-album ‘A Voice’ which is every bit as delightful as I thought it would be. I don’t think the title track does justice to her voice but I do relate to the lyrics – the song’s basically about a person pretending she’s all right when she really isn’t.  And man, is the music video… weird.  Heh.  Based off the comments under the video, a lot of people were complaining about how repetitive the song is but truth of the matter is, and …

‘돌 속의 별’

돌의 내부가 암흑이라고 맏는 사람은 돌을 부딪쳐 본 적이 없는 사람이다 돌 속에 별이 갇혀 있다는 것을 모르는 사람이다 돌이 노래할 줄 모른다고 여기는 사람은 저물녘 강의 물살이 부르는 돌들의 노래를 들어 본 적이 없는 사람이다 그 노래를 들으며 울어 본 적이 없는 사람이다 돌 속으로 들어가기 위해서는 물이 되어야 한다는 것을 아직 모르는 사람이다 돌이 차갑다고 말하는 사람은 돌에서 울음을 꺼내 본 적이 없는 사람이다 그 냉정이 한때 불이었다는 것을 잊은 사람이다 돌이 무표정하다고 무시하는 사람은 돌의 얼굴을 가만히 들여다본 적이 없는 사람이다 안으로 소용돌이치는 파문을 이해하지 못하는 사람이다 그 무표정의 모순어법을 -류시화 시집 <나의 상처는 돌 너의 상처는 꽃>