The lovely Yulia encouraged me to make more 사극 말투 posts, so here we go.  Unfortunately, 해를 품은 달 and 성균관 유생들의 나날 are the only two Korean historical fiction novels I own so unless I get to watching more 사극 dramas, most of my examples are going to come from those novels.  The Moon/Sun sheen’s worn off a bit for me and I’m starting to notice how truly 오글오글 the writing is in this book but I’m still going to keep going with it hopefully!  It’s an amazing feeling to be able to comprehend Korean prose.

Having discovered that Wol was brought to the palace as his personal talisman, Hwon uses his headache as an excuse to see her early one day.  Being the shameless flirt he is, he kisses her on the cheek…

“아.  미안하구나.  놀라게 하려던 것은 아닌데.  그럼 놀라게 한 죄로 나도 벌을 받으마.”

The conversation turns back to Wol’s identity before she became a shaman.  Wol doesn’t have the answers but Hwon is determined to keep her by his side nevertheless.

“월아, 이렇게 다시 만났으니 이번에는 절대 놓치지 않을 것이다.  어떻게든 무적에서 빼낼 방법을 찾으마.  기다려 다오.”

V + 으마 is actually very simple.  It’s a verb/sentence ending that is used when the speaker is conveying his intention or promising to do something for someone.  Sound familiar?  From context, I’m guessing that it’s used in the same way as V + 을게, but exclusively by a person of higher status or older age to a person of lower status/younger age.  Loosely translated, then:

놀라게 한 죄로 나도 벌을 받으마(받을게). = I too will suffer punishment for frightening you.

어떻게든 무적에서 빼낼 방법을 찾으마 (찾을게).

Most importantly, don’t mix up V+ 으마 with V + 지마(라)!  It’s tempting because they look so similar.

방법을 찾지마! = Don’t look for a way!
방법을 찾으마!  = I will find a way!

Similar, but oh so different.

Korean grammar terms

When I just can’t find good explanations of more advanced (?) Korean grammar points in English, I resort to searching for explanations in Korean.  I’ve also started to use the 국어 사전 more these days to look up words I don’t know (and to learn new words while I’m at it!)  Anyway, I’ve begun compiling a list of Korean grammatical terms that’ll hopefully make it easier to understand dictionary entries and grammar explanations in Korean.  I’ll probably add more to this list in the future but here’s what I have so far.

Edit:  I decided to make a separate page for this topic.