Got Free E-book from Talk To Me In Korean


Yay! Thank you, CTW & TTMIK!

I won a coupon for Talk To Me In Korean e-book just by posting one Korean sentence using the keyword on Catch The Wave’s message board last November (Hey Korean Mission). Today they finally sent me the prize. I didn’t care that much because thought I was going to get something like 10% discount, but no, I actually got to pick 1 e-book for free. Wow!

I chose Real-Life Conversations – Learn Korean through natural conversations in 40 different situations (with audio/mp3 files) – Intermediate Level $12.99. (

It’s basically a conversation book for intermediate level, with English translation, translation exercises, and audio files. I’m satisfied with my choice. I also found out that I didn’t have to make a PayPal account to shop there. I’m eyeing Survival Korean for my next read. ###

Koreascape Today – 낭송

The radio hosts on tbs eFM Koreascape – Real Life Korean discussed an article in Korean about Korean literature.

I googled and found the original article here:
NYT “한강 소설 깊은 울림 있고, 아름다우면서 급진적”
(NYT “Han Kang’s novel has deep resonance, beautiful and also radical”)

The part they read:

31일 문학계에 따르면 배수아의 장편 ‘서울의 낮은 언덕들’이 영문명 ‘낭송’(Recitation)으로 지난24일 미국 온라인 대형서점인 아마존닷컴에 번역 출간돼 인기 순위에 진입했다.

한강도 지난해 맨부커 인터내셔널부문 수상작인 ‘채식주의자’(The Vegetarian)에 이어 지난 17일 ‘소년이 온다’(Human Acts)를 번역 출간했다. 번역은 역시 데버러 스미스가 했다.

이 책은 출간 즉시 뉴욕타임스 등으로부터 호평을 받았다.

According to Literary World, the English version of Bae Suah (배수아)’s full-length novel 서울의 낮은 언덕들 (Seoul’s low hills), with English title ‘Recitation’ became one of the popular books on on January 24th.

Han Kang (한강) whose novel The Vegetarian (채식주의자) won Man Booker Prize – International Category, released English version of her book Human Acts (소년이 온다/the boy is coming) on January 17. Also translated by Deborah Smith.

As soon as it was released, this book got rave review on New York Times, etc.


Literature. 문학. Not my cup of tea.

The word 낭송 (recitation) is new to me. How do you use it in conversation? Let’s check Korean – English Learners’ Dictionary: 낭송


One star is ‘advanced’, two is ‘intermediate’, three is ‘basic’ level.

가: 민준이가 이번 시 낭송 대회에서 우승을 했대.
They said Minjun won poetry recitation competition this time.

나: 민준이는 목소리도 좋고 시를 잘 읽으니까 우승할 만해.
Minjun has good voice and good at reading poetry. He deserves to win.


tbs eFM Koreascape – Real Life Korean

I really like Real Life Korean segment of tbs eFM Koreascape but I still can’t find the website for the Korean dialog scripts. It’s a 5-minute radio show in Korea for foreigners that teaches one key expression every day. Today’s key expression was: 시시콜콜 캐묻다.
Even though the sentences in the conversation are really short, the key expression is actually for advanced level learners and that’s why it’s interesting.

I found Koreascape first via AudioClip from Naver, but it’s actually more convenient to listen to it on iTunes
or this website:
because AudioClip app doesn’t show the note/description about the Korean words.


Real Life Korean – Host: Kurt Achin – Korean teacher: Jessica Lee

시시콜콜 캐묻다: ask every single detail, ask everything, being inquisitive about everything → Wanting to know everything about someone/something, asking everything

시시콜콜: down to the last detail, every single thing/detail, every buzz, nitpicking → It’s a pure Korean expression for ‘asking/knowing/telling everything, even the tiniest detail’ and being stingy.

캐묻다: questioning closely, asking inquisitively, interrogate

~ 하지 말아라: don’t ~

개인 시간: time alone, private time

I took dictation from the conversation they taught today:

사춘기를 겪는 딸이 걱정이에요.
I’m worried about my daughter. She’s going through puberty now.

많이 신경 쓰이겠어요.
You must be very concerned.

요즘 저랑 얘기도 안 하려고 해요.
Nowadays, she even won’t talk to me.

Leave her alone.

시시콜콜 캐묻지 말고요.
Don’t interrogate her about every detail.

그래야 될까요?
Shall I do it?

개인 시간을 좀 줘요.
Give her some alone time.

Ah, 냅두세요! I learned 냅둬요 before. The basic form is 냅두다. It’s a spoken language, the contraction of 내버려두다 (to leave alone).

Not only Korean lessons, the radio show has many episodes that provide useful information for living in Korea. ###

저도요. So do I.

Song: Seattle by Sam Kim (샘김)

Thank you ESP 님 who recommended the song. Yes, I do love acoustic songs.

This part just made me smile (around 2:00).

한국말이 더 빨리 늘었음 좋겠어
나의 마음을 더 잘 전할 수 있게

I hope my Korean will improve more quickly
so I can express my feelings better

I hope for the same thing for myself. 저도 한국말이 더 빨리 늘었으면 좋겠어요.

Pronunciation guide (because I don’t think romanization is stupid):
[han-gung-ma-ri deo ppal-li neu-reo-sseum jo-ke-sseo
na-ui ma-eu-meul deo jal jeo-nal ssu i-kke]

I used romanization to learn to read hangul. I’m not stupid.

I use [na-ui] for 나의, but 의 can be pronounced or [eu-i] or [에] [e]. It’s easier to say [e] so people use [e] more often. He pronounces 나의 (my) as [na-ye], though, as they often do that when singing.

The letter ㅎ [h] is often pronounced weakly and even disappears, but not always. So 전하다 can be pronounced [저나다][jeo-na-da]. In the song, he pronounces 전할 수 있게 as [저날쑤 이께] [jeo-nal-ssu i-kke]. Because you know, the sound of 받침 [ㄷ][t] also often disappears, especially if the speaker speaks fast. And if you notice,  ㅅ [s] after ㄹ [l] turns to ㅆ [ss], which is subtle, but the stress for [ㅆ] ‘ss’ sound is there. ###

Meaning of Korean Slang 단호박


Just say it honestly. I’m worthy of respect, right?


Nope. (단호박)

Oh, look, I found the word 단호박 (a Korean slang)!

This is from a video uploaded this morning on BTOB’s V Live channel: (with hangul script for learners).

Changsub said to Sungjae: 솔직히 말해. 나 존경스럽지? (Just say it, honestly. I’m worthy of respect, right?)

Sungjae answered: 아니. (Nope.) in  a 단호박 manner.

HyunWoo 선생님 taught this word for Korean Buzzword section on Arirang Radio. The word  단호박 could mean ‘sweet pumpkin’/’autumn squash’ that taste sweet, but as a slang, it means a person who says no really quickly without even trying to be soft about it, or the act of refusing flatly. It’s from the word 단호하다 (to be firm, resolute).

Reference: Open Dictionary for Korean Buzzwords “우리말쌤”: 단호박 (in Korean).

To say to  a friend who said 아니 (no) to your invitation or question:
‘너 완전 단호박이구나.’ or just ‘단호박.’
(You’re very straightforward when you say no).

Isn’t it amazing that after you learn a Korean word, it suddenly appears everywhere? Just like HyunWoo 선생님 said on Hey Korean: 아는 만큼 보인다 (what you know determines what you see). ###

Hey Korean Mission (대답) and Meaning of 광대승천 and 셀기꾼

Today, Wednesday, is the day for Hey Korean segment on Arirang Radio – Catch The Wave with DJ JaeMin and the main guest HyunWoo 선생님.

When I was watching the live cam, during a song break, a female staff came to the studio to give some paper and food to DJ JaeMin. He made ‘finger hearts’ with his thumbs and point fingers to her (Korean celebrities often do that to say ‘I love you’ to fans) and then she started punching him because he wouldn’t stop giving her the ‘love beam’. And I thought girls punching guys only happened in Korean movies.

I posted a message on the message board: ‘I think I just saw DJ JaeMin got beaten up by a girl’. DJ JaeMin laughed heartily and then pretended to cry when he read my message on air. He said,”I’m OK. I’m a strong guy. I’m not crying at all.”

He is funnier as a radio DJ than TV personality, I think. By the way, he will play basketball on a new TV show, Buzzer Beater on tvN, which will be aired… on Friday night.

The Korean homework was:

February 01
*Make your own Korean sentence using the word “대답”(answer, response (noun)) or “대답하다” (to answer, respond (verb)).

ex) 예, 아니요로 대답해 주세요
Please answer yes or no.

ex) 나는 솔직한 대답을 듣고 싶어.
I want to hear an honest response.

And this is my sentence:

뇌섹남인 박재민 DJ는 민감하거나 대답하기 곤란한 질문에는 ‘moving on’이라는 답으로 일관하며 대답을 피하는 것이다.
Being a ‘sexy-brain’ (smart) guy, DJ JaeMin Park sticks to the phrase ‘moving on’ and avoids answering sensitive questions that are hard to answer.

HyunWoo 선생님 said, ‘yes, it’s true’ and he noticed that I used the word he taught last week 뇌섹남 /’brain-sexy’ (smart) guy.

So I was thinking… writing in Korean for Hey Korean Mission is fun for me because as a fan, I want to write about DJ JaeMin and I know he will have to read it. On the other hand, writing for TOPIK 2 is not so interesting… maybe because I have nothing to say about the writing topics. So, one thing I need to do to prepare for the writing section of TOPIK is: to have opinions.

For Korean Buzzwords this week, they talked about 광대승천 and 셀기꾼.

광대승천 = 광대 (cheek bone) and 승천 (rise up to heaven).
It means smiling happily, for example when watching favorite idols on TV or looking at your baby’s picture or when thinking about going on a date with someone you’re in love with.

To say to a friend:
너 광대승천중이야!
너 지금 광대승천하고 있어!
(You look very happy! You look very thrilled!)

셀기꾼 = from 셀카 (selfie) and 사기꾼 (fraud/con artist).
It means a person who takes very beautiful selfies, far more beautiful than he/she actually is, by using photoshop or app, etc.

I asked the difference between 만난 카페, 만나던 카페, and 만났던 카페 (the cafe where we met), but I couldn’t really understand HyunWoo 선생님’s answer. Oops. Did he say 만나던 and  만났던 were the same or I misunderstood his explanation? But it’s OK. I know it’s written in one of those textbooks on my bookshelf. I’ll look for it later.

Anyway, the show was fun and I can’t wait for Hey Korean next week. ###