KBS World Radio Quarterly Quiz

KBS World Radio Quarterly Quiz (English): https://world.kbs.co.kr/english/about/about_quiz.htm

KBS World Radio offers a quiz four times a year, with questions mostly consisting of subjects related to Korea. We hope the quiz questions will help you better understand Korea and Korean people. Participants who earn a perfect score will be entered into a draw for KBS souvenirs.

I answered the quiz for the 4th quarter of 2016 on KBS World Radio – Indonesian Service website -because I’m Indonesian- and today I got a package from KBS World. Such a nice surprise! Thank you, KBS World!

KBS World Radio Quarterly Quiz (Indonesian): https://world.kbs.co.kr/indonesian/about/about_quiz.htm

A package from Korea!

A package from Korea!

A little box and postcards.

A little box and postcards.

I got a USB charger cable for iPhone.

I got a USB charger cable for iPhone.

Beautiful postcards from Korea.

Beautiful postcards from Korea.

Cute mascots.

Cute mascots.

This drama was so popular.

This drama was so popular.

Hologram stickers.

Hologram stickers.

Judging from the winner list, they pick a lot of winners every 3 months. Participate and maybe you’ll win something, too! ###


My Korean Sentence Using 실수하다 (to make a mistake)

This week’s Hey Korean Mission on Arirang Radio:

February 22
Make your own Korean sentence using the word “실수”(mistake) (noun)
or “실수하다”(make a mistake) (verb).

ex) 매우 중요한 회의에서 실수했다.
I made a mistake in a very important conference.

ex) 그는 자기의 실수를 인정하지 않는다.
He does not acknowledge his mistakes.

One lucky winner who sends in their own Korean sentence will get a <‘Talk to Me in Korean’ e-book coupon>.
*All prizes are provided by “Talk To Me In Korean”

This is my sentence:

그 배우는 긴장한 나머지 영화 오디션에서 대사를 실수하고 말았다.
The actor was so nervous that he got his lines wrong on the movie audition.

HyunWoo 선생님 said my sentence was ‘perfect as always’.

Actually, I wanted to say ‘DJ JaeMin Park was so nervous that he got his lines wrong on the audition for the movie Confidential Assignment’ (박재민 DJ는 긴장한 나머지 영화 ‘공조’ 오디션에서 대사를 실수하고 말았다.) because he told listeners that he failed the audition but I thought it would be mean and they might not read my message again like 2-3 weeks ago.

Korean Buzzwords for today were:

  1. 열일 from 열심히 일하다 (to work hard). The funny thing is you can say 얼굴 열일중 (someone’s face is working hard) for Korean celebrities who are good looking.
  2. 길막 from 길을 막다 (to block the way).

But then DJ JaeMin advised listeners not to use those abbreviations and ruin Korean language which made me question the raison d’etre of the segment.

Oh, and HyunWoo 선생님 is also an English teacher on some other TV show in Korea. He didn’t mention which one, but I found this EBSe Language on YouTube:

대단하시네요. That’s all! ###


I overheard someone say:

Learning 영어 is like playing the piano. You can always practice even when you’re alone.

I think it’s applicable to learning Korean, too.
힘을 얻었어요. 고마워요. ###


Memorize or Understand First?

I wrote a blog post a long time ago and someone linked to it (but it doesn’t show on trackbacks). I’m embarrassed reading it again… but I can only write from my own experience. Memorize first or understand first? Well, it depends.

I don’t always remember the theory of conjugation. If you ask me to explain about irregular conjugations, I will have to check a Korean textbook first because I really don’t remember which part has to be deleted or which part changes, etc. But I usually remember the conjugated forms of verbs. For example, I know off the top of my head, that the -면 form of 덥다 (hot) is 더우면.

더우면 에어컨을 켤까요? If it’s hot, shall I turn on the air conditioner?

There are textbooks that show conjugated words like this: 덥다 – 덥고 – 덥지만 – 더우면 – 더우니까 – 더워서 – 더워요 for memorization and I think it’s helpful.

So it’s possible to memorize conjugated words without understanding why… because those words (in conjugated forms) appear frequently and you remember them because you often see/hear them. Besides, just imagine, when you have to speak to a real Korean person, you won’t have time to remember the theory of conjugation. There will be no time to remember which letter drops and which letter changes to something else. It’s easier and faster to just remember that the -면 form of 덥다 is 더우면.

But, it’s not always the case. Memorization without understanding could be really boring and painful. And if it’s painful, you will hate it and naturally you will want to quit.

It’s in fact easier to remember expressions when you know the reasons or you know the definition of every word used in the expression. For example, in Korean, to say ‘have a nice holiday!’, you can use ‘휴가 잘 다녀오세요’. (This expression appeared on TOPIK Level 1).


It’s easier to remember the expression if you understand the meanings of each word: 휴가 (holiday), 잘 (well), 다녀오다 (to go and come back), and the grammar -세요 (for giving instruction to do something the polite way). So when you use ‘휴가 잘 다녀오세요’ to say goodbye, you’re actually telling someone who is going on his/her vacation to go and return safely. Which is nice, right?

And when you find out you can change 휴가 (holiday) to 여행 (trip), 여행 잘 다녀오세요 (have a nice trip), your brain will be convinced that it is an important expression to remember and so it will be kept in your long-term memory.

As a K-pop fan, I use 잘 다녀오세요 to comment on K-pop idols’ social media accounts because they travel a lot. I left comment 미국 잘 다녀오세요 to B1A4 recently because they had a concert in US/미국.

It is true that when you understand, you’re more likely to remember, or recall.

Song: Don’t Recall by K.A.R.D

What I wrote here is just my experience. Everybody is different and learns differently, everything is case by case,  and you should do whatever that suits you because you’re the one who is responsible for your own learning. ###


Pronunciation of 성격 & Meaning of 손발이 잘 맞다

I listened to Real Life Korean, a 5-minute Korean lesson on Koreascape yesterday.

0217 Real Life Korean : 손발이 잘 맞다 https://player.fm/series/tbs-efm-koreascape-1271022/0217-real-life-korean

I noticed that the radio host pronounced the word 성격 (personality) wrongly but the Korean native speaker never corrected him. I guess even if you talk to a Korean, he or she usually doesn’t correct your pronunciation mistake as long as it’s ‘understandable’.

I’ve never met any Korean.

One of my neighbors is a Korean-Indonesian couple. I’ve never seen the Korean husband. I don’t know what his name is and I don’t know how he looks like. The Indonesian wife is not interested in learning Korean because her husband speaks Indonesian and I can’t stand chatting for hours so we just stay away from each other’s lives like good neighbors (?).

From Korean-English Learners’ Dictionary: 성격 http://me2.do/FFoB4crU


It might be the most commonly mispronounced Korean word by foreigners.

Pronunciation of 성격 is [성ː껵]/[seong-kkyeok]. For this word, ㄱ becomes ㄲ and this is called  ‘fortis phenomenon’, according to the King Sejong online course I blogged about before.

Anyway, here is the Korean conversation script from Koreascape:

멜라니랑 같이 일하는 거 어때요?
How is working together with Melanie?

지금까진 괜찮아요.
It’s OK so far.

서로의 성격이 반대라 힘들지 않아요?
Isn’t it hard since you have opposite personalities?

의외로 손발이 잘 맞던데요.
Unexpectedly, we cooperate together very well.

정말 의외네요.
That’s really surprising.

그러게요. 저도 예상밖이었어요.
I agree. It was unexpected for me, too.

Key expression: 손발(이) 맞다. Literally means ‘to have a perfect coordination of hands and feet’. It’s used to describe when people have a good teamwork, can understand each other and work together well, in sync, or on the same wavelength. In Japanese, 息がピッタリ合う.

More examples from Korean Learners Dictionary: 손발 http://me2.do/IM3Iuutu

지수와 승규는 서로 손발이 잘 맞아 항상 같이 다니곤 했다.
Jisu and Seunggyu had good chemistry so they always went everywhere together.

가: 너랑은 손발이 안 맞아서 같이 일을 못 하겠어.
We won’t be able to work together because we don’t really get along well.

나: 나도 너랑 일하면 답답한 건 마찬가지라고.
I feel the same way, it’s really annoying to work with you.



My Korean Sentence Using the Word 꿈 (Dream)

Hey Korean Mission this week:

February 15

*Make your own Korean sentence using the word “꿈”(dream) (noun).

ex) 내 꿈은 간호사가 되는 것이다.
My dream is to become a nurse.

ex) 꿈 속에서 연예인을 만났다.
*** I met a celebrity in a dream.

One lucky winner who sends in their own Korean sentence will get a <‘Talk to Me in Korean’ e-book coupon>.
*All prizes are provided by “Talk To Me In Korean”

If you have any questions about Korean send them in now! 🙂
Go ahead and post them on our message board!

This is the sentence I sent in:

박재민 DJ는 SNS에서 자신의 완벽한 복근을 노출한 사진을 공개해서 여성 팬들은 이게 만 같다고 좋아했다.
DJ Jae Min Park shared a photo on social media in which he exposed his perfect abs and female fans loved it saying it was like a dream.

Song: It’s Like a Dream (꿈만 같아요) by Fat Cat (살찐 고양이). ###