A "Real" English Lesson in Korea

Ok, maybe it's not a "real" lesson, but it was fun anyway.  Just an example of why I really enjoy this job!

Intro/Outro courtesy of VJVAULT and LOOPERMAN

Korean Word of the Day : 절대영역 (Absolute Zone)

Korean Urban Legends 2: The Foot and Mouth Scare (구제역 괴담)

A New Vocabulary

A new vocabulary is gradually being learned, a vocabulary of crisis. A very particular crisis. The tsunami and earthquake in Japan shattered the reactors of the Fukishima-Daichi nuclear power plant north of Tokyo on the country’s east coast. If you haven’t heard about this then perhaps you should change the channel on the television or read a different newspaper. With the damage to the plant came a universal threat to everyone, especially those closest to the power plant. Radiation, a slow and silent killer, has been seeping into the air and Pacific Ocean.

The fire at the Fukishima Daichi nuclear power plant which is contributing to the radiation leakage


Chinese root of the day: 用 (용)

용 (yong) (用) means "to use" and is a very common root in Korean. However grasping the small differences in meaning between the different words that use 용 can be quite tricky. Here's a small list with some explanations. The Korean words given in parenthesis after the definition are words that share the same chinese root as the defined word.

이롭게 씀
to profit from, to employ well, to take advantage of

물건을 씀
사람 따위를 부림.
to use things. to employ people

이용 and 사용 are probably the two more common words on this list especially in their verbal "-하다" form (사용하다, 이용하다). They're usually both translated as to use, although it seems that 이용하다 conveys an idea of profit which is not implied by 사용하다.

품삯을 주고 사람을 부림
to employ and give wages to someone

공적으로 씀
to use in common. for public use. (공공: public)

지나치게 씀
to use excessively (과다: excess)

Korean word of the day : 장

장 (jang) is an ubiquitous morpheme in Korean, it has however many different senses.

Korean superlatives : 최 (最)

The prefix 최 (最) is used in combination with other sino-korean roots to give the meaning of "the most". It is used in many common words such as:

최악 (악 = 惡 = evil), choe-ak : the worst
최고 (고 = 高 = high), choe-go : the highest, the best, supreme
최적 (적 = 適 = match, appropriate), choe-jeok : the most suitable, optimal
최후 (후 = 後 = after), choe-hoo : the last, the ultimate
최근 (근 = 近 = close, near), choe-geun : the most recent
최귀 (귀 = 貴 = precious), choe-geui : the most precious
최급 (급 = 急 = urgent), choe-geup : the most urgent
최상 (상 = 上 = upper, first class), choe-sang : the best, topnotch, the highest grade
최선 (선 = 善 = good, virtue), choe-seon : one's best (최선을 다하다: do one's best)
최소 (소 = 小 = small), choe-so : the smallest
최신 (신 = 新 = new), choe-shin : the newest
최장 (장 = 長 = long), choe-jang : the longest
최저 (저 = 低 = low), choe-joe : the lowest, minimum

Korean Word of the Day : 된장녀

된장녀 (doen-jang-nyeo) means beanpaste girl. The name comes from the fact that they'd only eat beanpaste soup to be able to buy Western goods and luxury products. She's typically thought of as dumb, superficial and a tad manipulative. She hangs out in places like Gangnam or Seocho, eating at Outback and drinking Starbucks coffee. Though she will shun MacDonald's and Popeye's. She has an elaborate Cyworld homepage which she'll fill with random thoughts that are undecipherable to most. This writing activity will dramatically increase in case of a breakup although no one can really understand what she's trying to convey. She might mix some English or Japanese words in her sentences when writing online. Her boyfriend must be tall and good looking.
A masculine version of the 된장녀 is the 된장남 (doen-jang-nam) but it is much less common

Korean Word of the Day : 엄친딸

엄친딸 (eom-chin-ddal) is short of 엄마 친구 딸, that is mom's friend's daughter. The masculin variant is 엄친아 which is short for 엄마 친구 아들 or mom's friend's son. By definition, the 엄친딸 or 엄친아 does everything better than you. She/he is the one your Korean mother would compare you too to make you realize that some people in the world are doing better than you are in every aspects. Those people aren't that rare because your mother just happens to have a friend whose daughter/son is actually doing much better than you are.

Some characteristics of the 엄친딸:
- She is pretty. Prettier than you.
- She is not picky about food, eats decently well but is always thin
- She's good at studying AND at sports
- She's friendly to her in-laws
- She's a filial daughter who never disobeys her parents
- She found a job right after graduating from university
- She goes to Seoul National University or Harvard

Chinese root of the day: 資 (자)

資 or 자 in hangul means "property" or "funds". It is used as a root in the following words:

투자 投資 (throw-funds) : investment
자본 資本 (funds-source) : capital (자본주의: capitalism)
융자 融資 (blend-funds) : financing
자원 資源 (funds-origin) : natural resources
자료 資料 (funds-material) : data, study material

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