Posts

Showing posts from 2011

Keep your spirits high!

Image
Hi. I never imagined this happening. I am talking about the #occupywallstreet protest in the U.S. And not about the protest itself, but about how the NYPD police react to this. Given that the freedom of speech is a protected right over there, I think, the police should help the protestors voice their opinion in a peaceful manner. Instead, if some protestors' claims are true, the policed tricked them on the Brooklyn bridge so that they violate the law. Hundreds are arrested as a result. hmmm... hope this is not true. Anyway, the mainstream of society doesn't usually want a revolution. They rather want gradual changes. So this protest may not get a big support from the majority. 1987 is the most important year in the history of democracy in South Korea. That year we achieved the direct election of the president after so many years of tyranny. And the victory was possible only when the tens of thousands of office workers join the protest. We called them "넥타이 부대(necktie army)…

What do you do for a living?

Image
Hi. I have been living in an English speaking country for about ten years now. But the language barrier is still high. I tried to pick the best way to say something before I open my mouth, however too often I sound awkward. So I understand when other people make similar mistakes. I trust their good intention. Like today, someone whose English is not very good asked me "Are you still working?" after saying hi. I assumed she was asking if I worked today. It was a lot better than hearing someone asking me "Are you still single??" out of nowhere. :) Today, someone asked me on facebook how to say "What do you do for a living?" And I was trying to think of the most safe expression for most situations.


What do you do for a living?
하시는 일이 뭐에요?


하시는, hasinun, polite form of 하다 meaning do
일이, yli, work or job + suffix
뭐에요, muoeyo, what is it


하시는 일이 뭐에요?
hasinun yli muoeyo


하시는 일 means "work that you do" with politeness because of -시- variation ending of th…

That is way more than needed.

Image
Hi. Sometime ago, I was thinking why I hadn't been reading much in the last few years. Having thought of the reason seriously, after a while, it became obvious. I wasn't reading because I didn't have a Amazon Kindle. Who reads paper books these days?! (Borders closed) I ordered a Kindle the next day and it arrived within a few days. I loved it. I "downloaded" a bunch of "e-books" immediately. And I loved it more! Since I don't like my gadgets being scratched, I decided to buy a cover for my Kindle as well. I went to amazon.com and browsed the covers. There were many at different prices with some covers as expensive as $125! A $125 cover to protect a $139 device? If I bought that one, I would need to get another cover to protect the cover. It was definitely much more than I needed.


That is way more than needed.
배보다 배꼽이 더 크네요!


배보다, baeboda, belly + suffix for comparison
배꼽이, baeggobi, belly button + suffix
더, duo, more
크네요, kneyo, big


배보다 배꼽이 더 크네요!

That is really petty.

Image
Hi there. I am following news in IT industry as part of my job. Recently, patent lawsuits are increasing a lot between mobile phone makers namely, Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, HTC and so on. At this point, no one seems to be completely innocent because they are suing each other. Some months ago, Apple sued Samsung claiming that the offender copied their unique form factor, a black square with rounded corners to be blunt. What do other companies have to do not to copy black square form factor? A phone of a yellow triangular shape? Anyway, later one claimed that Apple had manipulated the evidence so that Samsung products look more like theirs. Hmm... Isn't that mean, or what?


That is really petty.
정말 치사하네요.


정말, jeongmal, really
치사하네요, chisahaneyo, petty/mean/shameful (치사하다)


정말 치사하네요.
jeongmal chisahaneyo.


치사하다 is to accuse someone for being mean or petty.  To say someone is acting petty, you can say "치사하게 굴다". Here, "-게 굴다(gulda)" means acting such a way. Wh…

This is really making me angry!

Image
Hi. I went to university in Korea when there were a lot of anti-government activities among students. I was never that political before but somehow I got involved heavily. During the summer of the second year, there was a massive protest in Seoul. It went on for three days and we were roaming about the city to avoid the police. The event ended without a big drama but our luck ran out there. On the way to our hometown, we all fell asleep on a chartered bus. And when we woke up, the bus was conveniently parked in front of a police station. D'oh!! All of us were arrested and sentenced to a few days in cells at the back of the police station. I was locked up for five days and it was enough to feel what it was like to loose freedom. I still remember the freshness of the air when I got released. And I swore to God that I would never do anything that could risk my freedom again. Never! But then, news like this (constructing a military base on a tourism island and suppressing people who w…

What do you mean that I die?

Image
Hi. When I was a little girl, I fell sick quite often. Sometimes I had more serious conditions like pneumonia but most of the time, I was just weak. My skin complexion was pale and any physical activities were out of question. It wasn't all depressing though. There were some funny moments because of my lousy health. I remember one day when I was in fourth or fifth grade. That day, one boy was teasing me a lot and it got one of my friends really angry. My friend pushed the boy hard and yelled at him. "Stop teasing her! She is going to die soon!"... I was like O.o "Thanks dear, but I didn't know that I was going to die..." I don't remember who she was any more. If I did, I would love to meet her and say that I still exist. :)


What do you mean that I die?!
내가 죽기는 왜 죽어요?!


내가, nega, I
죽기는, jukginun, dying (죽다)
왜, whe, why
죽어요, jugoyo, do I die?


내가 죽기는 왜 죽어요?!
nega jukginum whe jugoyo?!


죽다 and 죽기 is kind of the same relationship as die and dying. You…

I feel relieved a lot more now.

Image
Hi. I have been learning a lot about a compassionate lifestyle in the last year or so. I read a lot of books, saw many spiritual teachers including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, went to retreats, did a lot of meditation, became a vegetarian(except a few occasions including tonight), and made quite a lot of donations to various organisations. I was helping others as much as I can but I was still carrying a big bag of guilty feelings. And the reason was, because I haven't been sending letters to the child that I am sponsoring through World Vision. World Vision send Christmas cards, birthday cards to me and all I need to do is write something and send it off in the enclosed return envelope. But still I managed to put it off to miss the deadline for the last couple of years. I don't know how to describe the feeling when I got her Christmas card last year. I felt shame, guilt, frustration and anger towards myself. It was terrible. Thankfully, World Vision was kind enough to give me …

What a coincidence!

Image
Hi. I was on a sick leave today because of a cold. After spending the whole morning lying around, I ended up having a bad headache too. So I decided to take a walk to get some fresh air. I was going to go to a park near my place but for some unexplainable reason, I wanted to go to the Brisbane riverside which would require well over 20 minutes of driving. It is very rare for me to go that far for a walk even when I am in full strength. Anyway, I got there and started walking along the river. Then for some reason I wanted to climb Kangaroo point stairs which was 107 steps in total! I was a bit annoyed by myself but decided to do it. When I finally arrived at the top, I was looking for a bench to rest. And what I found was something a lot more exciting. I found a small fire starting in a dry patch of the park up there. It was just starting to smoke and the fire was getting bigger due to very strong wind. I went over and put water in my water bottle over the fire. Then a couple of people…

Don't want to lift a finger.

Image
Hi all. I was flying to go overseas a few weeks ago. It is exciting except the fact that Australia is so far away from everywhere. Luckily, I sleep very well on the plane. A few hours into this flight, I woke up from sleep and tried to turn on the personal TV which happened to be touchscreen. I was still half asleep as I was touching the screen. My brain was not quite figuring out that the hand was mine and thought "Looking at these long fingers, this person much be really lazy...". In Korea, we think that the long fingers indicate the laziness of the person. True or not... You know how Korean people can be quite direct about personal things. E.g. Asking "How old are you?" is socially very acceptable in Korea. It is also quite common for Korean people, especially between friends, to comment on the physical features. I had many people telling me that I had lazy fingers. I could not object because it is quite true for me. :)


손가락 하나 까딱하기 싫네요.
I don't want to lift a …

He deserved to die.

Image
Hi. Almost everyone around me complains about their attention span shrinking due to too much incoming information or distractions coming from gadgets. Osama Bin Laden's death helped us improved it a little bit, you think? Again, our eyeballs are fixed to the news channel. But I hope we do not carry on upon his death as if it was the ultimate goal. We want peace for all humanity, don't we? Osama was a bad guy but did he really deserve to be shot in the head without any trial and dumped in the ocean?


He deserved to die.
그는 죽어도 싸다.


그는, genun, he + suffix
죽어도, jugodo, even if dead (죽다)
싸다, ssada, deserve it


그는 죽어도 싸다.
genun jugodo ssada.


싸다's main usage is to mean something is cheap. But when -(어)도 style ending proceeds 싸다, it means the subject deserves something negative.

혼나도 싸다. deserve to be scolded.
맞아도 싸다. deserve to be smacked.
욕먹어도 싸다. deserve to be blamed.
차여도 싸다. deserve to be dumped from a girlfriend/boyfriend.

I hope we focus on more important things like Love, Compassion and F…

The throat is as scary as cops.

Image
Hi. My holiday is finally over and I go back to work tomorrow. It is great! Yes, it is. It has got to be! ;) Before I left for my holiday I saw a poster while I was driving. It said, "You can make a lot of money without working! It works!" It also had a website which address was something like makelotsofmoneywithoutworking.com. It was quite obvious to me how much money they were making because it was scrawled using a black pen on a white piece of cardboard. I didn't bother to visit the website. :) Most of us have to work to make ends meet. It might be easier to get away from working if we can live without eating.


The throat is as scary as cops.
목구멍이 포도청이다.


목구멍이, mokumongyi, throat + suffix
포도청이다, podochungyida, traditional police station


목구멍이 포도청이다.
mokumongyi podochungyida.


포도청 is a name of a organization in the Choseon dynasty which had a similar role to the police these days. No one can completely be honorable when asked to come to a police station. Instead, people act with…

I will get some skin therapies while I am hospitalized.

Image
Hi all. I am enjoying a three week long holiday in South Korea at the moment. It has been only eight months since my last visit. I know how lucky I am to be able to visit this often. :) A few of my friends asked me if I was going to get some plastic surgery done while I am here. I was not very surprised by these questions as many people chose to do it these days. The eyelid surgery is especially common between the Asian people. Here are some of before and after shots. Also various skin therapies are available for younger looking skin. Some treatments are using laser and some others are using needles. Usually, people need to stay at home after the treatment as the skin will be swollen or red for a few days. Sometimes people use their holidays to get these done. My friends told me an interesting trend with them these days. Hospitals are providing these skin therapies to the patients who are hospitalized for a minor car accident, baby delivery or any other minor operations. It is thought…

I have no idea why that is happening.

Image
Hi. I had a chance to take a bus today. As common as it is, we also have a smart card system to pay for the public transports in Brisbane. You touch your card to the machine on a bus that gives a gentle beep and a green light if all goes well. Do you know what happens when something does not work out exactly the way it wants? I was in a queue and there was a lady in front of me. She tagged her card but too long I think. The machine started beeping like mad flashing red lights. The poor lady must have thought that the transaction failed and kept touching her card to the machine which then gave more beeps and red flashes. Only then, the driver said that it was complaining because she had already paid for that trip. Don't you think the machine was a bit too harsh? Where is love?! It could have just said "Thanks but you already paid." with.. I don't know a blue light. We pay a lot of money for technologies. They need to be more kind to us! :)


I have no idea what is happen…

Sharing sadness halves it while sharing happiness doubles it.

Image
Hi all. I was thinking about what was happening around the world... many different kinds of natural disasters and hardships in different countries. If there is one thing that is common between them though, I think it is people and community that are looking after one another. The governments are doing their best but I don't think it is governments or any institutional systems themselves that really hold this world together. In my humble opinion, it is love for humanity that does that. It's got to be love that gives the fire fighters and workers courage to go inside the Fukushima nuclear plant despite the dangerous radiation level. Send them your love and prayers. That will be the easiest way of participating in their mission. One day, when everything gets back to normal we will share the prosperity too. :)


Sharing sadness halves it while sharing happiness doubles it.
슬픔은 나누면 반이 되고 기쁨은 나누면 배가 된다.


슬픔은, sulpumum, sadness + suffix
나누면, nanumyon, if shared or divided (나누다)
반이, bani, ha…

I will carry the gun.

Image
Hi all. I am back. :) Let me ask you first. Is there a piece of good news yet? I stay away from the TV these days because I can't handle all those bad news, especially the graphics of violence and disasters. My heart starts aching when I see them. I am grateful that I am not in the middle of any of those. I feel for those who are. If you are getting sick of the bad news, just turn the TV off and join me who is selfishly hoping all the problems would go away while I have been away from the TV. But problems just don't go away. Things get done or fixed when someone takes a responsibility and takes a lead. It is a question of who carries the gun.


I will carry the gun and take the lead.
제가 총대 메겠습니다.


제가, jaega, I (polite)
총대, chongdae, body of a rifle
메겠습니다, maegetsumnida, will carry on the shoulder


제가 총대 메겠습니다.
jaega chongdae maegetsumnida.


The expression, "총대 메다", started being used during the Korean War. After the war started, there were a lot of young students who just turned…

She is blinded by bean pods.

Image
Hi all. I have a few friends who are madly in love at the moment. One is in her twenties, two in their thirties and the last one in her fifties. It seem the age doesn't matter though. All of them has the same sweet sixteen look on their faces. :) That is the power of bean pods.


She is blinded by bean pods.
눈에 콩깍지가 단단히 씌였네요.


눈에, nune, eye + suffix
콩깍지가, konggajjiga, bead pod + suffix
단단히, dandani, firmly
씌였네요, ssiyonneyo, covered (씌다)


눈에 콩깍지가 단단히 씌였네요.
nune konggajjiga dandani ssiyonneyo.


Definitely, 콩깍지 is a secret ingredient of love. 콩깍지 creates the optical illusion that makes your boyfriend look as gorgeous as Orlando Bloom and your girlfriend look as beautiful as Miranda Kerr. :) We have a song about it and a movie too.

And you know that feeling when the person is here with me in body, but not in spirit. My friends are like that. They are looking at me, but not really. lol An expression for this also has bean in it.

마음이 벌써 콩밭에 가 있네요. -> The spirit has already gone to the bean field.

Wh…

Human existed before money, not the other way around.

Image
Hi. I got a phone call from a good friend of mine this morning. We chatted about everything over an hour, which is no sweat for two women. :) At some point, we were talking about money... how good it is to have money, how lucky we are not having to worry about money right now, how stressful at work to make money, how much money we need, how a lot of problems go away with money, why only the rich people are getting richer, on and on and on. Later, I went shopping and bought some stuff with money! Ahhh.. it was nice. :) Money is good as long as it comes after the value of people.


Human existed before money, not the other way around.
사람 나고 돈 났지, 돈 나고 사람 났나.


사람, saram, a person
나고, nago, appear or be born (나다)
돈, don, money
났지, najji, appear or be born (나다) + suffix for contradiction


사람 나고 돈 났지, 돈 나고 사람 났나.
saram nago don najji, don nago saram nanna.


"사람 나고 something 났지, something 나고 사람 났나" is an expression when people should be valued more than that something. Like, I saw "Black S…

A young shaman can hurt people.

Image
Hi all. My colleague who was battling with the floods came back to work this week. When he saw me, he thanked me again for my prayers and told me it really worked. :) And he asked me to send my prayers to the people in the north Queensland who is anxiously waiting for a category 5 cyclone, Yasi, to hit the towns. Maybe I should be a professional prayer. But then again, I remembered this expression. :)


A young shaman can hurt people.
선무당이 사람 잡는다.


선무당이, sunmoodangyi, inexperienced shaman + suffix
사람, saram, person
잡는다, jabnunda, catch


선무당이 사람 잡는다.
sunboodangyi saram jabnunda.


선 in 선무당 is a suffix meaning clumsy, inexperienced or insufficient. As another example, 선잠 means broken sleep. 무당 is a shaman.

You can imagine what could happen when a shaman have no clue what he or she is doing. Nothing good, for sure. :) "사람 잡는다" is explained here.

Here are some such situations.

A: Can you believe that the new "young" boss is changing every process?!
B: 선무당이 사람 잡는군.

A: My friend recently …

My new year's resolution was abandoned after three days.

Image
Hi. It seems this guy is quite popular with his new book called "The 4-Hour Body". I didn't read the book but I am sure it would be full of great ideas to keep your body fit with minimum effort. But I have something better for you. It is called "The 4-Day Body". It is simple to follow too. All you need to do is make a new years resolution to loose weight and go gung-ho for the first four days of the year. Did you have some muscle pain? Then you are good to go for the rest of the year! This is exactly what I did this year! I feel great! ;) There is a perfect Korean expression for this kind of situation. It takes only three days so it is even better! ;)


My new year's resolution was abandoned after three days.
올해 새해 계획도 작심삼일로 끝났어요.


올해, ohlae, this year
새해, saehae, new year
계획도, gyehwekdo, plan + suffix meaning as well
작심삼일로, jaksimsamilo, determined mind didn't last long + suffix to indicate a result
끝났어요, ggtnatsoyo, ended (끝나다)


올해 새해 계획도 작심삼일로 끝났어요.
ohlae saehae…

The effort is totally wasted.

Image
Hi. Too many people has been affected by the recent floods in Australia and the flooding is continuing in Victoria. It is heartbreaking to see. I am lucky not to have any damage. But I am suffering in a spiritual way. The meditation centre that I go went under. Completely. I stopped by the centre yesterday and it was devastating. The walls, inside out, were stripped away for reconstruction. Basically only the frames and the roof were there.ㅠ.ㅠ Including the summer break of the centre, I am out of practice for about a month now. And it is taking its toll. The most noticeable thing is the return of my aggressiveness. :( There was a very reckless driver on a motorway yesterday. He almost gave me an accident. I got angry and heard my ego saying "I am going to see that asshole's face!". Usually my higher self would say something like "The moment has passed. Nobody's hurt. Let it go.". But it was silent yesterday. That means "Go, girl!", right!! I stepp…

Never say never.

Image
Hi. The flooding situation in Queensland and Brisbane has gotten a lot worse over the last night. My heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones.. homes and dreams.. Brisbane river is still rising and the authorities are evacuating people who live in potentially affected area. My friends, workmates, and all the members of the society, I would like to ask everyone to be extra careful to stay safe over the next few days. I send my prayers.


Never say never.
설마가 사람 잡는다.


설마가, solmaga, improbable + suffix
사람, saram, person
잡는다, jobnunda, catch


설마가 사람 잡는다.
solmaga saram jobnunda.


It is a saying to warn people who do not believe a bad event would happen to them under a circumstance. If I translate it literally, it would go something like "If someone is in a continuous denial, someone will get hurt.". 설마 can be used by itself and "사람 잡는다" is used to exaggerate physical pain, for example.

A: Your house will be inundated. Please evacuate.
B: 설마....

A: It has been raining for a …

A single prayer moves heaven.

Image
Happy New Year! A much, much overdue, I know.. :P This new year is starting very wet in Australia. The floods in Queensland are continuing affecting a lot of people. Even ones I know. I have a colleague who is living in a bush area. He couldn't come to work last Friday because his place was in danger from the heavy rain. I was wondering how the situation was over the weekend, so I texted him. At 4 PM, he said he was digging trenches and it was only 10mm away from the water getting inside the house. :( The situation in a photo he sent me was indeed serious. I texted him back saying I would pray for him. And I prayed. "Dear rain, please stop, would you!?" And a miracle happened! An hour later, he texted me back saying my prayer worked! He said the trench had worked and the rain had almost stopped! Hallelujah! :)


A single prayer moves heaven.
지성이면 감천이다.


지성, jisong, heartfelt devotion
-이면, yimyon, in case of something
감천, gamchon, moves heaven


지성이면 감천이다.
jisongyimyon gamchonyida.


M…