What did you say? Things your students say in Korean.

When I started at this school, I had NO IDEA what the children were saying to me. I work in a Korean playschool so the students only learn English as subject. My favourite story is of a day with the 5 year old’s just a month or two after I started. One of the boys said something to me and by the way he was acting, I knew he needed the bathroom. Unfortunately, the assistant wasn’t around so I just let him off and left the door of the classroom open. A few minutes later, he appears back with nothing on from the waist down. Turns out he needed a hand finishing in the bathroom and with no assistant, he just came back to me!

After that, I promised myself to get my Korean together so I’d actually understand what the students were saying and I did. I just listened to them and since they say the same things day in day out, I would write it phonetically, ask my co teachers and then learn how to say it properly. Here are the top phrases my students say;

  • 쉬 마려워요 (she mar yeah woh yo) – I need to pee
  • 똥 마려워요 (dong mar yeah woh yo)- I need to poo
  • 선생님………( sun saeng nim) – teacher
  • 연필 필요해요 (yun pill pil yoh hay yo)- I need a pencil
  • 지우개 주세요 (gee you gay juice a yo)- Eraser please
  • 색연필– (saeng yun pil) crayons
  • 아파요– (app pie yo) I’m sick/hurt
  • 어떻게 해요 ( oh dok a hay yo)- How do I do this.

Here are some phrases and words that you can say to the students;

  • 애들아! (yeah dra)- Guys!
  • 조용히하세요! (jo young he ha say yo)- Be quiet!
  • 어디 아파요? ( o d apa yoh) – Where are you hurt/sick?
  • 화장실 가다오세요 (hwa jang shil gat da o say yoh)- Go to the bathroom and come back.
  • 빨리! (bally) Quickly

Since we’re here to teach English, you should obviously keep the Korean to a minimum but in a a bind, these phrases may help. As ever, my Korean spelling could be atrocious so feel free to tell me any mistakes!

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Registering for a race in Korea

I LOVE doing races in Korea but registration is usually in Korean so I thought I’d do a blog with some vocabulary and instructions.

 

1. First, decided which race you want to do. Head over to marathon.pe.kr. You should see this home page;

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2. Across the top, you’ll see the different tabs. You should press the second from the left. It’s called 대회일정 (tournament schedule). Then you’ll see this;

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3. Now you should choose the location you want. Races happen all over Korea. Personally, I stick to the ones in Seoul and there are always a tonne in 여의도 (Yeouido). Choose your own and click on the link to be brought to this;

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4. Near the bottom of that page, you’ll see a link. That brings you to the home page which is where you need to go. The home page might look something like this;

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5. Now you have to look for the registration are. Some home pages make it really easy and others make it a mission.  Look for 참ㄱㅏ신청 (Application for registration). When you click on it, you’ll probably see some of the following;

개인: Individual

단체: Group/team

신청조회: Inquiry

Click the one that suits you and then you’ll see a registration form maybe like this;

wpid-screenshot_2014-10-29-10-02-31.png wpid-screenshot_2014-10-29-10-03-14.png

 

Here is the vocabulary you need to know;

ㅇㅣ름: Name

생년월일: Date of birth. ARC first 6 numbers

성별/남/여: Gender/male/female

주소: Address

연락쳐: Contact number

ㅇㅣ메일: Email

참가종목: The race you’re doing. Half, full, 10km etc

기념품: Gear

사이즈: Size

쿠폰입력: Coupon details

입금ㅈㅏ명: Name of person who will send the money

비밀번호: Password

비밀번호확인: Retype password

확인/최소하기 : Enter/cancel

Once you click “enter”, you’re done. Just transfer the money into the bank account. You’ll find the bank details on the home page of the race.

About a week or so before the race, you’ll get your package with your gear, number and chip.

 

Apologies if there are mistakes in the Korean. Any questions, just ask!

 

How to pay your bills at the bank machine in Korea

I have finally mastered the art of paying my bills at the bank machine by myself. Hold the applause, it only took me about 4 years.

There are loads of ways you can pay your bills in Korea. Just to make it clear, I’m actually talking about my gas and electricity bill, nothing else. Some 7-11’s, GS25’s and other convenience stores take payment. This is convenient if you work all day and can’t make it to the bank within the opening hours. (A list of these places are on the back of the bill)

To make life easier for everyone, I’ve decided to put the instructions and some terrifically bad pictures up here.

What you will need:

1. Gas and/or electricity bill

2. Bank card

wpid-1400826894950.jpgGo to the machine that looks similar to this one. Put in your card.

There are 5 options on the screen, all in Korean. You’ll be looking for the top one on the left. It’ll say 지로공과금 납부. Press this button. 

Then you should tear off the part of the bill that is demonstrated on the screen. Insert it in to the machine.It might say 공과금 투입구 

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If you have 2 bills simply insert them one after another. The amount should appear on the screen.

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Check that it is the correct amount and press

Finally, it asks you to choose the type of receipt you want. One shows (I think) the total you have left in your account, the other doesn’t. Choose whichever you want. Just press 선택 under your chosen option.

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You will get your receipt and that’s it!

*Apologies for the terrible pictures
*Apologies for any mistakes in the Korean typing. If you spot some, let me know and I’ll fix them.

 

The dentist.

I hate the dentist. The very thought of going there makes my palms sweaty and my stomach turn. I don’t even know why. I’ve never had a particularly bad experience at the dentist but as soon as the word is mentioned I feel slightly sick.

In Ireland, the dentist, like the doctor were only places you went when you actually, desperately had to. Not exactly a great way to be but each to their own.

These days, in the state of being an actual “grown up”, I’ve had to be more pro active about such things so I’ve been to the dentist a few times.  I used to use a dentist in Paju but it didn’t get the most positive reviews from my other friends and nobody spoke English there so I decided to try somewhere new.  .

Yesterday, I went to a place called Star 28 in Ilsan, La Festa.  My friend Ian recommended it to me as they could communicate in English. After getting terrifically lost (how many 5th floors can there be?), I eventually found it and what greeted me when I walked in was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The waiting room had  huge couches, tables and chairs, a computer and magazines to keep you going while you were waiting. The receptionist signed you in and had you filling out the forms as if you were simply buying a new pair of shoes. After waiting there for a while, they could have pulled all my teeth and I wouldn’t have cared.

Eventually I had to see the actual dentist. They brought me to a private room and took some pictures of my teeth. Small talk was had before the nurse explained a little about what they needed to do. I must note here that she told me in Korean and for the most part I understood. In fairness to her, when I didn’t understand she just phrased it differently so I did.

The dentist then came to do his own examination and then we sat and had a great conversation (in English) about what he was going to do. Then the nurse took over and told me how much it would cost, how I didn’t have to pay it in one go and how it would maybe take two visits. She then finished by telling me that I needed some scaling but because I have National health insurance, it was free.

The regular filling was 70,000won (48euros) and the more advanced work was going to cost me 100,000w.(70 euros) I really wanted to say “that’s it? 170,000 won (118 euros)?

Worst thing about the experience is that when you’re having your work done, they put a cloth over your eyes so you can’t actually see what’s happening. In some ways, it’s a good thing and in others it’s bad. To hear the drill or whatever freaks me out but I just practiced some reels in my head so it was all over before I knew it. And painless. I went home and did my usual run before eating dinner.

I have one more appointment next week and now I’m not so terrified so I’ll happily go in and keep my smile smiley and leave knowing that I’ll still have money in my wallet!

How to use a Korean washing machine.

You’ve come to Korea, you have a job, apartment, things are going swimmingly until…………………….you need to wash your clothes. And then you see this (minus the carpets);

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Excellent. You throw your clothes in and then you see this;

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It’s all in Korean and you don’t have a clue. Well fear not. I have translated the words to make it easy for everyone.

급수; Water Supply

온수; Hot Water

냉수; Cold Water

물높이;Water level

;High

중;Middle/medium

저;Low

코스; Course

표준;regular cycle

이불; duvet and bed clothes

절약; Economic cycle

울;wool, fragile cycle.

불림; Soak

세탁; Wash

헹굼; Rinse

탈수; Spin dry

전원; on/off

동작; start your cycle

일시정지; Pause.

So you simply press the big buttons until the light shows beside the  option you want. Every machine has the buttons designed slightly differently but they always mean the same thing. Also, since my Korean is middling to so so , I might have made mistakes. Apologies if I have and be sure to point them out so I can fix them.

Shauna & Janet on the “Most useful phrases in Korean”- Part 1

It’s always useful to have a few phrases in Korean before you come to Korea. Right? That’s what we thought anyway. And by “we”, I mean Janet and I. Janet is the person behind the janetnewenham.wordpress.com blog.She’s also Irish and living in Paju so we thought we’d try a vlog over some Barry’s Tea. Since we want people to be involved, we let our Facebook followers choose the phrases we put up. Here’s what they came up with;

1. Hello– 안녕하세요. Anyeong ha sayo.

2. Thank You– 감사합니다 Gamsa ham ni da

3. Yes– 네 ney

4. No– 아니요 ah ni o

5. Where is the ___________? ________ 이 어디에 있어요? ___ o d eh is oh yo?  For example, “Where is the bathroom?’ The word for bathroom is 화장실( hwa jang shil) so the sentence becomes 화장실이 어디에 있어요?

6. How to I get to _______? _________ 어땋게 가요? o ddeok kay gay yo? For example, How do I get to Seoul is 서울 어떻게 가요?

7. I’m sorry– 미안해요. me ann ham ni da. There are a few ways to say I’m sorry. You can use this for any situation where you should apologize for something.

8.Discount Please, 갂아 주세요. Gakk ah chew say yo. This can only be used when the price isn’t set. For example at a market or somewhere.

9. Simmer down/calm down; 침착해요. Chim chak hay yo. A great one if you’re out and about and someone is bothering you or something like that.

10. How much is this? 이거 얼마예요? e go ul mah eh yo? (이거 being “this”).

11. Directions; 직진- jik jin,  Straight

오른쪽 oh ruhn chuk, Right

윈쪽 wen chuk, Left

여기 세워 주세요. yoh gi say woh Chew say yo, Stop here please

12. Really? 진짜? jiin ja? I love this word! Even these days when I can’t follow my student or whatever I just reply “진짜”?

13. One moment please, 잠깐만요. Jam can man yo, . You can use this when getting off the subway, bus or just to say “wait a minute”

It’s not very much fun just reading it here is it? No. That’s why Janet and I put together a little video of how to pronounce it and we loved it so much the memory card ran out of space. So this video is part one and we’ll post part 2 next week!

Since we’re not Korean we probably made mistakes in spellings so apologies. If you want to see us do any more videos on Korean or life in general in Korea or whatever, leave us a comment or tweet us, @iamshaunabrowne or @janetnewenham.

Sitting TOPIK and asking myself why…..

As I sat there, the red-headed beacon in the sea of monochrome hair that was the TOPIK ( Test of proficiency in Korean)exam hall, I asked myself if it was all really worth it.  The weeks of stress, the nights of Korean vocabulary filled dreams, the nightmares of not having filled the self-imposed daily study quota, was I sure I wanted to be part of this?

In my four years living here, nobody has ever stopped me up on the street and asked me what my TOPIK level is. In fact, most people I know don’t even know what TOPIK is. If I burst out a simple Korean phrase in my everyday life, sometimes as simple as hello, Koreans fall over themselves telling me how amazing I am. Great. Fantastic,so smart!  What was that grammar point for disputing a statement? Oh ya,(ㄹ)…하기는요. I remember because it’s the only one I get to use on a regular basis. So why do it? Work,study at work, home, dinner, study, bed as a routine for months and months makes me question myself. During those months, I wake up in the middle of the night to check a certain word, is it 행동하다 or 동행하다  and if the one I didn’t need is actually a real word what does it mean? This is how it goes for months.I revise and practice previous questions with my teacher where I learn the most useless vocabulary. Why does anyone need to know the Korean word for the soon to be married couple?Why? Why I ask you? Can I slip this into everyday conversation? I think not.

As I look around, I’m desperate to see someone who looks like they might be in the same boat as me. But in that room of 40 hopefuls, there are no other native English speakers. In fact, every other person in the room is from Asia, the realisation of which causes an appearance of the awkward turtle.Sitting away in the corner, Paddy Irishman.  As soon as I arrived at the centre, the whole thing took a turn for the worst. I sat alone in my car doing some last-minute revision when a coach load of candidates pulls up and they all enter, not a book or notebook in sight, looking as if they were doing the test for the good of their health. Maybe they were. Maybe that’s why some people do the TOPIK.  My friends, who are Ph.d students in a university in Seoul, do the exams because they have to. They must pass a certain level in order to receive their degrees.  They take classes in Korean and receive very generous scholarships so that’s a pretty great motivation to get their TOPIK. For me though, honestly, it’s so I have something to aim for. I won’t study properly if I’m not working my way toward a goal. For all the stress and randomness, TOPIK is that goal so that’s ultimately why I sit the test. Well, that and the whole thing will give me something to talk about with my friends.

Sitting there wondering if I look Korean enough to blend in, I can’t help but laugh as my thoughts roam to the person who’s going to be unfortunate enough to be correcting my test. I can read Korean as fast as a 4-year-old can so by the time I’ve read and answered questions 31-45, I have about 20 minutes to questions 45-60. So it’s a case of looking for some words whose meaning I don’t know, looking at the answer, finding a few of the same words and guessing the answer.  When did I think it was a good idea to sit this level and is there a limit on the amount of times you can sit this test? This is pretty much how I look during the exam…….

Crazy

On the bright side, there are some super interesting characters in this room. The people who don’t understand what “don’t open the test paper yet” means, the yawners, the gum chewers, the clickers and the guy behind you who keeps passing gas, it all adds up to the silver lining.

So that’s me and my TOPIK thoughts for now. Ironically, my next blog is going to be the 10 most useful Korean phrases! As ever, leave your comments below ( preferably in Korean, we all know I could do with the practice!)