[Book review]—오두막 (The Shack)

Today I’m reviewing a translated Korean copy of a book originally written in English—William Paul Young’s “The Shack.”

I guess this book was somewhat of a big deal since it apparently has a film adaptation, which I didn’t know until after I started reading this. Actually, I didn’t know anything about this book before I started reading it. Someone gave it to me and said I should read it, so I figured that they recommended the book for a particular reason and went to it. When I asked them about it over 200 pages in, they said that there was no particular reason for lending me this book, just that they knew I like reading, haha… but by that point, I was already hellbent on finishing, so I powered through it.

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[Book review]- Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions

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Here with another book review~ Today, I want to talk about TalkToMeInKorean’s “Everyday Korean Idiomatic Expressions.”

One day I was at the book store with my boyfriend looking at all the many Korean study books available when he happened to pick this one up. I had passed over it, not really interested, but he got really excited flipping through it! He was surprised that a book like this, explaining Korean expressions, even exists, and as he flipped through it he told me that I should definitely get it! Having received the native seal of approval, I figured that this book needed to find a place in my small personal library!

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The many faces of 되다

되다 is one of the most useful, and perhaps most confusing, verbs you will encounter while learning Korean. If you were to ask me what it means, my fast-and-easy answer would be “to become.” However, it serves a lot of purposes in a lot of different contexts. Today, we’ll look at some of the most common of its usages.

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Looks like… -(으)ㄴ가 보다 and -나 보다

This post is sort of a continuation from the previous post on 것 같다. There, we learned that 것 같다 can be used to say that something seems like something else. It can be used to speculate about or give an uncertain opinion on something in the past, present, or future. Today, we will look at a similar structure.

(으)ㄴ가보다 and -나 보다 both mean the same thing; the form is simply different depending on what it they are attached to. This grammar means “looks like” or “seems like” and is used when the speaker has observed something that leads them to make whatever conclusion they have drawn. This is different from 것 같다 in that 것 같다 does not necessarily require the speaker to have observed something to use as the basis of their statement. Let’s learn how to use them.

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[漢字 배우자! 4 ] Countries

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Back with more 한자 for you! This time we’ll look at the characters associated with different countries’ names. These characters are often used on the news and in newspapers to unambiguously reference those specific countries. Of course, this varies from station to station and paper to paper. Some news stations and newspapers make more extensive usage of 한자 than others, so depending on what you’re watching or reading, you might see a lot of 한자, or you might not see many at all! For example, the 한겨레 newspaper entirely rejects the usage of 한자, and it also limits it usage of loanwords and the Roman alphabet. It was also Korea’s first newspaper to be printed horizontally instead of vertically!

Two other newspapers with wide circulation in Korea are the 동아일보 and the 조선일보. Both of them use 한자, but the 조선일보 does so more extensively than the 동아일보.

Anyway, let’s dive into some of the country 漢字 most commonly seen on the news and in newspapers. You can find stroke order diagrams for each character at the bottom of the post.

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Study Sneak Peek—Hanja practice

What with being so focused on my main content posts, I’ve fallen off of posting random study updates… so here’s an update on what I’ve been doing lately!

As you can see in the photo, I’ve been working on getting my Hanja back up. I studied over 500 before, but I just let my knowledge sort of just sit and I lost some. So, now I’m going through again level by level, taking past 한자능력 tests once I finish studying each level. I feel like I’ll be back up to where I was in no time, because I’m breezing through so far, taking less than ten minutes to finish what are supposed to be 50-minute exams. One thing that is proving to be mildly annoying is stroke order, though. Did you know that there are some minor differences in stroke order between Chinese and Korean? I’m more used to writing the characters using the Chinese stroke order which is usually not an issue, but I still have to retrain myself for some of them.

I’ve also been slowly getting back into studying grammar, and I’ve been spending a lot more time reading. The novel that I’m working on at the moment is one that I just picked up at a secondhand bookstore because the cover looked interesting. I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would and so, I think I’ll finish it up fairly soon (and of course write a review on it)!

Finally, I’ve been doing some reading for my upcoming grad program, which starts in August. Considering that my studies will almost certainly have an impact on my upload schedule here, I’ll write more on that when it gets a bit closer.

Anyway, this is my little update. Happy studying, everyone <3

[Book review]- Korean Grammar in Use (Advanced)

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The “Korean Grammar in Use” series is one of the resources I recommend the most when people ask me which resources they should (or shouldn’t) use to study Korean. That is not to say that it’s flawless, but it’s solid for sure. If you want to start diving into advanced grammar or are looking for something to supplement your other advanced grammar resources, here are a few good and bad things about “Korean Grammar in Use (Advanced).”

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-다가, -아/어다가, -았/었다가, -다가는, -에다가

This has been a much-requested grammar form! -다가 is a really useful grammar point that is used often in speech, so it would be really helpful to learn how to use it well.

I will cover four different “forms” of -다가, each of which has its own meaning(s). The four forms I’ll cover will be -다가, 아/어다가-았/었다가 (-다가 attached to a verb conjugated to past tense), and -다가는. Also, while it’s not the same as the verb endings that use -다가, I’ll explain the particle -에다가 as well.

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Mid-formality conjugation (해요체)

Last time, I covered the low-closeness high-formality group of sentence endings that are known as 하십시오체. While useful, it’s not the most useful form if you just want to talk to other people in the most common of daily life scenarios. That honor goes to 해요체!

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Never mind THAT… -기는커녕 (-은/는 고사하고)

The grammar that we’ll be checking out today is -기는커녕. This form is interchangeable with -은/는 고사하고, so I will write all examples using both -기는커녕 and -은/는 고사하고.

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