SOGANG 1B UNIT 1 Practice Before Lesson (예습)

STEP-BY-STEP guide to Practice Before Lesson.
Step 1: Look at the number of words and allocate time needed.
Step 2: Make sure you can say the words in Korean from the English words.
Step 3: Test your vocabulary. Speed is crucial. Get the password from your teacher.
Step 4: Make sure you can say the phrases in Korean from the English phrases.
Step 5: Have a good rest. Step 4 was the hardest and you have completed it.

Click the card to flip it.
Click "Option" to change MOTION, AUDIO, and  which language you want to START WITH.
Go to "Choose a Study Mode" for various options of learning.

Click the card to flip it.
Click "Option" to change MOTION, AUDIO, and  which language you want to START WITH.
Go to "Choose a Study Mode" for various options of learning.


 Seonyudo Park, Seoul

Achasan, Seoul
Achasan, Seoul

Studying in Korea

2007 Autumn @Kyunghee University

A student is thinking about studying in Korea and asked me for school recommendations. Honestly, it's more than a decade ago when I first studied there, so I had to do my own research to answer this properly. And my gauge now is their textbooks.

Full disclaimer: I learned my Korean first at Sogang University in 2002 and attended Advanced level at Kyunghee University as part of a scholarship program. Subsequently I completed my Master's program in Korean Language and Literature at Kyunghee University. 

My bias is Sogang because I think it really helps beginner learners to gain confidence in effectively conversing and sufficiently expressing themselves using Korean. And of course it being my alma mater of sorts.


If you plan to pursue academic studies in Korea in Korean language, Yonsei's focus on writing and reading would really be beneficial. And if you are studious and a fast learner, Yonsei might be a better option for you.  What I would suggest is for students to study in Sogang for the beginning levels to build strong basic communication skills and move to Yonsei for higher levels learning. 

Although I have never attended Yonsei classes, looking at the feedback and their textbooks, the grammar and vocabulary covered until Yonsei Level 4 is what Sogang covers in its entire course until Level 6.

Other options
Korea University: 
Less well-known but well-reviewed. Seemed to be a mix between Yonsei and Sogang. 
Kyunghee University: 
Seoul National University: 
Crème de la crème of Korean universities. But its Korean language program for foreigners is not as established.
Ewha Women University: 
Very good textbooks. Mixed reviews for the course.
Konkuk University: 
Unstructured textbooks. But my Japanese ex-classmate from Sogang loves it more than Sogang.

I found this old article in the local news website about studying in Korea. It might be informative, albeit a little outdated. As suggested in The Korea Blog post, it's important to ask yourself questions about your learning goals before deciding on which school to go. Comprehensive reviews about the various Korean Language programs here.

동지 冬至 The Shortest Day of the Year

It is 冬至 or  동지 (dongji)  in Korea. Today is winter solstice which marks the longest night of the year. In the past, 동지 was celebrated in a  big way, now being replaced by Christmas and the modern New Year. In Korea, 동지 is also called 작은설 meaning small new year. 

동지 팥죽 is eaten on 동지. It is red bean soup with glutinous rice ball, called (새알심) meaning bird egg, because it looks like small bird's eggs. The same number of glutinous rice balls are added as the person's age. Just like eating rice-cake soup (떡국) on the first day of lunar new year marks being one year older, eating 동지 팥죽 also represents becoming one year older.  

Red beans are believed to ward off evil spirits. Traditionally, before eating 팥죽, Koreans scatter the red beans around the house like in the kitchen to prevent bad luck and epidemic disease. According to the historical record book 형초세시기 ( 荊楚歲時記 ) there was a man named Gong Gong (共工) whose  son died  on dongji and became a bad spirit that caused trouble and epidermic to the people. As the son hated red beans,  people started scattering red bean around their houses to chase him away. 

Today, what's really beneficial about red bean soup is that it's really good as a hangover food after all the partying.

미친거 아니야 / 미친거니 / 미쳤어

So a Kpop fan student asked me that day the difference between 미친거 아니야 and 미친거니? These two being very popular songs. 미친거니 sung by 송지은 was released about 3 years back and 미친거 아니야 is a recent comeback hit for 2PM.

"미치다" is an action verb meaning to go crazy.

"미친거 아니야?" basically means "is he crazy?" or more literally "not siao one?"
"미친거 아니야." means "I'm not crazy." "I'm not siao one."

"미친거니" just means are your crazy. "~니" tells you that it's a question. "you siao ah?"

파전 먹고 싶다

오늘 아침부터 비가 오고 있네. 파전과 막걸리가 생각난다. When it rains, Koreans crave for Pajeon ( Green Onion Pancake) and Makgeolli. Nobody really knows why but some say the sound of raindrop is like the sizzling sound of pancake frying in the pan.

Korean Consonant Cames Pronunciation (t- palatalization)

Last week, Teacher Park asked me this after her class ended at almost 10pm.

"'디귿' 발음 어떻게 배웠어요?" referring to page 14 of the Sogang workbook 2A.

I told her I never learnt it, Sogang never taught it during my time, I just say it the way I hear it. Then, we embarked on finding out why the name of the consonant "ㄷ" which is "디귿" is pronounced [디그시에요] instead of what logically should be [드그치에요].

The short answer is it's an exception. Yes! Many exceptions in language theory. Just accept it!

Name of consonants are pronounced differently, out of the regular  Korean pronunciation rules. If you are interested in the nitty gritty details, please read on after the table of Korean consonant names pronunciation.

제16항 한글 자모의 이름은 그 받침소리를 연음하되, 'ㄷ, ㅈ, ㅊ, ㅋ, ㅌ, ㅎ'의 경우에는 특별히 다음과 같이 발음한다.
         디귿이[디그시]            디극을[디그슬]            디귿에[디그세]
         지읒이[지으시]            지읒을[지으슬]            지읒에[지으세]
         치읓이[치으시]            치읓을[치으슬]            치읓에[치으세]
         키읔이[키으기]            키읔을[키으글]            키읔에[키으게]
         티읕이[티으시]            티읕을[티으슬]            티읕에[티으세]
         피읖이[피으비]            피읖을[피으블]            피읖에[피으베]
         히읗이[히으시]            히읗을[히으슬]            히읗에[히으세]

First, the regular pronunciation rules.

꽃 [꼳]     꽃이  [꼬치]   꽃을[ 꼬츨]

Many times you hear Koreans saying [꼬시] for "꽃이". That's wrong, but very common error.

Second, there is a pronunciation thingie called 구개음화 or palatalization. (meaning)
Basically, your tongue becomes lazy and say it in the most efficient manner like below.

굳이 [구지]   [구디]                             같이 [가치]   [가티]

So…. like the above
"디귿"이에요 should be pronounced [디그지에요].

But no…
It's pronounced [디그시에요]. Because for pronunciation of Korean consonants, it's an exception! 예외입니다.

After researching and discussing for an hour, Teacher Park concluded, "설명할 수 없을땐 늘 "예외"라고 해요". Yes, even linguistic experts have no proper explanations for everything.