Korean Language

Learning Korean and discussions about language

Hangeul Day 4

Hangeul Day

Happy Hangeul Day! (Also can be spelled “Hangul”). Hangeul is the Korean alphabet and Koreans are very proud of it, for good reason. I recommend reading about the creation of Hangeul.

When you first start learning Korean and discover how relatively easy the writing system is, it’s wonderful! Until you realise how hard Korean grammar is!

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Hoju Olympics 0

Hoju Olympics

Have you been watching the Olympics? I saw one swimming race that Australia won but besides from that I haven’t seen much. Hugh has been watching more than me.

Do you know the Korean name for your own country?



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Which Meaning? 1

Pumpkin Comic

Hugh says: Pumpkin (hobak in Korean), the pumpkin flower is beautiful but pumpkins in Korea have a lot of wrinkles and creases so it doesn’t look pretty. So we say apples and watermelon are pretty. There is even a saying when someone is putting on a lot of makeup to try and look good, “Do you think you can look pretty just by paining black lines on you?” (Like a watermelon).

Even though I know pumpkin means something different in English, and Nichola will use the English word, my automatic reaction is to not like it. So I just tease her saying I mean both meanings when I say “pumpkin”.

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Extra Large 7

Extra Large

Hugh runs into this problem sometimes where he says something in English and is not understood because he hasn’t used the Konglish version of what he is trying to say. It doesn’t matter if his English was correct if they can’t actually understand him. My problem is going back to Australia and using Konglish words like English.

He also sometimes uses Australian English which can further confuse people. Instead of using the American English of “take out” he will say “take awayyyyyy” in Aussie English. Some people understand it, but some don’t.

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High School Look 7

High School Look

The problem with getting old: you want to look young, but you don’t want people to speak down to you.

Hugh gets really annoyed because of course all the old people use informal language with him in the village, and while that’s not rude in itself, some of the old men are quite rude when they come into the mini store his parents have on the farm. So when he goes to the next town for errands and it’s people a similar age to him, he wants to hear respectful language.

He does sometimes look like a student though….

(Don’t smoke people! All his smoker friends look way older now).

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When our good friend Sara (SeoulSarang) was in Korea a few months back, Hugh challenged her to guess the meanings of these new Korean slang words.

Have you heard any of them before?

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We talk about Korean pet names! We cover the most basic ones (and some new funny ones) but there are more talked about on this blog here.

What are the most common pet names in your country?

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Introvert Korean 7

Introvert Korean

Learning another language when you are an introvert can be very difficult because so much language learning involves socializing. I’m not shy at all, and I definitely love talking to people, but my mind and body needs to rest after intense socializing. Speaking in Korean makes it so much harder because my brain is doing so much more work, so after my Korean lessons – which involve mostly talking – my brain is totally fried.

I also envy those who are learning Korean in a Korean university and that’s it. The core part of their life is just language learning. For lots of other people, language learning has to be crammed into an already busy life. I speak some Korean with Hugh, but it’s easy for me to slip in English words or explain what I mean because he speaks English. My teacher doesn’t speak any English. She also tells me big stories where I have to concentrate very hard. I do enjoy my lessons, but my brain isn’t as young as it used to be…

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Voice Message 6

HelloTalk voice message

This comic is part of our collaboration with HelloTalk. If you talk to me on the HelloTalk app there is a chance that Hugh might reply to you instead of me because he steals my phone!

I’ve been using the app for a while now and had a lot of casual, short conversations with lots of people but now I’ve made some friends that I feel closer to and more comfortable with. I saw that a few people expected to make long term language partners right away and were disappointed when they didn’t, but it’s like making friends in real life. You meet a lot of people all the time and narrow down what is appealing to you and what you want and also whether you click well with someone. The few people I regularly talk and try to use Korean with are similar to my age with similar interests.

We got such great feedback on our HelloTalk video. Thank you guys! It’s great to hear your stories about making language exchange partners and how it has benefited your language learning.

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How Do I Say This 6

How do I say this

Being married to a Korean man doesn’t mean it’s easy to get help with learning Korean.

This post is sponsored by HelloTalk. We only agree to sponsored posts if it’s something we actually use and like, and we both use this app for language exchange.

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Click here for HelloTalk website.

If you are needing language exchange partners to chat with, we do recommend this app. We don’t usually do sponsored videos, in fact this is the first time we’ve ever done one, and we only want to to talk about products or services that we really like and would recommend anyway. I hope this app helps some of you with your language learning.


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Highschool Boys 7

Highschool boys

So while I was thinking that those boys shouldn’t be drinking like that (must have forgotten I was in Korea! haha) Hugh had only thought about bribing them so they wouldn’t call him ahjussi. He doesn’t like to be faced with the reality of his age and how the younger generation now view him. I understand it, I hate being called ahjumma…. but he’s going a lot further to still feel young!

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Remember Number 8

Remember Number

You know when someone is trying to count or memorize a number and it’s really obnoxious to yell random numbers to make them lose track or forget? That’s what I was doing but my Korean number skills are atrocious so it sounded ridiculous. Korea has 2 numbering systems which can be confusing if you are bad at even the single numbering system in English… like me… I have maths phobia.

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Lesson 4


He has so little faith in me… haha.

Actually I’ve had insomnia lately so he knew I was sleep deprived and likely to dissolve into tears at anytime. But the lesson was fine! It’s all in Korean so of course it’s hard for me to understand everything the teacher is saying, but it wasn’t a traumatic experience.

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Korean Tutor 24

Korean Tutor

You know the feeling of being a student again and it’s terrifying??? Traumatic school flashbacks haha.

Since I’m married to a Korean man I’m allowed a free Korean tutor through government services. Unfortunately we had to wait a year or so before one was available for me. Being in the countryside it’s a tutor that comes to people’s houses, which is good for me because I don’t have time to travel to a class twice a week.

Yesterday was the first evaluation to see where my Korean level is. My Korean is very basic and although I can follow some conversations, my speaking level is very low. People mistakenly think that by simply being in Korea that it should be very easy to learn Korean, but it’s not at all. Everyone has different skills and experiences. For example, someone who has already learned another language will likely learn faster, whereas I have never learned another language before. Also whether your relationship developed in English or Korean or a bit of both will affect it. When I first met Hugh, I couldn’t even read Korean.

Another aspect is what language who have to work in, and of course our work is mostly in English. Teachers, full-time bloggers and others working in English environments in Korea have this problem, and it’s a very different experience to someone who is learning Korean in a Korean university for example. What type of work or study you are doing in Korea will really influence the opportunities you have for learning Korean. (Not to mention extra things like dialect!)

Due to time limitations and knowing that I’d be getting a tutor later anyway, my Korean study stalled a lot. But now I’ll be learning Korean in Korean, which the tutor said is the hardest but fastest way. It’s kinda terrifying but I’m really glad as well.

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