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40 votes
2 answers
14k views

Is there an easy way to tell whether any given Korean name is typically male or female?

This was one of our definition questions and it interests me. Are Korean names usually explicitly gendered? Are there any common forms/variants used to denote particular genders?
27 votes
3 answers
507 views

What, if any, are the primary differences between Korean as spoken in the North and that spoken in the South?

Are there any major differences between North Korean and South Korean? Is there anything that tends to cause difficulty communicating or are there just more minor issues (like accents or idioms)? ...
24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do 같이 and 함께 mean the same thing?

Do 같이 and 함께 mean the same thing? If they are different then how do I know which one to use?
23 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are the biggest pronunciation / intonation features of English-speakers speaking Korean?

What pronunciation problems distinguish native speakers of English when they are speaking in Korean? I'm especially interested in the things that non-beginners of Korean use. There are two aspects of ...
  • 5,914
23 votes
1 answer
731 views

How was the obsolete character ㅿ pronounced?

The character ㅿ is now obsolete. How was it pronounced when it was used?
  • 955
22 votes
3 answers
3k views

How are mathematical symbols read in Korean?

Mathematical symbols are used internationally but each country read them in its own way. Moreover it is often difficult to find a comprehensive list. I know that this question is very broad but I ...
  • 473
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does it mean when someone writes 드림 at the end of an email?

What does it mean when someone writes 드림 at the end of an email? Does it have a specific meaning in that context?
19 votes
7 answers
4k views

Should I learn Hangul as soon as I start learning Korean?

I'm learning Korean but Hangul looks hard. Is it really important, or can I get by with studying only Romanizations of words until I feel more confident?
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19 votes
3 answers
5k views

When should spaces be used between words?

This was one of our definition questions. The Korean language has different uses for spaces than something like the English language, what are some of the rules for spacing in Korean?
  • 833
19 votes
2 answers
390 views

Did actual 한글 characters have different sounds?

I was wondering, if, when hangeul was first invented, Did any of the characters that survived until today have sounds that are not the same as the ones they have nowadays, or, Were they pronounced ...
  • 424
19 votes
3 answers
2k views

Reference frame for come and go

What is the frame of reference for "come" (오다) and "go" (가다)? As in, if I'm outside a house, and a person I'm talking to is between myself and the house, should I tell him to "go" to the house or "...
18 votes
5 answers
6k views

How can I ask someone to repeat a statement in Korean?

I have a hard time grasping the meaning of certain Korean phrases the first time I hear them, especially when they are quickly. How can I politely ask someone to repeat something they just said?
  • 955
18 votes
2 answers
674 views

When transliterating English words to Korean, why does the first F become a ㅎ?

This is one of the questions from the definition phase and I would like to get asked in the main site. (It has also be asked and answered in Linguistics.se) When transliterating English words to ...
  • 2,824
18 votes
1 answer
760 views

How are words in Korean alphabetized/sorted?

This was one of our definition questions. How are things like dictionaries sorted, and what is equivalent to our A-Z or Z-A lists?
  • 833
17 votes
3 answers
444 views

How to translate generic "you" or "one" in Korean?

Generalities in English are often introduced using a generic "you" or "one". For example, "when one is hungry, everything tastes good" "when you are a young teacher, you have a lot of work" Is ...
  • 2,130
16 votes
4 answers
7k views

When should I use Hanja instead of Hangul?

How can I know when to use Hanja over Hangul, or vice-versa? Answers giving a bit of history/thorough explanation would be greatly appreciated.
  • 833
16 votes
5 answers
1k views

Is there any word that varies in length when written in hanja or hangul?

I've learned that due to Korean syllable structure, every hanja has exactly one hangul block long. Is there any Sino-Korean word (한자어) deviates from the rule (by colloquial sound change etc.) that ...
16 votes
5 answers
18k views

Why is the Korean name 이 often Romanised as 'Lee'?

This was a question from the definition stage of this proposal Why is the Korean name 이 written as Lee in English?
  • 2,824
16 votes
3 answers
11k views

What is a polite term of address to use for a friend's mother?

What is a polite term of address to use for a friend's mother? Is it impolite to call her by name?
  • 955
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How is Hangul composed with a keyboard?

The Wikipedia article on Hangul does not explain how it is typed. I understand that the 500 or so possible digraphs and trigraphs have been encoded as single unicode blocks, but I would expect that ...
15 votes
1 answer
904 views

Why do some country names end in -국 while others don't?

Why do some country names end in -국 while others don't? Is there a reason for or meaning of the distinction?
  • 955
15 votes
4 answers
9k views

What are the differences between 는 / 은 and 가 / 이?

I know that both are considered subject particles but when do you use one over the other?
  • 277
15 votes
3 answers
13k views

What is the difference between 좋다 and 좋아하다?

This is a question from the proposal phase. What is the difference between 좋다 and 좋아하다? How do we distinguish between them?
  • 2,824
15 votes
3 answers
27k views

What's the meaning of -아/어 가지고, which I hear a lot in spoken language?

I hear "가지고" used a lot in spoken language (almost never in written language); for example: 고기를 잡아 가지고 찌개를 끓였다. ([He] caught a fish and made jjigae (stew).) It's not hard for me to understand ...
  • 5,914
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does 15th Century Hangul writing/type differ from modern Hangul?

Foreign visitors to Korea will often become quickly familiar with the look of early Hangul documents and prints, as (being rather attractive!) they are often used for decorative purposes. Nevertheless,...
14 votes
3 answers
39k views

Hangul -- printed vs handwritten

I learned to read/write hangul from printed text. I was very surprised that the hangul written by my Korean friends looks completely different! There seem to be many shortcuts, lines missing or ...
  • 361
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can a non-native Korean speaker say "Pure Korean" or "Native Korean" in Korean?

When talking about Korean word origin, there are "Pure/Native Korean" words, "Sino-Korean" (i.e. Hanja) words, and of course other origins like English. I am wondering how to say "Pure Korean" or "...
  • 1,969
13 votes
3 answers
440 views

Correct pronunciation when a syllable ends with two consonants

When a syllable ends with two consonants, such as 헑 or 닭, which do you pronounce?
  • 955
13 votes
5 answers
9k views

What is the difference between 방금 and 금방?

As far as I know, one of them means "a short while ago", the other "in a short time". Sometimes they are used interchangeably. I'm looking for an explanation of the two words, how they differ, and a ...
  • 929
13 votes
4 answers
17k views

Pronunciation of 의

Since I've started studying Korean, for me the vowel cluster 의 seems to not have a standard pronunciation. Sometimes I hear it like eu-i, IPA [ɰi] and sometimes as ye, IPA [je] There are some ...
  • 424
13 votes
3 answers
10k views

Difference between 되었어요 and 됐어요?

What is the Difference between 되었어요 and 됐어요? For example: -서울에 산 지 얼마나 되었어요? -오 년 됐어요. Or -일 년 육 개월 정도 되었어요. I know both answers are correct.
  • 846
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do we need the repetition in 춤 추다 and 꿈 꾸다?

추다 means the verb 'to dance' and 춤 is the noun 'a dance'. 춤 is actually the noun form of 추다, as it is formed by adding the ending (으)ㅁ to the verb stem. I was told that we should say 춤 추다 'to dance a ...
  • 2,130
13 votes
2 answers
20k views

When do I need to use the native vs Sino-Korean numerals?

The Korean language uses 2 sets of numerals: The native Korean numerals The Sino-Korean numerals When I want to express myself in Korean, I am often wondering which numeral system I should use. I ...
  • 275
13 votes
2 answers
617 views

How should I use the pronoun 당신?

This is an issue I run into occasionally when teaching others Korean, especially those who learned some Korean via music. I know that 당신 is an intimate form of "you." Since we avoid explicitly using ...
  • 3,884
13 votes
2 answers
832 views

Which do I choose "그" or "그녀"?

In English, we use "he" to indicate a man, and "she" a woman. If we use "he" to indicate women, it is grammatically incorrect. Let John be a male and Anna a female. John did an operation on the ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the difference between 일, 하루 and 날?

Do both 일 and 하루 mean today and 날 means the next day or does it depend on context?
13 votes
2 answers
9k views

Difference between negating with 안 and -지 않다

There are two ways to negate Korean verbs: By prepending 안 ("안 춥다") By appending -지 않다 ("춥지 않다") Are there rules for which one to use? Or does the method used change the meaning of the sentence?
  • 1,963
13 votes
1 answer
428 views

Why is 金 differentially written as 김 and 금?

Everyone knows the surname 김, which is 金 in hanja. However, 金 is written as 금 everywhere except the surname, e.g. 금요일 Friday, 금성 Venus, 백금 platinum, 합금 alloy, 기금 fund. Why is the surname 김 written ...
  • 1,320
13 votes
1 answer
171 views

Are colors interchangeable

Red is 빨간색 or 홍색. Green is 초록색 or 녹색. Blue is 파란색 or 청색. In each case, the first version is "pure Korean" while the second version comes from Chinese. Probably there are many other examples. Is ...
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does standard Korean still contain any signs of being a tonal language?

This answer mentions that some dialects have tones even in modern Korean, but I've always assumed that standard Korean is essentially a non-tonal language. However, I've read in this source that this ...
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are there any clear differences in how women and men speak Korean?

Apart from the normal differences in pitch and tone between male and female voices, are there any different words, different intonations, or other linguistic habits that tend to be used more by men or ...
12 votes
6 answers
2k views

Basic steps to take when learning Korean

Can anyone list basic steps needed to start efficiently learning Korean independently? I do live in a hole geographically, and I highly doubt that I could find a Korean person in a 100 miles radius (...
  • 231
12 votes
3 answers
5k views

Difference between words 부엌 and 주방

I had originally been taught that "부엌" means kitchen, but recently I came across this word "주방." What is the difference between these two words? Are they typically interchangeable, or are there ...
  • 147
12 votes
4 answers
6k views

What does it mean when we add 이/가 on to the object of the verb?

I've seen 그 것이 알고 싶다 translated as 'that's what I want to know', and 사과가 먹고 싶어요 translated as 'It’s the apple (in particular) that I want to eat'. In both of these sentences, it looks like 이/가 is ...
12 votes
2 answers
581 views

How to address Korean parents as a teacher?

I always Kakao text my students parents by starting off with "안녕하세요", is it better to say "어머니 안녕하세요~" or with student's name in front like "민지 어머니 안녕하세요~"? Which way is better if I text the ...
  • 151
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

When to use ㅐ, ㅒ as opposed to ㅔ,ㅖ?

I'm sure everyone will agree that they sound similar enough to their own counterparts to be interchangeable. If there are no tangible rules that separate their usage, what are some tips to spot their ...
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

ㄹ 수(가) 있다/없다 Problems in the addition of 가

I know that it definitely makes sense to add 가 here because 수 is indeed a pseudo-noun. However will there be any differences between adding 가 and not adding? It would seem that they are the same thing,...
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12 votes
1 answer
121 views

Are there rules that govern how certain characters are pronounced and when?

I'm just starting learning to spell and pronounce various Korean words. One thing that's tripping me up is the pronunciation of the characters ㄹ and ㅅ. I've seen different words in which ㄹ is ...
  • 221
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Negative form of verbs. -하지 않다 versus -치 않다

In my Korean readings, I occasionally come across the verb ending -치 않다. As I understand it, this is a shortened form of -하지 않다. However, I have never seen this used with action verbs, only ...
  • 3,884
12 votes
1 answer
485 views

What do these money-related gestures mean?

The following images come from the Korean manhwa Aura From Another Planet, chapter 35. I can guess that the gestures they are making refer to monetary amounts, but how much are we talking here?

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