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9
votes
2answers
276 views

Which Korean words or sounds have been used as a shibboleth?

A shibboleth is (according to Wikipedia) a word or custom whose variations were used to differentiate members of ingroups from those of outgroups The English Wikipedia also has a long list of ...
14
votes
3answers
36k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Plain vs aspirated consonants (ㄱㄷㅂㅈ vs ㅋㅌㅍㅊ)

I have a hard time distinguishing between plain consonants (ㄱㄷㅂㅈ) and aspirated ones (ㅋㅌㅍㅊ). My understanding is that ㄱㄷㅂㅈ are voiceless unaspirated and ㅋㅌㅍㅊ are voiceless aspirated. So, for example, ...
6
votes
1answer
741 views

Is it more polite to say '고맙습니다' or '감사합니다'? Is there any other difference in meaning?

Are '고맙습니다' or '감사합니다' interchangeable, or is there a difference in meaning or politeness?
3
votes
2answers
859 views

Is there any difference in meaning between the ~더라도 and ~도 verb endings?

I think the ~더라도 and ~도 endings both mean 'if' (roughly speaking). Are there any differences in meaning? If they're not interchangeable, when would I use one or the other?
13
votes
3answers
372 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?
8
votes
2answers
180 views

Two lines from Bibara bibara (Japanese song): do they even make sense?

Bibara bibara is a Japanese song, so you might be wondering why I am asking on Korean SE. At a certain point, the lyrics go: ヨボセヨペゴパヨチキンピリョヘヨ Yoboseyopegopayochikinpiryoheyo And further on, a slight ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Difference ㄹ래요 vs ㄹ까요

Example: 뭐 먹을래요? 뭐 먹을까요? I have been told that I can use both questions to ask the same thing. Is it exactly the same? When should I use one or the other? How would you translate this exactly?
16
votes
3answers
8k 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?
22
votes
1answer
624 views

How was the obsolete character ㅿ pronounced?

The character ㅿ is now obsolete. How was it pronounced when it was used?
18
votes
5answers
4k 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?
9
votes
3answers
401 views

Two lines of 사랑해 당신을

I came across a song called Sarang hae (I love you). Part of the lyrics go: 멀리 떠나버련 못 잊을 님이여 Meolli tteonabeoryeon Mot ijeul nim i yo It is rather unfortunate that this part of the lyrics only ...
8
votes
1answer
324 views

How many Korean speakers are there world wide?

Of those who speak Korean, how many are native speakers versus those who learn speak it as a secondary language?
10
votes
1answer
291 views

When is ㄹ pronounced as L and when as R?

How do I know when to know the L pronunciation or the R pronunciation for ㄹ ?
15
votes
1answer
756 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?
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Should I use polite speech to animals?

When talking to people in Korean, there are social rules (heirarchy, age, general politeness) that determine whether I should use formal speech like 해요 or 합니다. But what about if I'm talking to animals?...
6
votes
2answers
987 views

Spacing rules: Is it 가 보다 or 가보다?

In the combination "verb + 보다" (= try doing), is there supposed to be a space between the two words or not? Example: 우리 한 번 가 보자! Let's go one time! (lit. Let's try going one time!)
17
votes
1answer
420 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?
9
votes
1answer
211 views

Are formal / honorific forms mandatory when talking about oneself?

If I am talking to someone superior in status or a stranger, and I refer to myself in a sentence, should formal / honorific form be used?
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Is there a pronunciation rule or sound change for the word 협력?

How do I pronounce 협력? Are there any rules that apply to it to change its immediately apparent pronunciation?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Importance of learning Hanja (한자) for Korean learners

While I think it is generally considered important to learn Hangul (한글) when learning Korean, is there a point in the learning process where learning hanja (Chinese characters) may also be important. ...
12
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
787 views

What filler words can be used in Korean to buy time in the conversation/show you are thinking?

This was one of our definition questions. Words like English 'er...', 'well...', 'hmm...', 'like...', examples of some of the words with their definition and use will suffice.
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 까 in the song Gangnam Style?

"Gangnam style" is a famous Korean song. At a certain point, the lyrics go: 지금부터 갈데까지 가볼 까? Jigeum buteo gal-de-kkaji gabol kka? I have managed to analyse this as follows: Jigeum means &...
12
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
19
votes
7answers
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?
15
votes
4answers
7k 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?
27
votes
3answers
451 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)? ...
11
votes
2answers
10k views

What's the difference between 마지막으로 and 드디어?

As the title says, what's the difference between 드디어 and 마지막으로? They're both "finally" but are they any different?
40
votes
2answers
13k 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?
19
votes
3answers
1k 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 "...

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