Korean Verb Endings
Blog Entry 1
Okay, so my Korean vocabulary has not been expanding as fast as I'd like. Nonetheless, I have learned a few grammatical endings that are quite useful I'd like to share.
I'll start by pointing out that 실레 sille ("shee-leh") is a noun meaning rude or a rude act. Then there's 미안 mian ("mee-awn") meaning regret or regrettable.
하다 hada is a very common ending. My phone's dictionary claims it's simply "be, do", but it's used to turn nouns into verbs.
ㅂ니다 b-nida is a ending added to verbs and means "am doing, being". So, 실레합니다 sille-hap-nida (though pronounced "실렘니다" "shee-lem-nee-dah") is roughly "I'm being rude" or "You're being rude" (East Asian languages like to drop the subject from the sentences) and is used along the lines of "excuse me" in English when trying to get past or around someone.
While 미안합니다 mian-hab-nida (pronounced "미안함니다" "mee-an-ham-nee-dah") would then go along the lines of "I'm sorry".
There are many other verb endings I haven't fully memorised yet, like for "let's", "not", "don't", "is it?", and many more...
의 ui ("uh-ee") is quite analogous to [-'s] or "of". So 나 na means "I", while 나의 naui means "my" or "mine".
An interesting one is 는 neun "nuhn". It can be used at the end of the subject and followed by an object to mean "is", like my dictionary uses the example of "그는 교사이다" (geu-neun gyo-sa-i-da) "He is a teacher". 그 geu being he and 교사 gyo-sa is a teacher. The 이다 i-da, according to my phone dictionary, is "be; come; make; be". It's annoying how unspecific it can be at times. Anyway, I guess I'd translate "그는 교사이다" strictly as "he is teacher being".
The second entry in my phone dictionary for 는 neun defines it simply as "-ing". So, apparently it's used as a verb ending for the present progressive (e.g. "I am running" versus "I run"). This then gives a new light to how it's used on nouns: suggesting that "그는" could be thought as "he-ing" or "he being". This then suggests that "나는 선생" (na-neun seunsaeng) would translate roughly as "I am a teacher" and Koreans should understand it.
I've also been looking a little at some Korean cuss words. It's interesting what little things the Koreans don't understand about the West. I've got elementary kids who'll say "shit" or give each other the finger. However, Koreans, including my director, are under the impression that "fuck" literally is the raised middle finger. Uh, no, "fuck" actually translates as 성교 seonggyo "sexual intercourse", with its derived 성교하다 "to have sex with". Yeah, Koreans never bothered to check the definition of "fuck", they just assume that because movie characters usually say "fuck off/you" with the finger that the two are fully equivalent.
A more proper translation of "fuck" should in fact be 씹하다 ssip-hada. 씹 ssip is "cunt/pussy", so you can imagine what you get by adding "to do". But again, no one bothers to look up these translations...