Koreans celebrate the first full moon of the year which is January 15th in lunar calendar. It is called 정월대보름. 정월 means January, 대 means ‘big’ and 보름 means ’15th day’. Because we can see a full moon on the 15th of every month in lunar calendar, we call a full moon ‘보름달(the moon on the 15th).
On 정월대보름, there are a lot of things to do. We make a lot of 나물(Na-mool : vegetable dishes) with dried vegetable for winter and make 오곡밥(O-gok-bop : rice with 5 grains) and drink 귀밝이술(Gui-bahl-ghi-sool : traditional alcohol drink) to hope we hear good news for the year.
In early morning on 정월대보름, we crack hard nuts like pine nuts, walnuts or peanuts and throw them outside while we say “부스럼”. 부스럼 is a small pocket of pus on skin. Old Korean hoped not to get this skin disease to crack these nuts and throw them away. These nuts are called 부럼.
And on 정월대보름, when we say “내 더위 사 가라(Buy my heat)” to the first person who we see in order to not to be sick by heat in summer. And the person who hear this can response “니 더위, 내 더위, 맞더위(your heat, my heat, it is even)”. It is a funny joke to greet a person in the morning this day.
At night, in the past, people played 쥐불놀이(Gee-bool-no-ri : set fire on the farm field) in order to burn the field after harvest and chase out rats and also people wished on the first full moon(달맞이).
In modern days, many Koreans don’t celebrate as much as old Koreans, but we still make food and wish on the moon. Did you wish on the full moon? What was your wish?
For Koreans, Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday of the year. For Lunar New Year, we take three days off to see family and relatives. The holiday begins a day before Seollal(설날 New Year’s Day) and ends a day after New Year’s Day. A day before New Year’s Day, we go to our oldest uncle’s house(father side) where usually is held a ceremonial event. On this day, we make tons of food for the ceremony like Namool(vegetable side dishes), Mandoo(dumplings), Dduckguk(rice cake soup) and many more. All of this food is served on a big table in early morning of New Year’s Day for a traditional ceremony.
This ceremony is for our ancestors. In early morning on New Year’s Day, we write our ancestors names on a piece of paper and put it on the table as well as the food. And we bow to our ancestors to appreciate what they did for us. After the ceremony, we can have the delicious food for breakfast!!!!!!
Dduckguk is the most important food on New Year’s Day. Dduck(떡) is rice paste and guk(국) is soup. The rice paste for Dduckguk originally looks like a long tube, and we call it Gah-rae Dduck(가래떡). We slice 가래떡 into thin pieces to make the soup. Because 가래떡 is long and white, Dduckguk(떡국) represents longevity and pureness. Thus, we say that we get one year older after eating one bowl of Dduckguk for breakfast on New Year’s Day. (I wanted to stop eating Dduckguk after I turned 20. Haha!)
After the big breakfast, children give their parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents New Year’s bow(Sebe세배). When we give older generation Sebe, we say 새해 복 많이 받으세요! (Hope you have a lot of luck on new year). And older generation give them hopeful wishes and pretty silk pockets (Bok Joomoney 복주머니). As you can guess, there is money inside of the Bok Joomoney. We call this money as Sebetdon(세뱃돈). When I was a kid, I gave all of this money to my mom because my mom said that she will keep the money for my future. I haven’t seen that money since then, but I guess it is already in my stomach as food. 🙂
In the afternoon, we play Yootnori(윷놀이) which is a traditional game with four wooden sticks. It is very simple, and all of the family can play together, so I really liked it when I was a kid. For lunch, we put all the vegetable side dishes in a big bowl together with Gochujang(고추장), make Bibimbop(비빔밥). I really miss my aunts Bibimbop!!! There are always some special programs on TV for New Year’s Day like Ssirum(씨름, Korean wrestling) or new movies. We only had one TV at our uncle’s house, and we didn’t have the Internet, so I REALLY didn’t like Ssirum(씨름) because that was my dad’s and uncles’ favorite TV program. 🙂
After lunch, we usually go to my mom’s side of family. Very fortunately, my parents’ families live close enough, we could do this in one day. And on New Year’s Day, Seoul became a ghost city because a lot of people go to their hometown a day before. We do the same thing with my mom’s side of family, but my mom’s side of family loves singing, so we always have singing contest after dinner.
A day after New Year’s Day, my family usually took a hike on a mountain near my house, or I went shopping with my siblings and friends while everyone else rush back to their house from their hometown. The highway has huge traffic, so my family usually didn’t drive anywhere else a day after New Year’s Day. From Busan to Seoul, it usually takes 4 or 5 hours on a car, but on this day, it sometimes takes 15 hours!!!!
I don’t live in Korea anymore, so I really miss these memories. I am a terrible cook, but this year I made Dduckguk and egg battered fish for myself. I hope we all healthy and happy, Happy New Year to everyone!
Do you know that you have to leave a space when you write Korean? Spaces are very important in Korean because it can cause misunderstanding if there are no spaces. For example,
This sentence can be “아버지 가방에 들어가세요.” or “아버지가 방에 들어가세요.” depending on where we leave a space. The first sentence means “Father, please go into the bag(가방).” and the second sentence means “Father is entering a room.(방)”
Then when should we leave a space? It is very simple. It is usually between words and after particles. For example,
오늘 아침에 언니하고 공부했어요. 오늘 today + space 아침 morning + 에(place particle) + space 언니 older sister + 하고(with particle) + space 공부했어요. studied
Let’s practice another sentence.
주말에 친구 집에서 점심을 먹어요. 주말 weekend + 에 (time particle) + space 친구 friends + space 집 house + 에서 (place particle) + space 점심 lunch + 을 (object particle) + space 먹어요. eat
One thing you should remember is there is NO SPACE BEFORE A PARTICLE. Particles are always attached to a noun.
Isn’t it easy?
Can you leave spaces on these sentences below? Please write your answer on reply to this post.
어제아침에친구를만났어요. (I met my friend yesterday morning)
내일언제학교에가요?(When are you going to school tomorrow? )
오늘저녁에우리집에오세요.(Please come to my house this evening.)
지난주말에백화점에서옷을샀어요. (I bought clothes at a department store last weekend.)
우리 가족은 아버지, 어머니, 언니, 동생 그리고 저 모두 다섯 명이에요. 우리 부모님과 동생은 영국에 살고 있고 제 언니는 스페인에서 일을 하고 있어요. 그리고 저는 지금 한국에서 한국어를 공부하고 있어서 우리 가족은 자주 못 만나요. 부모님께서는 영국에서 식당을 하시는데 부모님께서 음식을 정말 잘 만드세요. 우리 언니는 어릴 때부터 스페인어를 정말 좋아해서 스페인에 가고 싶어했어요. 그래서 언니는 대학교를 졸업하자마자 스페인에 직업을 구했어요.
우리 부모님께서는 주말에도 일을 하시고 월요일과 화요일에 쉬세요. 쉬는 날에는 항상 공원에서 산책도 하시고 영화를 많이 보세요. 우리 아버지는 영화를 정말 좋아하셔서 나중에 영화를 만들고 싶어하세요. 어머니께서는 노래 부르는 것을 좋아하셔서 쉬는 날 친구들하고 같이 노래를 부르세요. 올해 12월에 아버지꼐서 예순이 되실 거예요. 그래서 언니하고 동생하고 제가 아버지를 위해서 영화를 만들기로 했어요. 어머니께서 노래를 부르실 거예요.
-거든 has a few different meanings. First, it is used at the end of the sentence to answer the reason for someone’s question. For example,
A: 왜 아직 집에 안 갔어요? Why have you not gone back home yet? B: 내일 시험이 있거든요. Because I have a test tomorrow.
A : 집이 왜 이렇게 어두워? Why is the home this dark? B : 전기가 나갔거든. The electricity went out.
The second meaning is ‘if’, it is a little bit old style for “-(으)면”. . For example, A: 제가 집에 없거든(=없으면) 전화해 주세요. If I am not at home, please call me. A: 돈이 떨어지거든(=떨어지면) 꼭 다시 집으로 와야 돼. If you spent all of the money, you must come back home.
The third, it is to indicate that something is set for a story to be told in the future. For example, 내가 지금 돈이 하나도 없거든. 나 좀 빌려 줄래? I don’t have any money, could you please lend me some money? 나 지금 기분이 무척 안 좋거든. 그러니까 말 시키지 마! I am not in good mood, so don’t talk to me! 내가 일을 안 한 지 정말 오래됐거든. 그래서 일을 다시 시작할 수 있을지 모르겠어. I haven’t worked for a long time, so I don’t know if I can work again. (매일 도박을 하는 아들이 어머니에게) A: 엄마, 내가 엄마 돈 크게 만들어줄까? B: 됐거든! (A son who gambles every day and he talked to his mom) A: Mom, do you want me to have you make more money? B: No, thanks! (so, don’t even mention it anymore) A: 네 마음 상하게 했다면 미안해. B: 됐거든. 이제는 너무 늦었어. I am sorry if I hurt your feelings. B: Don’t bother, it is too late.
전화할께(x) -> 전화할게(o) : Actually (으)ㄹ게’s pronunciation is 을께, but the writing is still 을게.
내 꺼야(X) -> 내 거야(ㅇ) : 거 is often pronounced as ‘꺼’ as in ‘(으)ㄹ 거 [을 꺼]’ or ‘noun 거 [noun 꺼]’, but the writing is still 거.
되요(x) -> 돼요 (o) : A lot of Korean can’t recognize the difference between ‘ㅚ’ and ‘ㅙ’, so they often mis-spell these. The infinitive form for ‘to become’ is ‘되다’, so when we conjugate with 아/어/해, it should become ‘돼(되+어)’ like 되 + 어요/었어요 should be written 돼요 and 됐어요. However when 되다 conjugate with (으) or consonants, it remains as 되. For example, 될게요(되+(으)ㄹ게요), 될 수 있어요(되+(으)ㄹ 수 어요), 되면 (되+(으)면), 되고, 되지되게…
뵈요(X)-> 봬요 (O): This is also the same as 돼요. The writing is 봬요, 뵀어요, 봬서… and 뵐게요, 뵐 거예요, 뵈면, 뵙고, 뵙지, 뵙게 (뵈다 is changed into 뵙 when it is in front of consonant endings like 고, 지, 게)
않 돼요(x) -> 안 돼요(o) : 안 is an adverb, it locates in front of verbs and adjectives to negate verbs and adjectives. 않 is in –지 않아요, which is a long negation.
잠궈요. (X) -> 잠가요 (O) : The infinitive form for ‘to lock’ is ‘잠그다’, but a lot of Koreans read this as ‘잠구다’. Therefore they mis-conjugate 잠구+어요, but the accurate one is 잠그+아/어요(으 irregular) => 잠가요.
사겨요 (X) -> 사귀어요.(O) : The infinitive form for ‘to make friend’ is ‘사귀다’, many Koreans read this as ‘사기다’. Therefore they mis-conjugate ‘사기+어요=> 사겨요(X)’, but the correct one is ‘사귀+어요 => 사귀어요”.
Let me know if you hear or see something that Koreans mis-spell or mis-pronounce!
-겠- can have different meanings depending on the subject.
When -겠- is with the first person subject(I), it expresses strong will. When -겠- is with the second person subject(you), it is used for asking second person’s will or sympathizing the second person’s(your) situation. When -겠-is with the third person subject(he/she/it), it means ‘I am guessing the third person’s situation/action’.
For example, First person>> 올해에는 꼭 담배를 끊겠어요. I will quit smoking this year. 열심히 일하겠습니다. I will work hard!.
Second person> 뭐 드시겠어요? What would you like to drink? 그거 저한테 주시겠어요? Would you please give that to me? A: 지난 달에 교통사고를 당해서 병원에 입원했다가 이번주에 퇴원했어요. B: 어머, 많이 힘드셨겠어요. (A: I got into a car accident last month, I was hospitalized for a while and I was just discharged this week. B: Oh, gosh! You must have had a hard time!) ** In English, when someone hear bad news, he/she says “I am sorry“, but Koreans say “힘드셨겠어요” or “아프셨겠어요.” which mean “You must have had hard time” or “You must have had a lot of pain”. In Korean, “I am sorry” only means “apology” and it doesn’t have a meaning of “sympathy” which is “feel sorry”. We also add “어떡해요...” If you want to learn 어떡해요, click here. A: 어제 오랜만에 친구 만나서 얘기 많이 했어요. B: 좋았겠네. (A: I met my friend yesterday who I have not seen for a while, and we had a great time. B: You must felt happy!)
Third person>> 하늘을 보니까 곧 비가 오겠는데요. I see the sky, it looks like it will rain soon. 이번 주에 날씨가 춥겠습니다. 따뜻한 옷 입고 나가세요. It will be cold this week, wear warm clothes. 5시까지 일을 끝내기 힘들겠어요. It looks like it is hard to finish by 5. 내일 춥겠지? (Do you also think) Will it be cold tomorrow? (-지? is to ask someone for agreement)
#겠 #겠어요 #겠습니다 #겠grammar #겠meaning #i am sorry in korean #어떡해 #어떻게 #sympathy korean #feel sorry korean #겠네
25. 마저 : even (the last thing that I expected, speaker didn’t want to happen) 너마저 나를 속이다니… Even you lied to me…. (everyone lied to me and you are the last person that I expected) 비가 많이 오는 데다가 바람마저 세차게 불어 앞조차 볼 수 없었다. It rained so much, and even the wind was so strong, I couldn’t see even in front of me. 경제 위기로 인해 대기업마저 어려움을 겪고 있습니다. Due to the economy crisis, even big corporation is having a difficult time.
26. 조차 : even (the last thing that I expected, speaker didn’t want to happen. Often comes with negation) 만 원은커녕 천 원조차 없어. Don’t say 10,000Won, I don’t even have 1,000Won. (click here to learn 은/는커녕) 배가 아파서 물조차 마실 수 없어요. My stomach hurts so much, I can’t even drink water. 너무 바빠서 물 마실 시간조차 없어요. Because I am very busy, I don’t even have time to drink water.
27. 까지2 : even (the last thing that I expected. It can be used for good situation and bad situation) 내 생일 파티에 미국에 사는 친구까지 왔다. Even my friend who lives abroad came to my birthday party. 너까지 나를 속이다니… Even you lied to me…
28. 뿐 : only, just (Often used as 뿐이다 or (으)ㄹ 뿐만 아니라 ) 나한테는 너뿐이야. For me, you are the only one. (=나한테는 너밖에 없어.)
도박을 하다가 돈뿐만 아니라 집도 잃어버렸다. I lost not only my money but also my house while gambling. 그 아이는 학교에서뿐만 아니라 집에서도 돌봐 주는 사람이 없었다. It is not only at the school but also at home, no one takes care of that kid. 그 사람은 성격이 좋을 뿐만 아니라 얼굴도 잘 생겼다. Not only does he have a good personality, but he also is handsome.
29. 치고 1) exception 초등학생치고 키가 꽤 크네요. He is very tall for an elementary student. (exception) 마이클 씨는 외국인치고 한국말을 정말 잘하는 편이에요. Michael is a foreigner, (but he is an exception) he can speak Korean very well. 2) 치고 + negation : no exception 한국 사람치고 김치를 싫어하는 사람은 없을 거예요. There is no Korean who doesn’t like Kimchi. (no exception) 부모치고 자기 자식을 때리고 싶은 사람이 어디 있겠어요? As parents, there is no one who wants to beat their child. (no exception)
32.noun+(이)야말로 : this noun is the best. It takes -이다 at the end of the sentence. 세종대왕이야말로 내가 제일 존경하는 왕이다. King Sejong the Great is the king I respect the most. 우리 엄마야말로 나를 제일 잘 이해해주는 사람이지요. My mother is the person who understands me most. 이런 집이야말로 누구나 살고 싶어하는 집일 겁니다. This is the house that everyone wants to live in. 이 차야말로 세상에서 가장 비쌉니다. (X) -> 이 차야말로 세상에서 가장 비싼 차입니다. (O)
33. 더러/보고 + indirect speech : to a person (=한테) 선생님이 너더러 교실로 오래. The teacher ask you to come to the classroom. 옆집 친구가 우리 엄마보고 할머니라고 불렀다. A friend next door called my mom a grandmother.
34. 이라야 1) used when the thing is only possible as a precondition of something. 열심히 일해서 번 돈이라야 떳떳하게 쓸 수 있다. The money earned through hard work can only be used proudly. 2) used to imply that one is speaking in such a way that one does not think something is important.(=이라고는) 가진 것이라야 집 한 채가 전부입니다. All I have is a house. (= 가진 것이라고는 집 한 채가 전부입니다.)