A good friend of mine wants to learn a ‘zotte taal’ (i.e. ‘crazy language’ in Dutch), so I’m going to try to teach her some basic words and sentences in both Korean and Japanese. So Inge, after you read this, you’ll be able to speak some ‘zotte taals’ (i.e. ‘crazy language-ish’). Here we go!
So, first things first! Let’s try ‘Hello! How are you?’:
K: Annyong haseyo (안녕하세요) means hello / hi / how are you? / good afternoon / good evening / …
‘annyong’ literally means ‘well-being / peace / health’.
‘haseyo’ means ‘you do / do you? / please do’
Now, after watching some K-drama, I realized that it sounds more like ‘annyongseyo’, so I don’t really hear ‘ha’ in the word.
J: Konnichiwa (こんにちは) means hello + Genki desu ka? (元気ですか) means how are you?
In fact ‘konnichiwa’ literally means ‘this day is’.
‘Genki’ means ‘health(y) / robust / vigor / vigour / energy / vitality / vim / stamina / spirit/ courage / pep’ (it’s one of my favourite Japanese words).
‘desu’ is the verb ‘to be’ and is used very often, the ‘u’ at the end isn’t really pronounced, so you mostly hear ‘dess’.
‘ka’ doesn’t really mean anything, it’s the particle that indicates a question.
Now, you’ll probably want to tell people your name too, right? It goes like this:
K: Chonun ______ imnida. (저는 ___ 입니다.) means My name is ______.
‘chonun’ is the word for ‘I’.
‘imnida’ is the verb ‘to be’.
So in fact you’re really saying ‘I am _____.’
J: Watashi no namae wa _____. (私の名前は ____ です.) means My name is _____.
‘watashi’ means ‘I’.
‘no’ is the particle to indicate possesive.
‘namae’ means ‘name’.
Then there is ‘wa’, which is the particle to indicate that the previous thing (here ‘watashi no namae’ or ‘my name’ is the topic.
I won’t teach you too much ‘zotte taals’ in one go, so let’s end this with saying goodbye.
When saying goodbye in both Korean and Japanese, you will see that there is a difference between what the person leaving says and what the person staying says. This is very important.
K: Annyonghi gyeseyo. (안녕히 가세요.) means Good-bye. (to person leaving)
Literally you say ‘go in peace’.
K: Annyonghi gyeseyo. (안녕히 계세요.) means Good-bye. (to person staying)
Literally you say ‘stay in peace’.
Now, these two are really similar, right? At TalkToMeInKorean I got a tip that most of the time you just here ‘seyo’, so in the end it easier to just say ‘seyo’ 😉
J: Ittekimasu.（いってきます） means I’m leaving / I’m off / see you later.
J: Itterasshai. （いってらっしゃい）means have a good day / take care / see you later.
Here it is very important which one you use. When you leave your home, you say ‘Ittekimasu’ and the one(s) staying behind reply with ‘Itteresshai’ (which can be translated to ‘come back safe’.
Now, I hope you’ve learned a little something here. I’ll be back with more useful phrases soon! 🙂