Le Petit Prince | 어린 왕자 [Review]

It’s been a while since I bought 어린 왕자 from HeyEonni and I figured it’s about time I write a review. Having never read the original in French (insert gasp here) or even the English translation (insert even more audible gasp here), I figured reading the Korean translation was just as good a place to start as any. It looks very much like an illustrated children’s book and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it may not contain any useful vocabulary, but you couldn’t be farther off the mark if you’re an intermediate learner.

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어린 왕자

In fact, the book contains a whole lot of vocabulary that you’ll probably not come across if you’re learning through grammar books and by watching TV shows. I had to sit with online dictionary in one hand and book in the other so it did take longer than I expected to finish reading, but it was well worth the effort.

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나도 네가 좋아 ❤

The illustrations are just beautiful and the fact that the text isn’t all crammed onto one page makes it easier on the eye and fools you into thinking your vocabulary isn’t all that bad when you look at all the underlined words on the page 😛

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Nothing like beautiful illustrations to bring a story to life

If you’ve read the book before in another language, then this is great practice and if you haven’t, like me, then it’s a classic that shouldn’t be missed, whatever the language. There are great nuggets of wisdom to take away…

“언제나 같은 시간에 오는 게 더 좋아.” 여우가 말했다.
“가령 네가 오후 네 시에 온다면, 나는 세 시부터 행복해질 거야.
네 시가 가까워 올수록 나는 점점 더 행복해지겠지.
네 시에는 흥부해서 안절부절 못할 거야.
그래서 행복이 얼마나 값진 일인가 알게 되겠지!
하지만 네가 아무 때나 오면
몇 시에 마음의 준비를 해야 하는지 모르잖아.
의식이 필요하거든.”

And here’s one of my favourite lines of the book…

“어른들은 혼자서는 아무것도 이해하지 못한다. 그렇다고 늘 어른들에게 설명을 하자니 어린이로서는 여간 귀찮은 게 아니다.”

… 내 말이…

TTMIK Korean Word Puzzle Book [Review]

So while the world was out playing Pool on Yahoo Games, I was busy playing every word game available online. I confess, I love all kinds of word games, from crosswords to anagrams, from Scrabble to Text Twist to Wordament, and what better way to learn a language than by doing something you love.

TTMIK’s Korean Word Puzzle Book has three kinds of word games- crosswords, word scrambles and analogies all geared towards to the upper beginner/lower intermediate level language learner. Even if you’re an upper intermediate learner, I’d still recommend giving this a go, if only to pass the time and learn some words you won’t come across very easily (I mean really, what do I need to be reading to know that a triangle is called a 세모 and a wisdom tooth is called a 사랑니).

TTMIK Korean Word Puzzle Book

There are 10 crosswords that are not too difficult, but I admit my favourite part, surprisingly, turned out to be the analogies. I thought studying for the GRE had killed my enthusiasm for analogies, but this was fun and I wish I had used this technique when I started learning Korean. It would have saved me a lot of time remembering things.

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Crossword Puzzle

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Analogies – Why did I never think of this before -_-

For the intermediate learners, you’ve probably got your Korean pronunciation all down, but for the beginners, the audio track that comes with the e-book is a great tool to practice with.

If I have one complaint, it’s that the book isn’t longer. I would love to have a really tiny, thick Korean crossword book (Sudoku style) to take around with me on the metro, or better yet an app. ^^

Korean Webtoons Part 2 | 웹툰

So as I was writing the last blog entry on some of my favourite Korean webtoons,I realized through the comments that it would be nice if the comics were available in English too so that other people could enjoy them. Luckily enough… they are! On Line Webtoons 🙂 Which means if you stumble across something you don’t understand in the Korean version of the webtoon, all you have to to is look over at the one in English 🙂

As I was searching I ended up finding a couple more that I really like so I’ve added them to my list 🙂 So here are the links to some of my favourite webtoons which are available in both Korean and English:

  1. 아이들은 즐겁다: The story of 다이, a cute kid who goes to school and lives alone with his dad because his mum’s at the hospital.

Also known as Kids are Alright
Available in English on Line Webtoons

Dai

  1. 스마일브러시 오래된 사진: Written and illustrated by the author of 소나기야 , this webtoon is about looking though old pictures reminiscing about the past. It turns out, this author and his work are more popular than I thought, with his comics having been published as books, and featured as stickers on Line! I have only one complaint about this comic and that is… that it should say Blush not Brush 😛

Also known as Smile Brush: My Old Pictures
Available in English on Line Webtoons

 

Smile Brush My Old Pictures

  1. Penguin loves Mev: 한국여자 펭귄과 영국남자 메브의 엉뚱 발랄 러브 스토리. Possibly one of the longest and most loved webtoons about an Englishman married to a Korean. It’s been so well received that you can now buy the comic as a book too from twochois or HeyEonni!

Available in English on Line Webtoons

Penguin loves Mev

  1. 스마일브러시: Look, here’s another one! Let’s just say I’m a fan 🙂 Smile, Brush is another great webtoon and if you loved 소나기야 and 오래된사진 you’re bound to love this too! This comic was also popular enough to have been made into a book and even more stickers can be found on Line. So what’s the story this time: 반복 되는 일상 발생하는 사건 사고들- The things that happen in everyday life.

Also known as Smile Brush
Available in English on Line Webtoons

Smile Brush

 

오리 두 마리 | Two Ducks

어젯밤 저는 또 이상한 꿈을 꿨어요. 꿈에서 어린 아이하고 어딘가로 걸어가고 있었는데 무슨 중요한 약속이 있어서 아이를 주차장에 있는 차 안에 뒷자리에 앉히고, 창문을 내리고 차를 잠갔어요. 빨리 건물 안으로 달려갔어요. 거기서 오리 두 마리 만났어요. 근데 보통 오리가 아니었어요. 키도 크고 피부는 하얗고 머리카락도 있었네요… 긴 빨간 머리! 꿈 속에서 저는 어떻게 이 오리 두 마리를 같이 데려다줄까라고 생각했어요. 오리들한테 조끼를 두개 주고 입어보라고 말했어요. 조끼를 입어도 너무 이상해 보여서 저는 오리들한테 누군가가 너희들 누구인지 물어보면 “Nous sommes les genoux” 대답하라고 시켰어요. 한국어로 “우리들은 무릎이에요”라는 말이에요. 아침에 일어나자마자 제가 왜 그런 말을 시켰는지 너무 궁금했어요. 말도 안되는 소리를 시키는 것도 그렇고 저는 10년 넘게 프랑스어를 안 썼거든요. 생각해보면 프랑스어 너무 오래동안 안 써서, 원래 “Nous sommes les gens qui…”라고 말하고 싶었던 거였겠죠? 한국어로 “우리 뭐뭐 사람이에요”. 아 됐어요… 무의미한 것에 의미를 찾는 것 참 바보같지 않아요? ㅋㅋㅋ이게 무슨 이상한 꿈인가요? ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

[A big thanks to Kaylee Kon and Bella for correcting my entry on lang-8! ]

Loosely translated: 

So last night I had another strange dream. In the dream, I’m wandering around with a little kid and I apparently have to be somewhere important, so I leave the kid in the backseat of a car in the parking lot, roll down the window, lock the car and run into a building…where I meet two ducks. The thing is, they’re not just any ducks, they’re as tall as me with white feathers and… have hair… long…red…hair. I’m not sure how to take the ducks along with my to wherever it is I have to be, so I hand them two waistcoats and tell them to try them on. Of course a tall duck in a waistcoat with long red hair, is pretty much as strange as just a tall duck with red hair, so I tell them that if anyone asks, they should just say, “Nous sommes les genoux”, translated as, “We are knees.”

When I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I would ask them to say that. Not only was it absurd that I would ask them to say something that makes absolutely no sense at all, but also I haven’t spoken French for over 10 years. Come to think of it, I haven’t spoken French in a while, so maybe I was trying to say “Nous sommes les gens qui…” in my dream, translated as, “We are the people who…”. You know what… forget it… trying to make sense of something ridiculous is absurd in itself. What kind of a weird dream was this?!

까마귀 | Crow

오늘 아침에 출근할 때 정말 신기한 것을 봤어요. 죽은 까마귀 한 마리가 도로에 있었어요. 도로 옆에는 다른 까마귀가 앉아 있었어요. 도로에 차가 너무 많아서 까마귀는 어쩔 수 없이 가만히 도로 옆에 계속 앉아 있었는데 차들이 오지 않자 갑자기 죽은 까마귀의 날개를 잡고 도로 밖으로 당겼어요. 너무 신기했어요.

그때 저는 옛날 이야기가 생각 났어요. 영어로 “Abel and Cain”의 이야기예요. 형제들이 둘다 같은 여자를 좋아하고 결혼하고 싶어했는데 누가 결혼할 자격이 있는지 결정 할 수 없어서 하나님에게 뭔가를 봉납하고 하나님께서 누구의 봉납을 선택하는에 따라 그 사람이 그 여자와 결혼할 자격이 있는 것이라고 합의했어요. 아벨은 정말 좋은 사람이라서 자기가 가지고 있는 것 중에서 제일 좋은 것을 봉납했는데 카인은 그냥 보통 것을 봉납했어요. 하나님께서는 아벨이 바친 봉납을 받았어요. 근데 카인은 너무나 억울하고 화가 나서 아벨을 때려 죽였어요. 그 때까지 세상에 아무도 살인을 해본 사람이 없었어요. 이것이 첫 살인이었어요. 그래서 카인은 너무 두려워했고 어떻게 해야 할지 몰랐어요. 그 때 카인 앞에서 까마귀 두 마리 싸우고 있었어요. 싸우다가 까마귀는 한 마리가 다른 까마귀를 죽였어요. 그리고나서 땅을 파고 죽은 까마귀를 묻었어요. 카인은 그 까마귀를 따라서 아벨을 묻었어요.

[A big thank you to Shabby and organicheese for correcting my entry on lang-8! ]

Loosely translated: 

This morning, on the way to work, I saw something pretty amazing. There was a dead crow on the road (no that’s not amazing) and another crow was sitting on the pavement beside the road. Because of the heavy traffic, the crow just sat there quietly on the side of the road and as soon as the cars stopped, the crow swooped in, grabbed the dead crow’s wing and dragged it off the road. It was really something.

Watching that, I started to think of the story of Abel and Cain. For anyone who doesn’t know the story, Abel and Cain were two brothers who both wanted to marry the same girl but couldn’t make up their mind who had more right to marry her. So they decided to make an offering to God and whoever’s offering was accepted would be the one to marry the girl. Abel was a really nice guy and picked the nicest thing to offer to God, but Cain just offered something trivial. So when God accepted Abel’s offering, Cain felt so upset that he hit and killed his brother. No one had ever killed anyone before, so Cain was scared and didn’t know what to do. Just then, God sent two crows in front of Cain who started fighting. In the fight, one crow was killed and the other crow started to dig a hole in the ground to bury the dead crow. Seeing that, Cain also dug a grave and buried his brother.