Dec 31, 2008

Happy New Year to everyone!

I'd like to wish everybody on this blog a very happy new year!!! ^^

새해 복 많이 받으세요!!!

Dec 28, 2008

New Chinese Podcast

Has everyone heard of

No? Well it was started by one of the guys from ChinesePod who has apparently moved to Beijing. It follows a similar format, but with northern accents.

Also, where is everyone? Part of the reason I"m posting this is that no one has posted in a while, and a new visitor recently commented on how little new material there was.

Dec 27, 2008


난 지금 디즈니월드에 있다. 플로리다에 있다.
재밌는데 집으로 가고 싶다. 여기서 3-4 날 지내면 좋겠는데 난 8날까지 여기 있을거야. 쫌 심심하다.
그리고 택사스 다시 도착할때 2주반 후에 새 대학교에 갈거야.
정말 신난다. 난 새로운것 시작 하고 싶거든.
새 친구 만나고 새 것으로 탐구하면 좋겠다.
그래서...신난다 ^^

아...그런데 내가 대학교 끝날때는 것 정 했다.
대학교에서 일본어를 공부하려고 하니까 끝날때, 한국으로 이사하려고 하고 일본인한테 여행가이드 되고 싶다.
그건 안하면 일본에 한국인한테 여행가이드 되는것도 좋겠다.
ㅎㅎㅎ 드디어 내 미래 알거 같아.

I wrote this completely in 반말 (I think...) so as always, please correct any mistakes I have. Guys, we're slacking on blog posts ^^ Let's get back to posting regularly?

Dec 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!

What happened to the Christmas Carol idea?!

Dec 10, 2008

Japanese Grammar Practice Part 1

Note: Haha, I forgot to post this on here.

I'm practicing I figured I'd post it for all to see. Haha, please correct if its wrong.

If you can't see the video, click the link to read it in the actual window! ^_^

1.) は is the topic particle.

  ー タケシさんは日本人です。Takeshi-san is Japanese.
  ー これはコーヒーです。 This is coffee.
  ー 私は20歳です。  I am 20 years old.

2.) の is a modifying particle

  ー 日本語のがくせい Japanese student
  ー 私のかばん My bag
  ー あなたのむすめ Your daughter

3.) も means "Also" or "too"

ー 私も20歳です。 I am also 20 years old.
  ー ハルカさんも日本人です Haruka-san is also Japanese
  ー ケーキもおいしいです! Cake is also delicious!

4.) を marks the object of the sentence.

  ー ボールをください Please give me the ball.
  ー 私は日本語を勉強します。 I study Japanese.
  ー ラーメンをたべています。 I am eating ramen.

5.) で marks the location of an action.

  ー としょかんで勉強します。 I study in the library.
  ー うちでたべます。 I eat at home.
  ー ともだちのうちでゲームをします I play games at my friend's house.

6.) に/へ marks the destination.

  ー うちにかえります。 I'm going home.
  ー としょかんにいきます。 I'm going to the library.
  ー コーヒーやにいきます。 I'm going to the coffee shop.

7.) が marks the subject of existence.

  ー ぼくのうちにともだちがいます。 I have a friend at my house.
  ー しゅくだいがあります。 I have homework.
  ー ブログがあります。 I have a blog.

8.) に can also mean specific time.

  ー 9時にクラスがあります。 I have class at 9 o'clock.
  ー 7時30分におきます。 I wake up at 7:30.
  ー ごご8時にパーディーにいきます I'm going to the part at 8:00 P.M.

9.) ...and it can also mean the location of existence.

  ー あそこにあります。 It's over there.
  ー かれは私のうちにいます。 He is at my house.
  ー ケーキはれいぞこにあります。 The cake is in the refrigerator.

10.) よ is used when giving new information/when assuring something. (I'm assuming you use ! with よ 99% of the time...I could be wrong though)

  ー 日本のドラマはおもしろいですよ! Japanese dramas are fun!
  ー あめはおいしいですよ! The candy is delicious!
  ー 元気だよ! I'm good!

Nov 28, 2008

A "Talk With The World" contributor dancing...

Maaf kalau sudah terlalu lama baru saya ada di situs ini - sibuuuuk sekali.

(Sorry if I haven't been to this site in quite awhile - I've been really busy.)

Ya, saya baru datang dari pentas yang saya lakukan di luar California. Saya menari tarian Bali yang sangat tradisional. Tarian ini berjudul Topeng Keras: topeng berarti "mask", dan keras berarti "strong; tough".

(Alright, I've just come from a performance that I did outside of California. I danced a very traditional Balinese dance. The name of this dance is Topeng Keras: topeng means "mask", and keras means "strong; tough".

Tarian ini menggambarkan seorang patih yang keras. Dia baik cepat marah maupun bergerak hatinya. Topengnya dicat dengan cat berwarna coklat tua atau merah; warna tersebut melambangkan sifatnya orang yang cepat marah.

(This dance portrays a strong prime minister. He is quick to anger, as well as impulsive. The mask is painted either a dark brown or red; those colors represent a person who gets mad easily.)

Selamat menonton!
즐겁게 보세요!

Nov 27, 2008

Christmas Video idea?

Hey guys! I'm sending this message to all my language friends. What do you guys think of all of us making a video together of us singing parts of Christmas songs from around the world? For example...

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you
Santa claus is coming to town

(I can't type Japanese for some reason right now)

Ne kikoetekuru desho
Suzuno negasugosokoni
Santa Clause is coming to town

잠잘 때나 일어날 때
Jam jal Ddae na ir eo nal ddae

짜증낼 때 장난할 때도
Jjajeungnael Ddae Jangnan hal Ddae do

산타할아버지는 모든 것을 알고 계신대
Santa halaboji neun mo deun goseul al go gye shin dae

J’ai vu dans la nuit passer un traîneau
Et j’ai vu aussi ton très grand ami
Le Père Noël arrive ce soir

Nov 25, 2008

a question on japanese culture

Hello friends!

I was just wondering about something to do with the Japanese culture. We've got family friends who come from Japan and sometimes when they give us gifts, they wrap it up with a piece of cloth.

Now we're in quite a dilemma. We don't know if the cloth is meant to be returned or not. My mum was speculating about returning it being rude like it probably means we don't want to be friends anymore or something like that so we're still keeping the cloth. But I think it's quite weird that we're not returning the cloth .. It looks expensive anyhow.

Anyone knows the answer to this? Thanks a bunch.

Nov 13, 2008

My Sky.

This is the way my sky looks. I'm curious to see what your sky looks. The sky that soars above us, all over this world.

So when you watch this video, I would really appreciate it if you made a video response showing all of us "

It would be awesome if you did your video in as many languages as you can, but if you can only do English (or your mother language), that is fine.

Thank you for watching!

Song used: Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collections - Eternity ~ Memories of Lightwaves ~

Nov 6, 2008

chinese characters

This post is inspired by Nick's post about Chinese characters.

I think to most people learning Chinese, the hardest part about learning is probably the characters. After all, there are like zillions of characters I guess. I don't even know them all. I don't think anyone does.

But we sort of came up with a way to overcome this problem. Like they say, when there's a will, there's a way. True enough, some genius out there invented this saying:

有边读边, 没边读上下. (you3 bian1 du2 bian1, mei2 bian1 du2 shang4 xia4)

It basically means "if there's a side of the character, read the side, otherwise, read the top or the bottom of the character".

In Chinese, every part of the character is not pointless. In case you're wondering why certain words are formed this way or that ..

Let's take a look at this character - 饼 (bing3)

This character means 'biscuit' in Chinese, and look at the formation of the character. I can't really highlight it here because the computer doesn't allow me to highlight only a part of a Chinese character but anyways, the left part of the character is what we call a 'side', and it usually describes the characteristic of the Chinese character. For this character, the 'side' is a 'food side'. Any word that comes along with this 'side' is usually related to food.

Next, let's check out the other side of the character. That is pronounced as 'bing4'. Notice the link? ;)

Yes, the other side of the character usually aids in the pronounciation. Although not exactly similar, it helps, somehow. When you think of a food that sounds like 'bing4' what would you think of? Biscuits (bing3) of course! ;)

This is highly useful especially when you're trying to read something to someone and suddenly stumble over some words you don't know. I remember we use to use this trick back in school when we go for reading examinations; we always guess and then pretend we are coughing to cover up for our ignorance.

It doesn't work everytime of course! So the best way to learn Chinese characters is still the conventional way, memorise!

I hope this helps.

Test for 漢字

I was wondering how to native speakers of Chinese test their 漢字 knowledge. In Japan, they have this test called the 日本漢字能力検定 which is divided into 12 levels, 1 being the highest. This test isn't compulsary, but it does help in school entrance exams and looks good on your resume. I'm taking the test next February just to give it a go... Most Japanese people only need to pass level 2 (1945 characters - same as Level 1 of the JLPT). I think Korea has a similar test...한국한자능력검정 (韓國漢字能力檢定)

So as I was saying, I was wondering if there is a similar test in Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China or Singapore...

Nov 3, 2008

Korean handwriting :)

This is a short video introducing how I write "안녕하세요" in handwriting ^_^

Oct 22, 2008

Learning Languages with Nintendo DS

Hello everyone. I'm just wondering if people can suggest some Nintendo DS games/software for learning. I know there's a ton of them for Japanese, but I was wondering if anyone knows any games for learning Mandarin and Korean or any other language for that matter. For Mandarin, I'm looking for something marketed towards native speakers, if any (such as Kanken DS for Japanese).

Oct 12, 2008

learn Korean in Korean

Here are some useful phrases that you can say in Korean when learning Korean ^^

You can download the video by clicking the little 'download' button on the screen.


Oct 8, 2008

Japanese Reading Practice #1

I couldn't come up with something more creative, so here I am reading a section of the "Emergency Shelter Operation Manual."

Oct 7, 2008

Tagalog Lesson #2 - "Po"

Here is Tagalog Lesson #2

There're and There's

Hey everyone! Nice to see everyone posting again. I was wondering where everyone was for a while.

This will just be a short post about something I've noticed. Also, this is the first post about English for this blog, isn't it? It's not a foreign language to me, and not one that I "learnt" (learned) but this is something that I've noticed.

Languages change. If not for the changes of language, there probably wouldn't be any 'foreign' languages for us to learn, just one language that everyone spoke. And sometimes languages change in our own lifetimes.

We were always taught that "there is" (or "there's") is singular, and "there are" (there're) is plural. But more and more in modern spoken English, the more difficult-to-pronounce "there're" is changed to "there's".

I haven't heard anyone say "there're" for years and years. Even when it is grammatically correct. Hang on, no, that's a lie, I heard a non-native speaker use it and it is because it stuck out at me so much that I took note of it. Since then I've noticed "there's" used more and more where it is grammatically incorrect. It has come to the point that I've started writing down whenever I hear it so that I can reassure myself that it's not just me!

Is it just me? I'm going to try and write down and reply to this post every time I hear a native speaker use "there's" when it's not grammatically correct. I'll do the same for every time I hear "there're". As scientist always say, a conclusion can only be made when data is collected. (And as linguists always say, 'data' is a plural, so that sentence should have actually been "data are collected"... ah well, what did I say about language changing!!!)

I invite everyone else to do the same! Maybe we can get to the bottom of this.

UC Berkeley linguists studying Ki-Nzadi, a previously undescribed language

This is really exciting!

One of my linguistics professors at UC Berkeley (where I did my undergraduate work), Prof Larry Hyman, is currently conducting a field methods class with a speaker of Ki-Nzadi, a language that has never been studied before from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And here's the article that goes along with the video.

And yes, there are around 7,000 languages spoken in the world today - don't believe people who tell you that there are around 70-80!

Oct 6, 2008

一石二鳥 Japanese Reading Comprehension + Korean Vocabulary

Apparently my Tagalog Language Blog is blocked because "it possesses the characteristics of a spam blog." LOL I hope this gets fixed soon.

Now that I'm in Japan, I'm exposed to authentic material that can help me on my road to Japanese fluency. As I wrote in a post on my personal blog, I'll be concentrating on Japanese and will try to learn some Korean while I'm here in Japan, and so I'm trying to come up with ways to acquire some Korean vocabulary while at the same time not taking too much time away from Japanese study.

One of the materials I'm using now is the "Refuge Operation Manual" that was given during a staff meeting at the school I'm working at.
This is great because I get to read authentic Japanese, and the content is very useful. As everyone knows Japan is prone to earthquakes and you'll never know when one will strike. What I've done is basically highlighted all the Japanese words I didn't know, look up the meaning and try to make sense of the sentences and absorb the style of writing in a document such as this.

Luckily, I know most of the vocabulary, so I decided to use this as an opportunity to learn some Sino-Korean words. I love learning various pronunciations for Chinese characters, and learning Sino-Korean words will be useful in the future when I study Korean more seriously. Anyway, all I did was use the a dictionary to look for the Korean pronunciation for each Sino-Japanese word (熟語)and wrote it on top of them.

Oct 5, 2008

Korean/English expressions about frequency

This is a video about some expressions in Korean and English about frequency ^^

Tayo'y Magtagalog Lesson # 1

Hello Everyone! It's been so long since I posted an article here because I was net-less for over month! Now that I'm online again, there will be more posts and videos from me coming your way.
I also noticed that there are 2 new members to this blog (Takeshi and Fanykity)... can't wait for your posts! I'm especially thrilled that we have a native Japanese speaker on board now.

Now without further ado, here is my first Tagalog video lesson. It's very basic, but I hope you like it.

I also made a blog to accompany this video lesson series:

Oct 4, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya!!!

I don't really know exactly how to translate the title.

It was the first day of Hari Raya on Wednesday, so all Singaporeans get a day off that day for our Muslim friends to celebrate the special day. I don't exactly know the meaning or the origin of the occasion but it's something like the Lunar New Year for us Chinese. :)

I went to my Muslim friend's place for dinner on the second day of Hari Raya. My friend is Malay but her husband is Chinese so her 8-year-old son is well-versed in English, Mandarin and Melayu. Effectively tri-lingual huh? Haha.

The dinner was really awesome as we got to taste the wonderful flavours of Peranakan cuisine. We had

- achar; a refreshing salad made from pineapples, onions, green chillies, red chillies and cucumbers

- rendang chicken; something like curry, but richer

- fried noodle; with crabsticks, prawns and vegetables, an awesome dish whipped up by my friend's husband, who is a chef

- nasi byrani or bryani or brani (I have no idea how to spell); a kind of rice mixed with probably tumeric powder and chicken rendang

- kueh!; special must-have cookies during Hari Raya.

I would post pictures of the food if I had them but unfortunately I didn't get to take shots of them. But reading the description of the food itself makes everything sound so yummy, right? ;)

If any of you happen to be in Singapore for a trip, be it for business trip or a short holiday or a long one, make sure you try some of the food I mentioned above. After all, Singapore's a food haven so .. who cares about THE DIET?. ;)

Oct 2, 2008

Foreign languages are great...

Except when people mistake you for being fluent.

I am a semi-tutor at my school for the korean people so when they have problems or questions with their english homework, they come to me. I try my best to explain it using every resource I have and I don't end my "lesson" until they understand and can use what I taught them. Maybe that is being too thorough and nice.

I'm saying this because for the past two weeks, all the new korean friends that I have made do some things that aggrivate me. They ONLY speak to me in Korean and they do so at a native level speed so I can catch maybe one or two words. They abbreviate the phrases they are using, speak using different dialects, and talk rather quickly. The thing that gets me is that no matter how many times I tell them I can't understand what they are saying, they continue to speak it to me the same way using the same expressions. Then, they get upset with me because I don't understand and instead of returning the same courtesy I give to them, they just say "Anyway. Don't worry about it." and move on...leaving me behind.

I don't appreciate that.

Can anyone relate to this?

Sep 23, 2008

Funny Chinese Sites

Let me talk off the record for a sec... Where's everyone been? Talk with the world has been a bit quiet lately hasn't it?

I don't know how I found this blog, but it's really interesting.

Most (if not all) of its stories are dedicated to stories that have surfaced on the
Chinese language internet. Most give a short summary of the story, and some translations of Chinese language posts. A warning though, that most involve violence, sex, offensive behavior etc.

Pretty funny though.

Best of all, they link to real Chinese Forums/BBS pages where Chinese language discussions are going on.

If you think you're up to a challenge, I recommend you go along and have a look at some of the forums. The language is full of slang, and you have to navigate a mess of Chinese advertisements to actually find the short, quick, sometimes scathingly witty posts that people write.

The most interesting forum I found was here:

Specifically, the 手机自拍 (cell phone pictures) section (you can find it under the 贴图论坛 section, on the left of screen).

Users have taken photos of things that they found interesting with their camera phones.

It seems that everyone in the PRC has a camera phone, so you often get very personal, diary like descriptions of things, with a small photo to go with it. I'm looking right now at some snaps that someone took on their holiday to Thailand. It's pretty simple, but it's still cool to get a window into someone else's life, and particularly interesting to get it in another language. Things always seem so exotic when they're in another language (I guess that's why we're all learning foreign languages, right?)

Sep 22, 2008

The problem with language lab computers

Alright, alright, I think it's time to embarrass myself and expose my Korean speaking voice - "to the world!"

Now, what would happen if you were practicing with a Korean language learning computer module - and then it adopted a voice so distinctive that you think your acquisition will go out the window immediately afterwards? Well, this is how I imagined it...

Sep 21, 2008

日本語の連取 #1

Let's see how this goes. I'm going to give a brief introduction.


*Note: I corrected what Max suggested to change from my original post on my blog

I hope that was okay...

Sep 6, 2008

Mid-Autumn Festival

The 15th day of August (lunar calender) is a festival known to us Chinese as the Mid-Autumn Festival.

On this day, we Singaporeans celebrate it by having mooncakes and tea while appreciating the full moon. Usually, the entire family will gather to chat too while the children play with candles and lanterns.

Curious to know how a mooncake looks like?

The traditional mooncakes usually have this brown outer layer with lotus paste filling in them. Some of them contain preserved egg yolks which are saltish and kinda taste like cheese. Nowadays, we can find tiramisu mooncakes, coffee, cheesecake, etc filled mooncakes too. I sampled a tiramisu one the other day and it was good!

There is a story behind this festival. I'm not too sure about how it goes but all I know is that this woman called Chang-e flew to the moon upon consuming an elixir. Some people say we can see a woman in the moon and that's her. Oh well.

Sep 4, 2008

First attempt a translating a song

어제도 오늘도 내 하루를 버리고
Yesterday and today, I throw my days away
입가에 웃음이 눈물처럼 흐르는 술에 취한밤
And my lips smile like the tears that fell on that drunken night
생각없는 발걸음이 널 찾아가.
I take a step to find you without even thinking
사랑해 사랑해 이렇게 널 부르잖아.
I love you, I love you so much that I’m calling out to you

가지마 가지마 나를 버리지마
Don’t go! Don’t go! Don’t throw me away!
식어가는 마음이라도 괜찮아
Even if your heart is getting cold, that’s okay
미안해 하지마 그런말 하지마
Don’t be sorry. Don’t say those kinds of words.
사랑해서 내가 미안해
I'm sorry that I love you
제발 가지마.
Please don’t go!

잊을수 있겠니 넌 그럴수 있겠니
Can you forget me? Can you be like that?
모아둔 기억들 다 지울수 있겠니
Can you erase all the memories that have come together?
나를 바라봐 죽을만큼 힘이 들어 울고있잖아
Look at me! I’m crying because I’m so tired that I could die
이대로 너 떠나면 나는 미칠지 몰라
If you leave now, I don’t know if I’ll go crazy or not

가지마 가지마 나를 버리지마
Don’t go! Don’t go! Don’t throw me away!
식어가는 마음이라도 괜찮아
Even if your heart is getting cold, that’s okay
미안해 하지마 그런말 하지마
Don’t be sorry, don’t say those kinds of words
사랑해서 내가 미안해
I'm sorry that I love you
정말 미안해
I’m really sorry

너를 잊으라고 말 하지마
Don’t tell me to forget you
제발 제발 가지마
Please, please don’t go!

바보야 이 바보야 나를 놓치지마
Fool! This fool! Don’t let me go!
비어있는 마음이라도 괜찮아
Even if your heart is becoming empty, that’s okay!
잊으라 하지마 그런말 하지마
Don’t tell me to forget you! Don’t say those kinds of words!
사랑해서 내가 미안해
I'm sorry that I love you
정말 미안해
I’m truly sorry

This is my first attempt at translating a song by myself. I did get my friend Uri to help me with a couple words I couldn't find in my dictionary and she double checked my grammar. I FEEL SO ACCOMPLISHED THOUGH! lol YAY ME! Tell me if you find any mistakes.

My health.

(I'm writing this really fast because I'm running late for school so I can foresee lots of mistakes. Please correct them if you can!)

지난 금요일에, 저는 가슴에 아파서 병원에 블러드 테스트 하러 갔어요.
보통 건강한 사람의 Triglycerides는 150 정도 여간이는데 저는 430정도 이었어요.
그래서 오늘 아침에 의사가 어머니한테 전화했고 코디 다이에트과 운동해야되다고 말해셨어요.
3달까지 저는 20-30 파운드 빼야되요. 그래서...지금부터 진짜진짜 운동과 다이에트 하고 있어요.
힘 많이 주세요! ㅋㅋ
같이 건당하자. (Let's get healthy together)

아...그리고 가슴 아픈거 대해서 걱정하지마세요, 여러분. 그냥 근육의 문제 이었어요. 저는 괜찮아요. ^^

I went to the doctor last Thursday because I was having chest pains so he ordered me to have a blood test on Friday. I got the results back this morning when my doctor called my mom and he said that I have high Triglyceride levels and I am overweight. A healthy person's Triglycerides are in the 150s but mine are in the 430s so from now on, I have to start dieting and exercising. The doctor said I have 3 months to lose 20-30 pounds or he is going to put me on medication. So I'm really going to start exercising and dieting seriously! Let's get healthy together!

Oh, and don't worry about my chest pains everyone. It turns out that it was a muscle problem.

Sep 1, 2008

More multilingual musings from Mr Eddie Izzard

Another funny video from our favorite multi-lingual "executive transvestite" British comic, Eddie Izzard. He speaks French, German, and Latin (in addition to English) in this segment.

"Où est la plume de ma tante?"

"La plume de ma tante est près de la chaise de ma tante..."

"Où est la plume de mon oncle?"

"La plume de mon oncle est bingy bongy boogy bongy!"

"Non... Pas de tout!"

Aug 26, 2008

English Assignment 3

I’m teaching English online. If you’re a native speaker, you can help out by listening/reading the passage below and answering the questions that come after it. If you’re learning, I invite you to do the same. You might find the explanation helpful.

* I didn’t have a good day today. I went to a party last night, and drank a lot. I stayed out until late. I woke up later than usual, and ran to work in my pajamas. I arrived at work late, and my boss told me off for being in my pajamas. I was so tired that I fell asleep at my desk, and didn’t write the report that I was supposed to.

* As you can see, I did a lot of things wrong. (I went to a party. I drank a lot. I got up late. And a lot of other things.)

* What should I have done differently?

Put your answers in a reply to this post! Thanks! And if you’re not sure how to answer, I’ll give a short explanation in a moment.

My answers: You shouldn’t have gotten up late. You should have used an alarm clock. You should have written the report earlier.


Need help? Look at this:

To answer these questions, you’ll need to use this sentence pattern:

* You shouldn’t have (verb). You should have (verb).

The (verb) in each case must be a past participle. Most past participles are the same as simple past, but there are some exceptions.

Verb - Past - Past Participle

drink - drank - drunk
do - did - done
go -went - gone
write - wrote - written
get - got - gotten* (see below for more on this verb)

Thanks for listening. And if you have problems with past participles, don’t worry, they’re quite difficult. I’ve heard non- native English speakers from all over the world who can pass for natives, if not for their incorrect use of past participles. So if you have trouble, you’re not alone.

Aug 23, 2008

The HA? technique.

A conversation in a Chinese shop usually goes like this:

“Hello welcome can I help you.”

“意大利经典.” (A classic Italian sandwich please.)

“你要什么面包?” (What bread would you like?)


But occasionally, and much to my annoyance, the person behind the desk insists on using English, often very difficult to understand English. The conversation goes like this:

“Hello werrrcum, kenn-eye herrp pyu.”

“意大利经典.” (A classic Italian sandwich please.)

“You wanna which-a?” (Pointing to bread)

A confused foreigner might just shrug and try to continue in English, deciphering what the hapless sandwich maker is saying along the way. He or she misses out on a small opportunity to practice his or her Chinese. Although it’s not a large opportunity, as any language learner will tell you, every little opportunity counts, and eventually these snatched conversations go together to form a fluent mandarin speaker.

So if you ever find yourself with someone who stubbornly refuses to speak mandarin to you, I suggest my own special technique for making someone speak mandarin. Try this:

“Hello welcome, can I help you?

“意大利经典.” (A classic Italian sandwich please.)

“You wanna which-a?” (Pointing to bread)

哈?(HA?)”Which-a?” (Pointing again.)


”你要什么面包啊!” (Which bread do you want?)

(Smile of recognition) “哦!白面包。” (Oh! White bread.)


哈?(HA?)”Big/smoh?” (Tries communicating with sign language)

哈?(HA?)”大的还是小的?” (Big or small size?)

“哦!大的.” (Oh! A large one.)


You’ll notice that after each English phrase, you should reply with 哈?(HA?) This makes it clear that you don’t speak English. You might have to reply to a question with 哈 several times before the other person gets the point, but eventually they’ll start speaking Chinese to you.

And finally, I only recommend this for situations when you’re the customer in a shop. The 哈? technique is designed only for those situations when one is being served, and the person doing the serving doesn’t seem to understand that the servee wishes to practice his/her Chinese.

If a friend or one of your peers keeps answering your Chinese questions in English, you’ll need a more subtle approach.

Funny Mistakes

New Video called Funny Mistakes. Explaining a story I had about language mix-ups. Have fun watching it ^^

BY THE WAY, CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE FOR OVER 100 POSTS! I feel so accomplished being part of this group =D

Aug 22, 2008

differences between Japanese and Korean 1

This is a video about some differences between Japanese and Korean :)

I'm planning to make more videos on this topic,
so if you have any requests, please let me know! ;)

Aug 20, 2008

Chinese Vlog#1 第一次的中文錄像博客

這是我第一次的中文錄像博客(Video Blog)。我做這部錄像是為了提高我的口語。如果你們發現任何語法的錯我,請趕快告訴我!


This is my first Chinese Vlog, which I made to improve my spoken Chinese. Please help me by making suggestions or corrections! This video was taken on the 17th of August.

我其實已經發現幾個問題。I actually discovered a few mistakes.
請幫我改正。Please help me correct them.

Aug 18, 2008

Taxi Driver Catches Thieves

Here's another story that I've read out and filmed loud in an effort to improve my spoken Chinese. If you can't see the video, it's here.

The article is here.

It's not the same as the version that I was reading from but is close enough.

Basically, the story is this:

A taxi driver, while waiting for the next shift to show up, witnesses a robbery. He cunningly drives away, in the direction the thieves were running. Sure enough, they flag him down and jump in. They state their destination as the international cinema. He attempts to make a u-turn, but the thieves stop him, wanting to get as far away from the scene of the crime as possible.

The taxi driver maintains his cool, asking "So, you're seeing a movie at this hour?" One of the thieves, obviously shaken, stutters "um... yes....". The driver has a stunningly bold idea; he finds his phone, and dials "110", the number for the police. "Hey buddy," he says. "I was waiting for you but two customers came, so I'm on a job. I'm at the corner of (something-something) and (something-something) at the moment, can you come here instead? Thanks."

The thieves in the backseat catch on that he wasn't talking to the next shift, but the police. "Can you stop, I need to buy some cigarettes" says one thief. Instead, the driver locks the doors and floors the car. After a lot of screaming and shouting, and attempts to break the windows, the driver is forced to stop. The thieves escape. He gives chase, screaming for help all the while. The thieves are eventually apprehended by passers by, other drivers, and three (yes, three!) police cars that turn up.

The translation really doesn't do the article justice. It is portrayed as such a dramatic story in the original Chinese; the crafty taxi driver comes up with a brilliant scheme to catch the wicked thieves... I've just stated the facts in my translation.

I wonder if anyone unfamiliar with mainland Chinese newspapers finds the original article interesting; I'm always struck by how the Chinese newspapers try to stay aloof, and use chengyu as much as they can. Newspapers that originate outside mainland China use much simpler language, and try to appeal to the masses more. I remember learning in high school that newspapers in Australia try to write at a level that can be understood by a high school student; in China there isn't this philosophy of simple reporting.

A subtitling exercise

A small subtitling exercise I did about a month and a half ago. I have the utmost respect for people who produce subtitles - it's a very painstaking, tedious thing to do.

This was from a wayang kulit (Javanese shadow puppet) show my group did with guest dhalang (shadow puppeteer) BRM Bambang Irawan from the royal court of Kraton Surakarta in Solo, Central Java. Yep - a royal performer with us lowly university students ^^;; Languages used include Javanese and English.

Anyway, enjoy!

My 20th Birthday Party!

어젯밤 저랑 제 친구들이랑 제 생일 파티를 했어요.
정말 정말 재미있었어요!
처음에 우리는 우리 집에서 피자를 먹고, 그 다음에 노래방으로 갔어요.
친구들이 많이 와서 너무너무 기뻤어요 ^^ 아직도 기뻐요.

昨日のよるに私はたんじょうびパーティーがありました! 本当にたのしかったです。

(Sorry for the horrible Japanese. Wanted to practice ;;; )

Last night my friends and I had a birthday party for me! It was really really fun. First we ate pizza at my house and then we went to karaoke. Since a lot of my friends came, I was really happy. I still am. ^^

Here is a video of all the pictures from last night. Enjoy watching it ^^

Aug 17, 2008

Korean/Japanese Quick Vocab Review 1

It was a lot of fun making this video because I made the picture for the video first, and then recorded the audio as the video was being played (without the audio) - so I had to try a few times until I could say everything correctly without any mistake. Haha.

This video is for reviewing, but it might also be helpful for learning new words :)

If you have trouble watching the video, please go to

Spanish practice - 'tener' (Korean/Japanese/Spanish)

a video on the verb 'tener' :)

The sentences are in the order of Korean, Japanese, Spanish.

Aug 16, 2008

Japanese Kanji Practice

Japanese Hanja Practice - aitsugu

Kanji writing practice #1

This is my kanji writing practice :) Hehe. I hope this will be helpful for those who're studying Korean in Japanese!

English Assignment 2

I'm trying to teach English online. If you have a moment, please answer these questions in English below. I hope learners don't mind if I correct them!

  • What's in your room?
  • Where is your computer?
Here are my answers:

There are two couches in my room behind me. There's a bookshelf and a table too.

My computer is on two books. The books are on a cardboard box. The box is on my desk.

Some Japanese people I know have problem describing locations of things. They get "My computer is there" and "There is my computer" mixed up.

I've been trying to correct a Japanese friend of mine's mistakes regarding locations for years, but with no success. Hopefully with your help we'll fix this habit.

Aug 15, 2008

Korean Video Homework #5

For those of you who don't have a youtube account... here's my first Korean Video homework...

Aug 14, 2008

Voy a comenzar a practicar mi espanol :)

Hola todos. He decidido a comenzar a hablar y escribir mas en espanol! Quien habla espanol aqui?

Aug 13, 2008

Indonesian (2)

Bahasa Indonesia (2)
First, let's review a little.

나오는 단어들

ini, itu, kantor, telepon, buku, kursi, banyak, orang,

pergi, apa, meja, pensil, jendela, guru, mahasiswa

And here are some new expressions I learned.

나오는 단어들 + 문장들
saya, aku, kami, kita, Saya orang Korea, Kami orang Korea,
Kita orang Asia, anda, saudara, kamu, engkau, bapak, ibu,
tuan, nyonya, nonaApa kabar, Saudara Ali?
Saudara-saudara, lihat ke sini. Ibu-ibu dan bapak-bapak yang terhormat.
dia, ia, beliau, Apakah dia guru?, Ya, beliau guru saya.
Selamat pagi, pak!, Maaf, bu!, Apa kabar, nona?
Siapa, Ayah saya guru.

Aug 12, 2008

Chinese Reading Practice #2

My Filipino accent comes out so strong on recordings... I have a long way to go till I sound more native..............but then again accents don't really matter.
Yes as I said earlier I have been planning to do this kind of video, but I waiting for someone to do it first....Anyway this is the article's URL -

Yeah I couldn't resist the cheesy opening...

English Review

Last week I asked for some responses to questions in English and today I'd like to go over some of the answers.

Thanks very much to these people for participating in the first assignment! Specifically, thank you to theresa, nicholas cripps, hyunwoo sun, koungeun choi, yiwei, lucierili, RuaGreenwood, Cody, sorry if I forgot anyone.

Here are some answers I'd like to go over.

A1: I'm eating a fruit.

A2: Yes, I do.

A3: I eat a fruit after my dinner every day. Fruits keep us healthy and strong. :)

"Fruit" is an uncountable object, so we can't say "a" fruit, or "fruits" but just "fruit". "I'm eating fruit". And "I eat fruit".

Monkey:What are you doing, Mr.Pig?

Pig:I'm eating watermelon...

Monkey:Do you eat watermelon often?

Pig:Yes,I do.

Monkey:How many watermelon do you eat a day? is for my breakfast,the second is for lunch and the last one should be for my dinner

A conversation between a pig and a monkey? Hahaha! I like it. But we should say "How many watermelons..." and not "How many watermelon...". When we ask "how many" we always use the plural. It's always hard to know when to use the plural in English.... Hyunwoo has got it completely correct:


Q1: What are you doing?
A1: I'm listening to a podcast.
Q2: Do you listen to podcasts often?
A2: Yes, I do.
Q3: How often do you listen to podcasts?
A3: I listen to podcasts all the time.

Notice that he says that "I'm listening to a podcast". This is the only time one should use the singular in these three sentence patterns. Off the record, this is the part my girlfriend is having the most trouble with.

Next is lucierili's answer. She also has no mistakes, but uses a few constructions that beginners sometimes get wrong, so I thought I'd mention them.

Q1: What are you doing?

A1: I'm packing my luggage.

Q2: Do you study often?

A2: Yes, I do. I like studying languages.

Q3: How often do you go to the restaurant?

A3: I go once a month.

Remember what I mentioned about uncountable objects? "Luggage" is one of those so we don't say "a luggage" or "luggages" but just "luggage".

Also, she uses a plural in "I like studying languages". Notice that we have the plural "languages" and not "language".

If you want to see some more answers, look here:

My entry for's 5th Homework Assignment

I sound stupid at the end -_-;; Next time, remind me to sound more manly, hahaha. Oh yeah, if you can notice the surprise, you get a high five!

Aug 11, 2008

Chinese News #1

I haven't made many Chinese videos, so I thought I'd (try to) start a series. I'm going to pick a news story at random and just read it out. The goal is to get good enough that it will not only be an interesting linguistic experiment, but that normal Chinese speaking people will be interested enough to watch just to catch up on news from Australia. I'm always a little amazed at how crazy my facials are; I don't think I do it in real life!

If you can't see the video, click here.

Multilingual Weekend

This is partially as a reply to Cody's story about how he had to use Spanish, but also partially to show off. :)

I went out on the weekend to a place called De La Coast on the weekend. I don't exactly remember the name. Anyway, it's 100元 for all you can drink, so it's quite popular with people from all over the world (as we'll see). During the course of the night:

I had to push past a group of people speaking German. I said "Entschuldigung" as I pushed past them on the way to the bathroom, and "Es tud mir Lied" on the way back.

I had to get past some Japanese with a loud 失礼しあすよ! and some frantic bowing on their part.

I had a conversation with a Japanese girl in line for the bathroom. The entry for men's and women's were right next to each other.

Three of the people that I was there with were French, so before every trip to the bar
I made a big show of asking "Vous boire quelle-que chose? Et toi? Et toi?" (One eventually told me that "Tu boire?" is enough though.)

I took a trip this weekend! 이 주말에 여행으로 갔어요!

I took a trip this weekend!
이 주말에 여행 갔어요!

I went to San Antonio with my family!
가족이랑 같이 샌안토니오에 갔어요.

On the first day, we went to Six Flags: Fiesta Texas.
처음날에 우리는 식스 플랙스 갔어요.

It was fun! First, we watched my aunt and uncle ride a roller coaster. I wanted to ride it but I can't. They are too scary. Then we went to the water park and swam for about 5 hours.
너무 재미있었어요! 처음에 우리는 나의 이모과 삼촌이 럴러 코스터 타는거 봤어요. 나도 럴러 코스터 타고 싶었는데 못탔어요. 왜냐하면 너무 무서워요. 그 다음에 우리는 5시간동안 워터파크에 놀랐어요.

When we finished, we went to eat at Lone Star Steakhouse. I ate steak with onions and mushrooms. While we ate, we watched the olympics on TV. Aren't the olympics exciting? After eating, we walked next to the river for a little while.
우리는 끝냈을때, 우리 론스타 스테이크하우스에 먹으러 갔어요. 나는 스테이크과 양파과 버섯이랑 먹었어요. 먹었을때, 우리는 올림픽스 봤어요. 올림픽스를 너무 신나죠? 먹기후에, 우리는 강 옆에 걷었어요.

After that, we slept.
그 다음에, 우리 잤어요.

When we woke up this morning, we went to the Rivercenter Mall. While I was there, I bought a birthday present for my friend and a CD for myself.
다음 아침에 일어났을때, 우리 리버센터 몰에 갔어요. 거기에 있었을때, 나는 내 친구위해 생일선물 샀고 나위해 CD샀어요.

I also bought a South Korean flag to put in my room.
그리고, 태극기를 내 방에 보여주도록 샀어요.

This weekend was really fun!
이 주말은 너무 재미있었어요!

(Wow...I have a feeling there are a lot of mistakes in that. Please correct them! Hope you enjoy the pictures!)

Good thing I speak Spanish, eh?

This weekend, I went on vacation with my family and we went to Six Flags: Fiesta Texas. It is in the city of San Antonio, which has a very high hispanic population. After we had gone on some rides, I wanted to get a drink so while I was waiting in line at this drink stand, the people in front of me were speaking spanish with the clerk. After they finished their order and left, I went up to the counter.

Lady: *blank stare*
Me: Can I get a Sprite?
Lady: *continues staring blankly*
Me: Sprite?
Lady: *after getting the sprite* Tres y cuarenta y dos (or something like that)

So...I think "Do I look hispanic?" but since I understand what she is saying, I just go ahead and give her the money. She counts it out to me, in spanish, and I look at her and say "Thank you" in English (cause I was too lazy to try Spanish) and walked off.

I'm not upset about the situation, I just thought it was funny. Does anyone else have a similar situation?

What is the best way to teach children?

옛날에, 우리 이모가 나한테 "우리 딸한테 한국어를 가르처 주세요."라고 말했어요. 그래서, 나는 내 사촌여동생한테 한국어를 가르처 줘봤는데 여동생은 "오빠, 이거는 너무 어렵고 심심해"라고 말했어요. 재미있게 가르처 줄수 있도록, 어떻게 가르처 줄까요? 동생은 한국어를 별로 공부하고 싶지 않은데 이모가 부탁했어요. 그래서...나는 좋은 선생님 되고 싶어요 ㅋㅋㅋ 아이디어 주세요 ^^

A while ago, my aunt asked me if I would teach her daughter Korean. So, I tried to teach my cousin Korean but she said "Oppa, this is hard and boring." How should I teach her so that it is fun? My cousin does not really want to learn Korean but since her mom asked me, I want to be a good teacher. Send me some ideas please ^^

Another Korean Question

Can someone explain the verb structure and ways to use -길 바랍니다?

Isn't it like saying "I hope -------"?
Include a few examples if it is not too much trouble please.
Thank you so much!

Korea University Campus

This is the university I went to for almost 10 years - including the years that I had to take off because of work and the mandatory military service for 2 years :)

I love my university, but it's more than just a school for me now because i've lived around it for such a long time now - it's like a basecamp where most of my daily routines take place. :P

Thank you for watching!

Aug 10, 2008

"Going Dutch" in Korean

How do you say "going dutch" or "dutch treat" in Korean? For the record, I've never heard native English speakers say "going dutch," we always say "we will pay separately." In fact, I didn't know such a phrase existed until last year when my Korean friend in China showed me in class....

"Going dutch" in other languages:

日本語: 別々にする (べつべつにする)
普通话: AA制 AA zhì or 分开付 fēnkāi fù
廣東話: AA制 AA zai3
Tagalog: Kanya-kanyang bayad

[video] my neighborhood

Here's a little video showing you my neighborhood :)

Aug 7, 2008

Korean/English Pattern Comparison 2

[edit]** This video is also posted at

Thanks for watching!!

Any request is welcome! ^^_

How do you say "you dialled the wrong number" in Korean?

I've been getting calls here at home, and it seems that our phone number used to be the phone number of an old Korean grocery store or something. So anyway, how do you say: "You dialled the wrong number" in Korean... and "What is the name of the store you are are trying to call?" I think I should contact the store itself and talk about this....

This is how you say "you dialled the wrong number" in other languages:
你打错了 nǐ dǎ cuò le
Wrong number po (Yes we Filipinos have butchered our own language) po is an honorific suffix

Balinese language instruction website - in Japanese

For those of you proficient in reading Japanese, here's a really cool website about learning my language specialty, Balinese.

It has several lessons with sound files and skits included (yes!).

「私の記憶が確かならば...」 Two people wanted to take on the challenge of doing a short skit - in Balinese. I won't name names ;), but are you two (and anyone else, for that matter) up for it?

Indonesian Practice in Japanese

The audio is in Japanese, and here's the text in Korean :)

ini 이것

itu 저것/그것

kantor 사무실

telepon 전화

buku 책

buku-buku 책들

kursi 의자

kursi-kursi 의자들

Waktu itu saya di Jakarta
그 당시 나는 자카르타에 있었습니다.

Sekarang ini banyak orang pergi ke Indonesia.
요즘 많은 사람들이 인도네시아로 갑니다

Apa ini?
이것은 무엇입니까?

Ini buku.
이것은 책입니다.

Apa itu?
저것은 무엇입니까?

Itu meja.
저것은 책상입니다.

Apakah ini kursi?
이것은 의자입니까?

Ya, itu kursi.
네 그것은 의자입니다.

Ini pensil?
이것이 연필입니까?

Itu jendela?
저것이 창문입니까?

Ini buku.
이것은 책입니다.

Ini kursi.
이것은 의자입니다.

Itu guru.
저 사람은 선생님입니다.

Saya mahasiswa.
나는 대학생입니다.

Saya adalah guru.

나는 선생님입니다.

Ini adalah Tuti.

이 사람은 뚜띠입니다.

Aug 6, 2008

Comedy Duo

A new comedy duo is born: Max and Cody. We're doing a tour of Korea as soon as we get an agent.

I have to warn everyone first: I say something wrong, and have typed something wrong in this video. I hope it doesn't detract from the comedy! Everyone speaks Korean here (right?) and one of us is a Korean teacher, so I didn't think I'd be able to get away with it. It wasn't until I uploaded this video that I realised.

This dialogue is based on this lesson.

Here's Cody and my take on the dialogue:

A: 형, 이거 뭐야?
B: 이거? 이거 원숭이야.
A: 형...이거 뭐야?
B: 이거? 이거 돼지야.
A: 형, 이거 뭐야?
B: 이거? 강아지야.
아씨...지금부터 질문하지마!
A: 네...알겠습니다.
A & B: 잘 먹겠습니다!

Get it? Hope you enjoyed this collaboration (is it a first for talkwiththeworld?) and hope to participate in/hear about more collaborations soon!

Aug 4, 2008

Simple Present, Present Continuous, Frequency

I'm trying to teach English online. For a little more about why, click here.


Q1: What are you doing?

A1: I'm _____ing ____.

Q2: Do you _____ often?

A2: No I don't. (Yes, I do.)

Q3: How often do you ____?

A3: I _____ all the time.

I _____ (number) times a week.

I _____ (number) times a day.


In every answer (except A1), you should add a verb in the dictionary form. For A1 you should use a verb with ~ing on the end.

For A3 I have included three possible answers.

If you're an English learner, click 'reply' and try to answer these questions. You can see my answers at the bottom of this post. Try to write longer answers if you're a high level learner.

If you're not an English learner, click 'reply', answer the questions and thanks for your help! The more material learners can get exposed to the better. And try to make answers truthful; really, what are you doing now?

Click "reply" to see my answer, and/or to write your own answer.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that in Q3, the object should be plural.

Recruiting: Learning English Online.

My girlfriend is thinking of leaving me.

Don't worry! Aika isn't thinking of "leaving me" figuratively ("to leave someone" is an English metaphor that we use when people break up") but literally leaving me, for a few hours a week, to learn English in a language school.

Although this isn't much a blow to my masculinity as figuratively "leaving me" would be, it's still weird for me, since I've been an English teacher for four years!

But there are quite compelling reasons for the girlfriend of a language nut like me to go to a language school. For one thing, at a language school, one meets other learners of similar levels. This is important for Aika since all the other English speakers that she knows either speak English much more badly than she does or much much better. Her English is better than our Chinese friends, since she speaks to me so often, but, as one might expect, is much worse than our foreign friends, since most come from English speaking countries. So she either picks up bad habits from bad English speakers or can't follow what is being spoken. At a language school she'd probably be somewhere where she would understand most of what is being said.

Also, in a language school, curriculum is the same for a group of people so they help and encourage each other. Language is after all a way to reach out to people, and the more people the more sense of community.

But there are also downsides to going to a language school. Firstly, they cost money. And although things in China are cheaper than many places in the world, a course at a language school still isn't free. Secondly is the convenience factor. Enrolling in a language school involves actually getting to the school, signing up, then attending lessons.

I'd been weighing the pluses and minuses of attending a language school, when I decided that it was too much bother. Although the sense of community in language schools is great, it's not worth paying money for. Particularly since online communities are so numerous. All one would need to do to teach English to someone would be to find said communities and harness their power. But where are these communities? That's where you come in!

I've been teaching using Side By Side's textbook number three for a few months now, and I've found them really good. I'm going to be taking Aika through this textbook. But I'll be needing your help.

Each "lesson" will just be a post, written by me. It will be a few instructions or questions, and contributors will be asked to write something as a reply to each post. I'll write the first lesson after this introduction!

If you're a native English speaker, or speak English well enough to qualify (and let's just say that if you've followed everything that I've written so far that you do qualify!) and you're willing to help, I'd appreciate it if you just clicked "reply" and wrote something.

If you're learning English, feel free to contribute as much as you want. We will correct you when you're wrong!

Ok? Understand? No matter, I'm sure everything will be clear after the first lesson. Here we go!!!

Aug 3, 2008

I have a question about korean verb forms.

Alright. This question has been on my mind for a while so I figured it was time to ask it.

I'll use the verb 공부하다 for my examples.

공부하고 있다
공부하는중 이다

What is the difference between these? My understanding is that they all mean "I am studying"...but in what situation do you use each form?


Hi~I'm Uri from South Korea.
I'm staying America for study.
I like to learn any foreign languages.
Especially I want to study Japanese and Spanish.
I'm going to take Spanish class coming semester.
Anyway nice to meet you~!

Aug 2, 2008

Korean Vocabulary List

I just wanted to share this Korean vocabulary list with everyone:

I think I need to build up my Korean vocabulary because I'm kinda stuck in lingo-limbo, not quite beginner, but not even close to intermediate...

Aug 1, 2008

Repeating yourself in Korean.

The title does not really make sense for what I am going to talk about, but I think you might still be able to understand. I have two different examples for you today with two different grammar points.

Point 1
If you want to tell someone else what a person said to you, there are two ways (that I know of) to do that.

Way 1: -라고 말했다 / 친구가 '아팠어요'라고 말했어요 My friend said he was sick.

Way 2: -다고 했다 / 친구가 아팠다고 했어요. My friend said he was sick.

Point 2
This example is coming from a scene I saw in the korean drama 궁(Palace). 신채경 (Shin Chae-Kyoung) spilled some paint water onto the prince's shoes and she was embarrassed so she tried to clean them. While she was cleaning...

Prince: 그만해 Stop it.

But she kept cleaning, so...

Prince: 그만하라니까! I said stop it!

So...what we are learning right now is -라니까.

More examples that I can think of are...


My confidence on this second point is not very high, but I think I have a good grasp of it. However, if there are mistakes please correct them! Thank you for reading~

A Public Service Announcement - in Balinese and Indonesian

Here's an interesting video - it's a public service announcement regarding the question of food coloring additives. Funny enough, the commercial is called "Zat Perwarna: Bule ke Doktor" (Food Coloring: White Guy goes to the doctor). And the "bule" speaks Balinese and Indonesian pretty well...

Here's a transcript - Indonesian in bold, Balinese in regular typeface:

Bule: Ne, bagus sekali. Jaja ini, aji kuda asiki, Bu?
[These (look) very good. These rice cakes, how much for one, ma'am?]

Seribu nika.
[That is Rp 1000.]

Dokter: Punapi niki, Gus?
[How is this [patient's condition], Gus?]

NB: "Gus" is short for "bagus", which literally means "handsome" in Balinese. It also can be used to refer to a young man.

Gus: Kenten, Dok. Tuni semangan timpal tiange ngebus,
menceret-menceret. Kena penyakit napi niki Dok?
[Gus: It's like this, Doc. Earlier this morning my friend (the bule) became "hot" inside (but not feverish), constantly having diarrhea. What sort of disease does he have, Doc?]

Kena is the Indonesian word for coming upon something unexpectedly and having an adverse effect, so kena batu would mean to "be struck by/stub one's toe on a rock". Kena penyakit therefore means 'to be struck by a disease'.

Dokter: Tiang periksa dumun, inggih?
[Doctor: I'll examine (him) first, alright?]

O, niki wenten peradahan(?)
[Oh, here's some metallic-looking substance.]
(If my translation of "peradahan" is appropriate...)

Polih ajeng napi timpal ba singgih?
[What did your friend happen to eat (if I may ask)?]

is an extremely respectful way of saying 'sir', and it implies either the addressee's high caste or something else.

Gus: Dugas ibi tiang ajak beli jaja.
Kena demen ajak jaja ada warnane ngencerengin, dok.
[Gus: Yesterday [he] was with me buying rice cakes. [He] liked (there's that kena verb again; 'struck by liking', literally) the cakes with the interesting colors, Doc.]

Dokter: Makane
hati-hati milih makanan. Sampunang tertarik ring warnane sagede-gede kemanten. Minab timpal Guse niki keracunan zat pewarna.
[Doctor: You have to be careful about selecting food. Don't be attracted to the colors too much. Perhaps your friend (Gus' friend, literally) got food color poisoning.]

Sameton sareng sami, sampunang anggen
zat pewarna, sane ten dados anggen makanan, minakadi sumba, wantek miwah muruh.
[All my fellow people, don't use food coloring substances, those that are not to be used in food, especially safflower dye, rhodamine dye, and indigo.]

Well, "now you know"...

2 tricky Korean words

물 means water and 고기 means meat. What do you think 물고기 means?

반 means half and 팔 means arm. What do you think 반팔 means?


Jul 31, 2008

Japanese/English/Chinese Sentences on Goals

Hello everyone. This is my first 'project,' and I really just wanted to test out how Windows Movie Maker works... The video has some problems with it, it sounds rough and there is a missing sentence.... can anyone figure out where and what it is?

I tried to make a Hyunwoo-style one (where he talks about going to school), but I think I got too carried away. At least now I know I can't be a graphic designer, video editor or audio podcaster (my voice doesn't sound good when recorded)... haha...

I hope you all enjoy it anyway... Please help by making any suggestions...

Jul 30, 2008

Funny Video - Intense Korean Chinese Lesson

I found this video on Youtube by accident while looking for videos of people speaking Korean... this video might offend some Asians (well some people who commented on the video found it to be a little racist) but I'm Asian and I wasn't offended... it's just ridiculously silly!

I don't know about the guy speaking Korean, but the guy speaking Cantonese sounded pretty good... he had the tones right and everything...

What Do You Want?

A Japanese video, interviewing my girlfriend Aika. If you can't see it, click here.

냉면, one of my favorite dishes for summer times

This is called 냉면(冷麵 - cold noodles). I'm sure there is a similar dish in every country, but this is the Korean version - the ingrediants are buckwheat noodles, half a boiled egg, sliced cucumber, spiced radish, some meat, pepper paste (고추장), sliced pear, vinegar, special soup that has been pre-made, and a lot of ice :)

I had this yesterday and it was REALLY good. I felt cold for about an hour after that. Hehe. A must-try item when you come to Korea. And it's not expensive too. It goes from USD 4 to USD 6. :)
Posted by Picasa

"know" - Korean/Japanese/English/French/Spanish

Here are some expressions related to the English word "know" in Korean, Japanese, English, French and Spanish. Please let me know if I made any mistakes :)

= 分かる。知ってる。
= I know.
= Je sais.
= Yo sé.

= 分からない。知らない。
= I don't know.
= Je ne sais pas.
= Yo no sé.

그거 알아.
= それ知ってる。
= I know that.
= Je le sais.
= Yo lo sé.

그건 몰라.
= それ知らない。
= I don´t know that.
= Je ne le sais pas.
= Yo no lo sé.

알고 있었어.
= 分かっていた。 知っていた。
= I knew that.
= Je le savais.
= Yo lo sabía.

= 分からなかった。 知らなかった。
= I didn´t know that.
= Je ne le savais pas.
= Yo no lo sabía.

난 아무것도 몰라.
= 私は(僕は)何も知らない。何も分からない。
= I don´t know anything.
= Je ne sais rien.
= Yo no sé nada.

이유는 몰라. 왜 그런지 몰라.
= 理由は分からない。なぜか分からない。
= I don´t know why.
= Je ne sais pas pourquoi.
= Yo no sé por qué.

이유는 몰랐어. 왜 그런지는 몰랐어.
= 理由は知らなかった。なぜか分からなかった。
= I didn´t know why.
= Je ne savais pas pourquoi.
= Yo no sabía por qué.

이유를 알고 싶어.
= 理由が知りたい。
= I want to know why.
= Je veux savoir pourquoi.
= Yo quiero saber por qué.

이유를 알고 싶지 않아.
= 理由を知りたくない。
= I don´t want to know why.
= Je ne veux pas savoir pourquoi.
= Yo no queiro saber por qué.

나는 운전할 줄 알아.
= 運転できる。
= I know how to drive.
= Je sais conduire.
= Yo sé conducir.

나는 노래할 줄 알아.
= 歌を歌える。
= I know how to sing.
= Je sais chanter.
= Yo sé cantar.

That´s good to know.
= C'est bon à savoir.
= Es bueno saberlo.
(impossible to translate to Korean)

Jul 29, 2008

답답하죠? (Using 됐다/됐어)

ㅎㅎ 이 블로그 시작했을때부터 2여행 trips 갔고 일 많이했어요. 비커즈 어브 땟, 나는 여기 글 쓸수 없었어요. 미안해요! 나쁜 팀 멤버이죠? 그리고, 요새 새로운 한국어 공부안했으니까, grammar points대해서 이야기못해요. 흠...나는 공부해야죠?

Since we've started this blog, I've been on two trips and been working a lot. Because of that, I can't write here. I'm sorry! I'm a bad team member, huh? Also, these days I haven't been studying anything new in korean so I can't talk about grammar points. Hmm...I need to study, huh?

Anyway..the one thing I can write about right now would probably something I learned today. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Using the phrase "됐다/됐어"

Example 1: When arguing (싸울때)

Man A:
Hey! What are you doing? You said you don't have any money but you're buying another pair of shoes!

Lady B: I know, but I scrounged up enough changed to buy one more pair.

Man A: But you don't have any money! You can barely pay your bills! Go put the shoes back!

Lady B: Fine! -puts the shoes back-

Man A: Why are you like that? You know that if you can't pay your bills, you shouldn't be buying luxury items!

Lady B: I know already! 됐어! Something something something something~~~

(You can see my lack of creativity, right?)

In this case, I was told that saying "됐다/됐어" is like saying "Just stop", "I'm done", etc. Trying to stop the arguement.

Example 2: When you fix something (고치는거 끝날때)

When Boy A finishes putting the chain back on his bicycle, he yells in excitement "아~ 됐다!"

In this case, I was told it is like saying "Yes! I'm done!"

Example 3: When you want to say nevermind. (Nevermind 말하고 싶을때)

Brother A: What do you want to eat?

Sister B: -while eating an apple- What did you say?

Brother A: 아 됐어 됐어, 괜찮아, 괜찮아.

In this case, I was told it is like saying "Nevermind/Don't worry about it." My friend was also trying to explain to me how in this situation, you need to be careful because you can hurt someone's feelings by being rude? Can a native speaker explain that please?

Anyway, I hope all of that is correct and possibly helped you all or made you learn something new! See you around. By the way, awesome posting everyone!


Hello everyone!

My name is Yiwei, and I'm new here, thank you very much to let me in your group...^_^

Chinese is my mother tongue, and I'm still in France even though I'll go back to China in two weeks, so I speak French; my English is just so I'd like to learn Korean... I'm longing to communicate with foreign friends in order to exchange languages and different cultural customs. Maybe I don't know you very well, but I think the life of polyglots should be very interesting, 这是为什么我非常希望能够和你们成为朋友......

语言学习非常重要,因为这是唯一突破"文化障碍"的途径...但是,文化心理上的"亲近感",打破不同民族之间的"隔阂"才是我真正追求的...I'm not talking nonsense, on the contrary, I feel it's very important in globalization...人与人之间, 彼此了解, 彼此亲近, 彼此融合, 难道不是一件美好的事吗......

Je suis attachée par des sujets très variés, de la société aux enfants, de la culture aux habillements, de la politique aux repas quotidiens, de l'économie aux poèmes... j'ai envie de me parler, j'ai envie de vous écouter, je voudrais voir qu'est-ce que c'est la différence entre nous, je voudrais savoir qu'est-ce qui seront des solutions pour réduire l'écart parmi nous...

Très amicalement

Jul 28, 2008


Everyone seems to be writing more than me, so I thought I'd write something. :) I couldn't think of anything to write, so I thought I'd adapt the opening of one of my favourite books from recent times. (I always seem to be plagiarising people don't I! JPod101, Kclass101, now a famous author...)

I hope everyone can work out what famous novel I've adapted this story from. For those who can't read Chinese (or for those who want to cheat), I've included a synopsis at the end. If you think you know just click "comment" without reading the helpful hints that I've written and see if you were right. To tell you the truth, if you are correct, you'll definitely know it, it's not like I've adapted it that much!!!!





































A professor of ancient languages is awoken at 3 am on his first night in Beijing by a call from the front desk. The professor tries to brush them off, but the concierge sends them up to his room, without his permission. The professor is outraged, but it turns out that the two men are policemen....

So do you know what book I got this from? Final hint: the book probably wasn't originally set in Beijing, and the professor probably wasn't a professor of languages. Obviously because I'm writing in Chinese for a group of linguists (sorry polyglots!) I had to change a few things. ;)


我的表姐结婚了!(My Cousin is Married!) part 2


My cousin held her official traditional wedding on Saturday.

토요일에, 제 외 사촌언니가 정식으로 결혼했어요.


As we have to wake up early on Saturday, my other cousins and I stayed over at the bride's place.

아침에 일찍 일어나야 했으니까 금요일에 다른 외사촌이랑 언니집에 살았어요.


We rose very early on Saturday morning.

우리 토요일 아침에 일찍 일어났어요.


We had to change into our clothes and do our makeups quickly while waiting for the groom to arrive.

우리 신랑을 가다리면서 옷을 빨리 바뀌고 화장도 빨리 했어요.


That morning, my cousin and her husband had to bow and offer tea to the seniors.

그아침에 언니는 신랑이랑 선배에게 차를 드리고 인사했어요.


After the tea ceremony, we quickly rushed down to the hotel to prepare for the banquet.

그거 후에 우리 빨리 호텔에 가서 결혼연회를 준비했어요.


The banquet started at 8pm. The dishes were sumptious!

연회는 8시 시작했어요. 음식이 모두도 맛있었어요!


Then we also had champagne to celebrate my cousin and cousin-in-law's special day.

우리는 결혼식을 축하하러 샴페인을 마셨어요.


I was tired that night. But I am glad that my cousin has found her happiness.

그날 제가 너무 피곤했지만 언니는 지금 행복이 있으니까 저도 너무 기뻐요.

"Imperfect mapping" meme

One of the many challenges we must face as language learners is that there is no such thing as a perfect one-to-one mapping between any two languages, i.e. it is always the case that Language X will have a single word that encapsulates a given concept Z, whereas Language Y might need a couple of words or a paraphrase to capture the essence of the same concept Z.

So I'm proposing a little "meme", and the rules are simple. Take any language that you are studying/have studied (Language X), and take a concept that is in the form of individual words compared to our Language Y, English, where you would need to paraphrase the concept.

For example, I'll use Korean, Indonesian (my language Xs), and English (language Y) to illustrate "rice stages".

Korean: 밥, 쌀, 벼
Indonesian: nasi, beras, padi
English: cooked rice, milled/hulled uncooked rice, rice on stalk.

Notice that English does not have individual words for these concepts - English speakers have to paraphrase using the common thread "rice".

I think we'll learn a lot about how different languages encode concepts present in the world.