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. :)
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"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 so...now 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.

Jul 27, 2008

Stupid Mental Blocks! - A Silly Story

I posted this in my personal blog, but I'll post it here too... this is just a silly story about something that happened today....

It's been a family tradition to go to Yumcha (飲茶) every Sunday and today was no exception. During the past few years I've been studying Mandarin, I always try to use it when I order anything at a Chinese restaurant, but after living in China for 5 months, I pretty much don't bother using Mandarin when ordering food because I'm simply over that stage... Instead,I've been trying to use Cantonese. I can usually pull it off... but today I had a sudden mental block. I was trying to order a plate of spring rolls and just after I called the waitress' attention by saying 唔該
m goi (excuse me), I was preparing my 'mental subtitles' (when I speak Cantonese I tend to have subtitles in my head, because I'm sort of directly translating from Mandarin), and I had the sentence 唔該嚟一碟春巻 m goi lei jat dip tsoengyun . However when it was time to speak, I couldn't remember the pronunciation for 碟 (a small plate), and somehow I said pan instead of dip. I instantly knew I was wrong when I said pan so I quickly scanned my brain for the Mandarin pronunciation (when I know the Mandarin pronunciation I can usually guess the Cantonese one), but unfortunately "file not found." So I just said 一份 jat fan (one order) instead. To top it off, when the waitress confirmed what I said 一份呀 jat fan a? (so one order?), I panicked and answered in Mandarin saying 對,對! dui, dui (yes, yes)! The waitress gave me a confused look. LOL Luckily, later on when I ordered some 油炸鬼 yau dza gwai (deep fried bread sticks) and some 豆腐花 dau fu faa (sweet beancurd dessert), she still talked to me in Cantonese. I hate it when people stop speaking to me in a foreign language just because of a simple mistake.

Lingua Franca on the ABC

The Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) is a government funded media outlet in Australia. They have a TV channel, and several radio channels.

Every week on Radio National is a radio show called Lingua Franca, and it's all about languages. Today's episode was actually a repeat, but very interesting. Have a look at it here.

호랑이도 제 말하면 온다더니-

누군가에 대한 뒷담화에 열중하다가 뒷통수가 서늘했던 기억 있으세요?^^

(Do you have any experience that someone just show up when you speak ill of behind his back?)

아니면 뭐 그리 나쁜 얘기 아니더라도 누군가에 대한 얘기를 하고 있을 때 그 사람이 쨔쟌-(tada-) 하고 나타났던 경험...누구에게나 있을텐데요~

이때 꼭 하는 말이 있죠... "호랑이도 제말하면 나타난다더니..."

옛날부터 호랑이에게 물려 죽거나 피해를 입는 호환(虎患)이 가끔 있었다고 하는데요..
조선시대에는 호랑이가 나뭇꾼을 잡아먹기도 하고, 영조때에는 경복궁 후원에 까지 들어올 정도였다고 하네요.
그래서 사람들은 산에서 절대 '호랑이'라는 말을 꺼내지 않았다고 합니다. '말이 씨가 된다'고 생각했기 때문이라죠^^-

(by the way, what is the english version of '말이 씨가 된다'???)

과연 호랑이도 제말하면 나타난다는 말은 여기서 나온 것일까요?
believe it or not -


Quand on parle du loup (on en voit la queue) [ka(n) to(n) parl du loo]

라고 합니다.

말 그대로 번역하면, When you talk about the wolf (you see its tail) - 늑대에 대해 얘기하면 그 늑대의 꼬리를 보게 된다는 건데...
우리나라에서 호랑이가 무서운 동물의 상징이었다면....그 옛날 프랑스에서는 늑대에 대한 두려움이 있었을까요?

영어로는 speak of the devil... 이라고 하죠..

호랑이가 나타나는게 무서울까요? 악마가 나타나는게 무서울까요??
For me, tiger seems more threatening, as if it's sneaking up on you.

예문 >
Je pense que Benoit est un vrai... tiens, Benoit ! Quand on parle du loup !

(I think Benoit is a real... hey, Benoit ! Speak of the devil!)

궁금해서 다른 나라에도 이런 표현이 있을까 찾아봤어요.
먼저 일본은 그림자가 등장합니다.
뒷담화를 했더니 그 사람 그림자가 보이더라. 라는 뜻이랍니다.

うわさをすれば影が差す (うわさをすればかげがさす)

독일어 표현은 영어랑 똑같이 악마를 쓰네요.
Wenn man vom Teufel nennt, kommt er gerennt!
악마의 이름을 입에 올리면, 그놈이 달려온다!
(어떻게 읽는지는 모르겠어요...;;;)

스페인어는 악마 대신 로마 왕이 등장합니다.
Hablar de = ~에 대해 말하다. el rey de Roma = 로마 왕
Hablando del rey de Roma!

중국어에는 '조조도 제말 하면 온다(說曹操,曹操就到)' 는 속담이 있다던데^0^-

똑같은 상황을 놓고 각 나라에서 무슨 말을 하는지 알아보는거...넘 잼써요ㅎㅎㅎ

사진은 말을 한다

Photos speak.
사진은 말을 한다.

Jul 26, 2008

The Linguist - Steve Kaufmann

I'm not quite sure if you guys know about this guy called Steve Kaufmann. Apparently, he can speak 9 languages fluently, and I think he is learning a few more now. In his blog he gives his thoughts on language learning, which is obviously very relevant to us here in Talk With the World. I wonder if one day we can all be Steve Kaufmanns. Hmm...

I found out about Steve Kaufmann from a cantonese.hk, a personal blog of an Australian man that documents his adventures in learning Cantonese. This website also has some audio files with scripts that are useful for people learning Cantonese.

Introduction in (regular) Balinese

Now, here's my intro in basa Bali biasa (regular Balinese) - you'll notice the differences right away.

Jul 25, 2008

My introduction in Balinese

Taking a cue from Max, I decided to do a little video introducing myself in Basa Bali Alus (refined Balinese). Perhaps Max and I (and any other takers for that matter) can collaborate on a future video using Basa Bali Biasa (ordinary, "lower" Balinese), which is quite different. Well, here's my first attempt.

Bu Cristina Wistari Formaggia, 1945-2008, dancer and (accidental) polyglot

I am just shocked to learn of the passing of a very great artist, Cristina Wistari Formaggia, who suddenly passed away on the 19th, 62 years young. She was instrumental in preserving the 15th century dance drama form from Bali known as gambuh, which was threatened with extinction due to lack of patronage. This art form, which is considered to be ancestral to most of the dance forms found in Bali today, requires performers to be polyglots, i.e. fluent, in Balinese and Kawi, an extremely old literary language based on Old Javanese, which was spoken between the 9th and 13th centuries. (You can compare this to Modern Spoken vs. "Beowulf" English.) Bu Cristina was no exception - she spoke brilliant Balinese and Indonesian, knew her Kawi, and was fluent in English, French (I think), and Italian (her native language). I would not be surprised to learn if she had spoken other languages as well.

Here she is, dancing what most experts consider the most difficult role in gambuh, the refined hero Panji Inu Kertapati:

Panji Inu Kertapati

On the few occasions I had to talk with her, she was indeed determined and dedicated to fulfilling her goal, which was to preserve the gambuh form through rigorous documentation, transmission, and dissemination. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.


Jul 24, 2008

The Balancing Act

The one glue that binds the writer's of this blog together is that we all are attempting to learn 2 or more foreign languages.
What I'd like to know is how people prioritize.
I guess if you're living in a country where the daily language used is one that you would like to learn, then you have some sort of advantage, but if you are trying to learn 3 or 4 different languages then I guess you're going to learn one better than another.
So anyway, I think it would be interesting to learn how you divide your time between your chosen languages... for example, do you study Chinese for a whole day, then Korean the next? Or maybe some people prefer to set aside half an hour or so a day for all their selected languages?
I also think that the better one gets at a language, the harder it is to set time for learning it... does this make sense?

Tell Me More About Yourself

This conversation is based on a dialogue from japanesepod101.com . My girlfriend is Japanese so I decided to ask her the questions that we learnt in the lesson.

The questions are:

How old are you?
Where are you from?
Do you have any siblings?

I've always been interested in adapting learning material, so if anyone is interested in asking/answering these questions in a similar way on Skype, making a video and doing the first talkwiththeworld collaboration let me know!

A very good traditional Balinese story

I thought I'd let you all listen to a Balinese story told by a native Balinese speaker, since it's an interesting language to listen to. The story is called "Miss Bean Angel" (Ni Kacang Dedari), and it basically concerns a young woman who is advised by her mother to not step out of her family compound since there is a dangerous demon named "I Lantang Idung" (Mr Long Nose) wandering about. The mother steps out each morning to go sell and buy various items in the market. Every time Kacang Dedari's mother is at the market, I Lantang Idung tries to lure her out of the compound, to no avail. The mother, though, has a special song that she sings to get her daughter to open the door. Later, as soon as the mother goes to the market, I Lantang Idung forces a nearby duck farmer to sing the mother's song for him in her voice (why this works I don't know). Ni Kacang Dedari, thinking that she hears her mother's voice, opens the door and is kidnapped by I Lantang Idung. This is the end of this first video.

Vocabulary items one should watch for:

peken 'market'
anak 'person'
(Notice that Balinese uses this Austronesian word for 'person' where elsewhere, it means 'child' - the word for 'child' in Balinese is panak/pianak.)
(ng)oyong 'to live somewhere'
(ng)adep 'to sell'
magedi 'to leave'
pesu 'to go out'
lantang 'long'
idung 'nose'
adan 'name'
ampak(in) 'to open (for someone)'
meme 'mother'
biang 'mother (more respectful term)'
rangsasa 'demon, monster'
jlanan 'door'
kacang 'bean'
dedari 'angel'
anak luh 'woman'
panganggon bebek 'duck farmer'
ia 's/he'
ene 'this'
ento 'that'
ditu 'there'
sing 'no, not'
(m)plaib 'to run'; (m)plaibang 'to run away with someone'
(ng)kaukin 'to call someone out'
(ba)kal FUTURE marker
keto 'like that'
(e)da 'don't'
tiang 'I (mid-polite form)'
ada 'to exist'
(n)tepukin 'to find, see'
tulung 'help'
apa 'what'
(ng)aba 'to bring'
teka 'to come'
gelisin 'to speed up'
satua 'folktale'
lantas 'and then'

The storyteller (a friend of a friend, named Nyoman "Target") is very skilled here - pay attention to how he characterizes Ni Kacang Dedari vs. the demon I Lantang Idung. I'll put up part 2 if there's enough interest - but right now, I would like you to just listen to the language itself, since not too many non-speakers take the opportunity to listen to it carefully. I especially like the line from I Lantang Idung Yen sing pesu, kal makpak tulangne! 'If you don't come out, I'll chew your bones!'

Jul 23, 2008

Using Google

Firstly salaamat po to our newest member Nick! I've had a 看看 at your 简体中文 and 日本語 blogs and am impressed. I hope I can write as well as you do some day. One of my main goals is to write regularly, and hopefully with Nick and everyone else at talkwiththeworld (sorry Cory I don't remember that cool abbreviation you came up with) I'll get there. I've fed Nickさん's feeds into my feed reader and I'll be keeping up with him, hopefully some of his discipline will rub off!

One thing that I have always found useful when revising vocabulary is a piece of modern technology known as the search engine. If you're trying to memorise a word sometimes it's hard to get it into your head, right? But type it into a search engine, have a look over what comes up, and I find the results help the word "stick" into your head.

It would probably be easier if I showed you, than if I just described it.

Let's start with something easy. I think Korean is talkwiththeworld's lingua franca so let's start with something we all know: 생일

My Korean's not so good, so let's cheat a little. What I'll do is go to google, type in 생일, click on "images" and see what we get...

I'm not sure what comes up when you search for 생일 but I get lots and lots of 케이크. There's also a picture of a business man in accepting a 생일선물. And each one has 생일 written in the caption.

I usually have a look through the options a little more, reading 생일 out loud every time I hear it. I won't do that this time as it's just a demonstration.

Let's try something more difficult. The most recent Japanese 単語 that I have written in my mobile phone (see my last post) is 暗殺 (assasinate). Let's enter it into google and see what we get.... oops... most of the posts are in Chinese (暗杀 has the same meaning in Chinese). No matter. I see a picture of JFK, a poster for a film, a picture of former Russian president Путин and someone accused of plotting to kill him... a poster for the recent film "the 暗杀 of Jesse James by the coward..."

Chinese is my strongest language other than English so I won't cheat for Chinese. My most recent word that I've been trying to remember is 氢, hydrogen. Let's see... I don't have high hopes for how much I'll understand, but I'll enter 氢 into google and see what kinds of articles we get. (Instead of looking at pictures I'll try reading whatever articles come up).

There's something about hydrofluoric acid (luckily for me the chemical formula is there so it's not so hard to understand the definition!) something about Hydrogen energy (hydrogen turns into water when burnt, so hydrogen power is big business) and a homepage for a place in 天津 that manufactures hydrogen, liberating it from water.

Looking things up on google is really helpful for remembering words. You see the word used in many contexts, all on a single computer page, and you don't even have to try to find it, google does it all for you! You can choose to look just at pictures, which is really helpful sometimes.

And if you find google isn't helping, try having a look at eBay or similar auction site in the appropriate language. it's really helpful too. There are pictures of everyday objects clearly labeled with what they are in the approrpiate language. And there isn't just one picture, there are thousands to go through. You'll find that after looking for five minutes at thousands of pictures of a certain thing, repeating that word each time you see it, you'll remember a lot better.

Intro by Nick

Hello everyone, especially to this blog's co-writers, I'm very thrilled to write this blog with you guys...

I'm Nicholas Cripps, was born and raised in Manila till I was 12, then moved to the Gold Coast, Australia in the year 2000. Luckily I was old enough not to forget Tagalog when I moved to Australia...I recently graduated with a BA, and hope to teach English in Japan and China before I take my Masters.

My love affair with foreign language learning started when I entered high school, as Japanese was compulsary for the first year. I was so scared because I was told by my parents that learning a foreign language is hard, and so I would probably not do well in Japanese, and should make sure I studied hard in my other subjects to get my grades up. It turned out that I loved learning Japanese, and I did pretty well in it. Haha... I never saw that coming...

The next language I attempted was Cantonese in 2002, as my favourite city is Hong Kong, and my best friend here in Australia is of a Cantonese-speaking background. However back then, there were too few resources to study Canto, and I gave up because I thought it was too hard...

...So I took up Mandarin because it was easier, and there are so many online resources and books to help. I love Taiwan pop music, so it was and still is a great incentive to learn the language. Now armed with Mandarin, I'm going to take on Cantonese again in my spare time.

Finally, there's Korean. I was in love with this Korean girl during my final years in high school, and so I started learning Korean! Sadly she didn't feel the same way, and so I never really had any big incentive to learn Korean, except maybe so I can understand food terms...

I want to learn Spanish too, just because I have an advantage of being a Tagalog speaker... but it just doesn't have the same appeal as the abovementioned languages...

The only thing I love more than language learning is cooking, eating and singing! You might find that a lot of my future posts will be multilingual ramblings about food... haha.. And I love Karaoke...

Sorry everyone for the long self-intro....

Here are links to my three other blogs:
一个菲律宾人的故事 中文简体篇
一個菲律賓人的故事 中文繁體片
ニコラスによりますと 日本語のブログ

여러분,안녕하세요! 나와 같은 외국어 공부를 좋아하는 사람들을 만나서,정말로 기뻐요!

A new member: Nicholas

Everyone, please welcome Nicholas, a new member to this blog! His intro has been added to the side bar, and so has the link to his blog.

어서와요 :)

Nicholas, please feel free to write your first post, telling us a little more about yourself !! ^_^

Jul 22, 2008

Korean/English sentences - "traveling"

I like traveling.
저는 여행을 좋아해요.

I like traveling very much.
저는 여행을 정말 좋아해요.

I like traveling alone.
저는 혼자 여행하는 것을 좋아해요.

I like traveling with other people.
저는 다른 사람들이랑 같이 여행하는 것을 좋아해요.

I try to travel whenever I can.
저는 가능할 때마다 여행을 가려고 노력해요.

I try to take as many photos as possible when I travel.
저는 여행할 때 사진을 최대한 많이 찍으려고 노력해요.

I try to make as many friends as possible when I travel.
저는 여행할 때 최대한 친구를 많이 만들려고 노력해요.

I've been to a few places.
저는 몇 군데 가 봤어요.

There are a lot of places I haven't been to yet.
저는 아직 안 가 본 곳이 많아요.

I wish I could travel more often.
저는 여행을 더 자주 할 수 있었으면 좋겠어요.

I hope more people will travel to Korea.
저는 사람들이 한국으로 더 많이 여행을 왔으면 좋겠어요.

I regret not having traveled more.
저는 여행을 더 많이 하지 않은 것이 후회가 돼요.

I'm going on a trip soon.
저는 곧 여행을 가요.

I just came back from a trip.
저는 여행에서 막 돌아왔어요.

expressions about rain -

태풍 갈매기의 영향으로 지난 주말에 비가 많이 왔다.
앞이 보이지 않을 정도로...맞으면 따가울 정도로 쏟아졌다.
사람들이 이런 비를 '장대비' (장대 = a pole, 비 = rain)라는 말을 쓴다.

장대처럼 굵고 거세게 좍좍 내리는 비라는 뜻이다.
한자로 얘기하면 집중호우(集中豪雨) 라고나 할까..

When the rain is really pouring, it does almost seem like the raindrops are joined together into long poles stretching from sky to ground !!!

한국사람들은 비가 이렇게 쏟아지는 것을 '장대'로 봤는데...프랑스인들은 밧줄처럼 보이나보다.
프랑스어로 비가 쏟아지는 모습을 "Il pleut des cordes [eel pleu day kuhrd]"라고 하는 것을 보면.

literally it means "It's raining ropes" 정도 되겠다. it makes sense to me. :D

영어로는 "It's raining cats and dogs" 라고 한다.

다른 나라에서는 비가 쏟아지는 모습을 어떻게 표현할까???
(how other languages describe this scene ???)

C'est la saison des pluies, et il pleut des cordes presque tous les jours !

It's the rainy season, and it rains cats and dogs nearly every day!
우기(雨季)에는 거의 매일 비가 쏟아진다.

You Need A Plan

I'm lucky that I live in China, which is of course the best place for learning Chinese. One thing that I find helpful is always carrying around something where I can write down something that I see on a sign or something.

Some people carry around a notebook but I'm a little more high tech. Wherever I go I carry my mobile phone, and my iPod. I'm always prepared so that if I hear or see a new word or something that I feel that I should remember, I can write it down. If I watch the TV I always put on the subtitles, and have my phone nearby so that I can write something down. If I'm online, I have a word document open where I can copy/paste portions of foreign languages so that I can remember them.

These things that I've written down usually get transferred to little flashcards. These are all in my iPod, have a look at them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6AisYnJ8yU

So whenever I hear a new word, I usually 1) write it down somewhere, 2) make a flashcard 3) keep the flashcard in my iPod so that I can revise it later.

Anyway, the main idea behind this post is to Have A Plan. I have a friend who has been in China for much longer than I have, but whose Chinese is only very basic. He has "picked up" some Chinese from taxi driver etc, but I've never seen him write anything down. I'm sure if he had a plan he would speak much better than he does. I'm not saying that my Plan is the best, but I definitely think that everyone needs one. I hope all my Talk With The World readers have one! :)

Jul 20, 2008

Singapore Music - Ai De Xi Wang (The Hope of Love)

I guess most of you here haven't heard of Singapore music before. I would like to share one particular song I really love today.

This song is titled 'ai4 de xi1 wang4' which literally means 'the hope of love' in Mandarin. It's the OST to one of the very awesome Chinese drama serials in Singapore. This show is really amazing because it depicts family violence and love. It's really sad and touching. Below is the video of the song.

The lyrics are already found in the song so if you can read mandarin then you can sing along! I'll put up the Hanyu Pinyin.

ru guo you yi zhong li liang
neng chuan yue bei shang
wo xiang na shi ai
rang meng xiang zhuang shang chi pang

ru guo you yi zhong da an
rang sheng ming jian qiang
wo xiang na shi ai
rang xing fu zai mei yi ge ren
xing shang zhan fang

na pa zai da de feng lang
cai bu san wo jing wo de shou zhang
yong yuan chao zhe ai gei de fang xiang
jian chi yi zhi wo zai shou shang

na pa hui pian ti ling shang
xin gan qing yuan wei ai qu chuang
xiang fei er pu huo zhi yin wei ai de zhao huan
jiu suan hua wei hui jin
yong bao le tu rang
que bo zhong xia ai de xi wang


If there's a kind of strength
That can surpass pain
I guess it's love
That can give dreams a pair of wings

If there's an answer
That can make life stronger
I guess it's love
That can make happiness grow in everyone's heart

Even a great storm
Cannot stop me from holding on
I'll always go towards the direction love is at
Always hold on

Even if I will get hurt
I will also fight on unconditionally
Like a moth I'm willing to go into the fire for love
Even if I were to turn into ashes and dust
And return to the earth
I still want to spread the hope of love

I know it's extremely bad translation. Very sorry but I hope everyone enjoys this song!

A Xhosa song

Nelson Mandela just celebrated his 90th birthday recently, so I thought it would be proper to post something on his native language, isiXhosa. Mandela is a member of the Xhosa group (isiXhosa means "Xhosa language" with the isi- noun class prefix) , who speak a southeastern Bantu language. Since Xhosa, like many of its closest linguistic neighbors such as isiZulu, siNdebele, and so on, is located near the San (Bushmen) areas, it would be natural for these languages to adopt a number of click consonants that San languages are famous for.

In fact, the "xh" digraph in Xhosa/isiXhosa is a click consonant - it's a voiceless aspirated lateral click. Make the click that one uses to call horses, and then say that with a puff of air immediately afterward.

Here is a clip with another well-known Xhosa, singer Miriam Makeba, singing one of her top hits "Qongqothwane" - otherwise known as the Click Song, featuring the clicks q, gq, and ngq (i.e. voiceless unaspirated, voiced, and nasal voiced alveolar clicks - they're all different consonants in isiXhosa). This is an adaptation of a Xhosa wedding song:

Igqira lendlela nguqo ngqothwane
Igqira lendlela nguqo ngqothwane

[The witchdoctor, who is a black beetle (2X)]

Sebeqabe legqithapha ahi uqo ngqotwane
Sebeqabe legqithapha ahi uqo ngqotwane

[is coming to our village (2X)]

(If you aren't familiar with the San, check out this clip from the classic film "The Gods Must Be Crazy!" - the main character is a San.)

Jul 19, 2008

How to negate in Indonesian

Now, for a more serious and practical post...

How to do "negation" in Indonesian - one might think that it's just a simple matter or "yes vs. no", but for Indonesian, it's a bit more complicated since there are several ways to negate things in Indonesian, each with its own pragmatic and grammatical nuance.

First, the word for "no" in Indonesian is tidak. However, this can be found in several forms such as nggak, tak, and ndak. What they all have in common is that they have an /a/ followed by a word-final /k/, which is always pronounced as a glottal stop, i.e. [a?]. It's a very sharp, stacatto syllable.

To negate these, one simply adds the negation particle before the main or auxiliary verb:

Saya lapar. 'I'm hungry.' > Saya tidak lapar. 'I'm not hungry.'

Saya belajar bahasa Korea. 'I'm studying Korean.' >
Saya nggak belajar bahasa Korea 'I'm not studying Korean.'

Dia bisa bikin sop. 'S/he can make soup.' > Dia ndak bisa bikin sop. 'S/he cannot make soup.'

However, you cannot use this if you are negating nouns - instead, you must use the particle bukan:

Ed mahasiswa. 'Ed is a college student.' > Ed bukan mahasiswa. 'Ed is not a college student.'

BTW, bukan can also appear as kan, but this is often used at the end of the sentence as a tag question particle, like the Korean suffixes -지?/-지요?/-죠?

Dia gila banget, kan? 'He's really crazy, isn't he?"

There are two other negation particles - kurang 'not quite, lacking' and belum 'not yet'.

Kurang is used when a speaker wants to mitigate his/her assessment of negation, which might reflect a more faithful state of affairs in many cases.

Kok hatinya kurang baik? 'How come s/he's not so kind? (literally, 'his/her liver is not that kind')

Jangan dengarinnya dong - kurang pintar dia! 'Don't listen to him - he's not that smart.'

Ini cukup, ya? Kurang... 'This is enough, right? Not quite...'

Oh, and a classic Indonesian insult - Kurang ajar, which literally means "[You're] not that educated!" but presently means "you fool" or "you jerk".

Belum, on the other hand, means "not yet":

Saya belum ke kantor hari ini. 'I haven't yet gone into the office today.'

Pak Susila belum membeli beras. 'Mr Susila hasn't bought rice yet.'

Also, if there are any single people reading this, you should take note: if an Indonesian asks you either Sudah kawin? 'Are you married?' or Sudah punya pacar? 'Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?', the most appropriate answer is belum. Tidak is grammatically okay, but pragmatically unusual since it is the cultural expectation that everyone eventually settles down and marries (even if the truth is far from that expectation).

Ya, semoga nggak bosan dengan pelajaran ini.
Yes, I hope that you aren't bored with this lesson.

Jul 18, 2008

"Quand les dieux dansent..."

Di dalam biografi saya pun saya tulis bahwa belajar dan mempertunjukkan tarian dan karawitan Bali selama berberapa tahun. Jadi, pos ini akan coba menghubungkan bahasa, tarian, dan musik sekaligus.

In my biography I also wrote that I've studied and performed traditional Balinese dance and music for several years. So, this post will attempt to tie language, dance, and music together all at once.

Video ini direkamkan dalam bahasa Perancis mengenai dua orang penari yang sangat terkenal di pulau Bali, yaitu Ni Made Cenik, berusia 87 tahun, dan putranya I Made Djimat dari Desa Batuan. Saya sudah pernah ke situ dan menontonnya tiga kali. Penari itu mempengaruhi murid-murid dengan banyak, pentasnya berbakat tinggi, dan perasaan dari pentas itu penuh dengan inspirasi.

This video recorded in French is about two dancers who are very famous in Bali, namely Ni Made Cenik, age 87, and her son I Made Djimat from the village of Batuan. I've been there to watch them three times already. These dancers have a lot of influence on their students, their performances display a high level of talent, and the feeling from these performances are filled with inspiration.

Saya mau menggarisbawahi hubungan di antara bahasa dan musik di Bali. Selama video ini, berberapa suku kata dapat didengar. Suku kata ini bisa dibagi di dua kelompok: suara "ding-dong" dan suara kendang.

I want to emphasize the connection between language and music in Bali. During this video, there are several syllables that can be heard. These syllables can be divided into two groups: "ding-dong" sounds and drum sounds.

Suara "ding-dong" penting sekali di karawitan Bali karena biasanya tidak ada notasi yang ditulis - semua "notasi" itu dikatakan saja. Jadi, nada suara karawitan Bali begini: ding-dong-deng-dung-dang. Tapi, biasanya, nada suara ini bisa digantikan bentuknya ke kata kerja dengan awalan bersengau N-, yaitu "ning-nong-neng-nung-nang".

The ding-dong sounds are very important in traditional Balinese music because usually there is no written notation - all the notation is spoken. So, the notes of Balinese music are like this: ding-dong-deng-dung-dang. However, usually the music notes can transform into verbs with the nasal prefix N-, namely "ning-nong-neng-nung-nang".

Kelompok suara yang kedua, suara kendang (seperti "pak", "blang", "pung", "plak", dan sebagainya) biasanya memberikan tanda ke penari dan penabuh mengenai peralihan dan "angsel" (putusan di dalam musiknya yang mengaksentuasikan gerakan penarinya). Apalagi, penarinya sering diajari gerakannya sebenarnya membuat suara kendang itu.

The second group of sounds, the drum sounds (like "pak", "blang", "pung", "plak", and so on) usually provide signs to the dancer and musicians about transitions and "angsel" (breaks in the music that accentuate the dancer's movements). In addition, dancers are often taught that their movements actually produce the drum sounds.

Malah, hanya ada sebuah kata bahasa Bali di video ini: di sekitar 0:36, Pak Djimat bilang "suwud" ("selesaikan").

In fact, there's only one word of Balinese in the video: at around 0:36, Pak Djimat says "suwud" ("Finish!").

Ini video pentas Bu Cenik (Bapang Gede) dan Pak Djimat (Jauk Manis) yang lengkap. Saya semoga pentas ini akan ditonton teman-teman disini dengan senang.

Here are videos of Bu Cenik's (Bapang Gede) and Pak Djimat's (Jauk Manis) complete performances. I hope that everyone here will enjoy watching these.

"Bapang Gede" - Bu Made Cenik

"Jauk Manis" - Pak Made Djimat


Potret ini dengan saya yang menari "Jauk Manis" di universitasnya sekitar empat tahun yang lalu.

These photos are of me dancing "Jauk Manis" at my university around four years ago.


Jauk teasing the gamelan

A Hilarious Spanish(?) Video

A language-loving friend of mine posted this video in a forum, and I want to share this video with all of you here :)

If you know a little Spanish, this is HILARIOUS :) I'm fighting with sleep right now and this video won me a couple of hours, I think!

Jul 17, 2008

Hidden Microphone: Printing Shop

I always find real, unscripted speech to be more useful in learning a language than written dialogues.

To this end, I've tried to record some real, easy dialogue for Mandarin Chinese. I recorded myself getting something printed in a real life printing shop in China. Now this might seem a bit unethical since this it was a hidden microphone, but it's all in the name of education. Here's how the dialogue ended up. I fast-forwarded through all the boring bits when nothing happened. Listen here.

Me: 开门。。。打印可不可以?A4黑白。(Hands her an SD card)
Her: 你有卡吗?
Me: 读卡器?没有。

Her: PDF?
Me: 对。

Me: 二到五就可以。
Her: 就这个是吧,二到五?

Her: 八块钱。


Me: kāimén... dǎyìn kě bùkě yǐ? A4 hēi bái. (Hands her an SD card)
Her: nǐ yǒu kǎ ma?
Me: dú kǎ qì? méiyǒu.

Her: PDF?
Me: duì.

Me: èr dào wǔ jiù kěyǐ.
Her: jiù zhègè shì ba, èr dào wǔ?

Her: bā kuài qián.


Me: (To myself) Open the door.... can I print something? A4 black & white? (Hands her an SD card)
Her: Do you have a card?
Me: A card reader? No.

Her: PDF?
Me: Yes.

Me: Two to five is fine.
Her: This right, two to five?

Her: Eight kuai.


Let me know if you have any probs!

How to greet in Bali - Cara salam di Bali

Well, after the "interesting" tidbits I've presented so far for Balinese, I guess it's time to present something a bit more practical.

When you visit Bali and try to talk with some of the locals, many of them may know a minimal amount of English (or other languages in the more touristy areas) - sometimes this amounts to a simple "Hello Mister!", even if you're a woman. (Kids love saying this - and you may soon get a bit annoyed by this, believe me.) However, it's always better if you can speak to them in Indonesian, at least. In order to start of this conversation, you'll need to know the following:

Selamat (time of day).

What do we put in the "time of day" slot? Here are some possibilities:

pagi: 'morning' (from 6 AM - 11 AM)
siang: 'day' (from 11 AM - 3/4 PM)
sore: 'late afternoon' (3/4 PM - 6/7 PM)
malam: 'evening' (7 PM and later)

And then the simple 'hello' - Apa kabar? (literally, what's the news?)

The appropriate responses to this are: Baik (well, fine), bagus (good), lumayan (just so-so; alright), or even lumayan bagus/lumayan baik (good enough/fine enough). The first two can be further modified by the adverb sekali 'very', e.g. baik sekali 'very well' and the noun kabar 'news', e.g. kabar baik (sekali) '(very) well'.

Now, to introduce yourself, you say

Nama saya ____.
'My name is _____.'

Notice that the possessor saya 'I, me, my' comes after the possessed nama 'name'. Also, a copula is not necessary in Indonesian.

To ask "What's your name?", you say

Siapa nama Anda?
Siapa namanya?

Literally "who is your name?"

Siapa means 'who', and this is the correct thing to say at this point.

'you' is interesting: it supposedly has its origins from Japanese anta, and it's considered to be extremely formal but impersonal, so the rule of thumb is to wean yourself away from this pronoun as soon as you can call your addressee something else. Of course, if you're in a highly formal situation, it's better to use this pronoun.

The alternate way is to say namanya, which literally means "the name" or "his/her name". (The suffix -nya is extremely difficult to define in a succint manner - I'll put up a future post about this.) In this situation, since you are speaking directly to your listener, he or she will know exactly whose name you are asking about. However, if you point to someone else, then the meaning changes to "what's his/her name?"

To sum up, this is how you greet and introduce yourself in Bali (and elsewhere in Indonesia) using Indonesian:

Selamat _____.
Apa kabar?
Nama saya _____.
Siapa nama Anda?/Siapa namanya?


That's all fine and dandy. However, what if you encounter a person who only seems to speak Balinese, like a child who's not in school yet or an elderly person? The situation is a bit more complex because Balinese is a langauge with multiple speech levels or speech styles, which change depending on the status(es) of not only the person you're talking to, but also the person you're talking about.

We can at least divide Balinese into three styles: Low, Middle, and High. The speaking conventions may be summed up like this: Low - used for intimates and people of inferior castes; Middle - mostly used for people who do not know each other's caste(s), as well as talking about people of higher caste while speaking to lower caste addressees; High - used for people of higher caste, and large audiences.

To begin your greeting in Balinese, nowadays many people use the traditional benediction phrase Om Suastiastu 'May all be well', as I explained previously in my Aksara Bali post.

Immediately afterward, people usually ask each other's names, since there is a lot of caste information contained in personal names. So, let's ask this appropriately in Balinese. If we see someone besides a child, we should ask either:

Sira wastane?
Sira pesengane?

Sira is 'who' in Middle and High Balinese, while wastane is 'the name' (cf. namanya) in High and pesengan is 'the way one is addressed' in Middle Balinese. (One can also say sira parabe where parab = 'name' in Middle Balinese, but I've never heard this used.)

The response is:

Wastan tiange/titiange ____.
(tiang (M)/titiang (H) 'I, my, me')

With a child, the situation is a bit more flexible - back then, one had to speak high or middle to someone of higher caste, especially nobles and high priests, even if they were still children. Nowadays, this isn't so stringently enforced.

In most cases, you can use the Low version of this question, which is:

Nyen adane?

You can immediately see the different between the Low vs. Middle/High speech styles - every word in this question is different. Nyen is 'who' and adan is 'name' in Low Balinese. Low Balinese in general contain words that are Austronesian in origin (compare adan to ngaran in Pangasinan [Philippines] and pa-ngalan in Tagalog).

The response in this case is:

Adan tiange/cange ____.

(Be careful when referring to yourself as cang [chang], which is Low Balinese.)

Of course, the addressee will probably say the following names:

Wayan/Putu, Made/Nengah/Kadek , Nyoman/Komang, Ketut

These are birth order names, so you would be immediately given one of these names as soon as you're born: Wayan/Putu for the first-born, Made/Kadek/Nengah for the second, Nyoman/Komang for the third, and just Ketut for the fourth. After the fourth, the cycle starts again. After these birth order names are one or more given names. (Family names/surnames are not used in Balinese culture; rather, they practice teknonymy, which is renaming themselves "Father of X/Mother of X" once they have children.)

These names are usually indicative of Low caste, so you can use Low Balinese a bit more freely at this point (unless they explicitly say otherwise).

However, if they respond with the following, e.g. Dewa, Agung, Gus, Dayu, Cokorda, Anak Agung, and others, these are (usually) people who are of higher caste. Thus, you should avoid casually using Low language around them - they will outright correct you if you misspeak.

Now that you've survived the struggle to ask someone's name in Balinese, you should ask how they're feeling, right? To say 'how are you', the forms are

L: Kenken kabare? (How's the news?)
M/H: Napi orti? (What's the news?) or Punapi gatrane? (How's the news?)

And to respond:

L: Biasa (do)gen. (Just 'fine' or 'normal')
M/H: Becik-becik. (Fine.)

Well, that's how you meet-n'-greet in Bali in a nutshell.

Tiang pamit.

Jul 16, 2008

A cross-comparison of Hawaiian and "Standard" North Central American Accents

For those of you not so familiar with American accents, the one that is considered to be the most "neutral" (i.e. devoid of typical regional characteristics) is in the northern part of the Midwestern US, that is, around Iowa, Nebraska, and the western part of Illinois. This is what many people refer to as the "broadcaster's accent", as many people in the national television reporting industry try to model their speech on this accent. Of course, you have your Southern accents, your Northeastern City accents (think Boston and New York), New England, the Northern Cities (think Chicago), the Western, and the stereotypical Southern Californian (front all those back vowels, dyuuude) accent.

(For the record, I have a mostly Southern Californian accent - my back vowels are indeed fronted - but not when I'm speaking a foreign language.)

Anyhow, I just wanted to focus your attention to a regional accent that may be the most distinctive: Hawaiian. Its basis is the English-based Hawaiian Pidgin, which is a misnomer now since it's considered a creole rather than a pidgin. Other lexical influences came from the numerous ethnic groups who were hired to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations: Hawaiians (of course), Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipinos, Portuguese, and many others.

So, here's a clip from the late Rap Reiplinger, a famous comedian from Hawaii, in one of his most well-known sketches, "Room Service". In this sketch, he plays both a "Mainlander" (i.e. from the 48 contiguous states) tourist and a Hawaiian room service receptionist (Mr. Reiplinger was known for his female impersonations). The differences between the two regional varieties are striking.

Be sure to pay attention to the following characteristics that have been directly taken from Hawaiian Pidgin:

- No used as a prohibition particle, rather than don't: (No go so freakin' fast; No get uptight, sir)

- Get as both a verb of possession (You get a pen?) as well as a verb meaning 'to attain s.t.'

- 'Em instead of it as an indefinite third person pronoun (I get'em, I get'em already)

- /th/ pronounced as [t] (ting for 'thing') or [d] (dat for 'that')

- Usually little tense marking; instead aspect marking is the norm, e.g. I get'em already (vs. I got them [already])

- Progressive aspect with no 'to be' verb, e.g. This buggah giving me heat!

- "Kine" (We get two kine): this is almost like a classifier or indefinite pronoun, except that this can also appear with the article da (< 'the'), i.e. da kine (this is probably the most stereotypically Hawaiian lexical item...)

I am by no means a pidgin expert (and there still are numerous pidgins and creoles all around the world - but many of them are disappearing quickly), but if you ever go to Hawaii, I would like you to at least gain an appreciation for this particular tongue. It's not like anything you've heard before.

P.S. And I think that chooi/choey comes from [注意], but used in this context as a more general device to solicit attention.

Jul 15, 2008

我要 (wo3 yao4) and 我想 (wo3 xiang3)

‘我要吃饭。’ (wo3 yao4 chi1 fan4)
I'm gonna eat.
밥을 먹으래요.

‘我想吃饭。’(wo3 xiang3 chi1 fan4)
I feel like eating.
밥을 먹고 싶어요.

I guess this is quite a common and minor mistake made by even the Chinese ourselves. But I would still like to blog about it anyway.

The meaning of both sentences are very similar. However, they are not. Let's take a look at some examples.

(In the office)

A: 我要吃饭。
B: 哦,去吃吧。
A: I'm going to eat.
B: Oh, go eat then.
A: 밥을 먹으래.
B: 그럼 먹어 가.

Notice how the conversation kinda ends here by B? That's because when we say 我要吃饭,it would probably mean "I'm going to eat" to the person we're talking to.

"要" (yao4) is a word with double meanings to it. It can mean "I want .." or "I'm gonna ..". It can be sound quite rude at times too, especially when used in a question.

"要不要吃饭?" would sound like "Are you going to eat or not?" and it might offend some people, especially me. I often reply with "Yes, but not now". Haha.

But this can be improved by adding some words to it and changing it into "要不要和我一起 (together with me) 吃饭?" which means "Wanna go eat with me?". Now, it is a suggestion! :)

"想" (xiang3), however, would sound much more pleasant.

Let's take a look at "想" now.

(In the office)

A: 我想吃饭。
B: 是吗?我也想吃。我们一起吃饭去吧。
A: I feel like eating.
B: Oh really? Me too. Let's go eat.
A: 밥을 먹고 싶어.
B: 그래? 나도 먹고 싶어. 그럼 같이 밥 먹자.

Notice that this time, a suggestion is made by B. That's because A said "我想吃饭" which means "I feel like eating".

"想" will also sound very much more pleasant than "要" when in a question.

"想不想吃饭?" would mean "Do you feel like eating?" and this would often be responded with a kind suggestion about dining together.

But if you add the words mentioned in one of the earlier sentences above and alter the sentence to "想不想和我一起吃饭?", it sounds kinda scary like a pick-up line because it would mean something like "Thinking of eating with me?". Haha!

It might seem like using '要' is altogether a bad thing. But no, I'm not saying that using '要' is all wrong. When you're really going to do something, please always use '要'. Otherwise the other party will ask you to do it together, which will make you seem even more rude when you turn down their suggestion!

Confusing? Not really! I'll sum it all up.

"要" carries the meaning of an intention to do something. It is used when you are going to do something.

"想" means that you're only thinking of doing something. It is used when you feel like doing it but you might not because of a certain reason.

I hope this kinda is useful.

Re: Chinese Introduction

My reply to Cody's introduction. 加油!

Aksara Bali - Balinese script

One thing that learners of Balinese will notice is that they will rarely encounter the language in some type of written form - it's more of a spoken language, although this situation is rapidly changing. For a language scholar such as myself, I've had more exposure to written Balinese, but the struggle is kept to a minimum since Balinese is presently predominantly written with Roman script. However, there is a resurgence of Aksara Bali/Tulisan Bali 'Balinese alphabet/Balinese script', which is largely based on the Brahmi scripts of South India. (You might have seen other examples such as Thai, Devanagari, Khmer, Tamil, and the like - all these are based on Brahmi.)

Here's a great site regarding the Balinese alphabet:


The story is this, basically: most Balinese learn the script during their formative years in SD (elementary school), but most soon forget this afterward. The only types of text where this script regularly appears are traditional religious texts and treatises, usually incised on dried strips of palm leaf called lontar. NB: This is where Balinese gets its curvaceous nature - any extended straight line would tear the palm leaf.

Brahmi scripts are difficult to understand on the one hand - they are usually described as abugida, which simply means a syllabic-based alphabet where all consonants have an inherent vowel. In order to change the vowel, one must add specific diacritics to the original consonant.

So, how does Balinese do that? Well, let's take the first letter, ha, which is:

This, of course, has the inherent vowel /a/. In order to change this vowel, diacritical marks must be added to this consonant.




Now, another complication in Brahmi-based scripts is the fact that traditionally, words were not separated by spacing; only clauses and paragraphs were. Additionally, since there are plenty of "closed syllables" (i.e. syllables that end in consonants) in Balinese, there is a lot of potential confusion with using a syllabic alphabet when it comes to consonant clusters. For example, if one had to write panak Sri 'Sri's child', it would be incorrect to write:

This transliterates to
*panakaśari, which doesn't mean anything in Balinese. So, Balinese and other Brahmi scripts have developed alternate forms of these consonants, which are usually referred to as conjunct consonantal forms. Thus, the most appropriate way of writing this would be pa-na-kśri, with the ś and r in their conjunct forms (which in turn "kills" the inherent vowel of the two first consonants in this cluster, i.e. kś):

And then one last example, this time with multiple clusters - the common benediction/greeting in Bali Om Swastyastu 'May all be well'. It is usually written Om (its own special symbol since it is so ritually charged) Swa-stya-stu:

Inggih wantah asapunika mangkin. Titiang mapamit dumun.

[Yes, that will be all for right now. I will take my leave.]

Intro by Max

Hello everyone, I'm Max. I'm 26 years old and from Australia, Sydney to be precise. I'm excited to be the newest member of Talk With The World.

My experience with foreign languages began about 24 years ago, when, my parents tell me, I looked up into the sky at a big metal thing flying along, and shouted excitedly [飞机!飞机!]

You see, I grew up in a bilingual family. My Dad is from Australia, but Mum is from Taiwan. She's from a mandarin speaking family, so she ended up speaking to me with her first language, 普通话 or 国语 as it is known in 台湾.

After graduating from university, I came to China. It seemed the right thing to do. I studied music for so long, but it didn't seem to be getting me very far, and I felt that I needed a new start. In China I developed my Chinese literacy (I can read almost anything you throw at me now) and after a short trip to Japan, started learning Japanese.

Eventually I got to the point with my Chinese that I felt that I needed some formal lessons. I enrolled at 上海外国语大学, and since I knew how many 한곡사람 are in 中国 learning 中文, decided that it would be the ideal opportunity to learn 한곡아.

So the languages that I speak, in order of proficiency are English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and French. If I met a Korean or French person, I wouldn't feel confident enough to have a conversation without going "뭐?" or “comment?" so I'm not sure if they count! But hopefully with some help from everyone at this site, and some 努力 on my part, I'll get there soon!

How important is time management?

How important is time management in your culture? I think for Americans, time management is only semi-important because we have a very laid back culture and we often give excuses and become way too lenient when it comes to deadlines and punctuality. So, I am curious. Please tell me about your culture's view of time management.

A very funny video about bilingualism - Video yang sangat lucu tentang bilingualisme

If you haven't seen this video yet, the very funny British comic Eddie Izzard has some humorous yet astute things to say about bilingualism.

Kalau video ini belum dilihat, pelawak yang sangat lucu, Eddie Izzard, mengatakan yang lucu tapi betul-betul mengenai bilingualisme.

이 비디오 아직 안 보이시면 너무 재미있는 영국 개그맨 Eddie Izzard 두 나라 말하기에 다해서 우습고 조심성있는 걸 말합니다.

"Je suis le président de Burundi."

"Je dois partir maintenant parce que ma grandmère est flambée." ㅋㅋㅋ

(Warning: some strong language, but nothing too extreme.)

Lagu anak-anak "Sayonara" (The children's song "Sayonara")

Lagu "Sayonara" itu lagu anak-anak Indonesia yang biasanya dinyanyikan selama anaknya di SD (sekolah dasar) atau taman kanak-kanak. Menarik sekali karena ada tiga buah bahasa yang dipakai di dalam lagu ini: pasti ada bahasa indonesia, tetapi apalagi ada bahasa Inggris dan Jepang. Pasti bahasa Jepang itu hanya dilambangkan oleh sebuah kata "Sayonara" saja, tapi masih harus diakui tidak ada lagu anak-anak lain sedunia itu yang memakai sebanyak bahasa begitu sama sekali, ya?

The song "Sayonara" is an Indonesian children's song that is usually sung when children are in elementary school or kindergarten. It's very interesting because there are three languages that are used in this song: of course Indonesian, but also English and Japanese. Granted, Japanese is represented only by the word "Sayonara", but one still must admit that there isn't another children's song in the world that uses as many languages at the same time, right?

Sayonara, sayonara
Sampai berjumpa pulang
Sayonara, sayonara
Until we meet again, we're going home

Buat apa susah, buat apa susah
Susah itu tak ada gunanya
What's so difficult about it, what's so difficult about it?
There's no use for difficulty

"Ingat-ingat" itu Remember
"Jangan lupa" itu Don't forget
"Saya suka" itu I like you
"Hanya engkau" Only you

Selamat menyanyi!
Happy singing!

Jul 14, 2008

Counting in Indonesian and Balinese, part 1

Ya, saya mau membicarakan cara penghitungan dengan bahasa Indonesia dan bahasa Bali. Cara penghitungan dalam bahasa Indonesia agak gampang dan polos; akan tetapi, cara tersebut dalam Bahasa Bali lebih sulit karena banyak kata-kata yang harus dihafalkan saja.

So, I want to discuss how to count in Indonesian and Balinese. Counting in Indonesian is rather simple and straightforward; however, the same process in Balinese is more difficult because of the many words that just have to be memorized.

Dalam bahasa Indonesia, cara penghitungan berdasarkan sistem desimal, jadi yang bisa berbahasa yang lebih terkenal (seperti bahasa Inggris, Perancis, Jepang, Korea, Tionghoa, dan sebagainya) bisa mengerti sistem tersebut dengan mudah.

In Indonesian, counting is based on a decimal system, so those who speak more well-known languages (such as English, French, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and so on) can easily understand such a system.

Nomer bahasa Indonesia
(Numbers in Indonesian)

1 - satu
2 - dua
3 - tiga
4 - empat (atau singkatannya [or its abbreviation] pat)
5 - lima
6 - enam (atau singkatannya nem)
7 - tujuh
8 - delapan
9 - sembilan
10 - sepuluh (se- berarti 'one'; puluh berarti 'ten', jadi se+puluh adalah "one ten")

se- means 'one'; puluh means 'ten', so se+puluh is "one ten"]

11 - sebelas
12 - duabelas
13 - tigabelas
14 - empatbelas/patbelas
15 - limabelas
16 - enambelas/nembelas
17 - tujuhbelas
18 - delapanbelas
19 - sembilanbelas
20 - dua puluh
21 - dua puluh satu
30 - tiga puluh

[dan sebagainya]

100 - seratus [ratus = 'hundred']
200 - dua ratus
500 - lima ratus

1.000 - seribu [ribu = 'thousand']
2.000 - dua ribu

10.000 - sepuluh ribu
100.000 - seratus ribu
1.000.000 - sejuta [juta = 'million'] - milyar [milyar = 'milliard' = billion]

Awas - di Indonesia, tanda baca titik dipakai untuk memisahkan nol-nol di nomer "1.000", "10.000", dan lain-lainnya.

Caution - in Indonesia, the period is used to separate the zeros in the numbers "1,000", "10,000", and others.

Polos dan gampang, ya?

Straightforward and simple, right?

Sekarang di bawah ada cara penghitungan bahasa Bali. Di samping lain, walaupun cara penghitungan dalam bahasa Bali berdesarkan sistem desimal juga, ada lebih banyak kata hitungan yang aneh, yaitu tidak mengikuti pola ini. Jadi, kata-kata itu harus dihafalkan dan diingat aja.

(R) berarti "bahasa rendah", dan (T) berarti "bahasa tinggi".

Now, the counting system in Balinese is featured below.
On the other hand, although the way of counting in Balinese is also based on the decimal system, there are many more words that are rather unusual, such that they do not follow this pattern. So, those words simply must be memorized and remembered.

(R) means "low language", and (T) means "high language".


Nomer bahasa Bali
Numbers in Balinese

1 - sa, (a)besik (R), (a)siki (T)
2 - dua (R), kalih (T)
3 - telu (R), tiga (T)
4 - pat
5 - lima
6 - nem
7 - pitu
8 - kutus
9 - sia
10 - dasa
11 - solas
12 - roras
13 - telulas
14 - patbelas
15 - limolas
16 - nembelas
17 - pitulas
18 - pelekutus (!)

[Sekarang Anda harus berpikir bahwa sistem ini berisi keanehan]

[Now you must be thinking that this system has some peculiarities]

19 - siangolas (!)
20 - duang dasa
21 - selikur (!)

["Likur"?? Apa artinya? Sebenarnya, artinya "di belakang" nomer dua puluh.]

[Likur? What does that mean? It actually means "on the back" of twenty.

22 - dualikur
23 - telulikur
24 - patlikur
25 - selae (!)

[Eh? "Selae"? Ya, bener, artinya sebenang 25 buah mata uang berbolong atau "kepeng". "Lae" dari "lawe", yg berarti "benang".]

[Huh? "Selae"? Yeah, that's right, it means a string of 25 Chinese cash coins or "kepeng". "Lae" is from "lawe", which means "thread".]

26 - nemlikur
27 - pitulikur
28 - ululikur (ulu = kata kuno berarti "delapan" [Old form for "eight"]
29 - sangalikur (sanga = kata kuno berarti "sembilan")
30 - telung dasa
31 - telung dasa besik

Nomer bahasa Bali aneh yang lain
Other unusual Balinese numbers

35 - pesasur (bukan *telung dasa lima) [not *telung dasa lima]
40 - petang dasa (petang - kata bersengau [nasalized form] untuk "pat")
45 - setiman (bukan *petang dasa lima)

[sehimpunan 45 buah timbaga untuk jaring mancing]

['a set of 45 metal weights for fishing nets']

50 - seket (bukan *limang dasa)
75 - telung benang (bukan *pitung dasa lima)
100 - satus
150 - karobelah (bukan *satus seket)
175 - lebak (bukan *satus telung benang/*satus pitung dasa lima)
200 - satak (bukan *duang atus)

Kenapa rumit begini? Ya, ada berhubungan dengan transaksi di pasar-pasar, yang termasuk cara penghitungan mata uang Cina kuno yang bernama "kepeng". Jadi, ada banyak nomer-nomer di bahasa Bali yang melibatkan konsep yang berhubungan "kepeng". Saya mau menjelaskan lebih banyak di catatan blog di depan.

Why is it so complex? Well, there's a connection with transactions in the markets, which include the ways of counting the old Chinese coins called "kepeng". So, there are a lot of numbers in Balinese that involve concepts related to "kepeng". I will explain (these concepts) further in a future blog entry.

Sekian dulu - sampai nanti!

That's it for now - until the next time!

French Phrases with 'What' + Japanese/English/Korean

프랑스어에서 'what'에 해당하는 단어들을 이용한 표현들입니다. 영어, 일본어, 한국어, 프랑스어의 순서대로 말을 해 보았습니다. 공부하시는 분들께 도움이 되길 바래요 ^^

= 뭐?
= 何?
= Quoi?

And what else?
= 그리고 다른 건?
= そしてその他には?
= Et quoi d'autre?

What for?
= 何で?
= 왜?
= Pourquoi?

What's the matter?
= どうしたの?
= 무슨 일이야?
= Qu'est-ce qu'il y a?

What's her telephone number?
= 彼女の電話番号は何番?
= 걔 전화번호 몇 번이야?
= Quel est son numéro de téléphone?

What´s this button for?
= このボタンは何に使うの?
= 이 버튼은 어디에 쓰는 거야?
= À quoi sert ce bouton?

Do what you want.
= 好きなようにして。
= 하고 싶은 대로 해.
= Fais ce que tu veux.

Take what you need.
= 必要な物を持って行って。
= 필요한 거 가져가.
= Prends ce dont tu as besoin.

What I need is time.
= 必要なのは時間だ。
= 내가 필요한 건 시간이야.
= Ce dont j´ai besoin c´est du temps.

And what´s more,
= その上、
= 게다가
= Et en plus,

He did what?
= 彼がどうしたって?
= 걔가 뭘 어쨌다고?
= Il a fait quoi?

Do you know what train he took?
= 彼が何時の列車に乗ったか知ってる?
= 걔가 몇 시 기차 탔는지 알아?
= Est-ce que tu sais quel train il a pris?

What a nice car!
= いい車だね!
= 차 좋은데!
= Quelle belle voiture!

What a strange thing to do!
= 変なことしてるね!
= 별 이상한 걸 다 하네!
= Quelle drôle d´idée!

What about the children?
= 子供はどうするの?
= 애들은 어떡해?
= Et les enfants alors?

What about eating out?
= 外食はどう?
= 외식 어때?
= Et si on dînait au restaurant?

What about Tuesday?
= 火曜日はどう?
= 화요일은 어때?
= Qu´est-ce que tu dirais de mardi?

What is that?
= それは何?
= 그거 뭐야?
= Qu´est-ce que c´est?

He did what I told him to do.
= 彼は私が言うとおりにした。
= 걔는 내가 하라는대로 했어.
= Il a fait ce que je lui ai dit de faire.

According to what he says
= 彼の話によると
= 걔 말대로라면
= Selon ses dires

At what time
= 何時に?
= 몇 시에?
= À quel heure?

Do what you can
= できることをやってね
= 할 수 있는 만큼 해
= Fais ce que tu peux

Do what you have to do
= やるべきことをやって
= 해야 되는대로 해
= Fais ce que tu dois faire

Do what you like
= 好きなようにして
= 하고 싶은대로 해
= Fais ce que tu veux

I mean what I´m saying
= 本気で言ってるんだよ
= 진심으로 하는 말이야
= Je suis sérieux.

No matter what happens
= どんなことが起きても
= 무슨 일이 있어도
= Quoi qu´il arrive

That´s what they say.
= そうらしいね。
= 그렇게들 말하더라.
= C´est ce qu´on dit.

What is wrong?
= どうしたの?
= 무슨 일이야?
= Qu´est-ce qui ne va pas?