Korean Lesson 15
Where are you from? Can you speak Korean?
어디에서 왔어요? 한국말 할 수 있어요?
(ohdee wasoyo? hangook mal ul hal soo-eesohyo?)
When you go to Korea, unless you are of oriental decent, they will automatically know you are a foreigner. You need to tell them where you are from and whether or not you can speak either Korean or English. If they have a second language, it is English, but you can’t just lean on English because most of them can’t speak English even though all the kids are studying English and they have to get a good score on a standardized government test to get a good job. If you are oriental and can’t speak Korean in Korea, they won’t like it. They expect you to speak English. If you are of Korean decent, but grew up outside of Korea, they call you gyopo.
Korean student: 안녕하세요. 외국인 이예요? 한국 말 할 수 있어요? (annyeong haseyo. wheigook-een eeyeyo? hangook mal ul halsoo eesoyo?) – Hello, Are you a foreigner? Do you speak Korean?
Foreign student: 안녕하세요. 네, 나는 외국인 이예요. 아주 조금 한국 말 할 수 있어요. (annyeong haseyo. ne, na nun whegook een eeyeyo. ahjoo chokum hangook mal hal soo eesoyo.) Hello, Yes, I am a foreigner. I can only speak a little Korean.
Korean student: 어디에서 왔어요? (ohdee eso whasoyo?) – Where do you come from?
Foreign student: 스페인에서 왔어요. (soopay een oh whasoyo.) – I come from Spain.
Korean student: 정말로? 난 스페인어 할 수 없어요. 나는 미국인이라고 생각했어요. 나는 영어를 조금 할 수있어요. (jeongmalro? soopayn oh hal soo obsohyo. na nun meegookeen eerago seng gak hesoyo. na nun jeokum yong oh lool hal soo eesohyo.) Really? I can’t speak Korean. I thought you were were American. I can speak a little English.
Foreigne student: 영어로 말 할 수 있어요? (jeongmalro? yong oh nun hangook mal boda to jal mal hal soo eesohyou. yong oh ro mal ko sheep ohyo. yong oh ro hal soo eesoyo?) – Really? I can speak English better than I can speak Korean. I want to speak English. Can we speak English?
Korean student: Sure. I studied English in school and can speak it well.
1. 미국 (meegook) – America
스페인 (soopayn) – Spain
영어 (yong oh) – English
한국말 (hangook mal) – the Korean language
수페인어 (soopayn oh) – Spanish
2. 할 수 있어요 (hal soo eesoyo) – can do. In Korean, they may just say, 한국 할을 할 수 있어요? (hangook mal ool halsooeesoyo?) – literally, “Can you do Korean?” The 할 comes from 하다 (hada) – to do. Any time you put 을 수 있어요 ( ool soo eesoyo) after a verb, they are asking if you can do it. For example: 가다 (kada) – “go” becomes 갈 수 있어요? (kal soo eesoyo?) – Can you go?. 먹다 (mokda) – “eat” becomes 먹 을 수 있오요 (mok ool soo eesohyo) – I can eat. If you say it like a question, it becomes “Can you eat?”
3. 오다 (ohda) means “come.” If you want to make it past tense, you must completely change it. It becomes 왔어요 (wasoyo) or 왔다 (wat-dah) for the book form, and , 왔습니다 (watsoobneedah) is the formal of “came.” Not all the verbs are this complicated in the past tense.
If you want to say, “I went,” 가요 (kayo), “I go,” becomes 갔어요 (kasoyo) as “I went.” If it is the book form, it becomes 갔다 (katdah). The formal form becomes 갔습니다 (katsoobneeda).
Another example is “I ate.” To say “I eat,” you say 머거요 (mokoyo), 먹다 (mokda), or 막습니다 (moksoobneeda). To change it to past tense, “ate,” say 먹었어요 (mogossoyo), 먹었다 (mogotdah), or 먹었습니다 (mogotsubneedah).
Perhaps you will get the idea of past tense. You need that double ㅅ, inserted in the ending if you want to make it past tense.
4. When we say, “Where do you come from?”, they express it in past tense, “Where did you come from?”
5. Another ending you can find in this lesson tells you how to say you want to do something. Remember 원해요 (wonheyo) means you want something, but you must express it differently if you want to do something.
To express this, you say 십어요 (sheep oh yo). 먹고 십어요 (moko sheep oh yo) is “I want to eat.” If you ask it as a question, the same words mean, “Do you want to eat?”
가고 십어요 (kako sheep oh yo) becomes “I want to go” or as a questions, “Do you want to go?”
말고십어요 (mal ko sheepohyo) becomes “I want to talk” or as a question, “Do you want to speak?” (There is no different between “talk” or “speak” in Korean.
6. 이펜이 책보다 더 작아요. (ee pen ee check boda to jackahyo)- The pen is smaller than the book. 이 means “this.” 보다 as a verb, means “to look” or “to see,” but in this case, it means “than.” 더 means “-er.” 작아요 means “is small.” If you put 더 작아요, it means “is smaller.” However, at times, when they use this construction, they just leave the 더 out because they figure you will understand because of the construction they used. The 이 after 펜 (pen) means that “pen” is the subject.
여자는 남자보다 더 작아요. (yoja nun namja boda to jackah yo) – The woman is smaller than the man. 여자 (yoja) – woman. 남자 (namja) – man. 는 is the post position article telling you that 아자 is the subject.
영어는 한국말 보다 더 말 할 수 있어요 (yong oh nun hangook mal boda to mal hal soo ees oh yo) – I can speak English better than I can speak Korean.
7. 적음 영어를 할 수 있어요. (jokum yong oh lool hal soo ees oh yo). – I can speak a little English. We never think about it, but when we say “a little,” we are saying, “a little bit.” That “bit” makes it a noun phrase. 저은 (jokun) means “small” or “little,” an adjective. However, they have put the ㅁ (m) on the end, and it turns it into a now. 적음 (jokum) becomes “a little bit,” a noun phrase.
8. 한국 할을 한 수 없어요. (hangook mal ool has too obs oh yo) – I can’t speak Korean. Any time you see this 없어요 (obs oh yo), they have used a negative.
If you say 있어요 (eesoyo), you are saying “it is located” or “has or have.”
If you say 없어요 (obsoyo) you are saying “It is not located,” “I don’t have or he doesn’t have” or it can simply mean “He isn’t here” or “it isn’t here.”
The other way to make a negative is 않 (an) or 안 (an). 먹지 않아요 (mok jee an ah yo) – I don’t eat. (You can change the subject to any pronoun you want.) 가지 않아요 (kajee an ah yo)- I don’t go, he doesn’t go, she doesn’t go, We don’t go, you don’t go, they don’t go.
If they put the negative in front of the verb, it is spelled differently. 안 가요 (an kayo) – I don’t go, you don’t go, he doesn’t go, etc. 안 머거요 (an mogoyo) – I don’t eat, you don’t eat, he doesn’t eat, we don’t eat, etc.
(There will be exercises in the next lesson.)