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Explaining Korean Grammar Using Acts 1:3 (한국어 무법, 사도행전)

This morning, I wrote a blog around the song, “A Shield About Me,” and right now, I want a shield around the Korean people. What has been happening in China with the Coronavirus has been terrible, and the Coronavirus came from China to Korea through Chinese Koreans around Daegu, close to Busan. I am very worried about my friends who live in Daegu. At least they are Christians, and God is waiting to take them into his bosom if anything should happen, but no one wants to get so sick they die. You have probably been praying for China, but please pray for Korea too.

If you look on the top right of this globe, you see a long island next to the mainland. That is Japan, and there is a small peninsula whose bottom is close to Japan off the mainland that is brightly colored. That is Korea. North Korea cuts S. Korea off from China, the large part of the mainland above that. Many Chinese Koreans live part of the way down the peninsula, at Daegu, close to Busan. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Korea has an advantage over several other countries. Many, many of them believe in God, and God brings the comfort we need in hard times. Jesus rose from the dead, and if he can do it, he can help us do it too. Today’s verse is about after Jesus rose from the dead. Many people saw him after he rose from the dead, and 120 people were eye witnesses to him rising up into Heaven. Matthew says that he will come again someday in the same way he left, and we will see him in the clouds. Let’s get to our verse about after he rose from the dead, Acts 1:3 (사도행전 1장 3절).

예수님이 일어났어요. (Jesus rose.)Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

사도행전 1장 3절: 그가 고난 받으신 후에 또한 그들에게 확실한 많은 증거로 친히 살아 계심을 나타내사 사십일 동안 그들에게 보이시며 하나님 나라의 일을 말씀하시나라

사도행전 1장 3절 = “Acts 1:3.” If you don’t remember, I told you last time that 사도 (sahdoh) means “apostle.” 행전 (hengjeon) means “past acts.” 장 (jang) means “chapter.” 절 (jeol) means “verse.”

예수님이 그들에게 많은 가르첬어요. (Jesus taught them a lot.)Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

그가 = “He.” 그 is the masculine pronoun. ㄱ is pronounce somewhere between a “g” and a “k.” ㅡ is not a sound in English. It is said down in your throat and is more of a grunt. Sometimes, when I try to tell people how to say 그, I write “kuh” or “guh,” but that “u” is actually more of a grunt coming from the throat. 그 is used in every masculine pronoun, and it changes according to what is written after it. If the post position particle, 가 (gah), is written after it like it is here, it is the subject, “He.”

고난 = “hardship.” It is pronounced “goh-nahn.”

받으신 = “received.” 받아요 (bahdahyo) is the way you would say “receive” at the end of a sentence when you are normally speaking. “Received” at the end of the sentence is “받았어요” (bahdahssoh-yo). However, this is at the end of a clause inside of a sentence, and it even has 신 (sheen) at the end. That 신 tells you the speaker is using respect toward what he is talking about which happens to be Jesus because of the 그가 (kuhgah), “He.” Koreans use this verb a lot, so it is a really good one to learn.

후에 = “after.” This is also a good word to learn. 후에 (hoo-eh) is place at the end of this clause, but in English, we would have put it at the beginning. Their word order here is “subject + direct object + verb + after.” In English, our word order is “after + subject + verb + direct object.”

또한 = “in addition.” 또한 is pronounced “ddoh-hahn.” That double “d” means that you pronounce the “d” extra hard, put extra emphasis on it.

그들에게 = “To them.” 그 (kuh), as I said before, is the masculine pronoun, but this is longer than just 그. And time there is a 들 (dul) on the end of a word, it is like putting an “s” on an English word. It makes it plural. In this case, it means there were several people, and that makes 그들 (kuh-dul) into the plural third person pronoun. It is according to the post postion particle which one it is. If I write 그들이 (kuh-dul-ee) or 그들은 (kuh-dul-un), it becomes “they,” but this one has 에게 (eh-geh) after it. That 에게 is the preposition “to” that is used only before people. This means that here, 그들 (kuh-dul) is the object pronoun of the preposition, so it becomes “them.”

확실한 = “sure.” 확실한 is pronounced “whaksheelhahn.” Because of the 한 (hahn) on the end, it becomes an adjective.

많은 = “many” or “a lot of” or “much.” 많은 is pronounced “mahnuhn.”

예수는 과학적 증거를 보여줬어요. (Jesus showed them Scientific proofs.) Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

중거로 = “using evidence.” 중거 (joong-geo) means “evidence.” 로 (roh) is the post position particle that means “through” or “using.” The adjective 확신한 (whaksheelhan) is paired with this noun, “evidence.”

친히 = “personally.” Any time you have an “ly” on the end of a word in English, you know it is an adverb. Adverbs tell about verbs, adjective, and other adverbs. In Korean, if you see an 히 (hee) on the end of a word, it is the counterpart to that English “ly.” It means the word is an adverb.

에수님이 구의 손에 봇 흉터가 있었어요. (Jesus had nail scars in his hands.)Photo by Kehn Hermano on Pexels.com

살아 계심을 = “was alive.” 살다 (sahldah) is the basic form of the word that means “to live” in English. If you want to use this at the end of the sentence, as the main verb of the sentence, say, 살아요 (sahl-ah-yo). “I live in America” = 나는 미국에 살아요. (nahnuhn meegook eh sahl-ah-yo). 살아 (sahl ah) is only a form used inside the sentence as the verb of a dependent clause. 계심 (gyeh-sheem) comes from 계시다 (gheh shee dah) which means “to exist” or “to be.” 계시다 is a very respectful verb. There are many ways to say “to be” in Korean, but each is used in a different way. This one is used if you are talking about someone who deserves respect like your parents, the emperor, or God. In this case, it is talking about Jesus. The ㅁ (m) on the end of 계심 (gyeh-seem) makes it into a noun rather than a verb. The 을 (uhl) that follows 계심 (gyeh-sheem) is the post position particle denoting that what is before it is a direct object.

나타 내사 = “represents” or “show.” You pronounce 너터내사 as “nahtahnehsah.”

그가 40일 동안 그들 함께 있었어요. (He was with them for forthy days.) Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

사십일 = “forty days.” 사십 (sahsheep) means the number “forty.” 일 (eel) means “day.” There is nothing that means “s” on the end of 일, but that is okay. In Korean, they often leave things like that out. In English, we must use or “s,” or it is wrong, but not in Korean. 들 (dul) = “s”, but they don’t have to use it. They use it only when they fee like it.

동안 = “during.” This comes after the time that you mention, and they use it much more often than we would. For example, I might say, “I lived in Korea five years,” and they would translate it as, “내가 5년 동안 한국에 살았어요.” (nehgah 5nyeon dong-ahn Hahn-gook eh sahlahsoyo). Litterally, this comes out as I live there during five years, but we don’t use “during” there in English. 당안 (dong-ahn) is used any time you talk about a period of time.

그들에게 보이시며 = showed to them, and.” I have already explained that 그들 (kuh-dul) is the third person plural pronoun and that 에게 (eh-gheh) means “to” before a person or people, so 그들에게 (kuh-dul eh-gheh) means “to them” in English. 보다 (bohdah) means “to look” or “to see.” If you want to use 보다 at the end of the sentence, say, 보요 (bohyoh) meaning, “sees, see, look, or looks.” Related to this word is 보이다 (boh-ee-dah) which means “to show.” Here, we have 보이시 (boh-ee-shee). The 보이 (boh-ee) part of the word means “show.” The 시 (shee) part of the wrod means you are giving respect to the person you are talking about who did the showing. In this case, the translator is giving respect to Jesus because 그가 (He) is the subject of the sentence. 며 (myeo) is one of the many ways of saying “and” in Korean. This and can only come inside of the sentence or clause. it can’t begin it.

그가 그들에게 하나님 나라 에대하여 보여줐어요. (He showed them about the Kingdom of Heaven.) Photo by Vladislav Vasnetsov on Pexels.com

하나님 나라의 일을 = “the work of God’s kingdom.” 하나님 (hahnahneem) means “God.” 나라 (nahrah) means “country” or “kingdom.” The 의 (oo-ee) on the end of 나라 is a possessive like apostrophe “s” in English. 일 (eel) is a strange word in Korean. You have to understand it from context. Sometimes it means “day,” but it doesn’t here. It means “work” (the noun) here. If I said “일 해요,” (eel heyo), it is the verb used for “work” at the end of a sentence. Remember, if a verb is used at the end of a sentence in Korean, it is the main verb of the sentence, and in English it would come right after the subject of the sentence. In this case, we know 일 (eel) is a noun because 을 (uhl) comes right after it. 을 is the direct object post position particle. What comes before it is the direct object, and a direct object is a noun or a pronoun. 일 is a noun, a thing, in this place.

말씀하시나라 = “spoke.” 말 (mal) means “word.” 말슴 (malsum) also means “word.” If you want to say “speak” at the end of a sentence (that means the main verb of the sentence), say “말하다” for “to speak,” and 말 해요(mal heyo) for “I speak, you speak, he speaks, she speaks, they speak, and we speak.” Here, we have 말슴 하다 (malsum hahdah) as the main verb which means “to speak.” The 다 (dah) is taken off, and 시 (shee) is added giving respect to the person who speaks. 나라 (nahrah) is added on the end to make it a past tense that is only used in the Bible. Don’t use this when you speak to someone. If you want to say, “He spoke,” say, “그가 말 했어요” (koo-gah mal-hessoyo). This is the form you want to use when you speak to most people.

Let’s put this verse all together: “After he received hardship, in addition, he spoke to them personally showing to them much sure evidence that he was alive, and for forty days showed them the work of God’s kingdom.”

I hope the Korean didn’t make you feel like this. Photo by ibadatcreates on Pexels.com

Wow! Talk about convoluted! I had to work hard to sort this one out and make it make sense in English, but it finally happened. I really understand the Koreans who have a had time understanding English. One of the fathers of one of my students went to the same church as I did, and he always talked about wanting me to help the Korean young people because they had a huge burden of learning English on their shoulders. For the Koreans, it is a huge burden. They have a big English test they all have to take and if they don’t do well, they can’t get a good job even in Korea. Can you imagine having a language completely opposite of yours a requirement to getting a decent job? Many American study Spanish or French in high school, but they don’t learn to speak it. What would Americans do if those languages were required for getting a decent job? Those languages are not even that far from English. Could you imagine being required to know Korean well to get a good job?

Many Korean parents part when their kids are very young trying to teach them to speak English. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Koreans scramble to learn English. Everyone advertises that they can teach English. Many think they have found short cuts to passing those tests. There are schools every day after school for children to attend to learn to speak English. Koreans know they have to know English to communicate with the outside world, and they need to communicate with the outside world because their country is small. They need English to keep their economy going because they do a lot of business with the outside world. They are always saying, “It is a Global World,” and they know to join tht world, they must speak English.

History speaks about Jesus rising from the dead, not just the Bible. Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

As for the scripture here, lots of people saw Jesus after he rose from the dead. There is even a famous Roman historian named Josephus that wrote in his history book that Jesus did many miracles and rose from the dead on the third day. You can look up Josephus’ book on the internet. Josephus was not a Christian, but he knew what happened, and he wrote about it in his history book. I have read it. He didn’t say, “Some people say he rose from the dead.” He actually said that Jesus rose from the dead. There is so much proof for what happened in the Bible and outside of the Bible. There is no way people can’t believe it actually happened if they study and look at the evidence.

The most important knowlege you can get is knowledge about God. Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

When I was a little girl, I heard the name of Jesus, and I didn’t understand who he was and why people were talking about him so excitedly. I asked, and they said he lived 2,000 years ago, and then I wondered, “Why should someone who lived 2,000 years ago matter so much?” As I grew, I studied, and knowledge about Jesus matters more than any knowledge we ever get.

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