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Lesson Transcript

Misun: 안녕하세요 여러분, KoreanClass101.com 입니다.
Keith: Keith here! Welcome to Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 11 - It's Impossible to Study Korean with All That Noise! Hello, and welcome back to the KoreanClass101.com , the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Korean! I'm joined in the studio by...
Misun: 안녕하세요. 미선입니다.
Keith: In this lesson, you will learn how to say you're not very good at something.
Misun: Like not good at, 잘 못해요.
Keith: This conversation takes place…
Misun: On the street
Keith: The conversation is between…
Misun: A foreigner and a Korean person.
KeithL: The speakers are strangers, so they’ll be speaking formal Korean.
Misun: 네. 존댓말이요.
Keith: All right. Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

예린 외국 사람이에요?
빌리 죄송합니다. 한국말 잘 못해요.
예린 외국 사람이네요!
빌리 죄송합니다. 한국말 잘 못해요.
English Host: One more time with the English.
예린 외국 사람이에요?
Keith: Are you a foreigner?
빌리 죄송합니다. 한국말 잘 못해요.
Keith: Sorry. I don't speak Korean well.
예린 외국 사람이네요!
Keith: You are a foreigner!
빌리 죄송합니다. 한국말 잘 못해요.
Keith: Sorry. I don't speak Korean well.
Misun: Keith, what's the perception of foreigners in Korea?
Keith: Well, if you look different than Koreans, you might be a spectacle to some kids.
Misun: Right, Korea is the most homogeneous country in the world, right?
Keith: So if you look different, you'll get some looks.
Misun: That’s right. But recently, there's been a lot more foreigners in Korea.
Keith: Yeah. There's the American military, and a lot of English teachers in Korea, too.
Misun: Absolutely. There's also a lot of Chinese and Japanese people that come to Korea. For example, like to tour and work or something like that.
Keith: Right. I mean, not just those countries, there’s a bunch of people. So in the past few years, there has been a larger influx of foreigners in Korea. So Misun, just a quick question, what was your perceptions of foreigners in Korea when you were a kid?
Misun: Oh. Well, when I was young, like, wherever I look, it’s just there’s military people, and then missionary personal nurse like Mormons, walking on the street. And then I was so fascinated by their look. It’s so exotic and very handsome.
Keith: Everyone’s so good-looking.
Misun: Right. They’re totally different from what I got, right? So it’s kind of like a strange feeling.
Keith: But I think recently, since there’s a lot more people, I think Korean people are getting used to foreigners being in Korea now.
Misun: 네. So no difference at all now.
Keith: Well, I think there is a difference but just a little less. All right, well, let’s take a look at the vocabulary.
Misun: 외국 사람 [natural native speed]
Keith: Foreigner.
Misun: 외국 사람 [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 외국 사람 [natural native speed].
Keith: Next.
Misun: 죄송합니다 [natural native speed]
Keith: I'm sorry.
Misun: 죄송합니다 [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 죄송합니다 [natural native speed]
Keith: Next is…
Misun: 한국말 [natural native speed].
Keith: Korean (language)
Misun: 한국말 [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 한국말 [natural native speed].
Keith: And finally…
Misun: 잘 못해요 [natural native speed].
Keith: Not very good at.
Misun: 잘 못해요 [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 잘 못해요 [natural native speed].
Keith: All right. Well, let's take a look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Misun: The first phrase we’ll look at is, 죄송합니다.
Keith: I'm sorry.
Misun: This is the most formal and most polite way to say sorry to someone.
Keith: Right, there are a couple of other forms. Like the informal.
Misun: Yea, You wouldn't use 죄송합니다 with a close friend. It's too polite. If you were talking to a good friend, you could say 미안해.
Keith: Yeah, it's informal, but still apologetic. So who would we use 죄송합니다 with?
Misun: We would use it with bosses, teachers, the elderly person, et cetera.
Keith: Right. Essentially the people you have to respect.
Misun: 네 맞아요.
Keith: All right. Our next word is “foreigner.”
Misun: 외국사람.
Keith: And many people may hear this word, but there's another word people might hear as well.
Misun: 네. 외국인.
Keith: Can we have that a little slowly?
Misun: 네, 외/국/인
Keith: And this essentially means the same thing, 외국사람 and 외국인.
Misun: 네. Both mean foreigner.
Keith: All right. Well, let’s move on to the focus of this lesson.

Lesson focus

Misun: The focus of this lesson is the phrase 잘 못 해요.
Keith: 잘 못 해요 (jal mot haeyo) is a phrase that is used to express one's lack of adequate ability, not very good at.
Misun: Yes, It's translated as "not very good at."
Keith: And just 잘 못 해요 is in the standard politeness level. It is polite and conversational. Well, Misun, let's take a look at the one example that came out in this lesson.
Misun: The foreigner said, 죄송합니다. 한국말 잘 못 해요.
Keith: "Sorry. I don't speak Korean well."
Misun: The first part is 한국말.
Keith: Korean.
Misun: And the second part is 잘 못 해요.
Keith: Which is literally “not good at.”
Misun: So literally it's “Korean, not good at.”
Keith: But when we translate it, it means “I'm not good at speaking Korean.”
Misun: But instead of this one example, how about we give some other useful example, Keith?
Keith: Sure! How about "I'm not good at sports." Some people might find this useful.
Misun: Yes. That would be 스포츠 잘 못 해요.
Keith: Right. Notice how the thing you're not good at, Korean or sports, it all comes in the front of the phrase, 잘 못해요.
Misun: Another example we can give is 운전 잘 못 해요.
Keith: "I'm not good at driving."
Misun: Again. Driving comes out in front.
Keith: The word for driving is 운전. This next example is specifically for me.
Misun: You mean, 공부 잘 못 해요?
Keith: "I'm not a very good student." But literally, that's I'm not good at studying.
Misun: This might be useful for some of our listeners, 술 잘 못 마셔요.
Keith: "I have low tolerance." Or literally, I'm not good at drinking. Why would that be useful Misun?
Misun: Korean culture tends to use alcohol quite often for social situations.
Keith: Right. So if you’re not that fun of drinking, you can kindly refuse drinks with that phrase.
Misun: Yes. Okay. So we went over 잘 못해요, which means “I'm not very good at.”
Keith: But you can use just 잘 on its own to say that you're good at something.
Misun: Yup. For example, 한국말 잘 해요.
Keith: I'm good at Korean.
Misun: Or, 태권도 잘 해요.
Keith: I'm good at taekwondo.
Misun: Notice how the phrase 잘 못 해요 becomes just 잘 해요.
Keith: Right. And that means “you’re good at something.”
Misun: We can also change the phrase 잘 못 해요 again.
Keith: Right. We can say just say 못 해요.
Misun: 네 맞아요. This means that you can’t do something.
Keith: For example?
Misun: 중국어 못 해요.
Keith: "I can't speak Chinese." And this one is stronger. Instead of “I'm not good at,” it's pretty clear – “I can't.”
Misun: 네 맞아요. Or if you don't have a license, 운전 못 해요.
Keith: That means, "I can't drive."


Keith: Well, that just about does it for today. Testing yourself is one of the most effective ways to learn.
Misun: That's why we have 3 types of quizzes.
Keith: Vocabulary, grammar, and content specific.
Misun: Each quiz targets specific skill...
Keith: And together, these quizzes will help you master several fundamental skills.
Misun: You can find them in the learning center at
Keith: KoreanClass101.com. All right, bye-bye.


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.

Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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Hello KC101여러분

여러분은 술을 잘 마시나요? 아니면 잘 못 마시나요?

Thursday at 7:57 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi James,

운전 못해요.

못 운전해요.

both mean you cannot drive.

On another note, 운전 안 해요=I can drive but I won't drive.



Team KoreanClass101.com

Wednesday at 10:50 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What is the difference between:

운전 못해요.



Do they both translate to '(I/they) cannot drive'?

to drive = 운전하다

I/he/she/they drive = 운전해요

If so, WHY do we sometimes separate the 운전 and 해요 and place the 잘 or 잘못 in between?

This happens with many verbs that end in 해요, they are split apart to place a word inbetween. Why?

Wednesday at 9:12 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Kaldea,

Thanks for posting. The difference is that one is Sino Korean for 'language', and the other native Korean.

어=Sino Korean 말=native Korean.



Team KoreanClass101.com

Tuesday at 2:07 am
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What is the difference between 한국말 and 한국어?

Tuesday at 5:51 am
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Hi Ram,

Thanks for posting. The batchim ㅅ takes on the ㄷ sound, unless it is followed by the nasal consonants ㅇ, ㄴ, ㅁ.




In other cases it will take on the 't' sound.



Team KoreanClass101.com

Sunday at 4:28 pm
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i have question on spelling, 못 is mot not mos on what conditions ㅅ is "s" sound and what condition is it "t" sound.

Saturday at 6:27 pm
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Hi Teresa,

Thank you for your message!

In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.



Team KoreanClass101.com

Monday at 6:34 pm
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Thanks for this lesson.

Wednesday at 3:36 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Zel,

Thanks for your comment!

You may either add or not. In spoken language, we often omit object marking particles. :)

Hope this answered your question! Thank you!


Hi Denisse,

Thank you for leaving us a comment!

The polite question would be [어느 나라에서 왔습니다?/어느 나라 사람입니까?], and the intimate one can be put as [어느 나라에서 왔어?/어느 나라 사람이야?].

You may learn more about how to ask the question on nationalities from this lesson.


Hope it helped, and please let us know if you have more questions!




Team KoreanClass101.com

Thursday at 1:51 pm
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Hello, I'm so sorry... I remembered I have this question but, actually I didn't know where to put it, so I'm learning the negatives... Leaving this question here... (being shy TT❤️️)

If one person answer... 저는 불가리아에서 왔습니다... What would be the question? Can I also have the intimate and polite version of it? Because I have heard too many ways to ask where does a person come from... but as for me.. I've heard this more than others... Like... Eonu nara for example, but not usually used... 😳

I'm still don't know how to ask it and make it by my own... but maybe I can get used to the new one way to ask c: ❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️ (the one I don't know still)

- x (?)

- 저는 불가리아에서 왔습니다