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Lesson Transcript

Debbie: Top 5 Mistakes Not to Make When Using Korean.
Tim: 안녕하세요, Tim here. And I am joined in the studio by…
Debbie: Debbie! 반갑습니다, 여러분!
Tim: 반갑습니다, 데비씨! How do you feel today?
Debbie: “I am feeling great!” Thanks for asking, Tim.
Tim: Debbie, what if I asked you “What is your condition today?”
Debbie: My condition!?? Are you pretending to be a doctor?
Tim: 하하…No... but it would be weird if I asked, “what’s your condition today?" in a daily conversation, right?
Debbie: Yes, because no one would ask “what’s your condition today?” to find out how that person is feeling, unless you are a doctor and I am your patient. I think you already know the difference between those two sentences.
(pause) Oh~~ I see~~ Is this related to our topic today?
Tim: Yup!
Debbie: Ah-ha! "Mistakes!!!" - that's today's topic!“MISTAKES” that our listeners could make when using Korean!
Tim: 딩동댕!!! You got it! Today’s topic is ‘Top 5 Don'ts When Using Korean’.
Debbie: “Top 5 Don'ts!” - so things you should NOT DO. “Interesting!”
Tim: Are you ready?
Debbie: Yes, I am! Are you guys ready? Okay. Let’s begin – Top 5 Don'ts When Using Korean’
Debbie: In today’s lesson, we are going to talk about the ‘top 5 mistakes not to make when using Korean’.
Tim: Number 5 is …Don’t say “I” – 저는 (jeo-neun) or 나는 (na-neun) - all the time in Korean.
Debbie: In English, it's natural to use "I" in every sentence when talking about yourself. "I did this... I did that... etc." We need to specify the subject.
Tim: Yes, but in Korean, we tend to avoid saying "I” 저는 (jeo-neun) or 나는 (na-neun) in a sentence.
Debbie: So.. while it's not ‘wrong’ to say “I” 저는 (jeo-neun) or 나는 (na-neun) in every sentence, it sounds more natural when you leave it out, right?
Tim: Yes! So for example, Debbie, if I ask you what your favorite Korean food is...
Debbie: ...I don't need to start my sentence with "I" and say 저는 or 나는, right? Since you are asking me, it is obvious that I mean "me," right?
Tim: That's right! Just simply answer by saying, "비빔밥" or "불고기" like that. Okay, What’s #4?
Debbie: Number four – Do not literally translate sentences into Korean. For example, 주세요 “Juseyo” does NOT always mean “please”.
Tim: Good point. Some listeners may think that “juseyo” simply means “please”.
Debbie: But actually, it means more than just “please”, right?
Tim: Yes, “juseyo” actually means “please GIVE ME” in most situations.
Debbie: Let's hear some examples.
Tim: Okay. Pretend I am a taxi driver in Korea and I ask you, “Where should I take you, ma’am?” How would you answer?
Debbie: Hmm…“Seoul Station, please…”
Tim: Good answer! Now let’s translate your answer into Korean.
Debbie: “Seoul Station” is 서울역 (seoul yeok) and, “Please” is 주세요 (juseyo).
Tim: So all together…?
Debbie: 서울역 주세요. "Please give me Seoul Station!" Oh wait... that's not what I meant!
Tim: Do you see my point?
Debbie: Yes! If we simply translate something like “Seoul Station please” literally into Korean, sometimes it could cause a misunderstanding for the actual meaning or situation, right Tim?
Tim: Yes. So listeners, try not to make a mistake when translating “juseyo” into Korean.
Debbie: I don’t think they will after listening to this lesson! Okay, let’s move on to number 3!
Tim: Number 3 – Don’t call people by their first names.
Debbie: Yes, calling someone who is older than you by his/her first name is very disrespectful.
Tim: It’s better to say, “You must not call your elders by their first names”.
Debbie: Must not?
Tim: Yes, you may call someone by their first name “only if” he or she is very close to you.
Debbie: How about those who are not?
Tim: Be sure to add – 씨 (ssi) at the end.
Debbie: So, it’s like…“팀씨, (Tim ssi),”
Tim: Yes exactly. I’d also call you, “데비씨, (Debbie ssi),”
Debbie: I see, but Tim, we are co-workers and friends. I’d like to call you Tim without adding 씨 (ssi) at the end of your name.
Tim: Well.. do you remember the first day we met? You called me “Tim” without adding 씨 (ssi) at the end.
Debbie: Did I? I don’t remember…
Tim: 하하~~ That’s okay. I did the same thing to you. But in Korea…
Debbie: You should be careful!
Tim: Yes, be sure to add – 씨 (ssi) at the end of the name.
Debbie: Okay, so 팀씨 (Tim ssi), what’s number 2?
Tim: 하하. Number 2 – Be careful with the word “ya”.
Debbie: Be careful with “ya”!? because in Korean, it means…?
Tim: Hey you!
Debbie: 하하. I like your voice. Anyway… that’s a big difference! It must sound innocent to English speakers, it kind of sounds like you're just saying "yeah"
Tim: Right, but it sounds rough in Korean, so please be careful.
Debbie: Yes, a little tricky. Now finally…number one!
Tim: The number 1 mistake
(Jigen, sound effect - drum here) – "don’t use informal language without permission".
Debbie: Yes, it’s very important to know that speaking the intimate politeness level without the agreement of the other person can be very rude in Korean culture. It’s important to show some level of respect and manner when speaking Korean; especially when you meet someone for the first time.
Tim: Exactly.
Debbie: That’s why we’ve been providing both formal and informal languages in the dialogues, conversations, and even in our lesson notes.
Tim: Yes, we’ve been doing our best to give you all a lot of proper information, examples and insights about Korean. Okay, Debbie, why don’t we recap today’s lesson?
Debbie: Sounds good!
Tim: Number five is,
Debbie: Don’t use “I” – 저는 (jeo-neun) or 나는 (na-neun), all the time in Korean.
Tim: Number four is,
Debbie: Translate “Juseyo” accordingly into either “please” or “please give me” based on the situation.
Tim: Number three is,
Debbie: Don’t call people by their first names. Be sure to add – 씨 (ssi) at the end of the name.
Tim: Number two is,
Debbie: Be careful with the word “ya”. It means “yes” in English, but it actually means “hey you” in Korean.
Tim: Lastly, number one is,
Debbie: Speaking in the intimate politeness level without receiving permission from the other person can be very rude in Korean.
Tim: Yes! Okay, that’s all for today’s lesson.
Debbie: Thanks for listening!
Tim: KoreanClass101.com 여러분, 다음 시간에 다시 만나요. see you again~