Study Study

I’ve been feeling frustrated with Korean for about a week now.

So a few days ago I went back to EZCorean and reloaded all of the beginner level Korean words to my flashcard study list. I didn’t keep stats on how long it took me to go through the stack the first time I did this (around January or February, I think). But I know I went through this stack very quickly. I guessed on a lot less words, and even the words I guessed on, I was using Korean root knowledge of. OK, so things are improving.

Sunday, Good Man helped me study while I was driving him to school. He was running through my current stack of flashcards.


“I don’t know,” I said.

Good Man said, “‘In the middle of.’ It’s Chinese. 중,” he drew 中 with his finger.

“Ahhh! 간! 간! ‘Interval.’ Like 시간! ‘Time!’ 공간! ‘Space!’ I should write that 中 Hanja on that flashcard.”

Good Man nodded, “Yes. […] 형.”

“‘Big brother,’ um…and ‘form? shape? appearance?'” Good Man nodded and I remembered a flashcard from WordChamp (another flashcard site I go to). “Oh! 인형! ‘Doll,’ right? Person-appearance?”

Good Man stared at me. “Wow! I never thought of that, but you are right!”

I suddenly realized that all of my assumptions about 스포츠 형 머리 were wrong. “Oh! And seupocheu hyeong meori isn’t ‘sports big brother haircut!’ It’s ‘sports form haircut!'”

Good Man laughed, “Yeah? Why’d you think it was the other 형?”

“Master always has that haircut and he always calls Haan Dong Master ‘older brother’ and the guys he meets in the military are ‘older brother.’ And they all do sports and have that haircut, too.”

Good Man said, “You’re silly.” He turned to another card and burst out laughing. He threw his head against the seat and laughed and laughed.

“Why are you laughing?” I glanced over at his lap and saw why he was laughing. “But it helps me remember!”

(엄마하고 딸이)
붕어 빵이네요.

The daughter is
the spitting image of
the mother.

붕어빵 (bungeo bbang) is a fish-shaped red-bean paste pastry. Apparently a slangy way of saying someone looks like their mother (or any other family member) is to say they’re like bungeo bbang. I didn’t know the word, so I drew a picture of it.

It made sense to me.