akujunkan: (Default)
Wait, was I worried about potentially not passing it?

Because I shouldn't have been. :-D

That will be all.
akujunkan: (ajk)
Now with bonus Korean! )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (ajk)
I just spent the morning speaking Japanese to a Korean guy for an hour before sitting down and typing my first essay in Korean and finding that it isn't so hard to do.

(Plus, it helps when you're comparing Dubya to Santa Claus.)

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
I knew about ten minutes of film were cut from The King and the Clown. What I did not know is that that includes a scene (and oh my god WHY wasn't it in the movie) in which Jang-sang MOUNTS Kong-gil.


Forget the kiss with the king (which was so clumsily unerotic that the editor snapped away from it as fast as he could), this is where the money's at. Dayum.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Or at least the basics. I sat down and took the Level 5 practice test for the ハングル能力検定試験 and aced it. What surprised me is that I did markedly better on the listening section, only missing a single question. This is really pretty cool when you consider that I study reading and writing, but have spent under three hours in my entire life listening to the CDs that come with my textbooks. This means that I'd never actually heard most of the words (and certainly all of the phrases and sentences) that appeared on the listening test. Yet my brain was able to make connections between the words I study silently on the page and the sounds coming out of the stereo. Cool stuff.

Then there was Korean class today. (In which I still don't hear much Korean because we usually spend about 75 minutes of it comparing cultures and 15 minutes actually studying the language.) The man in whose classroom it's held had to leave early on an errand, which changed the entire atmosphere and we spent about twice the time actually studying. The sensei asked us, quite out of the blue, to compose a sentence about our weekend. I'd finished mine within a few seconds. (To be fair, this is due to the fact that I know how to compose foreign language sentences on the fly, having studied one language or the other since freshman year in high school. It becomes an artform: got a subject? Check. Verb? Check. We're rolling! Hmm, how 'bout an adjective to spruce things up, maybe an independent clause over here while we're at it...)

People were still working on theirs, so I wrote a few more. Then Asano-san read her sentence. Which was about how she was going to spend her weekend taking her daughter to an English camp event I'm doing tomorrow, and it all went downhill. Asano-san is funny and smart, but is taking the class on a whim because she likes Korean dramas. I don't think she's ever learned a language before, because she doesn't really know how to approach it; the teacher spent close to 25 minutes getting her to correct her sentence.

And throughout this time they were referring to me as ジリアン-ssi, and then ジリアン-seonsengnim. Which freaks me the freak out because here are women probably two decades my senior using elevating titles with my name. A lot of people stick -san or -chan or sometimes even -sensei/sama onto their own online usernames, but if you really understand the sense in which those titles are used, it can make you very nervous to have them applied to yourself when you don't think your social position and/or skills merit them.

So that was incredibly awkward. But in happiness news, the sensei asked for my phone number and text at the end of the lesson. She's also going to try and help me get ahold of more study materials for the Kentei Shiken. Yay!

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
Or, Why Ladies of Good Virtue Do Not Study Foreign Tongues.

Astute readers will remember my earlier posts concerning this humorous mixup of the Japanese language, which is both the funniest I've encountered to date and and a paragon of divine simplicity.

Unfortunately, first person accounts of embarrassing mistakes are always funnier than third, and the above happened to a friend.

But fear not, gentle reader, for I never fail to rise to a challenge!

I've been working my way through Kisokara Manabu Kankokugo Kouza Chuukyuu, which is the best (and only) intermediate Korean textbook I've been able to find. It's a great text that stresses grammar and the mechanics of the language; its only failing is that the appendices do not provide Japanese translations of the exercises, making it possible to accurately answer the questions without ever knowing what it is one is writing in the first place. I often complete two or three lessons at a time before going back with my dictionary and finding out just what it all means. Throw a little carelessness into the mix and it can lead to some pretty interesting results.

As it did yesterday, when I busted out my dictionary and found that I had inadvertently created this sentence:

Her vulva looks a little strange, but it tastes just fine.

Glittergraphics.us - Myspace Glitter Graphics, MySpace Graphics, Glitter Graphics, MySpace layouts.Glittergraphics.us - Myspace Glitter Graphics, MySpace Graphics, Glitter Graphics, MySpace layouts

by accidentally replacing a 'ki' with a 'zi' in the word 'pogi.'

What really tickles me about this mistake is that it still makes perfect sense in the context of the sentence at large. Also, online fandom has warped my brain, because my initial reaction was, 'Wow, that's a little graphic, but whatever.'.

If only I'd said it aloud instead of writing down on paper.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Daejangeum aka Kuntei Jyokan Changumu aka The Jewel in the Palace has officially eaten my life. (OMG Daejangeum give me my life back I need my life back you can't have it).

For those of you not in the know, Daejangeum is a 60 hour long Korean drama centering on a cook in the Joseon royal court. Or that's the short story. After all, said description encompases 60 life-devouring hours of plot development and Gratuitous Cooking.

So how did I get suckered into all of this? )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
And more with the food. [livejournal.com profile] firesign10 asked about coffee pudding and Pocari Sweat.

Here's a picture of a typical Japanese coffee pudding:

And here's some pocari sweat:

It's basically a gatorade-ish sports drink that claims to mimic the chemical composition of fluids within the human body (if I'm reading the copy correctly). It's also a pretty good barometer for judging the length of any given gaijin's exposure to Japan. People who have never been here are just confused. New arrivals or those whose stay has not exceeded six months think it's the funniest inappropriate name since Dick Trickle became a race car driver. It's a non-issue to people who've been here for a period of six months to one year, and anyone who's stayed over one year is addicted to the stuff, because it's the closest thing to bottled water one can buy cold from a combini or vending machine.

And speaking of being gaijin, man, was yesterday weird. )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
So I (ahem) happened to stumble upon 'Ryu's' diary while fixing the link to his fansite in the post below. (Thanks for the heads up on that, btw). Here is a translated excerpt, for your reading pleasure.

[[At the opening ceremonies for the 2005 Korea-Japan Friendship festivities]]

Right before I was set to start singing, I got a little worried about the way my necktie looked and tried to fix it, but my stylist wasn't with me at the time...I don't know how to tie neckties, so I had my head security guard do it for me. I was so frazzled! I'd better learn. Tell you more laterz!!

O.o I'm sure there are words, but I don't have them. Sultry gazing at breakfast cereal indeed.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
...for they combine the fun of language-learning with the production values and familiar down home appeal of cable access television. Seriously, NHK pulled out all the stops for these shows - the Korean program features elaborate bluescreened sets, CGI characters, animations, cameos by famous idols - and then did its best to make it look like the show is directed and produced by juniors in the Burris IHETs lab. Perhaps it's being done intentionally to distract people's attention from all that lovely, lovely grammar, which I'm told usually just intimidates:

Garden Variety Viewer: Ladida, time to check out this week's lesson in the textbook. Imperative sentences? Particles? Verb conjugations? What the hell is going on he---

NHK Program: Look over there! Famous Heartthrob Idol Man just missed his mark and flubbed his lines! Again! Can you believe these guys are highly paid professionals? Ha hah!

Garden Variety Viewer: All is right with the world.

Both the Korean and Chinese programs feature 'mini dorama' to help engage viewers' interest during their quest toward fluency in basic greetings. The Chinese dorama is actually pretty kooky - the actors are complete hams but they know and revel in it.

The Korean dorama, on the other hand, is something else. There's been a Korean pop culture boom here in Japan over the last year or so; Japanese women are glued Korean dorama on the TV and it's become noticeable enough that there's a not unimpressive group of Japanophiles in the West who download said dorama and watch them subbed. I've always felt that I should try watching one and seeing what the fuss was about - if nothing else, it'd be a good way to increase listening comprehension.

Unlike its Chinese counterpart, I think the NHK Korean mini dorama is actually trying for a bona fide Korean dorama feel. And whoo nelly, is it ever stinky. The first 'episode' aired in yesterday's program. Our lead character is Maki, a headstrong and spunky Japanese foreign exchange student who, although she doesn't know it yet herself, has come to Seoul to realise her dream of snaring a Korean Casanova of her very own, just like she's seen in all the Korean dorama back home! Wouldn't that be romantic? But oh noes, what if her independent streak gets in the way of true love!? Don't worry, the text assures us, she's not too spunky and headstrong (that just wouldn't be very feminine, would it?), and what she really wants is for someone to take her under his wing and tame her. Egads.

I know these things are guilty pleasures for most of the people who watch them, but it makes me feel kinda...uncomfortable, because I've always prided myself on having guiltier guilty pleasures. The standard soap opera stuff just leaves me cold. Pop culture love stories (unless they feature something interesting like H/C or amputation or underwater demons) tend to make me cringe.

And to add insult to injury: Ryu. For those of you who don't know who 'Ryu' is, well, consider yourselves lucky.

I had no idea who 'Ryu' was either, aside from the fact that he was 'Ryu,' and he was lined up to appear as a regular. Of course, the constant trumpeting of the fact that 'Ryu' was cast in the program to begin with led me to believe that he was likely Important to pop culture fans. My suspicions were confirmed in the first episode two weeks ago, when 'Ryu' first walked onto the soundstage. 'Ryu' is one of these people whose handlers create to scream SEX APPEAL, but without any real edge or distinguishing personality characteristic that might turn off potential female fans.

So, you know, plastic.

Then 'Ryu' opened his mouth, and I felt ... odd. Like I should know who this guy was, but that would be highly likely, because I don't pay attention to the Japanese idol scene at all.

I figured it out yesterday. 'Ryu' is the person responsible for the theme song to Fuyu no Sonata, which was a huge Korean crossover dorama here last year. This means that 'Ryu' is the reason I didn't learn anything of value in my Korean lessons, because we spent six out of the eight months of lessons learning how to sing 'My Memory,' the aforementioned theme song. By ear. Transliterated from Korean into katakana Japanese, so we weren't even learning the true pronunciations. And I paid for privelege to have this experience. Anyway, all good (or otherwise) things must come to an end, class wound up, and I washed my hands of 'Ryu.'

And now he's come right back into my life.

For those of you intrepid enough to want a further taste of the 'I'm Sexy ButomgdontworrySONOTsexyinascaryway!' Ryu experience, my text informs me that you can get it here.

That will be all.
akujunkan: (Default)
Just one more reason to learn Korean. )

That will be all.
akujunkan: (kisama)
So, as some of you are aware, I have an mp3 player. )

So, as some of you are aware, I'm studying Korean. My class uses the 'Navigating Korean' textbook by Kyung Hee University. It comes with two CDs: )

As some of you are aware, when studying a foreign language, it helps to have an electronic dictionary. I use the Sharp RD-8200 )

And just to show that we're equal opportunity with the mock here...Read more... )

In other news, I made hash browns last night. )

That will be all.


akujunkan: (Default)

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