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Korea Connection

Korean 101

with "Talk to me in" 죄송합니다. [jwe-song-hap-ni-da]

or let them know something 4) when you want to call the waiter in a restaurant or a cafe to order something

How to say "I am sorry", and getting someone's attention 죄송합니다. [joe-song-hap-mi-da]

저기요 [jeo-gi-yo] is an expression that can be translated to “Excuse me” but this Korean

“I am sorry.” or “I apologize.” 죄송합니다 is NOT always “I’m sorry”.

expression, 저기요 is ONLY used for situation number 3 and 4 above.

Even though 죄송합니다 [joe-song-hap-ni-da] is BASICALLY “I’m sorry”, you can’t use 죄송합니다 when you want to say “I am sorry to hear that.”

How do you say “Excuse me.” when you want to pass through? You can say:

Many Korean people actually get confused when they talk about some bad news to their English-speaking friends and hear “I’m sorry” from them.

잠시만요. [jam-si-man-yo] (literal meaning: “Just a second.”)

If you say “I’m sorry.” after you hear a piece of bad news from your Korean friend, he or she might say “Why are YOU apologizing for that?” to you. This is because 죄송합니다 ONLY means “I apologize.”, “It was my bad.”, “Excuse me.” or “I shouldn’t have done that.” It can never mean “I’m sorry to hear that.”

죄송합니다. [joe-song-ham-ni-da] (literal meaning: “I am sorry.”) 잠깐만요. [jam-kkan-man-yo] (literal meaning: “Just a second.”) ** Yes, “jamsimanyo” and “jamkkanmanyo” are the same thing. These are the most commonly used expressions. You don't have to memorize them right now, but they are just good to know!

저기요. [jeo-gi-yo] In English, you can use the expression “Excuse me.” in all of the following situations. 1) when you are passing through a crowd of people 2) when you are leaving the room for a second 3) when you want to get someone’s attention and talk to them


TalkToMeInKorean is a website and community where learning Korean may not be magically easy, but is fun and exciting. Learning a new language can be a lot of fun when you are a part of a welcoming and encouraging community with teachers and other learners. We hope that TalkToMeInKorean is just that; a community that motivates and nurtures learners to develop their language skills in fun and innovative ways. Since our launch in December 2009, we have recorded over 15,000,000 lesson downloads and 1,000,000 unique visitors.

with Gary Routh

Happy New Year and more lucky Hanjas Hidden in the Korean phrase for “Happy New Year”,

“새해 복 많이 받으세요” (sae-hae book mahn-ee bahdeu-se-yo) is "Happy New Year" in Korean. 새 means “new” and 해 means “year”, and 많이 받으세요 means “receive a lot of (something)”. Those are all ‘native’ Korean. The 복 part is Hanja and means luck, good fortune, and happiness. The character for 복 looks like this:

If this character looks even remotely familiar there is a reason. Go to any Chinese restaurant and you will see this character written on posters, tablecloths, chopsticks—you name it. But it is usually written in a very artistic brush style. To prove it, I took my family and my camera to our favorite local Korean Chinese food restaurant, San Tong Palace (산동반점, on Convoy) and sure enough, the character 福 was everywhere!

Let’s take a look at a few other Korean words that use this character.

행복하다: to be happy (heng-bok-hah-dah) The 행 in 행복 also means happiness or good luck and can be found in words like 다행 (fortunate), 불행 (unlucky), and 행운 (a common word for just “luck”). 복권: lottery ticket (bok-gwon) The character for 권 means “ticket”, so 복권 literally means “Luck-Ticket”. 경복궁: Gyung-Bok Palace (gyung-bok-goong). This is one of the most famous historical sites in Seoul. With our ‘luck’ syllable, 복, in the middle of the palace name, the first syllable, 경 means ‘scenery or sunlight’, and can be found in two common Korean words that mean scene or scenery; 경치 (gyung-chee) and 풍경 (poong-gyung). The last syllable, 궁 means house or palace. Scenery+Luck+Palace = 경복궁. About the author: Gary Routh is an engineer at The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR). He began learning Korean in 1994 using various methods, including the study of Hanja as a helpful tool in building vocabulary. |


Korea Connection

Solitary islands in the land of morning calm. Why the Dokdo Island is important to Korea and what we should know. Information provided by "", a website with historical facts about Korea's Dokdo Island 98 | SAN DIEGO KOREAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY MAGAZINE . January 2013

Dokdo is the easternmost territory of Korea and situated

Korea and Japan following World War II. Although Japan’s

87.4km to the SE of Ul-leung-do Island. It is not one island,

MOFA insists Allied Command granted Dokdo to Japan after

but consists of two large islands Dongdo and Seodo and 89

the Second World War, there was no mention of Dokdo in the

small islands around them. There are about 37 South Korean

Japan Peace Treaty, leaving the issue unsettled.

police that guard the islets, and three lighthouse keepers living on the islets in rotation. In the past, several fishermen

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers its position

also lived there temporarily. In 2005, a South Korean couple

“inalterable”. When Japan’s Shimane prefecture announced

held the first recorded wedding ceremony on Dokdo Island.

a “Takeshima Day” in 2005, ( Japan’s Legacy of Expansionism Continues ) Koreans reacted with demonstrations and

There is regular ferry service from Ulleungdo. In 2005, the

protests throughout the country, extreme examples of which

number of visitors was 41,000, which became over100,000 in

included a mother and son slicing off their own fingers, and a

2007. Dokdo’s number of tourists continues to rise.

man who self-immolated. In 2006, five Korean “Dokdo Riders” embarked on a world tour to raise international awareness of

Although the islets themselves are barely habitable, the

the dispute. Another notable protest featured South Koreans

Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding them has rich fishing

decapitating pheasants in front of the Japanese Embassy.

grounds and possible reserves of natural gas. As of 2006,

Although claimed by both Korea and Japan, Dokdo Island

the expected reserves have not been found. A wide variety

is currently administered by the Republic of Korea. Both

of fish as well as seaweed, kelp, sea slugs, and clams are

nations’ claims extend back at least several hundred years.

located around Dokdo Island. Major fishery catches in the

Significant arguments supported by a variety of historical

area are squid, Alaskan pollock, codfish, and octopus. There

evidence have been presented by both parties, which have

are 102 species of seaweed, although many of these have no

been challenged by counter-arguments with varying degrees

economic value.

of success. North Korea supports South Korea’s claim.

So, what's the dispute over Dokdo?

Please visit the website and continue reading for more historical facts and information. The website is run by various experts on the subject of Dokdo islands, including Steven J Barber who started the website 6 years ago to "create a stable database that could make this valuable data accessible for years to come."

Alongside other Japan–Korea disputes, Dokdo Island remains a point of heated contention. Korea and Japan have a long, complex history of cultural exchange, war, and political rivalry. The islets are the last disputed territory between |


The 2nd Annual Korean Culture Night at UCSD Mark your calendars! April 12th is the night of Korean cultural fun @ UCSD

Korean Culture Night (KCN) is the biggest cultural event at

interest, KCN will not only reach out to Korean students, but

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) hosted annually

will also bring together many other ethnic groups to expose

by UCSD KASA (Korean American Students Association) and

them to the Korean culture, as well as educate them on

UCSD Ko.SCA (Korean Student Cultural Association). The

the social and cultural issues that Korean Americans of our

purpose of this event is to increase cultural awareness and to

generation face today. We plan to demonstrate the issues this

unify the native Korean students, Korean American students,

year by filming a sketch featuring UCSD students, which will

as well as anyone interested in the Korean culture in UC San

be both entertaining and culturally educating.

Diego. Ever since I entered UCSD as a freshman, I have had a goal of KCN will showcase a variety of performances by the talented

organizing KCN. KCN was also held during my high school

UCSD students that represents the Korean culture. This

years in Diamond Bar, and has had a lot of personal meaning

event provides free Korean food and drinks for the audience

to me. Fortunately, I had the opportunity last year to organize

and promotes audience participation through games,

the event successfully with UCSD KASA, UCSD Ko.SCA, and

quizzes, and raffle prizes throughout the evening between

KGSA with the help from my high school mentors who had

the performances. KCN will be both an entertaining and

experience in holding KCN. While planning UCSD’s first

educational night for the attendees, and the event will

KCN, I quickly realized that KCN can be more than a simple

annually be held in the beginning of the spring quarter of the

replication of a talent show from my high school years. An

academic year of UCSD.

event such as KCN has a much bigger potential that can be used as a powerful educational and cultural tool that can

Last year’s very first KCN event (2012) was very successful

change the surrounding San Diego community. This year, we

with over 350 attendees, despite the short time to advertise

plan to execute KCN to its full potential!

the event and the horrible weather. This only proves that KCN has a huge potential. We will work hard to make KCN the biggest and the most popular annual UCSD event that will create an everlasting positive impact on campus and the surrounding San Diego community. This year’s KCN will take

For inquiries please contact: BIO: James Lee is a 4th year undergraduate student at UC San Diego studying Physiology and Neuroscience and he plans to apply to medical school after graduating this spring.

place on April 12th in PC Theatre on campus. There is a global popularity of the South Korean entertainment and culture, and by utilizing this widespread 100 | SAN DIEGO KOREAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY MAGAZINE . January 2013

by Seung Jin Lee (James) Founder/CEO

Introducing UCSD's KASA Why this cultural organization on campus matters

When students first enter college, they check out the Greek

interested in the Korean culture. Also, our other events

systems and different organizations to explore what college

include community services, social gatherings, mentorship

has to offer. But behind that curiosity, there is a sense of

opportunities, Korean politics, and career building

wanting to belong somewhere. Students want to identify

opportunities. UCSD KASA is also part of Southern California

themselves as something or feel wanted. University of

Korean College Student Association (SCKCSA), which is the

California, San Diego (UCSD) has many Korean organizations,

oldest and largest non-partisan, non-profit organization

but many Korean Americans who want to be involved have a

Korean American Student organization in the United States.

hard time identifying themselves into those groups because

SCKCSA, which consists of 13 different campuses, serves as

they do not feel that sense of belonging. Our club welcomes

a bridge between the Korean community and student body.

everyone− fluent and non-fluent Korean speakers, non-

Annually, SCKCSA volunteers at one of the largest Korean

Koreans wanting to learn Korean, or those who simply like

Festival in the nation, Freshmen Dance-off competition and

the food and the entertainment aspect of Korea. What makes


Korean American Student Association (KASA) so special is that we eliminate the language barrier to give a sense of that

Initially, I joined KASA with a different motive. But over the

identity and acceptance to those who feel that do and do not

past four years, I realized that KASA has shown me that it

feel that connection with any of those groups. We not only

is more than a resume point. It is a place of friendship and

welcome second generation Korean students, but we also

family. All the staff can say they chose to be staff for the

welcome the first and 1.5 generation students.

friendship and genuine love for KASA. We all give to KASA expecting nothing in return, all we want to do is to share the

The purpose KASA is to promote the expansion of cultural

same incredible experiences of making everlasting friendship

knowledge, political awareness, and social interactions. One

and various opportunities members and non-members.

of the biggest events we hosted in the past is Korean Culture

Bio: Darae Jun is a 4th year studying Environmental Systems in UCSD. She does research in biofuel production and is pursuing a Ph.D.

Night (KCN). With the growing popularity of South Korean entertainment and culture, KCN is the perfect opportunity for cultural awareness and gathering of native Korean students and Korean American students, as well as anyone who is

by Darae Jun. UCSD KASA President |


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