Monday, March 30, 2009

By your powers combined, I AM SOUTH KOREA!

I happened to be looking at a website with a few countries' flags listed when I realized that if I saw the South Korea flag I wouldn't even recognize it! So since chemistry homework just wasn't cutting it tonight, I starting googleing.According to Wikipedia the flag is a symbol of our planet. The four trigrams (little black rectangular symbols) are related to the classical elements and represent the Chinese philosophical elements- harmony, symmetry, balance, and circulation. They can also be interpreted as...
-sky, sun, moon, eart
-spring, autumn, winter, summer
-east, south, north, west
-humanity, courtesy, knowledge, righteousness
-metal, fire, water, earth
-justice, wisdom, vitality, vertility
The white background symbolizes the "cleanliness of the people", and the yin-yang with the red representing negative of the universe and the blue representing the positive of the universe.

I'm gonna take that and make an American comparison...
"EARTH!" "FIRE!" "WIND!" "WATER!" "HEART!" "Go Planet!"
"By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!" .... press play

Definitely just a tad more interesting then buffered solutions and changes in pH!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Are YOU at peace?

A common first response I've been getting when telling people that I'll be spending 8 weeks in South Korea next summer is, "Oh, wow, so are you going to learn Korean?" I usually just smile and avoid the question, but what I'm really thinking is, "Haha... yeah right!" While this is what I keep telling people, and even telling myself, there's that little voice in the back of my mind telling me that I really should make an effort. I don't know why I so often let that little voice rule my life, but again today, I gave in.

Somehow, despite the fact that I've been up since 7, running around all day and doing homework for the past three hours, I now find myself in bed, not sleeping, but you-tubing Korean lessons. I found a really great series of lessons of travel phrases all by this one same guy. He's pretty thorough. On the screen appears the English word, the Korean symbols for the word, and the Korean pronunciation of the word. The teacher explains the word, breaks it down into syllables, and then repeats it about 42 times, which seems like it would be enough to remember one word, but I've already managed to forget them all. But have no fear! Like the nerd I truly am, I took good notes...

Hello/Good morning; afternoon; evening/How are you?/etc.--- Annyeonghaseyo (literally "Are you at peace?")

Yes--- Ye

No--- Ani-yo

Excuse me--- Silllyehamnida

I'm sorry--- Mianhamnida

Thank you--- Gamsahamnida

That's all right--- Gwaenchansseumnida

Thanks you--- Gomapseumnida

I read on another website that Korean was "remarkably easy to learn" because of all the consistencies. Personally, I'm not thinking that a language that has 18 letter long words is going to be a walk in the park, but I sure do hope I'm wrong.

Okay, now after all that I am definitely ready for some sleep.