Thursday, November 23, 2006

반말 문법

I received the following ban-mal(반말) grammar tables from my friend.

My Korean lessons at NUS Extension does not teach ban-mal. My teacher has decided to concentrate on teaching the informal but polite form of Korean language in which each sentence always ends with "요". The formal and polite form (~ㅂ니다) and the honorific form (~시다) or 존댓말 were also taught except ban-mal.

Ban-mal is a form of Korean language that is widely used in casual conversation. However, it is considered an informal and impolite form of Korean language. Koreans, it seems, will be offended if strangers use ban-mal to speak to them. In my Korean class, ban-mal is like a "forbidden language". My teacher rarely talks about it, not to mention, teaches it. If not for my friend, I will not have known that ban-mal form of Korean language exists.


  1. In fact, that's kinda dilemna - whether to teach 반말 to the students, or not.
    Most of the teachers in language institute in Korea think it's not necessary to spend extra time to teach it, since students will learn it through talking with their Korean friends. For students outside Korea, however, this could be different as you rarely have chances to talk to native Korean.

  2. omo...thanks so much, this is cool

  3. Song, I think all foreigners learning Korean should be taught ban-mal. If ban-mal is not taught, it can be quite frustrating to step out of class only to find out that one don't quite understand what the man in the street actually says.

    Aini, I hope the tables are helpful to you.