Monday, November 09, 2009

돼지의 이야기

When my friend left Korea, she left behind quite a number of things for me. There were cloth hangers, cotton buds, toiletry, a gift card with 50,000won value and lotsa story books. She also left behind her notebook which she used for note-taking during her intermediate Korean lessons. She thought that it might be of help to me.

Frankly, there is nothing much inside her notebook which I do not know but I still found one very interesting example which she jotted down.

What is the difference between the following two sentences?

돼지처럼 먹어요. (Eat like a pig)
돼지만큼 먹어요. (Eat as much as a pig)

The difference is quite obvious when you learn Korean using Korean. However, it may become confusing when you try to use English to understand Korean. The confusing part here is "eating like a pig" can be the same as " eating as much as a pig" because eating a lot is how pig will eat. So if a person eats a lot, you can say that he eats like a pig. But you will be wrong to describe his eating habit as "돼지처럼 먹어요".

~처럼 refers to 'appearance' while ~만큼 refers to 'amount or quantity'. So "돼지처럼 먹어요" means eating sloppily like a pig while "돼지만큼 먹어요" means eating a lot like a pig.

The moral of this 'pig story' is that if you try to learn Korean using English, there may be a lot of confusions to contend with along the way and it may not be the fault of the language that it is confusing.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I understood what 돼지처럼 먹어요 means right away (coz I translated it to my native language). But not the difference between 처럼 and 만큼 in this context is much clearer. ^^