Wednesday, September 29, 2010

싱그리스 교실

Perhaps, if Singaporeans are taught Korean with Singlish, most of them will find learning Korean a cinch. Well, that's just my opinion. Below are 20 common Singlish expressions which I have had found their Korean equivalents. Who say you can't learn foreign language with Singlish.

Harlow (Hello)

Siao liao (It's crazy)

Huat ah (...)

Shiok (...)

How ah? (What should I do?)

Wah lau (Oh my dear)

Buay tahan (I can't stand it)
더 이상 못 참아

Why lidat? (What's wrong with you)
왜 그래?

Siam (Please give way)

Kong simi? (What are you talking about?)
무슨 소리야?

Sure or not? (Really?)

All your fault (You are to blame)
너 탓이야

I blanjar you (The treat is on me)
한턱 쏠게

Where got (You got it wrong)

Jialat liao (I am in deep trouble)
큰 일났다

Bak chew tak stamp (Ignorant)
눈이 어두워

Kam siah (Thank you)

Bo bian or lan lan (There is nothing you can do about it)
할 수 없지뭐

Don’t pray pray (It's serious stuff)
장난 아니야

Anyhow also can (Have it your way)
마음대로 해

Don't ask me where this place is. It's a secret, shhh~~

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

우리의 자랑

Samulnori performance

People who have come in contact with Korean culture will most likely have seen a samulnori performance before. What many people are not aware is samulnori does not have a very long history. In fact, it was a South Korean ensemble, established in February 1978, going by the group name 'Samul Nori' which brought the word into being and popularised it.

Samulnori has its origin in 'gut' (굿, shaman rituals). Unlike samulnori which employs only four percussion instrument, 'gut' employs many more. In olden days, performing in a 'gut' was not something people took pride in. You probably cannot imagine that a culture which Koreans are proud of now was once a thing of shame.

The unglamorous past of samulnori reminds me of the fate of Singlish. Singapore is a young country with not much exquisite culture to boast about. Despite the lack of rich inheritance, in less than fifty years of nation building, a language which we call 'Singlish' (Singapore-English) is slowly taking root in the society and becoming the de-facto language of conversation between locals. Just like samulnori in its earlier days of formation, some part of the society maintains the view that Singlish is poor English and not something to be proud about.

In my opinion, the evolution of Singlish is an inevitable course of history. One day, many hundred years later, it will eventually become a beautiful language. Even now, Singlish can be considered a very 'powderful' (powerful) language. A person's feeling and emotion can easily and effectively be conveyed without the need to invoke difficult words and long expression. To give a glimpse of the richness of the language, see the examples below:

1. Can lah
2. Can lor
3. Can meh?
4. Can ah?
5. Can leh
6. Can wor
7. Can liao
7. Can or not
8. Can means can
9. You the can

I am not about to explain what all that means for it will probably take a long time. Anyway, I see the beauty of the language in its conciseness or should I say 'no-frill'. A simple 'can' word can take on different meanings when used in different combinations. In case you find Singlish interesting, please enrol yourselves for an immersion course, in Singapore of course. Get ready to be 'awed'.

Monday, September 27, 2010

엄청 큰 카폐

이 엄청나 커다란 카페가 도대체 서울에 어딘지 심심할 때만 좀 맞쳐보세요.

Friday, September 24, 2010


가을의 문턱에 들어 하늘이 맑든지 푸르든지 급속도로 늙어지고 있는 땅

Saturday, September 18, 2010

옥상의 달빛

A feature of Korean buildings is majority of them have rooftop. Some owners will build additional room on their rooftop. Such rooms usually have cheaper rental because one has to put up with inconveniences like the heat of summer and chill of winter. However, there are plus points too. You can have a good view of the sunrise and sunset and not to mention, an abundant shower of moonlight.

Rooftop is a feature of Korean buildings

"옥상달빛" (屋上月光) or "rooftop monlight" is a Korean duet who do not know how to make 'complicated' music. "옥상달빛" has no special meaning and is just a combination of two of their favourite words "옥상" and "달빛".

The first music video by the duet is "옥상달빛". This fairy-tale like song is also featured in the Korean drama "Pasta". The song will make you feel like dancing waltz with all the people you love on the rooftop and singing about youth, yourselves, today and tomorrow under the moonlight.

"옥상달빛" by "옥상달빛"

The next music video is "하드코어 인생아" (It's a hardcore life). I really heart the lyrics. Sometimes, it doesn't really matter what is meaningful or what is important. When you have decided to walk on the road you have chosen, you have to know that it is a road built on your drooping shoulder and tear glands. Life doesn't allow you to move backward, so no matter what, you have to move on. Life can be like the ever-morphing clouds or the wriggling earthworms in the mud; it can also like those stars that sparkle in the night sky. I shall listen to my heart since that's life.

"하드코어 인생아" by "옥상달빛"

The music videos were shot at the Seoul Plaza. They reminds me of the good times I had there watching performances during the warm and breezy summer night.

One of my leisure in Seoul - watching performances at the Seoul Plaza

Thursday, September 16, 2010

지금 무슨 계절인지

언제보다도 더더욱 맑고 높은 가을하늘에 완전 빠져 버린 그 순간

감성이 풍부한 사람들의 마음을 꽉 사로잡는 가을의 붉은 빛인 단풍

Saturday, September 11, 2010

봉평의 메밀

Buckwheat inflorescence - white like salt

Buckwheat field in Bongpyeong

Delicious buckwheat noodle

P.S. September is the flowering season of buckwheat. During this time of the year, the field in Bongpyeong will be covered with the white flowers of buckwheat like salt sprinkled on earth.

Friday, September 10, 2010

꽃들은 다 시들어야 한다

All flowers will wither

Season ending for wild daisy


Corn is ripe enough to be harvested

홍고추 말리기. Chilli spreaded on a black mat to dry in the sun

화려한 전시관

Too much to see but too little time. With only half a day at my disposal, I probably covered less than a tenth of what the expo can offer. Most of my time was spent in the Europe 'continent' and so there are naturally more pictures of European pavilions.

Portugal Pavilion

Iceland Pavilion - The Icecube

Turkey Pavilion - They give away Turkish ice cream

Greek Pavilion (left) Latvia Pavilion (right)

Cuba Pavilion

Venezuela Pavilion

Chile Pavilion

China Pavilion (back), Macau Pavilion (centre), Hong Kong Pavilion (front)

Caribbean Community Pavilion

Canada Pavilion

Germany Pavilion

France Pavilion

Poland Pavilion

Switzerland Pavilion

Estonia Pavilion

Thursday, September 09, 2010

덴마크 전시관

Denmark Pavilion

Denmark pavilion was made to spiral up and down so that visitor can ride a bicycle up and down the pavilion. Visitors who don't wish to cycle can also choose to walk up and down. The Little Mermaid statue, brought in from Copenhagen, is the centrepiece of the pavilion.

Cycling is the highlight of Denmark pavilion but you will have to wait for hours before getting your chance to try the bike

The Little Mermaid cut a lonesome figure in the centre of the pavilion

Walking up instead of cycling

A roof top cafe

A good view of the surrounding and sunset at the roof top

스웨덴 전시관

Sweden Pavilion

Exterior of Sweden pavilion

Visitors are welcomed by dandelion lamps

Upside down furniture

Expo passport chopping counter

Somehow I felt like I was visiting Ikea

Höganäs e-bike. This so-called PoP-bike (Power of Powder) is a new kind of electric bicycle that combines high motor performance with an elegant design and is targeted at young and educated urbanites.

All about Swedish products and design just above my head

Loudspeakers come in different shape and size

Swedish Xante brandy on sale - ¥298 per bottle