한국어 문법 – Difference between ‘○○답다’ and ‘○○스럽다’

We went through this in class a while ago, but I pretty much forgot which one was which the minute I left that class. When I looked for the difference on Google, I found a brilliant article but since it is in Korean, I thought I would summarise it in English for a quick review.

From my understanding, both ‘○○답다’ and ‘○○스럽다’ make a noun into an adjective. However, they are actually really different in their nuance.

1. ○○답다 describes something with traits that are usually associated with the thing itself. For example, you can describe a man as manly by using 남자답다 or an elderly person as old using 어른답다 because it is taken for granted that a man will be manly and an elderly person will behave like an old person.

2. ○○스럽다, on the other hand, is used to show contrast between the thing it describes and their actions. For example, if a young person was rather mature, you could say that they are 어른스럽다. A young person is usually associated with immaturity but in this exceptional case, this person is not immature.

With ○○스럽다, the first thing that comes to my mind is usually Kim Jong Kook’s Lovable (사랑스러워).

The song’s use of ○○스럽다 highlights another key difference between the two.

1.  ○○답다 is often attached to concrete nouns like man (사내) and masculine (사내답다) or teacher (선생님) and teacher-like (선생님답다).

2. ○○스럽다, on the other hand is often used to make adjectives with abstract nouns like peace (평화) and peaceful (평화스럽다) and whim, caprice (변덕) and unpredictable, capricious (변덕스럽다).

Who said KPop can’t be educational?

If you want to read the original article, please click the link below. I would recommend it if you are an intermediate or higher intermediate level in Korean – it is a fairly simple and informative read!


London Book Fair 2014: Helping out at the Korean booth

As a SOAS student, sometimes you get the opportunity to help out at events related to your degree – some of these times, the opportunities are pretty darn amazing.

This week I got to be part of the London Book Fair 2014 and it was an especially good year to be around since this year’s event had the spotlight on Korea and Korean writers. This was brilliant timing as I graduate this year and this was really my last chance! Maybe, the Universe knows…

I thought I’d pen a quick post to share what happened and how I ended up helping out there!

What was the work like?

It was pretty simple to do actually. I helped out on the first day so the beginning of the day was fairly straightforward with moving things around like tables and chairs.

2014-04-08 10.32.13

You see these chairs? Yeah, I arranged them!

Later, I manned the booth with a fellow SOAS student – this was partly goofing off with giggles and chuckles and then partly some work like explaining what the Literature Translation Institute of Korea does.

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Those orange pens twinkle!

Anu - 2

Seoyeon was literally the best person to be around the whole day! 🙂

I think the hardest part was simply navigating through all the instructions which were mostly in Korean – at one point, I had a REALLY awkward moment when I moved coats instead of pens. That is a memory I will cherish forever. Sorry, did I mention that it was mortifying? They don’t even sound similar, Anu!

How did I get the position?

Actually, I did something very sneaky and when my friend received an email from her professor asking her students if anyone was interested, I sent one directly to her and explained that I was interested too.

I guess it pays off sending emails RSVPing to events you haven’t been invited to. *so lonely*

Do you get any compensation?

Yes, they reimburse you a little to cover your travel and food expenses – you are there for more than 10 hours though so if you’re doing it for the money, this will not be a fun experience.

Would you do it again?

Of course! I totally regret not being able to attend the other two days because I really wanted to get autographs from the writers. I did get a chance to say a quick hello on orientation day but when you see the author who made you cry like a baby while reading her book (Shin Kyung-sook seonsaengnim – HI!), it is a little hard to do small talk.

And the highlight of the day…

Was that someone could afford to pay £30 for the entrance ticket but decided it was completely okay to get reimbursed by STEALING A BOOK. I really can’t believe this book is missing – it was hilarious in a really sad way!

Anu - 3

Your conscience is calling you!

Holi at SOAS/UCL 2014

This is a little late – but happy Holi, guys!

One of the most unique quirks of living in London is that you get to enjoy, experience and indulge in festivals from all over the world as if they are your own. Since I’ve lived in India for quite a long time, Holi has a special place in my heart but I’ve never actually played it in London because I thought it wouldn’t be popular.

Boy, was I wrong!

Celebrating Holi is quite simple – you have colours and you throw them around. If you hit a friend, all the better. If you manage to hit acquaintances, you are brave. If you hit total strangers who joined the holi festivities without a clue about it, you are a BAWS.

‘Colour you’ is a legitimate threat!

Water is frequently involved but even India has started to care about the environment and finally Indian soaps, which all have a lengthy Holi segment, make it a point to mention that they will no longer use water while playing Holi. *so proud*

I think we have folk stories of Lord Krishna playing Holi but the religious aspect of this festival is pretty much ignored nowadays, and it is simply an occasion to throw colours, get messy and if you’re adventurous, sling water balloons across a park at your nemesis.

Anyway, three of us decided to brave the Holi celebrations that were jointly held by SOAS and UCL’s Hindu Society at Gordon Square. The verdict: you can never look pretty after Holi but you can look happy!


YOLOing it at SOAS


It was only after the photo that I realised that leaving your hair out is a BAD idea. It took about 3 washes before I got it all out. If you have long hair, tie it up, wear a shower cap or just give it a miss!

But other than that – pretty fun!

For more photos, click here to check out the official ones on SOAS union page. If you did notice by the way, yes, my HAND and HAIR were featured in those pictures. I’m quite glad though because those really are my best features.

Chilling in London: High School Reunion (minus 1)

So back in school, I was part of this ultra-secretive cult and posse called HAT. We were far too cool to conform and we had far too much time to worry about not conforming…

Hodan jetted off to Sweden after we finished our high school exams and over time, Tosca and I drifted apart in terms of geography as well. Yes, to me Essex and Harrow are pretty much two countries.

Anyway, last Monday, Tosca and I decided to hold a small reunion and as it was just AT, we took a lot of pictures to get H all riled up! 🙂

We first went to Misato for dinner but both of us were so hungry we forgot all about pictures and just ate up a riot. But dessert has to be relished, especially if you get such beauts as these! I am probably referring to the drinks.

Boba Jam Jam

                                                            The poised pre-sugar pose…

We had these at Boba Jam in Chinatown, central London and it was absolutely FABULOUS! Tosca did occasionally complain that her dessert tasted too much like Mango, but then she *did* order a mango dessert. You can never be too happy.

Oh wait, you can! I made a new best friend when I met/ate Chocolate Bubble Milk and we shall be friends for eternity.

After a long heart to heart, things got real serious and photos like these started to emerge. 


                                                              This is not a sugar high!

At this point, we decided to take a break and reconvene at a later date. You see, the cult must go on!

If you need to have any cult meetings, I would recommend Misato and Boba Jam. Misato is great for Japanese food lovers on a budget and Boba Jam is your place if you need to be at a slightly pricey but delicious dessert heaven. 

JLearning Tip: How I read Japanese Literature without crying my eyes out!

In the beginning of the year, when I took my university’s Readings in Modern Japanese Literature course, I was both an idiot and a dreamer. I hadn’t done my year abroad so my Japanese knowledge was very much limited, especially my kanji.

However, in retrospect, I think I made a really good decision. Yes, it is insanely hard and probably requires more preparation time than the rest of my class but I still get a lot out of this class. Doing this class actually made me want to pursue an MA in Japanese Literature after graduation so I would say it has made a huge influence.

If you’re taking this class next year, I think I should give you my two cents.

To be honest, the grammar isn’t very hard at all. If you have had two years of solid training, I don’t see why it will be a problem. My main problem was actually the vast amount of kanji you need to know and with kanji, if you don’t know how to pronounce it, finding the meaning is an overly draining process. If you have started to rely on rikaikun or rikaichan on your browsers while looking through Japanese website, you should be able to understand my frustration!

Thankfully, sometime last year I found an application that now has me reading things in Japanese on the train for FUN. (I like saying that IN CAPS because IT IS CRAZY)


Your own magical Japanese reading boyfri.. err app!

When I downloaded it, I had to get the beta version on some message board but now it is no longer a baby and can be easily found on the app market. Not sure if it works for Apple, sorry!

The best thing about this app is that with some self control, you can get through the whole text and look up the bare minimum kanji to aid your understanding. It is also great for people who have PDF versions of Japanese manuals – you can easily change them to a .txt file and voila – Japanese you can read!

If you don’t have any reading material however, take a look on Aozora. It is a free (and legal!) website that has literary works are no longer copyrighted. If you know what Project Gutenberg is, then this is the Japanese version I guess?


Aozora Bunko – God of Japanese Literature (Storage Category)

You will find almost all the texts for the first term on Aozora so it makes life really easy in Term 1. However Term 2 texts are more recent and you will NOT find them on Aozora. I would suggest either typing them out or implementing an OCR (character recognition) software on your scanned copies of the book.

That is pretty much it really. Before class, I make sure to create Quizlet sets for the words that will come up, learn the readings and sit back and relax. Actually, no, there isn’t much relaxing at all with so many essays to worry about!

검소한 학생이 만든 파전: A Thrifty Student’s Pajeon

Some days ago, my mother went to town to buy some onions and came back carrying two large sacks filled with onions. Apparently, the shopkeeper agreed to give her two bags for 50p because most of them had started sprouting and most people wouldn’t buy them anymore. The term ‘most people’ doesn’t include mum, of course!

얼마 전에 우리 어머님이 양파를 사려고 시내에 갔는데 돌아 오면서 양파가 가득 담겨 있는 커다란 봉지를 가져 왔어요. 깜짝 놀라서 왜 이렇게 많은 양파를 샀냐고 물었더니 가게 주인이 양파가 벌써 싹이 틔어서 50펜스에 다 사 버리라고 했다고요.

Anyway, we after picking out the ones that didn’t have green hippie hats, we were left with this mountain.

아이구… 우리 엄마 어떡해요? 싹이 안 틔운 양파를 다 따로 놓았지만 싹이 틔운 양파를 어떻게 하면 좋을까요?


Our sprouted onion mountain!

Then, she proclaimed that all shoots were essentially veggies and these was nothing but spring onions. I wasn’t quite convinced until she showed me that several other online bloggers had passed the same verdict.

After some back and forth on how to use them, we decided on Korean Scallion pancakes or pajeon and as always, made it as desi as possible – aka Bhaiya Indian Style.

어머니가 싹틔운 양파가 파같은 야채라고 했는데 처음에는 어머니의 말을 안 믿었지만 인터넷에 찾아 보니 다른 사람들도 파로 사용해도 된다고 했어요.

지난 주에 한국어 수업에서 파전 요리법을 배워서 마침내 그 것을  만들기로 했어요.

In Korea, pajeon is made with scallions, flour, eggs and salt. Anything else is really optional but you could add carrots, onions, kimchi juice to make it sour and pretty much anything that floats your kimchi juice boat.

한국에서는 파전은 파, 밀가루, 계란하고 소금으로 쉽게 만들수 있대요. 당근이나 양파, 그리고 신 것을 좋아하면 김치국물도 넣을 수 있지만 넣지 않아도 된다고요.

This is from Maangchi's website- click to go there!

This is from Maangchi’s website- click to go there!

We pretty much had none of the things above and we’re both far too lazy to go shopping. And so we made up our own recipe as we went along. It came out pretty well, so if you have any of the ingredients (or don’t, it really doesn’t matter!), try to make it!

게으름뱅이인 우리 둘은 쇼핑하는것을 좋아하지 않아서 그냥 집에 있는 재료로 만들기로 했어요. 집에서 인도 음식을 자주 만들어서 좀 인도 스타일로 바꿨어요. 그렇지만 제 생각에는 잘 됐어요!

파전: 인도 스타일

재료: 이집트콩 가루 (병아리콩으로 만든 가루) 2 컵, 쌀가루 1/2 컵, 물 1/2 컵, 싹이 틔운 양파 100g, 고춧가루, 식용유, 소금

Ingredients: Chickpea flour (2 cups), rice flour (1/2 cup), water (1/2 cup), sprouted onions (100 g), red pepper powder, cooking oil and salt to taste.

조리 방법

1. 큰 그릇에 물, 이집트콩 가루, 쌀가루, 고춧가루, 소금을 넣고 잘 반죽해 두세요.

In a large bowl, put in the some water, chickpea flour, rice flour (to make it crispy), red pepper powder and salt and mix well.

Put in all the ingredients first so you don't forget any!

Put in all the ingredients first so you don’t forget any!


It should look like this when you’re done!

2. 양파는 씻어서 길게 썰어 놓으세요.

Wash the onions and cut them into long pieces. Take off any wilted bits as they will be bitter.

Make sure you wash them!

Make sure you wash them!

3. 프라이팬에 기름을 넣고 기름이 뜨거워지면 파를 분산해서 넣으세요.

In a heated pan, add some oil and after it is hot enough, spread out the onions.


Spread out the onions so they get a chance to be cooked a little bit

4. 잠깐 후에 반죽해 놓은 재료를 프라이팬에 얇게 펴서 부치세요.

After a little bit, pour the batter into the pan in a thin layer.


Try and get it in between and top of the onions.

5. 한쪽 면이 익으면 잘 뒤집어 다른 쪽도 익히면 됩니다.

Once one side is cooked, flip the pancake and cook the other side.

이제 다 완성됐어요! 맛있게 드세요.

All done – it is time to eat!

Pajeon: Bhaiya Indian Style

Pajeon: Bhaiya Indian Style

All fried things in India tend to be accompanied with tomato ketchup on lazy days. Try it!

네모의 꿈

오늘 유투븐에서 이상하고도 신기한 비디오를 봤어요. 세상의 동물들이 다 둥굴게 생기면 어떻게 되는지 상상해서 에니메이션으로 재미있게 만들었어요. 무서운 악어나 치타가 귀워져서 정말 웃겨요.

이 비디로를 볼 떄 딱 기억이 나는 것은 1년 전에 선생님한테서 추천을 받은 ‘네모의 꿈’이었어요. 빨리 한국에 돌아가서 노래방에서 이 노래를 다시 부르고 싶으게 됐어요!

뒤에는 ‘네모의 꿈’의 가사예요. 이 노래 어때요? 🙂

네모의 꿈: A Square’s Dream

네모난 침대에서 일어나 눈을 떠 보면

When you open your eyes on a square bed

네모난 창문으로 보이는 똑같은 풍경

You see the same scenery from your square window

네모난 문을 열고 네모난 테이블에 앉아

You open the square door and sit at the square table

네모난 조간신문 본 뒤

And after you’ve read the morning newspapers

네모난 책가방에 네모난 책들을 넣고

You put your square books into your square backpack

네모난 바스를 타고 네모난 건물 지나

You take the square bus and pass square buildings

네모난 학교에 들어서면 또 네모난 교실

When you enter the square school, its another square classroom

네모난 칠판과 책상들

A square board and bookshelves

네모난 오디오 네모난 컴퓨터 티비

Square CD player, computer and TV

네모난 달력에 그려진 똑같은 하루를

The same dates drawn on the square calendar

의식도 못한 채로 그냥 숨만 쉬고 있는 걸

Just breathing without consciousness

주위 들러보면 모두 네모난 것들 뿐인데

If you look around, its all just square things

우리 언제나 듣지 잘난 어른의 멋진 이 말 ‘세상은 둥굴게 살아야 해’

We always here the proud adults coolly saying, “You should live life in a circle”

지구본을 보면 우리 사는 지군 둥군데

If you look at the map, the earth we live in is also round,

부속품들은 왜 다 온통 네모난 건지 몰라

Then why are all the accessories square,

어쩌면 그건 네모의 꿈일지 몰라

Perhaps, it is a square’s dream.

네모난 아버지의 지갑에 네모난 지폐

Square notes in my father’s square wallet

네모난 팜프렛에그려진 네모난 학원

Square cram schools advertised in square pamphlets

네모난 마루에 걸려있는 네모난 액자와

The square frame hung on the square wall

네모난 명함의 이름들

Names on the square business cards

네모난 스피커 위에 놓인 네모난 테이프

Square tapes placed on top of the speakers

네모난 책장에 꽃혀있는 네모난 사전

The square dictionary stuck on the square bookshelf

네모난 서랍 속에 쌓여있는 네모난 편지

The square letters piling in the square drawer

이젠 네모같은 추억들

The now square memories

네모난 태국기 하늘높이 펄럭이고

The fluttering square Korean flag high in the sky

네모난 잡지에 그려진 이 달의 운수는

This month’s horoscope written in the square magazine

희망 없는 나에게 그나마의 기쁨인가봐

It is perhaps hopeless dreams for a hopeless person