April 2009


Part two of a series on Korean baby vocabulary.  These are words that are spoken to children, by children. Adult equivalents, if they exist, are in brackets.

Go-choo/고추: boy parts (genitals)  [자지]

Kko-kka/꼬까: nice, cute, new outfit

Nehn-neh/낸내: sleep [잠]

Jahm-jee/잠지: girl parts (genitals) [보지]

Jee-jee/지지: unclean, dirty [더럽다]

Jjee-jjee/찌찌: boob (nursing) [젖]

Ah-yah (yah)/아야(야): ouchie, pain [아프다]

Uh-yah/어야: outside [외출]

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In Konglish: “Let’s put on your Kko-kka and go Uh-yah!”

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Take care when purchasing peppers at the Korean market.  There are two that look the same but taste very different~ often sold side by side.  Average palates should reach for the poot gochu/풋고추…they are flavorful but not fierce and firey like their spicy evil twins, chung yang gochu/청양고추.

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Poot peppers (left) are a bit bigger and ‘softer’ than their spicy evil twins (right).

I took sturdy rubber bands for granted. In Korea the rubber bands are flimsy whether they are paid for or collected from daily living (take-out boxes don’t clip shut~ rubber bands are used). Toothpaste tubes can be bound up nicely with a strong rubber band.  Rubber glove finger slices are my solution. Binder clips just get rusty from all the water. Store bought contraptions are too bulky and even less graceful.

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Loop a sturdy rubber band across the bottom end of the tube, flatten and fold up then flip the visible side of the band over to keep it all together.

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Korean rubber bands disintegrate in your junk drawer (look left).

State side there are milk men, if you can still find them.  In Seoul there are Yogurt Ladies everywhere you look.  They deliver small cartons of milk and yogurt to your door. If you see one, ask and you can also buy anything on demand.

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Yellow carts are motorized. The bags on doorknobs keep delivered yogurt cool.

There are many ways to and from Incheon International Airport.  Hire a taxi for around 50,000W and you get door-to-door service.  Take the new subway line for about 8,000W.  Ride a limousine bus for around 14,000W.  The turquoise KAL airport bus stops at major hotels in Seoul, the driver handles your luggage and you can read in-flight magazines along the way.  The red airport bus costs less and has more stops ~  popular bus stops, central subway stations and major landmarks in Seoul.  The BTW, getting dropped off by a friend isn’t cheaper since the highway toll to Incheon costs nearly 15,000W each way plus airport parking fees.

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Airport limosine bus stop is easy to understand in any language… and you don’t need to be flying KAL since the airport is a manageable size to find every airline counter upon arrival.

Men in Korea are in touch with their feminine side.  They are not afraid to wear pink, jewelry or have longer hair.  Some even carry man bags, but more often than not they are carrying their girlfriend’s purse…I hope that’s not his Chanel chain bag.

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My vocabulary expands on a need-to-know level. Ever since our son joined us, I’ve been learning Korean baby vocabulary.  Most of it is onomatopia, words that sound like the thing itself, so it’s easy to remember.

milk/food = mama/맘마, nyam-nyam/냠냠  (slurping, eating sounds)

burp = kkuk/꺽,커억 (exit sound)

pee = shui/쉬 이 (exit sound)

poop = unga/응가 (pushing sounds)

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Unga/응가  to a baby. Ddong/똥 for regular people. Daebyun/대변 to a doctor.

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