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Introduction to Korean

March 7, 2013 in Korean

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of posts by our volunteers that aims to inform and excite you about some of our many diverse language sessions! We hope you enjoy reading them!!

Annyeonghaseyo (Hello)! Korean is the official language of North and South Korea, spoken by approximately 78 million people worldwide. The Korean writing system, hangul, is similar to that of English, as it uses vowels and consonants to form words and is also known as the “Korean alphabet.” You may already know a few words in Korean such as taekwondo, kimchi, bulgogi and bibimbap and some words borrowed from English such as 토마토 (tomato), 바나나 (banana), and 피아노 (piano). However, some of the English words have taken a different meaning altogether and are considered “Konglish” – 오바이트 (over eat) means vomiting and 컨닝 (cunning) means cheating on an exam.

Although Korean is said to be one of the more difficult languages for English-speaking students to learn due to the honorifics system as well as the numerous case particles and verb endings, the good news is that it does not have tones, gender and number agreements or articles. Despite this, Korean is becoming a popular language to learn worldwide due to a growing interest in the Korean culture, such as K-pop, Korean TV shows and movies. Whatever your motivation may be, come join us on Saturdays and we would be more than happy to assist your journey of learning Korean!

Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Author: Walter Lim

Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Author: Walter Lim

Citations:                                                                                                                                             BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2013. “Korean Language.”                                                Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 June 2013. Web. 07 Mar. 2013.

Bargaining in Hong Kong

February 27, 2013 in Cantonese

Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a series of posts by our volunteers that aims to inform and excite you about some of our many diverse language sessions! We hope you enjoy reading them!!

When you travel to Hong Kong, there are several well-known attractions you ought to visit. Ladies Street is one of Hong Kong’s most renowned places, known for the unique bargaining style that shoppers can engage with the vendors. With over 100 stalls of clothing, accessories and souvenirs, Ladies Street provides an unforgettable shopping experience to foreigners.

Bargaining in Hong Kong is a must if you want to get the lowest price for your purchase; here are some tips and common phrases used by locals when they enter a bargaining situation. First of all, it is suggested to check with the seller about the price by pointing at the product and saying 唔該幾多錢呀 (ng4 goi1 gei2 do1 cin4 aa1), as it literally means how much is this (item). By checking the price with the sellers, you initiate the bargaining process and it shows the seller about your interest towards the item. The initial price is usually negotiable and it is thought to be the “custom” to bargain at Ladies Street. If you believe that the item that you’re trying to purchase is overpriced, you can say 平d啦,靚仔/ 靚女 (peng4 d laa1 leng3 zai2/ leng3 neoi5) when bargaining with the seller. The phrase “peng4 d laa1 leng3” is a generic term to ask the seller to lower the price, and “leng3 zai2” literally means handsome guy, and in this context it refers to male sellers of all ages. Similarly, “leng3 neoi5” refers to good-looking girl and it refers to female sellers. Once you have tried to ask for a better price, the sellers usually appreciate your effort and will lower the price. If the seller refuses to lower the price, don’t panic! There are probably several different stalls selling the same product at Ladies Street! To get the best bargain, check with different stalls and it is possible that you can find a lot of good deals from there!

Hong Kong - Ladies Street

Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). Author: G&R @ Flickr.com

Ladies Street can be found at Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Welcome to SVCC’s Winter 2013 Language Session!

January 4, 2013 in Welcome

Hello everyone!

The executives of SVCC would like to welcome you to our new website and Winter 2013 Language Session! Preregistration for our sessions is on January 19, 2013 at 10:00am in the Education Cafeteria. Regular registration opens January 26, 2013 at 10:00am in the Education Cafeteria and will be open every Saturday afterwards at the same time and place.

Besides the languages of English, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean, we will also be adding Mandarin and French language sessions. For any inquiries please contact us at svcc@ualberta.ca We look forward to seeing you all there!