Attention: WesternGirlEasternBoy is taking on a new “East”: Japan. I hope you enjoy the first blog post– just one of many to come, which also addresses some distinct differences between hip hop and rap artists in South Korea and Japan.
Maybe Japanese hip hop and rap artists have been around for years. I wouldn’t know, although I have often heard my friends sing and rap in Japanese at noraebang. I’m familiar with songs that have names I can’t even remember (but do know how sing along to by now). I was unaware that hip hop and rap even existed in Japan to THIS extent– until now.
I was getting ready for…
(This is the English translation of 한여름의 일기장, or A Summer Diary– along with some “BTD,” or behind the diary stories, for my friends and followers who were attempting their own translation or merely curious about what REALLY happened that summer.)
In the summer of 2012, I kept a diary while I was in Korea for the first time; and, it felt natural to write in Korean while I was…
I’ve had my nose buried in the entire Sookie Stackhouse series– you might know these books a little better as the TV show True Blood, for the past week. I managed to read them from start to finish, which explains my long(er than usual) absence.
Well, I forgot how much I love reading! After all, I was in law school for the past three years and had no time to read anything but casebooks…
In the summer of 2012, I kept a diary while I was in Korea for the first time; and, it felt natural to write in Korean while I was there. It was also something I had wanted to do ever since I read 딩구는 돌은 언제 잠깨는가 (When Does a Rolling Stone Awaken) by 이성복 (Lee Seongbeok); and, my diary chronicled the time I spent in Korea– the time when I, a rolling stone, was awaken.
6/17/12, 술집에서 생긴 일
(Junho is an auto-biographical short story that I wrote the night after I met my first boyfriend, Junho, on January 23, 2011. I’ve always wanted to share this story with you all, and now I’m finally ready.)Junho
Did I fall asleep that night, the night we first met?
I remember the sound of teeth on teeth as you ground yours in your sleep. Lying in a stranger’s bed, I should have…
Think of each consonant or vowel in the Korean alphabet as a lego.
You have to “stack” consonants and vowels together in groups of two, three, and sometimes four to “build” a syllable, but you ALWAYS start with a consonant.
So, let’s “build” a one syllable word with the consonant ㅁ, or “m.”
맛 (pronounced mat even though it ends with the consonant “s”) means flavor or taste.
1. ㅁ (m)
2. ㅁ (m) + ㅏ (a) = 마 (ma)
3.ㅁ (m) + ㅏ (a) + ㅅ (s) = 맛 (mat)
(When a word ends with an “s,” the “s” consonant becomes a “t” sound.)
Well, what about when a word starts with a vowel sound? Like the TWO syllable word umma, which means mom.
Then start with the (sometimes silent) consonant, ㅇ.
2. 어 (u, like “ugh”)
3. 엄 (um, like “thumb”)
4. 엄ㅁ (umm, like “umm…”
5. 엄마 (umma)
Now, when you end with ㅇ, it produces a “ng” sound, like in -ing.
Hope that helps!