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너 왜 맨날 짜장면 먹냐?!

Is the above a correct sentence? Sounds like it, doesn’t it?

One thing about Korean, what it sounds like and how it’s written may not be the same, and the colloquial way of speaking doesn’t necessarily means it will be written that way in the more formal context.

So the answer is: NO, it’s not entirely correct.

맨날 (X) ; 만날 (O)

Pretty surprising right? I swear I hear 봉우리 say ‘맨날 맨날 같이~~’ in the drama 내 마음니 들리니.

So why 맨날? It’s not ‘wrong’ in the sense that nobody will understand you, but it’s a colloquial way of speaking that should not be confused with the true, written form. It’s speculated that people are influenced by 매일 and hence thinks it’s 맨날. Sounds like a logical explanation, and an interesting one ^^

Is that the only incorrect one? Nope!

짜장면 is another interesting case. It sounds correct and that’s how all the native speakers pronounced it, but in writing, it should be 자장면 instead. Another case where the pronunciation does not correspond to its written form. I used to be very confused and at one point, thought that my ears were gone case and it should sound like 자장면according to the written form.

However, the explanation given in the book is that the reinforced consonants ㄲ ㄸ ㅃ ㅆ ㅉ are NOT used in 외래어 (foreign / loan words). 자장면 is a Chinese dish and comes from 炸醬麵, making it a foreign word. Hence, even though it’s pronounced with an reinforced ㅉ, it’s not written that way.

To conclude,

Speak: 너 왜 맨날 짜장면 먹냐?!
Write: 너 왜 만날 자장면 먹냐?!

NOTE: Explanations adapted from 인터넷에서 가장 많이 틀리는 한국어. It’s an awesome book and I’ve reviewed it before. It’s written entirely in Korean so I thought I’ll share some of the interesting bits here. Please go get the book if you can read Korean!

ISBN: 89-8499-594-0
Price: 9,500 Won

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Korean Grammar Lesson: Did I Write This Correctly? | Nanoomi.net
    21 July, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    […] can read the original post at HangukDrama. var addthis_language = 'en'; blog comments powered by Disqus var […]

  • Reply
    Kowiana
    21 July, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    Also “네가…” always being pronounced “니가” and ‘같아’ being pronounced ‘같애’. Sounds like a great book. Might need to get one!

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      21 July, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      there’s quite a bit of difference between the spoken and written language, I can see why some people will have difficulty with one of them if they are too focused on one side. It’s a nice and easy read ^^

    • Reply
      alodia
      17 December, 2011 at 10:01 PM

      Kowiana, thanks for pointing the 같애 pronunciation of 같아! I always thought my ears are betraying me OR there’s a grammar that I haven’t encounter yet that would make 같아 같애.

  • Reply
    meloncreme
    21 July, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Haven’t been here for a while. >_<

    Shanna, I'm a liitle bit confused. Is 재밌었어요 and 재미있었어요 the same? I was watching Heartstrings and Park Shin Hye typed "재밌었어요". I'm guessing it's just a shortened version but I just wanna make sure that's why I'm asking you. =D

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      21 July, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      재밌다 is the short form of 재미있다 and it’s only used for spoken or colloquial style. Ie. You can write 재밌어요! in tweets but not in your korean essay. ^^

    • Reply
      alodia
      17 December, 2011 at 10:05 PM

      And some people type it as 잼있어 – and that’s what I get from frequenting fan sites and not studying seriously for the past months. One time I am writing something a bit formal and I have to check a simple 재미있다 on the dictionary simply because i suddenly got confused with the correct spelling. O.o

      • Reply
        hangukdrama
        22 December, 2011 at 9:08 PM

        LOL it’s good to know both and to be able to switch in different situations! 😀

  • Reply
    Rin
    21 July, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    I thought korean pronunciations were all covered when I finished learning the hangeul characters, but as you learn you’ll realize there’s more and more “exceptions” in pronunciations. Its a lifelong journey!!! This post was great, cleared up my doubts, please do more of these sorts of post! ;D

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      21 July, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      Many people have the misconception that korean pronunciation is easy but just as you said, the deeper you dig the more you realise its variations and difficulty ^^ I’ll definitely post more in the future! Thanks ^^

    • Reply
      Jon
      8 August, 2012 at 5:56 PM

      Well, it’s still nothing like the mess that it called English. =p. Korean must be the most consistent language i’ve ever studied when it comes to pronounciation and how it’s written.

  • Reply
    teetotallerchimney
    21 July, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    I have this book. Reading it kinda makes you go ‘ah-ha!’ and it’s kind of satisfying to come across pointst that you’re already aware of. On the other hand, I don’t usually apply it and still make the same mistakes. 맨날 for one. Hahahaha

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      22 July, 2011 at 11:18 AM

      even the natives find weird to say 만날 in everyday conversation >.< I'll still to 맨날 too 😀

      • Reply
        mishmash
        22 July, 2011 at 8:54 PM

        I don’t remember if this was in the book but there’s also
        “~은/는 것 같아” but pronounced as “~은/는 것 같애

        XD

  • Reply
    Chantelle
    21 July, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    That’s interesting. 🙂 I’m forever mixing up and being confused by differences in spoken and written styles. My first encounter with Korean things tends to be by ear, so whenever I see them expressed formally in a written style, I have a little shock.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      22 July, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      haha mine’s a little different. I usually know the words through reading before I hear them ^^

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    21 July, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I didn’t know that 맨날 wasn’t proper, especially since I learned it from a textbook. (Though I knew it was Sino-Korean, and if I had looked into the 한자 this could have been avoided…) Thank you!

    However I do notice when Koreans (often) write -ㄹ께 or 니 for 네, so I’m not totally clueless about common spelling mistakes/colloquialisms!

    • Reply
      Jeanne
      22 July, 2011 at 12:16 AM

      Oh no I’m an idiot, 매일 is the Sino-Korean one, right? Anyway…

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      22 July, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      만날 is sino korean. 자짱면 will be a chinese loan word if I’m not wrong. They import the food together with its term into Korea.

  • Reply
    Courtney
    22 July, 2011 at 4:22 AM

    Wow, I sure wish I knew hanja… But anyway, how would the book be for somebody with intermediate reading ability? My first encounter with new Korean vocab/expressions is usually from reading, and then when I hear some of the “strange” pronounciations, I get really confused >.<

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      22 July, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Sometimes I can’t connect what I read to what I listen xD With a dictionary in hand, I think you will manage. Most of the articles are really short, so I don’t think you will run into much trouble. There are some articles with linguistic jargon, but they have tried to simplify it ^^

  • Reply
    Marta
    22 July, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    Thank you so much for this post! Funny thing is Google Translate always suggests changing 만날 to 맨날. ^^ BTW, any suggestions for a better phrases/sentences online dictionary?
    Unfortunately I still don’t hear any difference between ㅈ and ㅉ. Will I ever learn?

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      22 July, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      I’ve never used such a dictionary before ^^;; I stick to the naver online dictionary. I remember feeling that it’s difficult to differentiate between the reinforced and non reinforced consonants when i first started. But somehow the difference now is so glaring to me I wondered why I couldnt differentiate it at the beginning. I’m sure you will get there soon (: Listen to more korean input

  • Reply
    Jibril
    28 July, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    I had a similar experience, actually. I was using 미투데이 and a someone corrected my use of -기를 바라다. When I used it I spelled it 바래요 instead of 바라요 because Koreans favor the first pronunciation, even though it’s technically incorrect because 바라다 and 바래다 are verbs with completely different meanings. Hehe, the person even said that they’re often not sure which one to write because the true pronunciation sounds awkward. Anyway, it’s good to know that Koreans and Korean learners alike have their doubts when it comes to things like this.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 July, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      that’s a nice example! ^^ yeah it sounds weird and very formal if we stick to the ‘correct’ pronounciation sometimes but it’s good to know the differences so that we can fine tune our proficiency.

  • Reply
    baLmickY
    11 August, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    맨날 = 매날 isn’t? not 만날 right? or am i wrong?

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      12 August, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      There isn’t such a word as 매날 in the dictionary ^^

  • Reply
    alodia
    17 December, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    어머나… guilty of this too. Thank you. I didn’t know 만날 and always use 맨날 (actually even spelling it as 매날 – thinking of 매일) and have always spelled 자장면 as 짜장면. 🙂

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      22 December, 2011 at 9:07 PM

      짜장면 is now officially correct!

      • Reply
        alodia
        22 December, 2011 at 9:12 PM

        I see. Thanks! 🙂

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