Korean is such a fascinating language to learn. For English speakers, it may be tough at first, having to grapple with the reverse word order and the numerous particles and the myriad of pronunciation rules. As you get the hang of it, each new vocabulary and grammar construction becomes easier to learn and you start thinking ‘hey! Korean may not be so tough after all’.
But as you progress even further, you will find that Korean is not as simple as you thought it will be. Particularly sound symbolism. Korean is rich in sound symbolism and has loads of onomatopoeic expressions, usually in the form of adverbs.
Most of these adverbs combine with certain verbs only or has other restricted uses. There are also groups of onomatopoeic expressions. For example: 엉엉, 징징, 훌쩍훌쩍 etc are all expressions of crying, how do you when to use which? (examples from ‘Using Korean’)
There is also the differentiation of bright and dark vowels, with the bright vowels signifying something that is light and small and dark vowels the opposite. Tense and aspirated consonants are used to show the degree of the adverb and repetition is sometimes used too.
When to use which?
These are the questions that keep me baffled. I just came across a new adverb 착 in my reading and when I input it 네이버, 3 entries came out together with at least 7 uses!!
Koreans use alot of these sound symbolism in their daily speech but it’s something that learners will find it hard to acquire. I hope to incorporate them in my speech someday~ ^^
hahaha i deviated again. I missed Korea loads. I close my eyes and I can remember the streets and feeling of being in my most favorite country. sigh. ㅠㅠ