Lesson 25 (Beginner 2A L1): Learning from Home

Naturally since the country is in a state of partial lockdown, we can't go physically for class. This learning from home arrangement is good for me since, as I've said, it's an hour's journey each way for me otherwise.

I've not left the house for something like... since 5 April. I don't buy groceries, it's messed up that my parents do it since they are vulnerable, but somehow that's the arrangment in my house. And with the new restrictions, it's just my dad since he's the main driver in our house.

Of course, there's something different about learning from home. We have a new teacher as well, and so it's hard to tell, given a new teacher and a new mode of learning, whether the differences observed should be attributed to the teacher, or the mode.

The only unfortunate thing about this is that resistance was ultimately futile as a colleague of mine put it, in that I finally downloaded the Zoom client since the class is conducted via Zoom. I've downloaded it before, but held out and deleted it simply because I don't like the way the company has handled privacy in the past (once that HN post came out about how it installs a web server) - so for the sessions that I have with my colleagues (which were non-work sessions, more of socialising), I insisted on using the browser with the limited features, which included only being able to see one person at a time.

But in the end, I can now set a virtual background which masks my room, so yay? Small comfort, but better than nothing.

This lesson is basically a revision for those of us who were in the same class previously and had a month's break. There are 4 of us from my old class - Erica seems to have quit for good (which, given that she didn't appear for the last 2 lessons, seems rather expected) - and 2 new students. From what I can gather, they seem to have had a class last week, but also with a different teacher.

Regardless of how things are, it was a good revision and it made me a lot less nervous. There was a snafu in that I didn't receive the Zoom meeting link over KakaoTalk. I was getting really nervous, and it was only 10 minutes before the lesson when I decided I should message my friend to ask. Thanks to him, I got the invite link. It might be some setting that I have on KakaoTalk, that makes my account... unaddable. I'm not surprised since I tend to turn on all the privacy features I can find, but I've not figured out exactly. Anyway, the teacher gave me her id, so I can add her and I should be added to the group shortly.

I know this is more like a reflection post than on the actual lesson, but that's because we went through exactly what... had already been gone through, starting with the vocab for Chapter 6. The homework is until the same page in the workbook, and in fact, it's only 2 pages, while for the other 2 students, it sounded like they would be doing the pages from the start of the homework handout for chapter 6. Anyway, we have to scan and send a PDF to the teacher - I'll prepare that when I'm done with the post. As it is, I don't think she's added me yet as a friend or added me to the group since I don't see any notifications yet, so I can't send it to her.

Naturally, there were some new things that we learnt, or new perspectives on things that we learnt, so I shall just document them here.

We started the lesson with a self-introduction. Unfortunately, I was asked to go first out of all the students. I have no idea what I said, but I guess it was fine. The teacher started with the formal form (하십시오체) for all the sentences which threw me off, and I think I wasn't the only one, since in most cases we don't use it, but use 해요체 instead. So I went with 해요체, and some others did a mix of both.

We revised the vocabulary for Chapter 6.

When asking "what" with a noun, you have to use 무슨. So for example, "What food do you like?" is rendered as 무순 음식(을) 좋아해요?

We skipped the part on the counting for money (which is why I was a bit confused about where the 2 new students were).

After that vocab, we skipped to the first grammar point, which is on V-(으)세요 (detailed in Lesson 23). But it also seemed to be a revision, since it wasn't covered in much detail.

Interestingly, for two of the exceptions 자다 and 먹다/마시다, the teacher showed us two short clips from two Korean dramas where the characters use the V-(으)세요 form. I now recall reading some reviews that say the classes use K-dramas to teach, so maybe that's why?

To elaborate on 자다, the informal way is to say 잘 자요. But when you are being formal, then you would say (안녕이) 주무셔세요. They mean the same thing, that is, good night or sleep well.

For this drama clip, apparently it's quite famous(?) since some people in the class knew what it was. Apparently the male/female leads were a real-life couple, but they split, since the teacher expressed some regret about it. Anyway, apparently after they kiss, she says 안녕이 주무셔세요 to him. You'd think they're quite close after the kiss, but she chooses to use the formal way of saying good night, as the teacher pointed out.

As for 먹다/마시다, we learnt that it's 드세요. But you can also say 맛있게 드세요, which literally means "please eat/drink deliciously", basically a way to say "enjoy your food". You may hear this when you are in a restaurant, and when the server brings you your food, he/she may use that phrase.

In the drama clip, from the context which I saw, this lady came by to a table where a man was seated and asked him to leave, and basically, out of politeness for dragging him away, she tells the others at the table to enjoy their food with 맛있게 드세요. (There are no subs, so it's not like I know exactly what else was said.)

The second grammar point was where we spent most time, which is on the counting with unit nouns. I definitely felt more comfortable with the numbers 1-10 given an extra month to burn them into memory.

Since I learnt from the First Step Korean course about the pronounciation for, say, 다섯 명 being [다선 명], I decided to ask about this when the teacher gave an opportunity to ask questions. (I realise I did not write about this in the end.)

I got a more detailed answer. For the final consonants when it is one of the 7 coronals that have the pronunciation of [t̚] in their syllable-final position, if the next syllable begins with the nasal ㄴ or ㅁ, then the final consonant becomes ㄴ to help with pronunciation.

As an example, for 앋, 앝, 앗, 앚, 앛, 앟, if the next syllable begins with ㄴ or ㅁ, then they are pronounced as [안].

She said we will learn the pronounciation rules slowly one by one.

We did a breakout session to practise with a partner the numbers 1-10. The teacher asked us to do from Ko → En first, then En → Ko, but we launched right to En to Ko, and even then, I suggested since we were done so fast, to do the numbers from 11-19 as well.

One thing that came up was, how is 열여덟 pronounced? More generally, does the carry-over rule for pronunciation apply? We didn't ask the teacher, but I searched on Forvo and heard the prounciations, and it seems that it does carry over as I suspected, so it would be [여려덟]. Similarly, 열일곱 is pronounced as [여릴곱].

The teacher also talked about the placement of the object particle 을/를 in sentences that have the unit nouns. I believe the previous time, the teacher did mention it as well since it appeared in the textbook, and I made a note, but now I have it concretely down. (We hardly touched the textbook today, this teacher just brought it up with an example sentencee, where the object particle is omitted.)

These 3 sentences are all correct:

  • 빵 한 개 먹었어요.
  • 한 개 먹었어요.
  • 빵 한 개 먹었어요.

As part of the handout, we had the question and answer part where you create a question to ask your classmates about the number of an object (or people).

Someone asked about the number of glasses (spectacles) in the class (since it was a video call we could see each other): 지금 반에 안경이 몇개 있어요?

Another person asked about the number of computers: 컴퓨터가 몇 개 있어요?

This was interesting because the teacher said that for big electronics like computers, refrigerators, and television sets, the unit noun used is typically 대 instead of 개.

컴퓨터가 몇 대 있어요?

For smaller items like handphones, it's still typical to use 개.

The teacher said that in Korea, a common question is about how well someone can hold their liquor: 주량이 몇 병이에요?

Frequently, this is answered in terms of 소주 (soju) or 맥주 (beer).

For example, half a bottle of soju: 소주 반 병이에요.

And it seem, we will be having a quiz next week. I think the idea is the same as the one that we did the last class, since if this lesson is technically the same as that lesson, and the original quiz was scheduled after this very lesson, it makes sense that there will be a quiz next week.

I wonder how it will be carried out.

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