Author Archives: jreidy17

Korean Buddhist artist

Here is a documentary of a Korean monk painting the Bodhisattva of Compassion for the Asian Art Museum in Seattle.  The monk artist Seol-min has dedicated her life to keeping the tradition of Buddhist painting alive. “In Buddhist painting, preparation … Continue reading

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Diabetes 당뇨 as common in Korea as USA

Diabetes is 당뇨.  Also, diabetes is 당뇨병 where 병 means illness.     Korean is a thin-country, but has approximately the same rate of diabetes as USA.  The sudden change in the typical diet from vegetarian to eating lots of junk … Continue reading

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Hard work pays off

Check out the Economist article “The model minority is losing patience”. It quotes one study that says a reason why Asian Americans excel academically is they work hard. “On average Asian-Americans are unusually well educated, prosperous, married, satisfied with their … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 苹 apple 사과

We learned 平 peace.  It also means flat, level, equal (picture a level scale).  We learned grass 艹.  Put them  together, and you get apple 苹.  Apple is one of the earliest Korean words I learned from Boys Over Flowers Korean drama.  Apple … Continue reading

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September Song

My language exchange partner shared with me the lyrics to “September Song”.  Koreans have an appreciation for many American songs, and I feel such a flush of joy hearing classics again, brought to my attention by someone on the other … Continue reading

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Korean Bible

Received a gift of a Korean bible from the Korean woman I met in town.  Since the bible is organized by chapter and verse, it is easy to match the Korean to an English bible. I am the light of … Continue reading

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Asian-American voters

Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in USA, but they’re also the least likely to vote. NPR published a story How Asian American Voters Went From Republican to Democratic.  The Asian-American electorate made up just 3 percent of 2012 voters.  The … Continue reading

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Poem delighting in simplicity

A Korean master expresses delight in simplicity in this way.   Unaffected by the passage of time I remain bright and quiet while I sit. A bowl of porridge, A plate of wild greens, And a cup of tea: I … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 味 taste 맛

I take great thrill in my fortune cookies, now that I am learning a little Chinese.  This one taught me the word “taste”.  Imagine in ancient times, you are a king who can’t eat yet until the food is first … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 天 sky 천

天 sky, heaven, day 천 I chose the character 天 because of a Zen poem “An Answer on Behalf of Heaven and Earth”  代天地答.  We learned soil/earth is 土.  See 土 (earth) in the character 地 ? 答 is answer and 代 is on … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 永 eternal 영

When I first saw this character, I thought it was water 水 until I noticed the extra dot.  It is a character used as a warm up for calligraphy because it has so many types of strokes.

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Intention and Results

What does it take to change intention to results? Here are some things that help. Clearly define your intention. Schedule a specific time to work on the goal. Identify possible obstacles and solutions. Know why you want to do this. … Continue reading

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Japanese garden path

Anyone who has enjoyed Japanese gardens will have noticed how carefully the pathways are planned.  As you walk, the paths slow you down and make you pause to enjoy a view.   A garden curator from Portland’s Japanese Garden describes … Continue reading

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Hanja for Cimi: 民 people 민

Let’s see some Korean words that use 민. 인민 the people 국민 a nation, a people 자유민 a free citizen 민족 a race (ethnicity) 유목민 a nomadic race 빈민 poor people 貧民 민주주의democracy 民主 Cimi smartly pointed out that some of the words we have … Continue reading

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Frequently used tools

  When I first started Hanguk Babble, I was on the hunt for any and all tools that I might use to learn a language.  I did not know how to teach myself Korean, so I was grasping at everything. … Continue reading

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