Wasting time with Korean

[About Cat Hartliebe]

I love Korean. I finally found the language that makes sense.

I love all languages. The different ways you can say things calms me. Listening to people speak can be music. I have always wanted to learn more. My environment gave me little ability to reach out, but I did anyway.

I have picked up German the best. I consider myself at kindergarten level. I have the ability to say and write basic sentences. I’ve written short stories in German even. Ich liebe Deutsch. I won’t lie. It was readily available to learn through school. My great grandparents were even fluent with the language. Not that I got to meet them.

I also know pieces of Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Japanese, and Mandarin. I checked out a few others and found myself lost. It’s not like I hated the languages, but I could already tell it would be difficult to really learn.

Then I found Korean.

It all makes sense. All my past knowledge with writing, reading, and language study fell into place. I absolutely love how easy it is. Generally anyway. I can read any of it now just because I understand the characters. And the characters make so much sense. They literally explain the sound you should be making. Why didn’t anyone else think of this?

There is a reasons for this, fyi. Hangul (한글) was made in 1446. “To promote literacy among the common people, the fourth king of the Joseon dynasty, Sejong the Great, personally created and promulgated a new alphabet.” (I’m just wiki-ing things. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul)

The language was literally made so people who saw Chinese characters too confusing could still write and read. I know nothing else about this king, but I’ll agree with his greatness.

Why could the language help promote literacy? It is focused on sound. You can read Hangul and get a pretty clear idea what the word should sound like. Also, the language separates into syllables. That increases the ability to read.

There are a few irregularities. But I never met a language before that didn’t have a confusing noun-verb agreement. The verb doesn’t even care what noun you use (okay that’s not completely true, but nothing like any of the Latin ones).

Korea still uses Hanja, which is their older language based on the Chinese letters. Mandarin (the most common Chinese language) is one of few languages I have more spoken words than written words. I am normally so much better with writing and struggle in speech (four years of speech lessons ftw), yet for Mandarin, I’m stuck.

Maybe one day, I’ll figure the Chinese characters out. I’m not holding my breathe for it. Someone has to give me a real reason.

So, I’m going to start work on translating one of my super shorts over. It will be interesting to see what it turns into. I know it’ll take forever. But I also know that will teach me a lot. I’ll learn new words. I’m build the language in my head. It’ll be awesome.

I need more basic study first. Until I can compare myself to a five year old language speaker, I cannot really say I’m good enough to translate or write in the language. One day, hopefully soon.

Today I want to give the name I came up with for myself. I didn’t pick the most popular name in Korea. Could you even imagine me as a Kim? Bah. Although since I’m not picking from popular stuff, I only have a guess as to my meaning. I was going for more sound than anything.

넷같지   which sounds similar to Net Kat-Ji. Not quite, but close. And I won’t go into the long reasoning for picking the name. Keep calling me Cat and we’ll be fine.

넷 is four. Literally. Four is not a popular number in any of the languages that use Chinese characters. (The number 4 (四, pinyin: ; Cantonese Yale: sei) is considered an unlucky number in Chinese because it is nearly homophonous to the word “death” (死 pinyin: ; Cantonese Yale: séi). Thus, some buildings in East Asia omit floors and room numbers containing 4, similar to the Western practice of some buildings not having a 13th floor because 13 is considered unlucky. Where East Asian and Western cultures blend, such as in Hong Kong, it is possible in some buildings that the thirteenth floor along with all the floors with 4s to be omitted. Thus a building whose top floor is numbered 100 would in fact have just eighty one floors. (wiki ftw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_numerology))

같 is more for transliteration than anything. From what research I could try I think it translates to equal or same. It follows that path anyway. It is a syllable you find in the language. It’s not completely made up.

지 is a common syllable in names. There are even surnames with it. It means either wisdom or pond. I’m going with wisdom. For people that’s generally the choice.

So if I go in a long confusing way I can say: four equals wisdom. And since four basically means death… So Hartliebe lives on! Let’s keep up with my tough love.

FYI: 넷  would be marked as my surname or last name. My name a friend would call me is 같지.

Yes, I did download a Hangul keyboard for my phone and computer. I’m not copy-pasting the language anymore. Next step is to get some clear stickers on the keyboard so I don’t have to keep looking at my keyboard shortcut picture for Hangul.

Any questions? Thoughts? Interest? I’m down for listening, reading, and chatting. You can even be really nice and comment 사랑해.

What does that mean? Go find out. Don’t use romanization though. Hangul doesn’t translate quite right. They aren’t the same letters. This isn’t Latin based. This is Chinese characters based. Hangul is by far the easiest language I’ve ever come in contact with. I love it.


[About Cat Hartliebe]


I may use 넷갇린 instead. I know it kills the meaning behind it but it sounds closer to my first name. “kad-rin” (say it quickly). Haven’t decided yet. Although 넷 makes too much sense to use as a last name. I wonder if it’s allowed… Not like I have any knowledge into the form and limitations. and it’s not the four that literally means death. There’s just a comparison.

Also: I just memorized the keyboard. It’s how you type fast anyway. (And unlike qwerty, the korean keyboard makes a fuck ton of sense too.)

[About Cat Hartliebe]

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