Archive | January 2013

“The Five” Prayer Ceremony



Today, Cinema Service confirmed the cast of upcoming movie The FiveYesterday, January 29, they held it’s 고사 or a prayer ceremony. The photo above are the confirmed cast. On the photo we have Jung In Ki (Cheongdamdong Alice) as Cheol Min, Park Hyo Joo as Hye Jin, Ma Dong Seok (H.I.T.) as Dae Ho, of course my dear Kim Sun Ah as Eun Ah, Oh Joo Wan as Jae Wook and Lee Chung Ah (Flowerboy Ramyun Shop) as Jung Ha. Another confirmed cast is Shin Jung Geun (City HallScent of A Woman – Seriously, he’s always with Suna Unnie!) as Nam Cheol.

Filming will start in the first half of February and expected to premiere on the second half of the year!

I’m e.x.c.i.t.e.d!!!!

Read more HERE.

And do check out The Five’s page on Daum Movie Listing.


*고사 – shamanistic ritual in which food is offered to the spirits
in order to avoid misfortune and bring good luck (naver)

All About My Name Is Kim Sam Soon Novelist Ji Soo Hyun

DISCLAIMER: My translation of the article may not be accurate.

If it’s not yet obvious, I’m a big My Name Is Kim Sam Soon fan. Before I become a Kim Sun Ah fan, I was first a Sam Soon fan.That drama caught me off guard, made me laugh and cry at unexpected moments. Made me look at life differently. Made me shake off all my insecurities. Made me enjoy life more. In my book, it’s the best drama every written.

My Name Is Kim Sam Soon is originally a novel, written by a female novelist Ji Soo Hyun, published in 2004  – a year before the drama aired. The novel was later adapted for television and was penned by drama writer Kim Do Wo.

When I first learned the My Name Is Kim Sam Soon was originally a novel, I can’t help but be interested in the book so I had a friend buy me a copy even if my Korean then is not even enough to introduce myself properly. All I did since then is open the book once in a while, read some pages (without understanding it), close it, put it back on the shelf, and hope that someday I’ll be able to read it. Like REALLY read it.

I’m curious to find out what were the changes made in the drama version. What parts were removed. What parts were retained. How faithful the adaptation was? And, honestly speaking, I’m most curious to know which will I like better.

I’m also curious about the novelist, as much as I am curious with Kim Do Wo (and other Korean drama writers). I’ve always wondered what kind of person they both are to come up with such stories and characters. Are they married. Do they have kids. Are they romantic. Are they similar to the character/s they write? Or are they the exact opposite?

Anyway, yesterday I came across a short article – an interview with writer Ji Soo Hyun. If I’m not mistaken it was part of the “Curious about My Name Is Kim Sam Soon” series of Woman Donga and was written in 2005 (in the middle of the drama’s broadcast). The article satisfied my curiosity over the ‘mysterious’ novelist. Now she is not just a name to me.


My Name Is Kim Sam Soon novelist Ji Soo Hyun

Self-portrait of Novelist Ji Soo Hyun

Self-portrait of Novelist Ji Soo Hyun

As the drama My Name Is Kim Sam Soon gains popularity, a lot of people became more and more curious about the writer behind the original novel, Ms. Ji Soo Hyun. She dislikes the idea of showing herself to the public, thus she refused a photoshoot and we proceeded with an email interview instead.

Age: 32
Blood type: B
Hobby: Eating delicious cakes
Ideal type: Someone like Hyun Bin – arrogant but with a warm heart

That’s the profile of the writer who wrote the novel from which the sky-high popular MBC drama My Name Is Kim Sam Soon was adapted from. She said she is very similar to Sam Soon because she actually modeled the character to herself. She was born prematurely (7 months) and she has always been clumsy since she was a child, tripping here, falling there. And whenever that happens, she repeatedly hear her mother sigh “Aigoo! This little Sam Soon!” And even Kim Sun Ah’s (as Kim Sam Soon?) mistakes or errors in the drama, she all have experienced them.

“Since I was a kid, there were times I’ve thought of becoming a patissier because I love cakes. But I don’t have great baking skills like Sam Soon. The cakes I baked were uneven and the cookies I made were too hard you can’t even chew it.

“Just like in dramas, I’ve also experienced lots of bad lucks and bad timings. I have met a fender bender WHILE I was having a driving lesson. I went to the district office to pay my dues on the deadline just in time when the doors are being closed and locked. I even have to be rescued in Halla Mountain (alodia: this I’m not 100% sure).

“When Sam Soon is upset she bake cakes early in the morning. When I’m upset I scribble at dawn,” she said.

She took Industrial Design in college. In 2000 she quit her job, moved to Yongin Gyeonggi-do and started writing. At that time, her health was not so good. She had plenty of free time at home and one day she came across a website where you can upload your written novels. So she started posting stories she imagined since she was a kid.

Last year, her internet novel that gathered a lot of attention, “Noona and I or She and I?” was adapted to television in KBS Snow WhiteAnd just last March, her “Our 4321 days” was adapted as KBCS 18 vs 29. Other than those two mentioned, currently, television and movie production companies have purchased rights and contracts of most of her novels for TV or screen adaptation.

“Sam Soon is a character that was patterned after myself.”

“The reason why a lot of women my age, cherish the drama My Name Is Kim Sam Soon so much, is that they feel that they can see themselves in Sam Soon. ‘Must go to blind dates no matter how boring it is.’ ‘Must save money for the future.’ ‘Must diet.’ They sympathize with Sam Soon who find all these things easier said than done. They also cheer for Sam Soon who works hard despite unfavorable circumstances.

The lead male characters who appeared in the novel reflect Ji Soo Hyun’s ideal types. “Whenever I write I think that to be able to reach the readers, they too must be able to feel the feeling of being in love. Creating handsome characters with good personality would be effective but it is not always the case. Men who cherish women sincerely – I make an effort to create those kind of male characters whom women would want to fall in love with,” she said.

Ji Soo Hyun doesn’t fret as to what and how many parts they exclude or edit out from her novels when they are being adapted to other mediums. She said, “I have already expressed myself the way I want it on my novel. It’s a pleasure to have my work to be adapted into a drama. It’s fun to imagine when you read a novel. And it’s even more fun to see it with your own eyes in a drama.”

“AsI watch the drama, I can see that both the writer and the director exerted efforts in being faithful with the original novel. Sam Soon is more vigorous and full of energy in the drama than in the novel, but that’s plainly her – Sam Soon. Jin Hun, I think, was almost exactly the character in the novel – not just being younger, but being simple-hearted while acting pervertly; and having a painful past. Hee Jin, Jin Hun’s ex-girlfriend, appeared way earlier than she did in the novel but I’m also curious as to how her original small role will develop into a bigger one in the drama.”

“The novel and the drama were two different fruits from the same tree,” said Ji Soo Hyun. I may be the one who provided the basic foundation, but I completely give my trust and believe the director, writer and all the drama staff,” she said.

SOURCE: 여성동아


Sadly this article (and a whole lot more out there) was not translated because most people are just curious about the drama then. Times like this I really love learning Korean! I wouldn’t have learned about this awesome writer if I don’t know Korean. XD

I am currently downloading 18 vs 29 because it looks like I’m gonna like it. I guess more than Writer Kim Do Wo (My Name Is Kim Sam Soon screenplay writer), I’ll be stalking Writer Ji Soo Hyun more. I’m more encouraged to finish reading My Name Is Kim Sam Soon novel now that I know more about the novelist. 🙂


FLTR or Foreign Language Text Reader is a… uhm… foreign language text reader.

Seriously, it is wonderful tool to use when reading articles or blogs or just about any softcopies that can be copy-pasted (well, no one’s stopping you to encode a text from a physical source such as books, magazines or newspapers).

I learned about this from Korean Notebook late last year. I installed it and made myself familiar on how to use it. I started with an article but I stopped halfway. Plain laziness I must say.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to read more these days. Reading used to be one of my strongest suits when I was still a beginner. But it has become one of my weakest areas (along with speaking) since I transitioned to the intermediate stage because I never read.


I so love this little tool because this is exactly what I need. When reading I encounter new words of course. So I check the definition, then I wrote them down or type it on a document. All these checking and note taking kills the momentum of reading and it will become tedious and boring. But if I just won’t take down notes the obsessive-compulsive me can’t be at ease (even though I know I’ll end up not reading the notes I wrote!).

Anyway, what I love with FLTR, it’s easy and fast to check the definition of a word, paste the definition and mark it then continue reading. You can also write sample sentences using the word you looked-up and it will be stored in the program. It’s easy to review because as you hover to a word, and you’ll be able to read the definition you wrote. I am also encouraged by the different colors you can use to mark the words. The more light green colors I see (color for well-known words), the more I’m encouraged to read.

I tried reading THIS ARTICLE today. I was a bit scared because it’s kinda long, but I had fun reading using FLTR, happily checking words out and color coding them. Before I knew it, I finished the article. I even have to double check if left out some paragraphs when I was importing the text to the program. Well, the article is not really that difficult I think. But still, it’s satisfying to read something in full.

How to use FLTR? Visit Korean Vitamin. 🙂


Finally! Kim Sun Ah is confirmed for “The Five”

Today, the admin of Kim Sun Ah’s Official Facebook page announced the release of official news articles confirming Kim Sun Ah on the upcoming thriller movie The Five!

photo from Kim Sun Ah's Official Facebook Page

photo from Kim Sun Ah’s Official Facebook Page

The Five  is one of the winners in 2010 KOCCA Story and Content Competition and was released as a paid online Daum manhwa last year (and was also published in a 5-volume set manhwa book). Since its release, it has gained popularity. And it is now going to be adapted into the big screen!

It’s been more than a year since she last had a movie, Fighting Spirit, so everyone’s excited!

Do check out the news articles released today!

한국콘텐츠진흥원 Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA)

Trying to continue my then abruptly interrupted quest of I Do I Do‘s origin, I’ve spent my afternoon reading Korean articles about KOCCA 한국콘텐츠진흥원 (Korea Creative Content Agency) and their contest history. The first article I read (about the contest, contestants and winners last 2010) was difficult. But the more article I read the easier it becomes. Because the words just keep repeating (since I’m reading about just one topic). I should really read a lot!

Anyway, aside from learning Korean, I did not only find out what I was looking for, I also got some additional information here and there.

First, KOCCA is a government agency that supports the multimedia cultural industry of Korea. And yearly they held writing competition for underground creators/small production companies/amateurs in various media (drama screenplay, movie screenplay, manhwa, video game). And they finance them and connects them to production houses in the aim of having the work produced/broadcast/screened/published.

So, I Do I Do was a TV Drama screenplay entry by a small production company 김종학 Productions (I think headwritten by Jo Jung Hwa). Contrary to the articles that came out, it was last 2009 and NOT 2010 (and I had to suffer reading all throughout 2010 related articles!). They only won 장려상 (participation/consolation prize) but it’s something big since there were thousands of entries (literally – but for all categories). I am not 100% sure because I am not that updated to ALL K-dramas. But the other winners for TV drama screenplay are not familiar to me so it seems like I Do I Do was one of the first one to get produced.

The thing is, the summary of the screenplay goes something like a fake marriage of 2 individuals to get to where they wanted (richness, fame, success) fast. There were no marriage, fake or real in the drama. Was it revised? Would the drama have been better if it wasn’t revised? I dunno…

Now one thing I discovered, Kim Sun Ah’s upcoming movie The Five is also a product of KOCCA!!! It won one of the many 우수상 (second places) in 2010 and was immediately published as a webtoon the following year. And was published as a comic book later that year. And now, will be adapted into a movie!

What’s with Kim Sun Ah and KOCCA winners? 🙂

Korean Modifiers!

I’m often overwhelmed (and simply stunned) when reading Korean sentences that can get as long as… forever.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to read a simple article about 씨름, for intermediate learners and I just can’t move on with this one simple sentence:

승자 진출 방식으로 진행되는 씨름 경기에서 최종적으로 이긴 장사에게는 상으로 황소를 주었다.

After looking up new words in the dictionary I do get that this sentence means “The winner gets a cow.” Period. I know I can move on and proceed with my reading. But the obsessive-compulsive me doesn’t want to let go and I spent all my breaks today to figure, not just the meaning, but how this sentence was structured.

I almost gave up and was about to ask a friend to translate it for me in English, once and for all. But after typing the sentence in kakao, I gave it one more try and this time I attempted to break the sentence into parts or “blocks” and I think it did work for me.

I started with 황소.

An ox (황소를) was given (주었다).

Given as a what? As a prize (상으로).

상으로 황소를 주었다 – an ox was given as a prize.

To whom? To the strong man (aka contestant/participant that has to be a strong man) (장사에게(는)).

What about the participant / What kind of participant? What participant?

A participant that won (이긴 장사).

So an ox was given as a prize to the participant who won (이긴 장사에게는 상으로 황소를 주었다).

Won what? What kind of win? An ultimate win (최종적으로) aka grand prize aka grand champion (after playoffs/elimination games).

So, an ox was given as a prize to the participant who won as the champion. (최종적으로 이긴 장사에게는 상으로 황소를 주었다)

Where? Champion where?

In a Ssireum match (씨름 경기에서).

So, one more time, an ox was given as a prize to the participant who won as the champion in a ssireum match (씨름 경기에서 최종적으로 이긴 장사에게는 상으로 황소를 주었다).

But… what kind of ssireum match / what kind of match/game is a ssireum / what is ssireum? Aka how does the game proceeds?

A ssireum game that proceeds by the method of knock-out rounds (승자 진출 방식으로 진행되는 씨름 경기).

I want to interpret it like this:


The above pseudo tree structure may not be linguistically correct, but it’s how I can easily see how I interpreted this long sentence. The simplest sentence I can form here is:

[   [씨름 경기에서]    [이긴 장사에게는]    [황소를 주었다]   ]

And the rest of the words that goes in between modifies each “block”.

[  [((승자 진출 방식으로) 진행되는) 씨름 경기에서]   [(최종적으로0 인긴 장사에게는]    [(상으로) 황소를 주었다] ]

So, one last time:

The ultimate champion in a ssireum match, that (usually) proceeds in (a series of) knock-out rounds, was given an ox as a prize.

Not a good translation. But I don’t really want to translate the sentence. I want to understand what are the functions of each of the elements of this sentence.

Now this is actually one of the shortest “long Korean sentences” (shortest long? Go figure!). It can go on and on and on and on… as they add more and more modifiers to describe each “block”.

It took me hours to analyze a sentence as short as this one! Must practice reading more (because these types of sentences doesn’t usually appear on my dramas XD) so that I can analyze faster and eventually, hopefully, can analyze long sentences in real time (without having to draw tree structures! OTL).

TOPIK Videos on Youtube!

Goldmine! I stumbled into a gold mine as I stumbled upon blog a blog of a fellow Korean learner, 주비랑. The goldmine? TOPIK Video Lessons on Youtube!

I didn’t know they exist. And I was not expecting something like this exists!

25회 Writing (Fill in the blanks) Video Lecture

I’ve watched this one and I’m glad I did. I just mentioned I hate these fill-in-the-blanks writing exam and I kinda like the tip the teacher used. One at a time. I have a tendency to be overwhelmed when I see lots of Korean and then I panic and I keep shuffling and tossing grammar patterns I know and have learned and trying to piece them together to string the phrases together only to find out when I check the answers that a simple beginner 아/어/여서 and -다가 would work.

Their Youtube channel lead me to their website, Topik Korea. The different video lessons are on THIS PAGE.

A good supplement to those who are preparing for TOPIK.

And I’m glad 주비랑 mentioned the teacher who teaches Intermediate grammar reminds her of Kim Sun Ah because of their tendency to drag their final vowels at the end of their sentences. It puts a smile on my face as I listen to teacher and try to see if I can actually catch the said Kim Sun Ah similarity. Though they both drag their final vowels it didn’t remind me of Kim Sun Ah’s speaking style – until after about 5 mins when it dawned on me that she talks exactly how Kim Sam Soon talks to Jin Hyun’s niece in My Name Is Kim Sam Soon! XD

Fill in the blanks

I suck in writing Korean. I CAN write. I just finished writing a blog-like entry in a fan cafe and I am currently pouring trying to pour my heart out to an 언니 in an email. But I know my writing sucks big time.
Trying to fulfil my goal of finishing two books in a week, I’m currently working on 중급 한국어 2 and am scratching my head over these fill in the blanks exercises. It’s also my least favorite section in TOPIK. ㅠㅠ I just can’t figure out what pattern or conjunction I should use (outside the -아/어/여서 and -고 that I constantly abuse).
My stubborn self stomps her feet and says you don’t fill out blank sentences in real life. My more logical self argues that if you are good enough and is comfortable in using Korean properly filling out blanks shouldn’t be an issue. My hopeful self believes that once I finish these exercises, along with this book, I’ll improve.

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My Current Book Haul from KCC Library

IMG_4220_phixr (1)

I met a friend today and was able to visit KKC Library! Result – 2 books for the week! Yey!

The first one is 중급 한국어 2. I’ve finished the first chapter on my way home. I’m loving it because I think it’s just right for my level. It’s not too easy and the grammar patterns are those that I either don’t know yet or I know but I’m not very comfortable using. The book is entirely in Korean but not so difficult.

The second one is a travel book but meant for locals and not for foreigners, thus entirely in Korean. The title is 두근두근 서울산책! The moment I first saw this book late last year, I immediately fell in love with it (I just can’t borrow it that time). So I’m really glad I have this book on my hand now! I love Seoul. And I love walking! So this book is ♥. I also love it because it is not the usual travel guide books for foreigners. It’s a bit difficult for me to read but the book is full of pictures and drawings (but still there are a lot of texts!). I’ve only managed to finish reading the Author’s note and I already love her! 🙂

I have one week to finish these books! I’m not sure if I can finish both but it’ll be my goal for the week. 🙂