不用害羞 Shamelessly Ask Away

Ask without shame, for it is better to ask and learn, than to abstain and forever be none the wiser.

That is today’s idiom:

  1. 不 – Bu4
  2. 耻 – Chi3
  3. 下 – Xia4
  4. 问 – Wen4

Literally it translates to “ask without shame”.

耻 is shame and 问 is inquire.

This idiom promotes a lifetime of learning, always asking and always improving, much like the Chinese spirit.

Never be afraid to ask! For only then shall you receive.

Even if you think it is a stupid question, at least you will know not to ask it again next time.

天天吃美食吗? Eating Fancy Every Day?

Hey, good looking! What’s that you’re cooking?

  1. 山 – Shan1
  2. 珍 – Zhen1
  3. 海 – Hai3
  4. 味 – Wei4

Or I suppose I could write it out like this: shān zhēn hǎi wèi.

So today’s idiom literally translates to:

The treasures of the mountains and the taste of the seas

Pretty florid to describe fancy food! This idiom is used to describe delectable dishes and mouth-watering morsels, presumably all imported. Just kidding, you can still eat fancy and support your local farmers and growers, yeah?

Eat up, guys!

You Want This Samtoki Korean Lesson?

Let’s do…this one today!

  1. 이 – I (pronounced “ee”)
  2. 거 – Geo (pronounced “go”)
  3. 주 – Ju (like piggy in Chinese)
  4. 세요 – Seyo

Today’s phrase is useful for shoppers or when you’re looking to order something. It means “please give me this one“.

이거 (igeo) is “this” in Korean, so if you want to be more direct and can’t recall the rest of it, just “igeo” and maybe some pointing should do the trick. But to be polite, please use “juseyo”. That means “please give me”.

You can pop 이거 into any sentence, but take note that the way the Korean grammar works is that the subject is in front. So while in English or Chinese you might say:

Please give me this one.

请给我这个

In Korean, the “this” will come first:

이거 기억해?

This means “do you remember this?”

Alright, now go have fun!

Samtoki First Chinese Idiom Lesson – We’re All In This Together! [叁多级 成语乱写 第一课程]

Welcome to 叁多级’s 成语乱写 inaugural first class!

Alright, let’s start on some Chinese now that you’ve got some Korean down pat. But not just any regular ol’ mandarin – we’re going to do Chinese idioms, 成语 to be precise.

If you’ve heard of 成语, they are a partially poetic and cultural part of the Chinese language, because they all conform to the same pattern – they all consist of four characters.

Of course there are longer idioms and sayings in Chinese culture, but somehow this pattern of concise four-syllable pragmatic knowledge bombs became popular and naturally became a integral part of the Chinese culture and spoken language.

I won’t go too much into the history of it all, at least not now.

I will elucidate the pronunciation and meaning of the idiom up top, of course, otherwise this is going to become one of those inane recipes with a novel wrapped around the actual recipe that you have to hyper scroll to find.

As you may know, the Chinese phonetic alphabet (known as pinyin 拼音) comes with four inflections. I will follow the standard way of indicating the inflections with the numbers 1 to 4, but traditionally they have symbols above the vowels for inflections, like so óōǒò.

So that’s:

  1. ó
  2. ō
  3. ǒ
  4. ò

If you’re not sure how these inflections sound, check out this video.

Today’s idiom is:

  1. 同 – Tong2
  2. 舟 – Zhou1
  3. 共 – Gong4
  4. 济 – Ji4

Alternatively it can be written tóng zhōu gòng jì, but I’m too lazy to find the letters with the right symbols.

Anyway, this idiom means “we’re all in the same boat” ergo “we’re all in this together”.

I thought it would be fitting for the current situation we’re in, all being stuck at home, hiding from the virus and its putrid carriers.

Now if you’re familiar with the Chinese language, you’ll know that each character is unique and bears its own meaning, so let’s break it down!

  1. 同 – Together, united
  2. 舟 – Boat (I’ve got to stop riding this Titanic meme)
  3. 共 – Overall, together
  4. 济 – Assist, aid

So it translates to “we’re in the same boat and we should help one another“. Instead of, you know, burning down our communication towers and spreading hoaxes and deception.

Because let’s face it, April Fool’s is over, guys.

What To Eat, Mr. Samtoki?

So now that you’ve learned how to say that you yearn for food, the natural next step is to learn how to source for some food, right?

  1. 뭐 – Mwo
  2. 먹 – Meog (pronounced mawg)
  3. 을 – Eul (pronounced ool)
  4. 까요 – Kayo

뭐 means “what” in Korean, and 먹 means eat, as you’ll recall from the conversation starter “밥 먹었어?” which means “have you eaten?”

So this phrase is asking “what shall we eat?” or “what are we eating?”

Add it to your Korean foodie repertoire!

We’ll work on a few more food-related phrases, since food is an essential part of culture as well as relationship building, no?

Now let’s eat!

Would You Say You’re A Clean Person?

Would you say that you’re a clean person?

Generally speaking, of course.

I admit there are times when my laziness is stronger than my desire to have the place spick and span, but seeing a bit of dirt of the floor does trigger my innate sense of clean-freakery. I’d say I’m still a clean person.

It’s ok to be a little lazy, guys.

You don’t have to be cleaning every minute of every day, especially now that most of us are stuck at home the majority of the time.

It’s ok to be a little lazy, guys.

I’m…really just talking to myself here.

Bonus panel for reading to the end!

[Samtoki Korean Lesson] – Claro!

Getting tired of saying 예 all the time? Want an alternate affirmative response?

Try this!

  1. 당 – Dang
  2. 연 – Yeon
  3. 하 – Ha
  4. 죠 – Jyo

This means “of course”, and it sounds uncannily similar to “当然” in Chinese, which means the same thing.

The 죠 is the formal participle; if you’re going for informal you can just replace it with 지.

So when your customer says “계산해 주세요”, you can respond with “당연하죠!”

“차 마실 래요?”
“당연하죠!”

Alright, have fun with it!

P.S. “Claro” means “of course” in Spanish.

Samtoki’s Korean Lesson – Wassup?

So say you’re friends with steamy Korean guy/girl, and you want to play it cool and strike up a conversation. What do you say?

  1. 뭐 – Mwo (you know, like that Britney song?)
  2. 하 – Ha
  3. 세 – Se (like Saiyan, get it?)
  4. 요 – Yo

Well, if you’re close enough friends, you can just say 뭐해, which is what all the cool kids do. It’s basically the Korean version of “sup?”

More literally it translates to “what are you doing?” so in essence, “what’s up?”

So next time I see you, I’ll be all like “뭐해?”

Bunni Learns Korean: Lesson 삼 (I am Sam)

Lesson the third! Three is pronounced “sam” [삼] in Korean, hence the cryptic title.

And today we learn how to introduce yourself, in four simple steps:

  1. 이름은
  2. [Insert your name here]
  3. 에요

The first character is the possessive first person pronoun – “my”.

Next is ireum-un, which is name. And after the name comes the “is” bit.

Now you know how to say your name in Korean!

If you want to hear the audio for it (albeit in a slightly jarrrrring tone), check out this podcast.

Have fun with it!