Learn To Read/Write Korean (Hangeul)

(PLEASE NOTE: I am not a native Korean speaker and I taught myself Hangeul so I’m not an expert.)

As a Kpop fan I come into contact with a lot of Hangeul, which is the term for the Korean written language. Maybe you think it’s too hard because like me, you speak English which has totally different letters than Hangeul. Don’t worry, I found it’s not actually that difficult, Hangeul is probably the easiest East Asian character system to learn. The letters are formed in a very simple and straightforward way. Most Korean children learn them before they even start school. Hangeul is presented in syllable blocks. For example we would write ONE with the letters next to each other but in Hangeul it’s written 일, as a syllable block, combining the letters 이 and ᄅ. Once you learn the individual letters, you will be able to read the syllable blocks. When I first started teaching myself Hangeul I thought that the syllable blocks were letters, similar to Chinese, and that I had to learn each syllable block, lucky for us, this is not the case.

Two things I want to point out quickly before I show you the letters.

1. Syllables must follow one of two patterns:

  1. Consonant – Vowel
  2. Consonant – Vowel – Consonant

2. The size and location of the characters can vary depending on which of the patterns is being used.

Below are tables that I’ve created myself, feel free to save them to your computer and print them out to study. I have them stuck on my wall.

Okay, so now you know the letters and their approximate equivalents, so I’ll show you how they’re pronounced.

Hangul Pronounciation.PDF

Double consonants are very hard, and really the only way to figure them out is by listening to someone speak them. (Sorry)

Now for the vowels. You’ll see that I have Japanese letters in some of the explanations. Unless you know Japanese, don’t worry about these. I originally made these tables to help myself learn Hangeul, and I know some Japanese, so that’s why it’s there.

Like I said before, I’m no expert, but I hope this helps you get started. With these tables you should be able to read Hangeul well enough to find videos from your favorite Kpop artists on youtube.

For writing Hangeul I use the site: http://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/korean.htm

Unknown Group from TS Ent with Bang Yong Guk

Group Name Unknown

5 Member

TS Entertainment

TS entertainment has an upcoming rookie group that is going to debut later this year. No one really know much about it except that one of the members is Bang Yong Guk.

Bang Yong Guk

You may recognize him as the guest rapper on Secret’s Song Ji Eun’s song “Going Crazy”


Bang Yong Guk BTS:

Live 1:

Live 2:

MR Removed:

TS Ent. released past photos of Bang Yong Guk. He has a lot of past experience in the undergroup hip hop scene. He used to be the maknae of indie crew Soul Connection under the name Jepp Blackman. [1]

He did an interview for Sports Today: [2]

‘“When told of his increasing popularity, he shyly laughed and stated, “There are so many people more amazing than me, I’m a bit embarrassed that people have taken an interest.  I think that the fans probably felt a sort of freshness in the fact that my husky voice didn’t really match my face.”

Turning to his experience, Bang Yong Guk revealed, “I began performing in Hongdae clubs when I was in my third year of junior high. By the time I was 21 years old, I had performed about 200 times; I gained a lot of experience through that. Now I’m working on writing my own raps, and although my composing skills aren’t up to par yet, I’ve been making my own raps and melodies for a while(laughter).”

Bang Yong Guk actually wrote the haunting rap lyrics for “Going Crazy” himself, and revealed how he came up with them: “I watched a lot of movies and read books on stalking about a month before the song’s release in order to come up with the lyrics.  I think I’ve seen nearly all of the movies out there about stalking.”

Bang Yong Guk stated, “I began with the name ‘Jepp Blackman.’  I wanted a name that gave a strong vibe and never once used my real name in my work.  Through this opportunity, I thought I’d give my name a try and I’m quite satisfied with it (laughter).”

He continued, “Now that people know me by my real name, I’ve been reminded of the hardships I faced during my younger years.  I feel really affectionate towards the name, and as it is pretty unique, I’m glad that people are able to remember it more easily.”

When asked about his plans for his future, he stated, “I’m currently preparing to debut as a five member group.  Our debut date isn’t set in stone yet, but luckily I received the opportunity to start promoting first, so I’m going to try my best.  I’ll make sure to learn everything I can through this opportunity and pass it on to my members.  Instead of focusing on gaining headlines, I think it’s more important to just try my best and work hard (laughter).”’

After Song Ji Eun finished promotions for “Going Crazy” not much was heard from Yong Bang Guk until April 17.

Through his fancafe he uploaded a photo and wrote, “ “I’m rehearsing again after concluding our ‘Going Crazy’promotions. Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me during our activities.”’ [3]

On April 18, 2011 Bang Yong Guk left an audio message for his fans on TS Ent’s youtube.

Here’s the translation from AllKpop.com

“What’s up, baby! Hello, this is Bang Yong Guk. Yes, nice to see you all! Have you all been well? I’ve just finished promotions for ‘Going Crazy‘ and am focusing on my rehearsals again. I’ve always wanted to thank everyone for the love and support I received during promotions. I’ll work hard to repay the love by becoming a great musician.

Also, please look forward to our five member group! And my fansite, I do monitor it a lot and read all of the comments, so I’ll try to leave more replies when I have time. I hope that you’ll visit often, know what I’m saying?

Anyway, thank you so much, and I love you. One last thing before I go – ‘You, you, you, can’t ever get away from me!’ Bye, let’s meet again.” [4]

**Last updated April 19, 2011**

Unknown Group from TN Ent group produced by Tony Ahn

Group Name Unknown

TN Ent. 

? Members

H.O.T’s Tony Ahn will be producing a boy group that will debut later this year. He stated in Star News that, “For now, I believe the public will be able to see my idol group between summer and fall. The group consists of all male members.”

Tony Ahn

When asked how he came up with the idea of producing his own idol group, he revealed, “When I was in the army, Andy, Dynamic Duo and I often talked about wanting to become the next line of producers to follow Lee Soo Man, Yang Hyun Suk, and Park Jin Young. I felt that we’d be able to deliver our experience as idols to our juniors, which influenced my decision to become a producer.” [1]

So which group are you most excited about? Either for them to debut, or to see what they’ll do next.

**Last updated April 19, 2011**

100 Points Out Of 100

The show ‘100 Points Out Of 100’ started airing on November 27, 2010, replacing KBS’s long running show ‘Star Golden Bell’. ‘100 Points Out Of 100’ aired a pilot episode on October 30, under the name ‘Oh! My School’. [1] The MCs are Park Myung Soo, Park Kyung Lim, Tony Ahn, and Kim Shin Young. [2]

I’ve yet to find this show with subtitles so I’m not sure what it’s all about. However, it seems that it’s a show for idols to show their talents, perform challenges, and just have fun.  Even without knowing exactly what the show is about, I can still say I love it because of all the funny moments. I’ll share some of my favorites in chronological order.

This one happened because Super Junior’s Eunhyuk and SHINee’s Minho were doing a mission to improve their teamwork. I wouldn’t choose this way to improve teamwork, but they decided to play a prank on FT Island’s Hongki. They recruited Eunseo, Shin Soyool, and Girl’s Day’s Minah to act as girls who were fighting over Hongki.

“With the managers help, actress Shin So Yool first went into Hongki’s room and began talking to him as if they knew each other. “Hongki! It’s nuna! Your room hasn’t changed one bit. It’s exactly the same.” Confused, Hongki stood up and looked at the actress in bewilderment. Before he could say anything, Minah charged in and said, “Oppa, what are you doing? Who is this girl?” While the two girls were fighting with each other, Hongki had his lower body wrapped completely in his blanket, and confessed that he didn’t have any pants on. Just as the two girls asked him to choose just one girl, Hongki said, “Since when did I have two girlfriends?” Eunseo then entered the scene and exclaimed, “You said I was your only girl!” Minho then comes to save the day, with whom Hongki embraces tightly in his arms. Lastly, Eunhyuk walks in and shouts, “What are you guys doing in his dorm! Did you bring girls in your dorm again?!'” [3]

At the end of the clip the pranksters wake up FT Island members Minhwan and Seunghyun as well. Is it just me or is FT Island really cute when they first wake up?

This next 100 Points Out Of 100 moment isn’t as funny as it is just plain impressive. There’s a game Koreans play where they flick each other in the forehead. It’s a punishment type game and it’s usually used if someone loses in Rock Paper Scissors. SHINee’s Onew is known for his skill at this game. One time I saw him flick someone and their forehead became red immediately. In this clip Onew is challenged to crack a walnut with his finger flicking power, which he easily accomplishes. This causes the rest of the cast to be shocked and amazed. BEAST’s Yoseob, MBLAQ’s GO, and Supreme Team’s Simon D also attempt to break a walnut but all fail with pained expressions. [4]  I also tried this the other day, and my finger turned red.

I’ve already mentioned this clip before in a previous post about Brian Joo’s humor. [5] But I want to mention it again, because it’s probably my favorite 100 Points Out Of 100 clip. It begins with a caption that says “Brian Vs Tony Ahn”. It’s soon revealed that this is an English battle. Tony starts out saying “What’s up girl.” while making a funny face. It’s pretty funny, but soon Brian dominates with “Oh my god! You are so ugly!” His hand motions and facial expressions make it 10x more funny. Brian’s act doesn’t end there, he just keeps going, getting more and more funny each second. In the end he plays a foreigner in Itaewon, who bumps into a Korean ahjumma.[6]

The last couple clips I want to share are of MBLAQ’s Lee Joon and BEAST’s Kikwang. Both are known to be pretty good dancers. Lee Joon graduated from the prestigious Seoul Arts High School, and Kikwang is the main dancer of his group and holds the title of “dance copy machine” on 100 Points Out Of 100. They participated in a dance battle where they had to repeat the actions of the dancer before, and also add a new part to the dance after. [7]

They also had an aegyo battle with the same concept of repeat and add as the dance battle. The best part of this one is at 0:04 when Kikwang is trying to remember what comes next, and he makes this face:

Pretty cute, no?

Also Lee Joon’s beat box, which appears to be broken, is pretty funny.

Brian Joo’s Amazing Humor

Brian Joo is a solo artist, previously of the duo “Fly To The Sky” which was on SM Entertainment. He’s also part of 3rd Wave Music, which I personally love a lot. He’s a really good singer, and a great person, but I wanted to point something else out: he has amazing humor. He does this, I don’t know, diva girl impression? What ever it is, it’s probably the best thing I’ve seen on variety shows since Jo Kwon’s kkab.

Besides the parts where Brian speaks English I don’t know what’s going on. However, I do know that the part at 2:20 is a “scenario of a foreigner, strolling in Itaewon, who suddenly bumps into a Korean ahjumma.” [1]

Brian and G.NA are both native English speakers, so they were asked to demonstrate their skill. The scenario is that they are arguing over a man. [2]

Some people thought what he did was racist or offensive, and Brian ended up apologizing. [3] I just think it’s funny, and he’s obviously not racist, some people just get offended to easily. I think that rather than live our lives trying not to offend people, we should instead, live without being offended. If we all stopped be offended over little things, we’d be so much more happy.

Also check out his new music video.


BIGBANG wants to be your boyfriend

This was just posted on youtube, but it’s actually from August 2007. The back story is that TOP was asked to say one of his lines from a drama he was in called “I Am Sam”. The rest of BIGBANG was also asked to say the line. TOP says it like it is in the drama, but a few of the others add their own twist.

I think GD’s reaction after he says it is really funny. I’m not sure if he’s impressed with himself or just really embarrassed. =)

Block B

They only debuted a few days ago, but I think I’m hooked already. They released a music video for their song “Freeze” on April 13, 2011. The first thing I notice is the eye-makeup. Why is there so much? Pause at 0:03 and you can see there’s quite a bit on that poor guy. Now, I’m a person who likes a little bit of guy-liner here and there, but this is a little too much. Just like in 2PM’s “I’ll Be Back” I think we need to have a talk with the stylist noonas. Once you get over the excessive eye-makeup though, they’re incredible. The video continues with close-ups of each member, and can I just say, they certainly aren’t lacking in the area of visuals. I like the choreography, and they all dance pretty well. The black outfits they have at the start are probably my favorite, but I also really like the white and gold ones. My style is pretty plain, I like black, white, and silver, so I’m not a big fan of the colorful outfits at the 1:36 mark. Lastly, the vocals and rap. I like them, I really do, and the song is really catchy. The rap at 2:22 really caught my attention. I was like, “Who is this guy? He’s awesome.” Turns out he’s the maknae; his name is P.O. The whole video is pretty good, I like that they went with a performance type video for their debut instead of a story type. It’s easier for me to learn who they are that way. I’ve probably ruined the whole video by now, but here’s it is anyway. =)

Here’s their live debut on Music Bank. You can tell right away that they’re rookies, but you can also tell that they’ll adapt to the stage pretty quick. This group has a lot of potential.

This is the MR removed version. MR removed just means that the back track  is removed so you hear them 100% live. It’s not the most amazing MR removed video I’ve seen, but it’s pretty good for a rookie group, and they’ll certainly improve with time and experience.

For more information on Block B read my post on 2011 new boy groups.