KOREAN CONSONANTS (자음:JA EUM) – part1

After the previous brief post on hangeul, now let’s discuss the consonants in a more intensive way. Consonants in Korean are divided into two groups; i.e. single and double consonants.

The first group is already shown on the previous post, but for the sake of recalling our memory, try to take a look at this.

  1. ㄱ (g, k) is called giyeuk
  2. ㄴ (n) is called nieun
  3.  ㄷ (d, t) is called digeut
  4. ㄹ (r, l) is called rieul
  5. ㅁ (m) is called mieum
  6. ㅂ (b, p) is called bieup
  7. ㅅ (s, t) is called sieut
  8. ㅇ (voiceless, ng) is called ee-yeung
  9. ㅈ (j, t) is called jieut
  10. ㅊ (ch, t) is called chieut
  11. ㅋ (k) is called kieuk
  12. ㅌ (t) is called tieut
  13. ㅍ (p) is called pieup 
  14. ㅎ (h, t) is called hieut
You might feel confused why some of these letters have two alternative pronunciations. Ok, let me explain simply by giving you some examples. These consonants must be spelled differently based on position.

1. ㄱ
initial : 강습 (gang-seup)
final   : 역 (yeok)
2. ㄷ
initial : 다음 (da-eum)
final : 잗 (jat)
3. ㄹ
initial : 라면 (ra-myon)
final : 거실(geo-si)
4. ㅂ
initial : 바람 (ba-ram)
final : 장갑 (jang-gap)
5. ㅇ
initial : 이름 (i-reum)
final : 노래방 (no-rae-bang)
6. ㅎ
initial : 한국 ( han-guk)
final : 밯 (bat)
7. ㅅ
initial : 손 (son)
final : 이것 (i-geot)
8. ㅈ
initial : 중국 (jung-guk)
final : 맞 (mat)
9. ㅊ
initial : 춥다 (chubda)
final : 몇(myeot)

TIPS ON TYPING HANGEUL

I forgot to tell you, in case you all need to know how to type hangeul using your own keyboard, check this out!
Based on my personal experience, Microsoft Word 2007 and Windows Vista Ultimate enable you to set the language input as you wish. I’ve tried to find out how to do the same on my uncle’s laptop (installed with the earlier version of Microsoft Office and Windows XP) but failed.

  • First of all, click the “start” button
  • Find “control panel” and click
  • Find “regional and language options” and click
  • Click the “keyboards and languages” tab
  • Click the “change keyboards” button
  • Search and click the “add” button on “text services and input language”
  • Find “Korean” and click

Maybe you’ll find it confusing but it’s worth trying. And remember these steps won’t change the display language, they only change the input texts. So your menu or dialogs are still in English, except you’re already able to install a Korean language pack.
If you want to type on a worksheet (Microsoft Word, for instance) or email, you can activate the language bar so as to be able to type using Korean keyboard. By default, usually the language is set to English, but now you can opt for the Korean because you already choose it as one of the input alternatives. Check the “Korean” section, instead of the “English”. Afterwards, you’ll find a language bar and now check the letter “A” (Latin) into “가” (hangeul).
As my memory serves, if you manage to do the steps I give you, you can type ㅂ,ㅈ,ㄷ,ㄱ,ㅅ, ㅛ, and so on by pressing the QWERTY buttons stretched in front of you now.

HANGEUL: HOMEWORK 1

After you learn the brief history and basics of hangeul (한글), now it’s your turn to practice.While doing the homework below, try not to open any books or anything to get the answer.

Instruction: Change the hangeul into Latin alphabets, and vice versa.
Example (보기)
천국의계단 = cheon-gug e gye-dan
ji-ha-cheol = 지하철
(For your information, cheongug e gyedan means “Stairway to Heaven”. I’m pretty sure if you’re one of those Korean drama freaks, you’re already familiar with this phrase. Ok now onto the business!)

1. ga-ge
2. seo-jeom
3. gyeong-chal-seo
4. san
5. gu-reum
6. hae
7. bu-okh
8. don
9. sijang
10. phyonji
11. 한식집
12. 공장
13. 극장
14. 식당
15. 대나무
16.서울
17. 포장마차
18. 연필
19. 선풍기
20. 가울


You may do this homework on your own or else if you want me to correct or check, send your answers to my email address (akhlispurnomo@gmail.com). I promise to check and response your email.

HANGEUL: THE KOREAN ALPHABETS

First thing first: Korean is a language requiring us to study a new set of alphabets. The alphabets are called hangeul. King Sejong was known to be the creator of hangeul.
Hangeul was invented in 1443 or 1444 during the reign of Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910). Thanks to King Sejong and his innovative hangeul, more previously illiterate Koreans were then literate.
When first proclaimed by King Sejong, Hunminjeongum had 28 letters in all. Today, there are 24 letters remaining: 14 consonants and 10 vowels.
Chinese requires a long time to study, however, the Korean alphabet can be learned in a matter of hours or days to read and write. Because Korean alphabet is a phonetic system, it fully can recapture the spoken Korean words.

Korean Alphabet:
Consonants:
ㄱ (g, k) ㄴ (n) ㄷ (d, t)
ㄹ (r, l) ㅁ (m) ㅂ (b, p)
ㅅ (s) ㅇ (voiceless) ㅈ (j)
ㅊ (ch) ㅋ (k) ㅌ (t)
ㅍ (p) ㅎ (h)

Vowels:
ㅏ (a) ㅑ (ya) ㅓ (eo)
ㅕ (yeo) ㅗ(o) ㅛ (yo)
ㅜ (u) ㅠ (yu) ㅡ (eu)
ㅣ (i)

HEALING THE POVERTY-RIDDEN NATION (part1)

One of my great teachers once said rescuing other people from poverty is a form of jihad, too. And I can’t agree more. As we already witness, in most cases poverty has caused this nation lots of troubles. Poverty, to me, is the main cause of a series crime acts, terrorism, etc. Indonesia, like many other developing countries, is struggling to tackle tons of poverty-related issues. I’m not saying being richer solves all problems we have now, but at the very least this nation has reached a better level of develoment. In a nutshell, poverty may lead to a nation’s deteriorating overall state.
I also heard a Javanese proverb or motto: “wareg, waras, wasis”. I am Javanese myself and supposed to be familiar with this but I understood the wise words meaning for the first time when one of our vice presidential contenders, Wiranto, elaborated the meaning on a TV show. Wareg (literally means “stuffed/full (on stomach)”), as long as I can recall Wiranto’s explanation, means humanbeings basically have to be satisfied in terms of their basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing, etc). This is the very fundamental crave everyone absolutely needs, including saints, prophets, or anyone. Waras means humankind would be able to be physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually fit or healthy. Wasis means humans need to learn knowledge,enrich their well-being with more wisdom. Thus being a wasis man is the final stage where someone has to achieve during his or her lifetime.

TERRORISM PSYCHOLOGY (PART2): KNOWING WHAT AND HOW TO FIX

This is my second post discussing the same topic: terrorism psychology in Komarudin Hidayat’s perspective. There are some worth noting points that Hidayat had proposed to tackle the thriving terrorism on the land of Indonesia. And these are some thoughts I managed to summarize:
GIVING LESS SPACE
The short term measure the police and people take now is probably cooperating with each other to give the culprits less space of movement. With less space of movement, it’s going to be easier for us to catch and detain them. This, however, isn’t quite effective as terrorism is about mindset and thought. Mindset and thought are sometimes well-concealed and blur. We cannot easily detect which people are terrorists and which are not ones. Even they perish physically, as long as the wrongly-interpreted belief is widespread, it is not really surprising to see the younger version of them in the future.
CREATING COUNTER-IDEOLOGY
Somehow the government, along with people, should show that Indonesia is a mostly -moslem-populated country so it’s extremely ridiculous and doesn’t make sense at all for the terrorists to demolish the country where many moslems -their compatriots- live their life and earn a living. Hurting Indonesia necessarily means hurting moslems as a whole, and humanity as a whole.
DEVISING A MORE-HUMANE AND FRIENDLY APPROACHING METHOD
It is undeniable that terrorism is the result of extreme poverty, lack of education, marginalization. As we can see, most of Indonesian suicide bombers are some poorly educated people. Nana (one of the recent suicide bombers) came from a poverty-stricken village, he quit school at 6 grade and never continued to high school. Such kind of people is like a sitting duck for our culprits.
DECONSTRUCTING AND REBUILDING THE WAY OUR YOUNG GENERATIONS ARE TAUGHT
The nation’s awareness has to be rebuilt and revised as our education system seems to ignore a lot of essential matters and at the same time pay too much attention on other trivial issues. Hidayat took an example, it’s ridiculous too see how busy this nation builds intelligence by getting their students prepared for National Examination held annually for 6th graders of elementary schools, 9th graders and 12th graders of high schools, while they’re ignoring the importance of building the children’s characters. What is worse is that no public officials or eve our presidential contenders managed to reveal their awareness, attention and seriousness pertaining to the nation’s character building. Character building is fundamental, yet tragically overlooked.
Next, Hidayat criticized the education values that our students keep absorbing. To Hidayat, a huge number of school text books particularly the faith-related ones needs major revision. Hidayat gave our neighboring Singapore’s icon, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, as a typical example of the success of education system reform. We can see now, in spite of its size (compare to Indonesia), Singapore has become a developed country and reached many astounding progresses as a young Asian nation. Indonesia gained its independence years before Singapore did, but Indonesia is left behind. So, what’s wrong with Indonesia?
FINDING THE BEST CONDUCTOR
Hidayat emphasized the vital role of a conductor for a choir. This is such an apt analogy for us. The nation, Hidayat added, had been ready to move on, move forward, but the problem is who can lead this nation so they have a common set of vision, concept, commitment, and action?? We’re ready, we’re strong, but can this nation find a distingushed leader who meets the requirements?

안녕하세요!

The title above means “How are you?” in Korean. Perhaps that’s the most easily found expression in Korean. And most of the time, Korean teachers teach students how to say this correctly. We’d have to say this by taking a bow as it shows our respect to someone older or strangers we meet.
This blog is about my interest in learning Korean. Started from 2005, I watched one of Korean drama masterpieces; “Full House”. And I was instantly hooked! Song Hye Kyo and Jong Ji Hoon (Rain) fascinated me and after that I was diagnosed as a Korean wave patient.
It was a divine coincidence I saw an announcement on my campus, telling the interested students to enrol a Korean course. The next thing I did was clear. Without hesitance, I dashed to the office and enthusiastically pleaded to be a participant.
The class began and a native Korean appeared. Mr. Kang Song Hoon, that was my sonsaengnim’s(선생님-teacher in Korean) name. He could hardly speak Indonesian or even English. So it was quite a struggle for us (his students) to communicate with him smoothly. He tried to teach well but failed. Don’t know why I simply couldn’t do well in class. It might be caused by my campus business at that time and he seemed to be a novice teacher. The frequency of classes was too low and learning foreign languages, as far as I’m concerned, takes regularity. The more frequent we speak the language, the better our proficiency will be. But at that time I had no source of learning, except the textbook from Seoul National University and my dear sonsaengnim’s poorly-conveyed explanation. But after all, I still miss Mr. Kang. If you really want to know how he looks like, maybe you can find the Japanese character in “Heroes” American Tv series. There you’ll find Hiro (if I’m not mistaken), he simply looks like Kang Song Hoon. Hahaha…

THE RETURN OF INDONESIA: ARE WE READY ENOUGH TO BE THE NEXT DEVELOPED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD?(PART 1)

Indonesia is rich, yet poor. Indonesia is is smart, yet foolish. Indonesia is huge, but weak. Welcome to Indonesia, the land of contradictions.
What saddens me is the fact that there are many countries which gained their independence as long as or even later than Indonesia did, but nowadays they’ve already become so gigantic and influential in terms of economic, political, and any kinds of sectors. It seems that Indonesia is left far away behind. In this age of technology, Indonesia is like a snail trying to pursue other countries which seemingly can run like a young stallion.
Apart from that, I’m trying to be optimistic, at least for now as I’d love to see this nation reviving and regaining its glory in the past, when Gajahmada was uniting this vast archipelago.
Last night I watched some public officials, outstanding scholars, experienced leaders and reliable pundits of the country gathering to talk about the return of Indonesia. I think it’s worth knowing to see how these people of authority speak up their mind bluntly on the future forecast of this 64-year-old country.
POTENTIALS
Marie Elka Pangestu initiated the discussion by stating the varied kinds of potentials Indonesia already has but are left unmanaged. Indonesia, as Pangestu went on, possesses abundant amount of valuable natural resources. Speaking of natural resources, she addressed the importance of managing and processing continually the resources. Another potential Indonesia has is the vast and large fields stretched throughout the country, which in turn may be a guarantee for the nation’s food supply. Of human resources, there must be more and more creativity grown by devising better education methods for young generation. We need more creative people to become a better nation.
Meanwhile, besides the natural resources, Silmy Karim (HIMPI chairperson) highlighted the vital role of independence, meaning that Indonesian domestic products should be loved firstly by its local consumers. As he pointed out, there are a lot of Indonesian products imported and branded as the other countries’ products. This shows the quality of Indonesian products is not as bad as we think. Karim also explained the huge number of population can be an advantage.
Another sight was provided by M. S. Hidayat, the chief of KADIN (Kamar Dagang Indonesia-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce). By the point of view of entrepreneurs he tried to represent, he abrasively stated how dumb this nation is. By exporting raw materials, we are letting the other nations enjoy the added value that we were supposed to be taking. Hidayat said raw materials export must be banned to stop this recurring tremendous loss of profits.

TERRORISM PSYCHOLOGY

The title sounds like a new discipline but this isn’t. Couple of days ago I watched a talkshow called SAVE OUR NATION on Metro TV, viewing Prof. Komarudin Hidayat, one of the country’s best moslem scholars ever. He elaborated how the root of terrorism grows in Indonesia, and above all he suggested to study the psychological state of those terrorism upholders.
RECRUITING YOUTHS THROUGH EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
It’s hardly thinkable for most of us that terrorism uses this channel to survive and develop. Extracurricular activities high school or college students taking part in are allegedly to be the potential, effective “underground tunnel” for Noordin’s and his partners to get new members.
The steps of recruitment, according to Hidayat, are inviting the potential youths to a group discussion, observing them, selecting the most potential one(s). They decide the most potential youngsters by scrutinzing their traits (usually young men with extreme stubborness, high intelligence and curiosity are chosen as the promising candidates). Soon after, these innocent young men are closely watched and observed, especially in terms of their personal life and problems. Disappointment, anger, feeling of being neglected may be destablizing their sensible minds and this is something terrorists are looking for. Hobbies and interests are some other way of attracting young people. Supplying them with what they want is a way to make them feel indebted to the recruiters. And the last step is convincing them that they have done uncounted sins which of course can’t be redeemed by doing ordinary way of repenting. Simply said, the youths have to leave everything worldly to achieve the ‘promised’ heaven.
ROOTS OF TERROR
Hidayat emphazised the wrongly-designed Indonesian education system. These flaws in turn led this nation to being ignorant of any other equally or more vital issues. Hidayat took “ujian nasional” case as the typical example. Too much attention were given to design, train the students to pass the tests. One thing the authority completely forgot was that passing the exams didn’t guarantee the students’ character building. Our students are knowledgable but they’re weak when it comes to dealing with their own personal issues, setting their goals to a better life, being completely blind to decide who they are or who they are going to be in the future, they have no life principles. In a nutshell, Indonesian students are wandering around, looking for the identity but what they don’t know is that identity is primarily built by themselves, not by others. That’s why we’ve had an teenaged suicide bomber recently.
HOW TO COUNTERACT TERRORISM
“Islam is destroyed mainly due to moslems, not by anyone or anything else”, Hidayat added. Indonesia is the country where the biggest number of moslems are living, but why can terrorism thrive here? Thus, there must be something….no, many things wrong with our being moslems.
Moslems in Indonesia, in my opinion, pay too much attention on how to build Islamic symbols. Therefore, when it comes to worldly businesses, they seem to be less spirited. Most of Indonesian moslems know the meaning of “Kebersihan sebagian dari iman” but how many of us don’t treat rivers as our gigantic sewage ditch where we can throw anything we want away? I recalled a story told by my pal, he told me he was going somewhere with his American friend, and guess what…they spotted some feeble elderly walking on sidewalk, wanting to cross the street. But the one who first initiated to help and get the elderly crossed was the American not my moslem Indonesian pal. Ironic but true! I think we are too much consumed by our prejudice that America or any western parts of this world is place where people are drinking liquor freely, having free sex or things like that.
They forget there are western people who like to help, think behave or act in a way a moslem is supposed to have. Like what I said, we preached too often about the importance of cleanliness but anyone can see how dirty Ciliwung is, how miserable our waste treatment is.
As moslems, we must admit that some foreign, western cultural values are good and worth adopting. It is highly possible that we can be adopting some of their values without losing our faith.
I think it’s the time for moslems to review themselves, what to improve, fix and discard.

A GOOD STUDENT ISN'T THE SMART, BUT THE USEFUL ONE…SINCE SOMEONE SMART CAN BE EVIL

If there’s someone asked me, ” Is there any school that everyone wants to go to? I’d say, “Yes, it is!”. And that ‘school’ is called “Qaryah Thayyibah“……
Unlike yesterday morning, I tried not to listen to terrorism-scented news, but alas! My dad was ironing his clothes near the TV set and took the liberty to hold the remote control. I couldn’t help hearing the names of the terrorism suspects.
Around 9.30 I had nothing particular to do and there was a sudden urge to watch TV. I saw a seemingly-not-really-fit teenage girl named Zulfa, swinging her closely-held saber confidently. It looked like she was practicing her wushu moves. She explained in detail how she just started to get lured by the graceful yet powerful moves of wushu. It’s definitely unusual for a Javanese moslem girl like Zulfa (she wears veil,too) to be attracted by this kind of sport. I know I’m stigmatizing now,but it’s inevitable,and I guess almost everybody on this planet thinks the same way,too. Wushu isn’t a Javanese, or at least an Indonesian sport. It’s not even widely played or showcased here. In Indonesia, wushu tournament or competition is hardly ever heard, advertised, or publicized.Wushu athletes are ordinarily Chinese (though some exceptional cases are found,but not much). Ok, onto the core of business, what Zulfa was actually elaborating was that she felt extremely lucky to find and have Qaryah Thayyibah as her ‘school’. She told her teacher at Qaryah Thayyibah how glad if she could’ve practice some wushu. Her teacher luckily recalled an acquaintance running a wushu training center. Without doubt, the teacher contacted and pleaded to the acquaintance so as to make Zulfa one of the students there. He managed to do that,and Zulfa ended up being a wushu female student. Six months passed, Zulfa made lots of progress and felt challenged by a wushu tournament, and this would be a nationwide scale. She resolved and went on, though she found the massive challenges ready to confront her. Zulfa-who had just practiced wushu for 6 months- had to compete against bunch of wushu athletes who had started practicing wushu for years. And just like a miraculous and victorious ending part of typical Hollywood movies, she surprisingly won the competition at her age category. But you may wonder, how could Zulfa opted for wushu to be her lesson to learn? The answer’s at Qaryah Thayyibah students may choose anything to learn and teachers are to accomodate the students’ interests. Forget the rigid curriculum made by the Indonesian national education ministry, forget other people’s interference about what lesson to learn. That’s how this ‘school’ is different.
Another prominent student is Mira (ooops, I forgot the name actually, but let’s take it for granted, Shakespeare says “what’s a name?”), who is a reckoned author already at her teenage years, having managed to published several books launched to the market. Marvelous! This young author admitted how frustrated she was at school, she found school’s curriculum very restrictive to her personal development. As she kept explaining, she took her curiosity of Chairil Anwar’s biography as her ‘tragic’ example. Having higher passion of learning literature, she reminisced asking the question “Can I read Chairil Anwar’s biography?” to her elementary school teacher. Like any other ordinary teachers, s/he quipped,”We’ll learn that later on, when you’re at higher grade”. And that sounded terribly absurd for our writing prodigy. Years later, she found herself gradually lazier than before to go to school. She thought there was nothing fun she could learn at school. And no one can blame her for having such stance.
I added the quotation marks between the word school as this Qaryah Thayyibah isn’t a school AT ALL, in our conventional perspective. Physically, you can’t find any sights you expect to see from a school building. You can’t either find the whole features a school should have there. No fence, no uniform, no fixed desks, no hard wooden brown chairs. The classrom can be anywhere, literally. They can be sitting under the huge, shadowy trees growing just before the simple building of the so-called school. They can do anything ranging from doing science experiments, making clay pots, or reciting lines of poems they love.
Even though Qaryah Thayyiban looks awkward compared to costly international or national standard schools but it has ‘it’, something that is really avant garde, authenthic in any way possible. But above all, what I really adore is its freedom to choose what to learn, and what to do with one’s interest, intelligence, and potential. There’s nothing in the Milky Way that can beat the enjoyment or pleasure of learning something useful with passion.
Like no other school, Qaryah Thayyiban is trying to liberate the souls of its students, and the most importantly do its best to accomodate the students’ highly diverse interests. And that’s what makes Qaryah Thayyiban worth appreciation.
If you’re having much leisure time, try to see what it’s like. Qaryah Thayyibah is located at Kalibening, Tingkir Lor, Salatiga.