Hannah and Je together

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Who do you say I am?

A month of ago or so, I was reading the Gospel of Matthew in Greek Bible.  It was Matthew 16:13-20 that Jesus was asking his disciples what the people say about him and also what the disciples say about him.  And one thing made me very curious.

Jesus asked the question twice first in v.13, and then v.15.  In Common English Bible, these questions are:

  • Who do people say the human one is?
  • And what about you?  Who do you say that I am?

In CEB and all other English translations as well use the present tense of BE – IS and AM.  But in Greek Bible, both verbs are Infinitive:

  • Τίνα λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου;
  • Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι;

To begin my question, let me say what I learned about Infinitive in English.  According to the English grammar book which I learned English from, Infinitive (or TO-Infinitive) carries the hint of notion of future not 100% but quite often.  For example, at the beginning point of a meeting we say “Nice to meet you” because the main body of meeting is in future while we say “Nice meeting you” at the end of the meeting because the main body of meeting is already in the past or present, not in future.

There is a 2006 film “the Queen” which famous actress Helen Mirren plays the Queen of England.  At the beginning scene, Tony Blair won the election and visited the palace to see the Queen.  The secretary tells the Queen that the Prime Minister came, and the Queen corrected the secretary angrily that he is the Prime Minister To Be.  In this example as well, the infinitive tells that is it future, not the present.

I became curious what the infinitive signifies in this passage.  To me, it very much sounds something like “Oh, this smart boy is got TO BE a doctor in the future.”  Then, is Jesus asking his disciples what or who he should be (in the future)?

I just learned Biblical Greek just for one year and was Teaching Assistant for another year, which means my Greek knowledge is very shallow.  And I could not figure it out by myself.  What I usually do in these situations is to (visit and) ask my professor even though I am out of school.  And I did.  I met her couple hours before her class and she was very busy preparing for the class.  I felt sorry but I was curious.  (Her only original sin is that she taught me and she is a good teacher.)

According to my Greek professor, the infinitive in Greek does not necessarily carry the notion of future as in English.  The second question of Jesus is literally translates “But who do you guys say me to be?”  And it can be translated into English for all  three tenses:

  • Who do you guys say I was?
  • Who do you guys say I am?
  • Who do you guys say I will be?

Then how can I decide the tense in English translation?  Her answer was ‘context.’  And I sighed to myself because I heard the importance of context hundreds of times, if not millions.  In language, there is not really absolute answer that almost nothing is 100%.  But if there is one, context is the only one.

As we all know, Peter answers to Jesus in v.16:

  • You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
  • Σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος.

Peter’s answer in Greek uses which εἶ is Verb-Indicative-Present-2nd Person-Singular.  Because Peter clearly uses present tense, the other two questions in the same context should be present tense of BE.

This infinitive aspect of Greek is somewhat similar to Biblical Hebrew infinitive.  (Again not always but frequently) infinitive construct in Hebrew often times used with ב and כ to make temporal clause and it does not specify the tense.  We need to judge it through the context (YES CONTEXT) or we may have preceding marker such as וַיְהִי or וְהָיָה telling the tense of the clause.

Well, curiosity solved and it did not kill the cat yet. 🙂

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Feeling Funny

I visited University of Chicago Medicine Travel Clinic a few day ago.  I’ve got two shots, and three different kinds of pills including Malaria.  One of the pills is some kind of antibiotic, and the doctor said to take it when I feel funny in India.  I already knew what she meant but I remember I was quite confused when I heard that expression first time in Canada. “Does this mean when I feel happy and pleasant?”

It is not haha funny obviously, but the dictionary definition comes haha funny first: causing laugh.  Non English native speakers like me get confused with these expressions whose definition does not come up in the dictionary.

I think that might be the same for Biblical Hebrew and Greek.  We have awesome dictionaries but those dictionaries may not have all the real life expressions.  Who knows the Bible authors actually meant sickness in their own real life expressions and we think it is about happiness?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Israel Trip Twelfth Day: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, and Chorazain

Today was certainly New Testament Day, and especially Gospel Day.

Nazareth View from Saint Gabriel Hotel

Nazareth View from Saint Gabriel Hotel

This is the Nazareth view from the hotel. It is quite foggy and could not see far down there.



While we were driving down, our local guide identified us Cana where Jesus performed his very first miracle. He said wine is very precious gift because it means one years labour and huge portion of wealth. And if you do not provide enough wine in such events like wedding, it is permanent disgrace to the family. And how much it would be gossiped in that small town. Jesus literally saved the family. And George said that Jesus was not sitting with his mother in the feast because that is the Jewish tradition and culture that time. Even now they are separated in the synagogues.

Church of Beatitudes

Church of Beatitudes

First destination was the Church of Beatitude where Jesus preached the famous sermon on the mountain. On Matthew text, Jesus was on the mountain top, and it begins with Jesus sitting down. In Jewish tradition, rabbi stands normally, but when he sits, that means he is serious about his on-coming speech. So when Jesus sat down, everyone must have been quiet. And a beautiful church was built upon the rock which is believed that Jesus preached on.

Here is Matthew 5.3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Between the two Hieberts

Between the two Hieberts

They are my favourite professors at McCormick and they are husband and wife. Such a beautiful couple.

With George, our local guide

With George, our local guide

Then we went to Galilee and had worship on the “Jesus” boat. The service was good. We read Psalm 150 in different languages of English, Korean, Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic. Arabic was read by our local guide George. He is the best guide I’ve ever met.

2000 Years old boat

2000 Years old boat

This boat was found under the mud in the Sea of Galilee and scientist concluded this boat is about 2,000 years old. At Jesus days, there must have been so many boats on Galilee, and this is one of them. There is also possibility that Jesus was on this boat at least once. And the boat is made out of twelve different trees.



This is archaeological site of ancient Migdal. And there is huge construction is going on to build a Magdalene Centre and resort. Our famous Mary Magdalene means Mary from the town of Migdal. Galilee area is the core place of Jesus ministry. We had lunch here.

Herod's Massacre

Herod’s Massacre

I forgot the name of this mountain. Our local guide said that there was rebel against Herod among Jewish people around here, and they fled to that mountain. And Herod commanded his solders to push and throw all the rebels off the cliff. And the people in Galilee saw that.

Church of Peter's Primacy

Church of Peter’s Primacy

And we went to Peter’s Primacy Church. Peter and his fellow disciples came here and were fishing after the death of Jesus. And Jesus came here and prepared the fire and meal. Then John found the Lord and told Peter. After that Jesus asked Peter if he loves him three times. This is the Church built to commemorate it.

This is John 21.15: “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”

One of seven springs

One of seven springs

This area is known as Heptapegon which means seven springs in Greek. We did not have time to go for it, but I ran and found one of the seven springs.

Olive grinder

Olive grinder

Then we went to ancient Chorazin, one of the three towns Jesus cursed. This is small town, and the people here must have been more conservative, and relatively closed-minded stuck in tradition and religion. That is why Jesus came here and worked so hard to change them. This is ancient olive oil press.

Peter or Peter's mother-in-law's house

Peter or Peter’s mother-in-law’s house

This is Peter’s house in the town of Capernaum. Many of the holy places are just to commemorate and/or the actual locations are in dispute. But this one is 100% legitimate, without any dispute. That means Jesus actually ate, slept, rested, preached, healed and talked there. It is most probable that Jesus walked through the whole town. And there is Jewish synagogue during Jesus time. Jesus went, read scripture and taught there.

Stairway to the roof

Stairway to the roof

This is the house next to Peter’s and you can see the stairway to the roof. In Gospel, good friends carried their paralysed friend to the roof and lowered him down. This is how. And the roof is usually covered with just leaves and straws woods. So it is easy to open.

Sunset in Capernaum

Sunset in Capernaum

This is beautiful sunset. And my crude camera cannot contain the beauty of it.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Israel Trip Tenth Day: Church of Nativity, Refugee Camp

Today was another lecture day.

Stars and Bucks

Stars and Bucks

We walked to the Nativity Church from the bus terminal, and I thought I found on the way ‘Starbucks.’ But it was not.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

In front of, or between the Bethlehem Peace Centre and the Nativity Church, there was a huge Christmas tree. I wonder if it lights up at night. I saw so many tourists here from all over the world; I could recognise some of their languages such as Chinese, Korean, English, French, Spanish. And there were more languages that I could not recognise. I just thought how much Jesus has been contributing to local economy just by being born here.

Church of Nativity

Church of Nativity

This is the Church of Nativity, basically built by Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great (Personally, I don’t like ‘the Great’ part). Helena built this Church, and later Persians came and destroyed all the Churches over 95% of them. When they came to this Church, they saw a paining – three magi offering to Baby Jesus. And the magi were dressed as typical Persians. And the army thought, ‘Wait a minute… this building must have something to do with our ancestors.’ And they left it. This story reminds me how cultural diversity is important.


If you see the three pictures, you can see the original huge gate at first picture. And then little bit smaller but still cargos can go in and out. Last one is current door and is low so that everyone bows down whenever they go in and to be humble.

Church of Nativity Catholic Sanctuary

Church of Nativity Catholic Sanctuary

The original place built by Helena and repaired by Crusaders is owned by Greek Orthodox. And next to it, Catholic Church is attached.

Jerome translated here the Bible into Latin Vulgate with the help of Paula and her daughter

Jerome translated here the Bible into Latin Vulgate with the help of Paula and her daughter

Catholic Church is of course commemorate the birth place of Jesus. But they also has another purpose – Jerome. If you go down to the basement, you can see the rooms where Jerome stayed and worked. In the picture, Left two persons are Paula and her daughter, the helper of Jerome. Jerome is the only Church Father who studied Hebrew in order to translate the Bible into Latin. And to help him, Paula and her daughter also learned Hebrew and Greek, and eventually they became or fluent in both language than Jerome.

Key to Home

Key to Home

This is one of the refugee camp. The key on top of it means the key to going back home.

Graffiti on Separation Wall

Graffiti on Separation Wall

On the wall, there are lots of graffiti. And the streets are so dirty with overflowing garbage.


On the wall, along with other graffiti, I found John 3:16 in Korean. It struck my head. Yes, God loves them so much. God loves these persecuted people so much so that He sent his only Son so that they can live.

Lajee Centre

Lajee Centre

There is Lajee Centre. I don’t know what exactly is this, but they have a library for children (where we were sitting), and computer lab, and a few more.

American History

American History

Surprisingly, they have whole volume of American history.

Blocking Entanglement

Blocking Entanglement

They are surrounded by separation wall. Out of the wall used to be their farming field, and work place. But they most of them lost their job. To Jerusalem it used to take 10-15 minutes and now it takes more than 2 hours thanks to the Israeli checkpoint.

Bethlehem University

Bethlehem University

We went to Bethlehem university. It has beautiful buildings.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh spoke about his perspective of Palestine’s future and history. Interestingly, he is biologist and biology professor. He said if American government moves in the right way, the illegal occupation of Israel would end within two weeks. Well, that might be true since US government give about 2 million dollars to Israel every single day. But the thing is American politicians cannot live without the money from the Jewish lobbyists. And if Obama calls Israel to stop it, he may not be a president the next day.

Lawyer Raffoul Rofa

Lawyer Raffoul Rofa

After lunch where we had before on the day of Shepherds’ field, we came back to school for another session. Mr. Raffoul Rofa is a lawyer, working at St. Yves, a Catholic centre for human rights where 20 staffs working including 8 lawyers. They’ve been working for people with family reunion issues and house demolitions, and the likes. For house demolitions, they’ve got only one permit so far for fifteen years with thousands cases. And even the one was a school building built by US Aid. US Aid pressured the US federal government, and US government told Israel government. This is why they’ve got permit not because they fought in the court.

Rimon Kando Shop

Rimon Kando Shop

And then we had some time in the souvenir shop. I also bought something.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

How Israelis read Hebrews without vowels

On the plane from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv, I talked to a nice and kind Jewish guy and asked him how he and all Jewish people can read the Hebrews without vowels.

He said the kids’ books have vowels and later the kids learned the words and well exercised, the vowel marks disappears from the books. So the first thing is practice. He also mentioned that he recognise the words as a whole, and in case there are words with same spelling, he decides by the context.

While I was talking to him, I kind of understood how. Even in English where we have all vowels, we have to do the same thing as Jewish do in Hebrews. For example, the word r-e-b-e-l has two sounds of r-E-bal and r-ee-b-E-l. Another word could be present. It has two sounds and two meanings of pr-ee-sEnt, and pr-E-sant. Then how do we decide? obviously we decide the sound of it by the context and meaning.

프랑크푸르트에서 텔 아비브로 오는 비행기에서 젊잖은 유대인 옆에 앉았는데, 유대인들은 모음이 없는 히브리어 어떻게 읽느냐고 물어보았다.

그는 아이들 책은 모음 표시가 있는데, 아이들이 자라면서 단어를 배우면 점점 책에서 모음 표시가 사라진다고 한다. 그러니까 일단은 연습이란 얘기다. 그는 또한 자신은 단어를 전체로 인식한다고 하며, 철자가 같은 단어가 있을 경우에는 문맥에 따라 결정을 한다고 한다.

그와 이야기를 하면서, 어느정도 이해가 되었다. 모든 모음을 갖고 있는 영어에서도 모음이 없는 히브리어와 똑같은 것을 우리가 하고 있기 때문이다. 예를 들어 영어 단어 rebel을 보자. 이는 소리가 리밸과 레벌로 두 가지로 난다. Present라는 단어도 똑같다. 이는 의미도 두 개, 소리도 두 개다. 프리젠트와 프레전트. 그럼 우리는 어떻게 결정하는가? 당연히 문맥과 의미를 통해서 소리를 결정한다.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Apostle’s Creed in Korean language

There are two things which everyone learns once they become a Christian no matter what denomination they are in – the Lord’s Prayer and Apostle’s Creed.

Since I became a Christian in Korea, I learned those two prayers in Korean language. They are such great prayers in our faith and in our daily lives. When I came to North America (precisely Canada), I attended Canadian Presbyterian Church and of course they do those prayers too, even in English. So I came to learn those two prayers in both languages – Korean first and English later.

But it put me in confusion when I found the versions of Apostle’s Creed are not the same in two languages while the Lord’s Prayer has identical wordings in both languages. So I asked a Korean pastor serving in Korean-American Church in Chicago Suburb who studied and earned two masters degrees – one from best seminary in Korea and the other from TEDS. So many Korean people praise him mostly because of his beautiful education backgrounds, and because he studied both in Korea and America, I thought he would be the best pastor to answer my question.

But to my disappointment, his answer was “WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE THEY DIFFERENT??????” So I asked many other pastors the same question, Korean pastors in Canada, Canadian pastors, American pastors. There was no answer but one from a Korean pastor in Canada, saying that the different part is not important so not to worry about.

I cannot agree to him. The Apostle’s Creed has almost same authority as Bible in Christian faith across the world and denomination, consequently it is not possible and/or should not happen to clip and drop some of it just because they think it is not important.

The different part is this: Korean version does not have “He descended into hell.”  I do not know how important or not important this part is in theological view because I am going to study.

Not having any good answer, I googled it by myself and found some history of Korean version of the Apostle’s Creed. Presbyterian and Methodist (and probably some other denominations from Reformed Church) translated the prayer together to make the common version across the denominations in Korea. And the Methodists did not like that part and they suggested to clip it out and Presbyterians agreed.

Koreans Methodists (pastors and scholars) said it is wrong. But I think what they did could not be right for both Korean Methodists and Presbyterians.

For Korean Methodists, if they thought it was really wrong, they should have raised their voice to the whole world so that they also correct their wrong prayer, not just clipping Korean version of it. Or they could have left it as is and explained what is not right to their congregations. For Korean Presbyterians, they should not have stepped back just not to argue especially when they did not agree theologically.

All Korean Christians confess  the Apostle’s Creed and they also confess that it has (almost) same authority as the Bible. If they truly confess and believe so, they should not have clipped and dropped any part of it even a dot. If they take the Bible seriously, then they dare cannot touch this prayer having almost same authority as Bible because they all know what the Bible says at Revelation 22:19 – “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (KJV)

Just for your information, the Catholic Church in Korea who does not share the common translation of the Apostle’s Creed translated by themselves and their version has the part which saying “He descended into hell.”

Now I wish Korean pastors and scholars to translate the Apostle’s Creed again preserving it wholly. I long for the day that the all Christians confess the faith all the same and all together including our brothers and sisters speaking Korean language.

교단이나 교파에 상관없이 기독교인이 되면 누구나 배우는 것이 두 가지 있다. 바로 주기도문과 사도신경이다.

나는 한국에서 기독교인이 되었기 때문에 두 가지 기도문을 한국어로 배웠다. 정말 우리의 삶과 신앙에 주옥과 같은 기도문이 아닐 수 없다. 캐나다에 가서는 캐나다인 장로교회를 다녔기 때문에 당연히 두 가지 기도문을 영어로 했고, 그래서 두 가지 기도문을 한국어와 영어 두 가지 언어로 배우고 외우게 되었다.

주기도문은 두 언어에서 동일한데 비해 사도신경은 다르다는 것을 알게 되었을 때에 혼란스러웠다. 그래서 미국의 한국인 교회에서 시무하시는 한국인 목사님에게 여쭈어 봤다. 그 분은 한국 최고의 신학교라 일컬어지는 사당동 총신대를 졸업하고 미국에서도 아주 뛰어난 트리니티 신학교를 졸업했기 때문에, 한미 양국에서 두 가지 언어로 신학을 공부하셨기 때문에 이런 문제에 대해 여쭙기에는 최고의 목사님이셨다.

하지만 실망스럽게도 내 질문에 대한 구분의 대답은 “뭐!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 달라????????????????”였다. 그래서 다른 여러 목사님들께 여쭈어 보았다. 한국인 목사님, 캐나다 목사님, 미국 목사님 등. 단 한 분 빼고는 묵묵부답이었는데, 그 단 한분도 “다른 부분은 별로 중요한 거 아니니까 상관없어” 였다.

사실 그 대답은 수긍할 수가 없다. 사도신경은 교단을 불문하고 전세계의 모든 기독교인과 그 신앙에 있어서 거의 성경과 동급의 권위를 갖는 것이므로 중요한 것 같지 않다는 이유만으로 일부분을 빼는 행위는 있을 수도 없고 있어서도 안된다.

다른 부분은 바로, 한국어에는 “음부에 내려가시고” 부분이 없다. 아직 신학을 공부하지 않았기 때문에 그 부분이 신학적으로 얼마나 중요한지 또는 하찮은지 모르겠다.

답변을 얻지 못했기 때문에 구글에서 검색을 좀 해서 한국어 사도신경 번역사를 좀 찾았다. 장로교와 감리교가 (그리고 다른 개신교 교단도) 함께 모여서 사도신경을 초교파적으로 함께 사용하기 위해 번역했다고 한다. 그런데 감리교쪽에서 해당 부분을 마음에 들어하지 않아서 잘라내 버리자고 제안을 하고 장로교에서 받아들였다고 한다.

한국의 감리교 목사님들과 신학자들은 이 부분이 잘못되었다고 했다. 하지만 내 생각엔 한국 감리교와 장로교 모두 잘못했다.

한국  감리교는 정말 사도신경이 잘못되었다고 생각하면 한국어 기도문에서만 잘라낼 게 아니라 전세계에 목소리를 높여서  다른 언어권도 기도문을 고칠 수 있도록 했어야 했다. 아니면 기도문 자체는  그대로 남겨두고 교인들에게 무엇이 어떻게 잘못되었는지 설명했어야 했다. 한국 장로교는 특히 자신들이 신학적으로 동의할 수 없는 문제를 단지 논쟁을 피하기 위해 물러서면 안되었다.

모든 한국 기독교인들은 사도신경을 고백하며 또한 사도신경에 성경과 거의 동급의 권위를 갖는다고 고백을 한다. 만일 그들이 진실로 그렇게 고백하고 믿는다면 점 하나라도 잘라내 버리면 안되는 것이다. 만일 그들이 성경을 정말 진지하게 받아들인다면, 성경과 거의 동급의 권위를 갖는 기도문을 감히 건드려서는 안된다. 왜냐면 요한계시록 22:19에서 성경이 어떻게 말하는지 다들 알고 있기 때문이다 – 만일 누구든지 이 책의 예언의 말씀에서 제하여 버리면 하나님이 이 책에 기록된 생명 나무와 및 거룩한 성에 참예함을 제하여 버리시리라.

참고로 한국 천주교에서는 개신교의 사도신경을 사용하지 않고 독자적으로 번역해서 사용하는데, “음부에 내려가시고”라는 부분이 있다.

한국 목사님들과 신학자들이 사도신경을 다시 번역하길 소망한다. 사도신경을 온전히 보존하길 소망한다. 한국어를 사용하는 형제 자매를 포함해서 전세계의 모든 기독교인들이 함께 한 목소리로 한 신앙을 고백하는 날이 오길 고대한다.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Funny Koreans 2

Once I helped a Korean guy with his job interview. And the people in the company and the manager said that they did not want this guy if he could not speak any English. So I explained them that my friend(?) can read and write, just not fluent in speaking. To convince them, I let him speak something in English even ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

And I also told them that he was studying English really hard. But to confess, I was totally lying for him.

Anyway he got the job, and years later, now I heard something.

The guy and his wife are telling people about me:

“That guy is an ass-hole. He came with me for the job interview as a translator, and he let me say something in English. If I can speak English why would I need him? He just humiliated me. He is just an ass-hole.”

It was unbelievable. He does not know anything about what happened, how I lied for him. He just saying bad about me. Guess how much I was paid for that translating and making him work there.

Not even a penny. And he is still working there.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Exam translation

In Canada, some licence exams require certain level of English and some doesn’t. Registered nurse exam requires but iCar does not. For the applicants of iCar whose English is not good, he can bring his own translator (Wow).

A few weeks ago, I met a person who wanted me to be his translator for his iCar written test. Just translating is not bad, so I was willing.

But when I met him, he handed me a very thick book and told me to study the book! I asked why but he did not answer me clearly but I could understand what he really wanted. He wanted me to study the book and solve the questions of the exam. 😦

Because he did not answer me clearly, I also refused with vague words.

캐나다에서 일부 시험은 일정 수준의 영어를 요구하고 일부는 그렇지 않다. 예를 들어 간호사 시험은 영어 성적이 필요하지만, iCar (자동차 정비 및 판금 도색 관련 자격증)같은 경우는 필요하지 않다. 영어를 잘 못하는 iCar 응시자는 통역을 대동할 수 있다 (와~).

몇주 전에 한 사람을 만났는데, iCar 시험보는 데 통역으로 날 쓰고 싶어했다. 통역이라면 뭐 나쁘지 않아서 하려 했다.

그런데, 막상 만나자, 내게 두꺼운 책을 건네며, 공부해 오라는 것이 아닌가! 왜냐고 물어도 명확하게는 대답을 하지 않고 말을 돌리는데, 그의 의도를 알겠다. 내가 공부를 해서, 시험을 대신 봐 주길 바라는 것이었다. -_-;;

그가 내게 명확히 얘기를 하지 않았기 때문에 나도 말을 돌려서 거절했다.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


I heard it when I was studying about cars in Korea at a Car Repair School:

There was a car named NOVA in the states, and once they exported the cars to South America where Spanish is spoken. And surprisingly, the car did not make almost any sales.

They tried to find a problem, but they could not find any – the car was very good. And finally what they found was the name.

The verb GO in Spanish is IR. But it changes its form in present tense like:

  • Voy (First person, singular): I go.
  • Vas (Second person, singular): You go.
  • Va (Third person, singular): It goes.
  • Vamos (First person, plural): We go.
  • Vais (Second person, plural): You go.
  • Van (Third person, plural): They go.

And to make a negative statement, we can just put NO in front of it, like:

  • No voy
  • No vas
  • No va
  • No vamos
  • No vais
  • No van

Yes, nova is the exploding star in English but in Spanish it means “IT DOES NOT GO.” How can the Spanish speaking people can buy a car whose name is not going? 🙂

And they changed the name to another one. Then they made good sales of the same car with different name. 🙂 (According to Wikipedia, it was called Malibu in Argentina.)

예전에 자동차 학원 다닐 때 들은 얘긴데, 오래 전에 미국에 NOVA라는 차가 있었다고 한다. 한 번은 남미에 이 차를 수출했다고 한다. 알다시피 남미는 스페인어를 쓰는 지역이다. 이상하게도, 차가 거의 한 대도 안팔렸다고 한다.

조사해 봤지만, 차에선 아무 문제도 발견되지 않았다. 결국 문제는 이름이었음을 알게 되었다. 스페인어로 ‘가다’는 동사가 IR인데, 현재형 변형은 아래와 같다:

  • Voy (1인칭 단수)
  • Vas (2인칭 단수)
  • Va (3인칭 단수)
  • Vamos (1인칭 복수)
  • Vais (2인칭 복수)
  • Van (3인칭 복수)

그리고 부정형은 앞에 no만 붙여주면 된다. 그러니까, nova는 영어로는 폭발하는 별, 신성이지만 스페인어에서는 “안가요”가 되는 거다. 차 이름이 가질 않는다는 데 누가 차를 살 수 있을까? ^^

후에 차 이름을 다른 걸로 바꾸고 나서 차가 잘 팔렸다고 한다. (위키피디아 영문판에 따르면 말리부라고 한다) ^^

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

English mistake

I read it on a Japanese website, and I believe it could be true but I am not 100% sure about it:

When Bill Clinton was the president of US, Mori was the prime minister of Japan. Once Bill visited Japan and of course, Mori came out to the airport to meet Bill. And Mori intended to say:

How are you?

But he eventually said:

Who are you?

Well, I have similar mistake that I made.

Richard M. Stallman, the founder of Free Software Foundation and GNU project, came to Korea and I accompanied him several days. He made many speeches in several places.

And one day, he made a speech at a University in Seoul. The thing was he held his microphone too far from his mouth so the audiences could not hear him. Being one of the managing staff, I had to climb up to the stage and tell him. So I wanted to say in my mind:

Hold it close to your mouth.

But I just came to say:

Close your mouth.

He was surprised one moment but he understood my English mistake. He held the microphone close to his mouth and also made a joke on my mistake.

Related posings:

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Do not ask of me

Filed under: Lang:English,Subj:Life — Jemyoung Leigh @ 14:30
Tags: ,

I am not praising myself but I have never had any trouble in Canada for communication which means English. I think it is because I like learning languages and I majored in English.

I talked to a lady (who came to Canada from England twenty years ago) on my first Sunday in Canada when I just spent three days in Toronto:

I: Wow, Canada looks nice.
She: Oh, you just came to Canada?
I: Yes, three days ago.
She: Wow~ Where are you from?
I: I am South Korean.
She: What?!! But you speak E.N.G.L.I.S.H!!!

She saw first time a Korean speaking English well. In fact, only few Koreans here can speak English well. So, the Koreans who saw me speaking English or heard that I speak English well ask of me how they can speak English well. (Of course, some Koreans speak English well)

So, I told them many things and my way of studying English. Wow, they really listened to me keeping all in their minds. Later when I met them by chance, I asked them whether they did my way and did it work…

But, N.O.N.E of them did what I said.

Damn! if they had not followed my advice, they should have not asked of me!

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