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How to read Korean

If you're anything like me, you've probably wondered how to pronounce all those Korean symbols. Whether it's for identifying which Starcraft player is playing, or looking up songs, learning how to read the Korean language writing system, Hangul, is very useful. Being a non-Korean myself, I found it quite easy to pick up how to read the language, as it breaks down into learning a few rules and memorizing a small set of symbols. I'm going to try to explain it as clearly as possible, but also very simplistically to keep it short.

Ok, so here goes:

The Korean writing system is very similar to the English one, meaning there are consonants and vowels that make up a syllable. Each Korean character represents one syllable, and groups of these characters make up a word.


Here I've compiled a list of all the consonants and their romanizations that you may encounter. A few things to note:
  • Symbols with 2 sounds (ones with a slash) means that if the consonant is located in the beginning of a character, use the first one, if it is located at the end, use the second one.
  • -is an exception in that it is a placeholder, and that when it is in the beginning of a character, there is no sound (though commonly romanized as giving the "l" sound). However, if it is placed at the end, it acts as the "ng" sound.
  • Aspirated means that the sounds are pronounced more harshly, and an extra puff of air comes out when you say it. It is generally indicated on the symbol by an extra horizontal line compared to its normal version.
  • Glottalized has no puff of air, but your throat tightens up when you say it. For example, pp is the same sound as the p in spin. It is indicated by the doubling of the symbol's normal version.
This is a list of the basic vowels and their pronunciation (for use as reference later):

Vowels (1)

The only difference between the vowels in the first set and the second set is that: 
  • When an extra horizontal dash is added to the vowels in the first set (making it two dashes), add a "y" sound in front of what the first set of vowels would sound like.
Diphthongs are another set of vowels that exists, but the sounds are created by adding the combined sound of the symbols within them. For example, since wi is a combination of u and i , the end sound would be the result of quickly saying "oo" and "ee", making "wi".Technically you do not have to memorize this chart as long as you remember the first one, but to get more fluent it is recommended.

Now that we know all the possible symbols in the Korean alphabet, we can combine them to make characters. Korean characters are organized in boxes, either vertically like mok (mok), horizontally like na (na), or a combination of the two like gam (gam). Here are some things to remember:
  • When written vertically, read the symbols from top to bottom.
  • When written horizonatlly, read the symbols from left to right.
  • When written as a combination of both, read the symbols on the top from left to right, and then the bottom from left to right.
I'll go through one example:
Lets say we're trying to decode this name: 이제동

The first character, , can be broken down into -+ i.
Since - is a placeholder, there is no sound (with proper romanization however, there is an "l" sound), and we are left with just i , which is pronounced "ee". By putting the two together, we get "Lee".
The second character, , is essentially ch+ e.
chis a "j" sound, and  e is an "e" sound (pronounced more like "ae"), the combination of the two is "Jae".
The last character, , is written vertically, and is comprised of t+ o+ -.
Starting with the top symbol, t is pronounced as "d", and moving down, o is pronounced as "o". Having -in the end means that there is an "ng" sound, and when we combine all of the sounds, it becomes "Dong".
Finally, with all the syllables put together the finish product is Lee Jaedong, meaning legend killer*. 
That's basically all there is to it.

As long as you have the first column of the consonants chart, the first vowels chart, and all the rules (the ones in point-form) memorized, as well as how the diphthongs work, you should be set in decoding Hangul. 

I've compressed all the essentials here so you guys can hopefully pick up on it quickly, but if you do want a more detailed guide (with more examples and tests), then I suggest you go to LangIntro for more info.

All the information supplied in this guide were a combination of my own knowledge and the guide on LangIntro, so I would like to give much credit to the site for helping me through.

Thank you all for reading, please post if you have any questions, concerns, or if you want to share your success.

*Lee Jaedong does not actually mean legend killer, it's the guy's nickname >>.

F(x) - Lachata Debut

I don't know about any of you, but I'm pretty excited for the impending debut of SM's new girl group, f(x) (pronounced 'effects'). Today, a new teaser was leaked featuring their new single, 'Lachata', and you can finally get a good look at them (as opposed to last week's teaser).

40s Teaser:

Full Song:

New MV:

Full mp3 version here:

Source: allkpop

They are planning to officially debut on September 2nd at the Seoul Samsung dong Fashion Center at 5:00pm KST (4:00am EST), and later on this week on Show! Music Core, airing Saturday, September 5th at its usual time (refer to my K-Pop schedule for more details).

Those of you interested should drop by the stream at any of those times, as this new group seems quite promising.

EDIT: Sorry, no broadcast on that day so no stream. FULL MV up though.

For more news, profiles on each member, check out these articles on allkpop:
F(x) News

Afreeca Guide

Tired of those lower quality 400k streams? Want to be able to choose what to watch, when you want to watch it? Well if this sounds like you, and what you watch is generally Starcraft, K-Pop shows, and other Korean related stuff, then this guide is for you.

I'll be compiling what I remember from a few other guides today to hopefully make it easier for anyone who wants access to this amazing program.

Brief introduction first; Afreeca is a free Korean streaming program available to anyone so long as they are located in South Korea. It broadcasts most shows that you would commonly see on Korean cable, including gaming, sports, variety shows, dramas, and music shows. Most of the time streams can range from 400k - 2000k, meaning much better quality (almost HD).

All credit for this guide goes to these sources, I merely try to make it more accessible:
MyP2P - (1) (2)

To use the program, first you have to sign up on the Afreeca site:
  • Go to here (preferably on Internet Explorer for compatibility reasons), and click on the button with the circle near the bottom of the page (refer to this screen shot if necessary).
  • Fill out the form according to this.
  • At the next page, tick the box and click the button with the circle. 
Next, log in to Afreeca and install the software:
  • Visit Afreeca's main site.
  • Fill out the first box on the left side panel with your login name.
  • Fill out the box directly below it with your password.
  • Click on the square button to the immediate right to log in (see here if necessary).
  • Click on the blue button on the left of the same panel to install Afreeca (you may need to allow the installation from a bar that pops up on the top of web page for Internet Explorer).
Install TOR to access a Korean proxy (we need this to 'fool' Afreeca in thinking we are in Korea):
  • Download and install the Vidalia bundle here (remember to untick all of the other programs during installation).
  • When the installation finishes, open up the torrc file (found in C:\Documents and Settings\Your Account Name\Application Data\Tor for XP, C:\Users\Your Account Name\AppData\Roaming\Tor for Vista) with notepad (right-click, open with, select notepad).
  • On the very top of the page, add these three lines:
ExitNodes eva
ExitNodes oxyATdual
StrictExitNodes 1
  • Save the file, and start up Tor (default - C:/Program Files/Vidalia Bundle/Tor/Tor.exe). 
  • A black box should pop up, wait a moment for it to eventually say "100%" (if it does not, the servers are not functioning at the time).
 Install Proxifier and configure it to communicate with Afreeca:
  • Download Proxifier here and install it.
  • Download and run the patch here to make it the full version. 
  • Open up Proxifier (default - C:\Program Files\Proxifier\Proxifier.exe).
  • Go to Proxy Settings under the Options tab, and click Add.
  • Type for address, 9050 for port, and tick SOCKS 5 (leave "use authentication unchecked). Click OK when finished.
  • Go to Proxification Rules under the Options tab, make sure "Process only the following..." is checked.
  • Click Add, under Rule Name put "Afreeca", click Add in Applications and find the afreecaplayer.exe (default - C:\Program Files\afreeca\afreecaplayer.exe).
  • Click Add in IP Ranges and put for both First and Last IPs.
  • Under Port Range, put 3456.
Now start up Afreeca from the main site again, log in, and press the blue button. If all is done correctly, it should be working now.

To learn more about what each button in Afreeca actually does, visit this site (if you don't understand Korean already).

When using the search, usually shows are described in their original Hangul, so use my K-Pop guide for more information on the translation (if you want to watch those shows, that is).

Also, another tip for more ease of access. If you don't want to click through all three applications to start up Afreeca, open up notepad and type the following lines:

start "" "C:\Program Files\Vidalia Bundle\Tor\tor.exe"
start "" "C:\Program Files\Proxifier\Proxifier.exe"
start "" "C:\Program Files\afreeca\afreecaplayer.exe"
Of course these are default locations, just locate these files on your computer and it should be fine. Once you have finished that, save it as afreeca.bat. Now once you start up the batch file, all three programs should open and start running.

This concludes the Afreeca guide, once again I must strongly reiterate that this guide has FULL CREDIT to the posts on MyP2P mentioned before, I merely elaborated on several parts and added a few things.

Thank you very much for following through, post if you have any questions/success.

(EDIT: As of now, none of the Korean servers seem to be functioning, I will update this later if they start running properly again.)

Non-Live Professional Starcraft Guide

For those of you who prefer not to stay up until the wee hours in the morning for a bunch of spazzing Korean commentators and are willing to watch them later, this guide is for you (which I assume are most people). Due to SC's resurgence in popularity these past years, there has been many amateur commentators who volunteer time out of their schedules to cast games. Though it's possible that your favorite game is not commentated on, usually you should be able to find most games covered by the commentators available. The source of these casts generally lie with SC2GG, a site with over 15 English commentators on board. Also, there is professional Starcraft commentating available from GOMTV, but only for their particular GOM-sanctioned tournaments.

Here's a list of commentators that I usually follow (linked to their youtube channel):
SC2GG Rise

Dual, triple, and sometimes quad casts are available here:

In case you missed any of the live casts and want to catch up on the games asap (sans English), then check out this channel:

Starcraft Games (August 30th, 2009)

WCG Korea National Championships 2009

(P)Bisu vs (P)Stork

Grand Final Map Rotation
Game 1: Heartbreak Ridge
Game 2: Outsider
Game 3: Destination

(Z)Luxury vs (Z)Jaedong

3rd/4th Place Decider Map Rotation
Game 1: Heartbreak Ridge
Game 2: Outsider
Game 3: Destination
Event Time: 01:00 EST

Avalon MSL 2009 Grand Final

(Z)Calm vs (Z)Kwanro

Game 1: Carthage 3
Game 2: Outsider
Game 3: Heartbreak Ridge
Game 4: Byzantium 3
Game 5: Carthage 3

English Cast available from SC2GG
Event Time: 02:00 EST

Source: Team Liquid

SBS Inkigayo (August 30th, 2009)

SBS Inkigayo 2009.08.30
Starts at 4:00pm KST (3:00am EST)

# Hot Solo Debut #
* G-Dragon

# Comeback Stage #
* Baek Ji Young
* Jewelry
* Hwang Bo

# Special Stage #
* 2NE1

# TAKE 7
* Kara
* MC Mong
* Brown Eyed Girls
* Tiara

# Fresh Music #
* Mighty Mouth (feat. Kara's Nicole)
* R Tripper
* Hong Jin Young

# Hot Music
* PK Herman
* Kyun Mi Ri
* Kim Jong Wook

# Extras
* Digital Music Chart: Mighty Mouth
* Public Transport Campaign Song: FT Island

Source: Soompi

Professional Starcraft Schedule

Aside from K-Pop, there are other things to watch at the really late hours at night, one of them being Starcraft. This guide here will hopefully cover all you need to know for following the Starcraft pro-scene, much in the same way as the K-Pop scheduling chronicled previously. First there are several different accounts on LiveStream that stream games; it's a toss-up between which channel gets the games up and running first. Most of the information about the games can be found on Team Liquid, including who is playing, what time, and player statistics. These streams are live so there is usually no English commentary available (if you understand Korean at 1000wpm then you're set though), although for the really hyped events there are English casters available (GOM tournaments are an exception, because they have their own professional English caster). If you really insist on not listening to Korean commentary, I will probably have a post on different alternatives available later on.

Credit to Konadora, orange TV, and SC2GG for the streams.

Okay, now for the vitals:

Match Schedule:
August 2009
September 2009

Statistics Database

1. Konadora's Stream

2. OrangeTV Stream

3. SC2GG Stream (English Cast)

4. Mystlord's Stream

Show! Music Core (August 29th, 2009)

Show! Music Core - August 29th 2009 @ 4:20 KST.
MC's - Yuri & Tiffany

♬ MC Special
- Yuri (SNSD) - 『Get Right (Jennifer Lopez)』

♬ Encore Special Stage
- Jessica (SNSD) & Onew (SHINee)『1 Year Later』

♬ Comeback Stage
- Jewelry『Bounce + Vari2ty』
- Hwang Bo『R2SONG』
- Hong Kyung Min『She Goes』

♬ Hot Stage
- Baek Ji Young (feat.2PM Ok Taec Yeon)『Ear Candy』
- KARA『Mister』
- Brown Eyed Girls『Abracadabra』
- Outsider『Youth Testimony』

♬ Life is Fun!
- MC Mong『Indian Boy』
- Norazo『Mackerel (remix ver.)』

♬ Life is Sweet!
- Mighty Mouth (feat. Nicole (KARA) )『Love Class』
- Chaeyeon - 『Fool』
- Hwayobi (feat.Sleepy)『Kiss Kiss Kiss』

♬ Life is Bitter!
- T-ara『Lies』
- Gil Me (feat. Miryo)『Love Cuts』
- Navi『Wasteful Tears』

♬ Life is Beautiful!
- Kyun Mi Ri『Happy Woman』
- Park Hyun Bin (feat.VASCO)『Daechan Life』

Source: Soompi

K-Pop Schedule

Alright, so if there's anything more apparent these days it's my interest in K-Pop, and luckily I've compiled quite the aid for anyone who wants to participate in watching the live casts of the most prominent K-Pop channels. For now, one possible solution (and probably the easiest one), is to watch the shows via LiveStream, which I will be embedding here for ease of access. I may go over setting up a more high-quality method later (Afreeca). During downtime, you may catch a Starcraft cast (I may need to reference this again later on), or the SNSD loop if you're lucky. You'll probably only see me on for Music Core and Inkigayo as the school year approaches yet again.

Remember, all the credit to streaming goes to a user by the name of Solinren on LiveStream as it is his channel.

Here is the schedule (that I know of so far, times subject to change):
카운트 다운 MNet Countdown: Thursday 6:00am
뮤직뱅크 KBS Music Bank: Friday 5:00am
음악중심 MBC Music Core: Saturday 3:20am
인기가요 SBS Inkigayo: Sunday 3:10am

Also, in case the livestream is down, or not showing the particular show, here are a few alternative methods:

Streaming sites:
MBC1, MBC2SBS, KBS (click on 2TV)


Other Information:
Who's Performing?

Direct Link

Embedded Stream:

Something for Nothing

There's probably no definite purpose for this site, to which I will update as I see fit. I think of it as some sort of filing cabinet, where I end up documenting random discoveries in my life. If there's anything here you've found the least bit helpful, intriguing, or fun, then this site has done its job in giving something from nothing.