Saturday, July 29, 2006

U B da judge

I leave this note on my office door (Room 302) every Friday so my students know where to meet for French class. My gloomy student remarked that my Hangeul is "sort of bad," but my Chinese characters are "really good." Yeah, I suppose my Korean looks somewhat wi-taaaaaaahhh-did.

The Chinese characters are "bul" and "eo" (the latter often pronounced somewhere between "uh" and "aw"; in this case, closer to "aw")-- literally, "Buddha" and "language." The Buddha character is used because one of the older ways to designate France is by calling it bul-lan-seo. Many Koreans also hangeulize "France" as "p'eu-rang-seu," which is a slightly more accurate transliteration. The Buddha character is therefore used only because of its phonetic value, and is an abbreviation of bul-lan-seo.


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