Monthly Archives: April 2014

Interesting Korean Expression – 2

점심 먹었어요? [jeomsim meogeotsseoyo?]

This expression means “Do you have lunch?” Interestingly, this kind of questions is used a common greeting in Korea. It’s a kind of Korean culture. Koreans more concern on their neighbor’s and friend’s ordinary life. Around meal time, Korean often greets each other between close persons with the kind of above expressions. We need to use an honorific expression depending on the situation or interlocutor’s age. Instead of ‘먹었어요’, just use ‘드셨어요’.


In the morning

팀장 : 안녕?                                                     Hello.

팀원 : 안녕하세요? 팀장님.                         Hello.

팀장 : 오늘 아침 좀 피곤하네요.                 I’m a little tired this morning.

팀원 : 아침 드셨어요?                                    Did you have a breakfast?

팀장 : 간단히요.                                               A little. (Simply)


간단히 means ‘simply’ but in the sentence, the person is saying that he grabbed a bite to eat.


Just after lunch time, while you are coming back to office,

제니 : 점심 먹었어요?

마이클 : 네. 먹었어요. 제니씨는요?

제니 : 네, 저도 먹었어요.


In the above dialogue, 제니 and 마이클 ask each other “Did you have lunch?” instead of “Hello” or “Hi” To the question, you don’t need to explain what you had for lunch like “I ate spaghetti with coke and had some cookies for dessert.” You may answer the question in detail if the interlocutor is really close to you. “네, 스파게티와 콜라를 먹고 후식으로 쿠키를 먹었어요.” However, the kind of greetings is just similar with “Hello” or “Hi”

아침 먹었어요?         Did you have breakfast?

점심 먹었어요?         Did you have lunch?

저녁 먹었어요?         Did you have dinner?


Generally, “Did you have a meal?” is that “밥 먹었어요?” Honorific expression of it is that “식사 하셨어요?”

When you have got the question, you don’t need to be embarrassed or to explain everything oh what you had. Anyway, just remember the expression, “밥 먹었어요?” or “식사 하셨어요?”, is a common natural greeting in Korea J


Sarah Yong (Korean teacher)

Interesting Korean Expression – 1

까먹었어요 [kkameogeotsseoyo]

This expression is interesting. It has totally different two meanings: one is ‘to peel and eat’, and the other one is ‘to forget’. 까먹었어요 comes from the basic form of ‘까먹다’. 까먹다 is a combination of 까다 which means ‘to peel’ and 먹다 which means ‘to eat’.

Therefore, “저는 땅콩을 까먹었어요” means “I peeled and ate peanuts”

Interestingly, Koreans use the idiomatic expression ‘~먹었다’ in many cases.


까-먹었어요 (I forgot.)

욕-먹었어요 (I was blamed/ I got blamed)

애-먹었어요 (I had a hard time/ I had trouble)


욕 means swear words. Literal meaning of 욕먹었어요 is “I ate swear words.”

애 is a kind of old fashioned words which means ‘hard work’, ‘bitter’, or ‘troubles’


The above examples are a little negative but Koreans use the expression in positive cases.


마음 먹었어요 (I decided.)

일등 먹었어요 (I won first place.)


마음 means ‘heart’ so 마음 먹었어요 can be “I ate my heart” 일등 indicates ‘first place’.

Like above examples, Koreans tend to use ‘~먹었어요’ in many negative and positive cases. I’ve heard that Eoryeong, Lee who is famous philosopher and was the Culture Ministry, explained the linguistic tendency in Korean: Koreans tend to enjoy eating many things in order to feel them deeply. Therefore, they would use 먹었다 in many ways. Regardless of whether or not his words are true, I thought his hypothesis is interesting but it can be sympathetic. In Azerbaidzhan, it is said that ‘love’ can be shown in sign language: ‘eat heart and digest it’. How languages are interesting in nations! Anyway, in Korean, we can use the expression, ‘~먹었어요.’ in many situations.


Mum         : 수학 숙제 했니?                 Did you finish your math homework?

Daughter: 앗! 까먹었어요.                Ooops, I forgot it.

지금 할게요.                        I’ll do it now.


Jenny : 이번 휴가 때 뭐 할거예요?                           What will you do this holiday?

Susan : 다이어트 하기로 마음 먹었어요.               I decided to go on a diet.


Sarah Yong (Korean teacher)

Tips to Ease the OET Speaking Nerves

The unpredictable nature of the speaking exam is something which makes all OET students very nervous. But those who have done it before will tell you – it’s not that bad! Here are some things to keep in mind and hopefully it’ll ease those nerves.


1. Become familiar with the structure of the speaking exam.

The first section is a ‘warm up’ conversation. This is recorded, but not assessed and will not affect your speaking score. This is a chance for you to have a chat with the roleplayer and to relax!

This is then followed by your first speaking task. You will be given a few minutes to prepare. You will then be expected to roleplay and complete the task within approximately 5 minutes.

Finally, you will do a second speaking task. The scenario will be different however you will still be given preparation time and 5 minutes to do the speaking.

DID YOU KNOW you can listen to sample speaking exams on the OET website? This will definitely help you to familiarise with the exam. Check out this link:


2. The OET is NOT testing your medical knowledge – it is testing your level of English.

This means that if you don’t understand a certain medical term on the speaking task, please ask for help! Also, don’t fret and panic about giving the most scientifically accurate information to the patient… just advise them to the best of your ability.


3. The roleplayer on the day will not be assessing you. They are there simply to act.

You should use them to help you with your task as much as possible. Ask them questions!


4. You get to keep the roleplay card throughout the speaking task.

Don’t be afraid to use the roleplay card during your task – you are allowed to look at it, if you like! This also means you should write any helpful notes for yourself during the preparation time. You can underline words, highlight sections… whatever will help you to do well.

FAQs in OET Writing – for Nursing students

In my experience of being an OET teacher, I have seen many Nursing students take the Sydney Language Solutions OET courses and then go on to sit the OET examination. In that time, I have come across some questions that Nursing students frequently ask me. I will share some of these in this blog and provide the subsequent answers.


What kind of a letter will I be writing?

Most of the time you will be writing a referral letter based on the case notes provided. However, this has been known to change in some exams, so you should also prepare to write a letter to advise or inform a patient/carer, or a letter of transfer, following their discharge from your care.


Will I always be writing to another nurse?

No, there is no guarantee that you will be writing to a nurse. Of course sometimes, you will be writing to a nurse at another hospital or at a community centre or a nursing home. However, you may also be expected to write to a physiotherapist, a doctor or, perhaps even, the carer or family member of the patient.


What date do I put at the top?

Don’t stress over this minor detail. This really doesn’t matter too much but students commonly ask me this question. I usually suggest writing the discharge date or the date of the most recent presentation. Or, if in doubt, just write today’s date.


Are the address, date, subject line and salutation (i.e. Dear Nurse,) included in the word count?

No, these are not included in the word count of 180-200 words. The word count begins at the introduction – that is, when you start writing ‘I am writing to refer…’ – and includes up until your conclusion. But they are still very important elements of your letter because they contribute to its layout. They make the letter actually LOOK like a letter!

Japanese Diary of Mrs. Toshiko Jackson – 4

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。                                     

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking/talking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups. As for the main textbooks and materials, the Beginner 1 usedTraining Manual and handouts for Hiragana acquisition. From Beginners 2 onwards, Genki Book 1 was used for the main textbook and handouts for vocab., sentence construction and Katakana acquisition.

Also, apart from Japanese magazines (e.g. Jenta, Nichigo Press), Japanese newspapers, The Australian (esp. for news/current affairs on Japan), Daily Telegraph (its travel magazines and pictures of cute animals etc to make sentences/application of grammar in Japanese) were used. At the end of courses of 10 weeks, the students have an exam or open-exam which included features of vocab., grammar, dialogues construction, translation and script.

Regarding Japan and its environment, I informed with use of the reports from NHK TV (SBS 1 and 2) which is broadcasted for 6 days/week, the Australian newspaper and Daily Telegraph. The topics concerned included were the sensational cherry blossoms in Japan, some wage rises in the medium and small sized enterprises in Japan (chuushoo-kigyoo) compared to wages in the past several years, 3% increase of sales tax (GST, shoohizei) begun early this month (and the Government is planning to make an economic rescue package to help business and consumers), North Korea’s two missiles launched to the Japan Sea when the P.M. Abe, US President Obama and the South Korean President were having the leaders’ talk during the G7 Summit in Hague, and the verdict of the International Court of Justice about the Japanese whaling in the Antarctic, Tetsuya Wakuda’s restaurant in Singapore, Waku Ghin which had been graded as No. 7 in S. Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, List 2014 and which costs $350/person for 10 courses (The Daily Telegraph, 30.3.14).

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April 2014
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