Korean politeness levels (& farewells)
|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Friday, September 28, 2001, 3:02|
On Thursday, September 27, 2001, at 04:50 PM, laokou wrote:
> speak Korean!) about rice crops or something)) . What I meant to ask,
> though, was whether Korean made a distinction between "buh-bye" and
Geep! Trust me to miss the real question. To my knowledge, the answer is
no (and God knows I've had to say hi/goodbye enough times, what with all
the moves my family made between the U.S. and Korea).
"Annyeonghaseyo" (or just "annyeong" for young reprobates like me) means
literally "be peaceful." You say it both as "hi" and "goodbye."
More "elaborate" variations are:
Annyeonghigaseyo, or "go peaceful(ly)"
Annyeonghigyeseyo, or "stay peaceful(ly)"
You say the former to someone who's leaving, the latter to someone who's
staying (e.g. your host). Two people might say the first to each other if
they met, say, at a restaurant and were both going their separate ways.
As a random note, it's also Very Good Korean Etiquette to accompany your
guest to the door of your home and say goodbye--if you live in one of
those godawful apartment complexes (I live in one now, alas; and they're
very common in Seoul) this may mean the door of your particular apt., or
even going down with them in the elevator and walking them to the entrance
of the building. On the few occasions my folks had (Korean) guests over
my sister and I would generally get Roundly Chastised for failing to do
this without prompting.
And of course you have things like "jal ga" or "jal gara" or "jal gaseyo"
("go well"); or "jal isseo" or "jal isseuseyo," etc. ("stay well"); and my
grandma's persistent injunctions to "gongbu manhihara" (study lots--i.e.
Note to anyone listening in, the light--not dark/velarized--[l] occurs as
an allophone of "r" (how the riyeut, usually an alveolar tap, is
transcribed most of the time) at the end of a syllable or in certain
mutations. (Korean has no velarized [l].)
But an "adieu"? Really haven't heard any, and I of all people should have
if one existed. ^_^