February 19, 2010 | Korean

Counting in Korean

There appear to be two sets of numbers in Korean. Crap.

I am finding Pimsleur lesson 15 (Level I) absolutely impossible! It is one of those Pimsleur lessons I feel as though I will never, ever get.


What is causing me the most trouble is the Korean numbers. Even though I have always liked math—I even spent a year in college as an applied math major, though a derelict one—I find learning numbers in other languages, at least non-European languages, challenging.

In Korean, numbers are crazy. There are two different sets of numbers depending on whether you’re—for example—telling time or counting money. So if you are talking about 2,000 won (Korean currency) the “two” part of it would sound like ee. But if you’re talking about two beer bottles or if you’re saying it’s 2:00, you would say something that sounds very much like the word “two” in English. Why that is, I don’t know. I do know it strains my brain.

I squeezed in a 5-mile run in Central Park later in the day. There is too much snow out there. It is melting, but there are huge piles everywhere, and it depresses me.

I cannot wait for spring.

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