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Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by wonlon, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    가: 대학교 유명한 교수님이라던데 이런 선물을 좋아할까요?
    나: 좋아하 구말구 요. 조교를 통해 전해주고 잘 부탁하면 될 겁니다 .

    1. What does 구말구 mean here?

    2. 조교를 통해 전해주고 잘 부탁하면 될 겁니다.
    The highlighted phrase is a bit complicated and I just half-half understand it. So what does the sentence mean?
  2. vientito Senior Member

    I think 구말구 is just a colloquial version of 고 마고 which just gives an affirmative 인정 to your audience. check this


    The second part means "call the teaching assistant and pass the message to him(her)"

    통하다 is often used with calling 전하다 is also used in that context a lot (轉告). In fact, 통 and 전 originally comes fron hanja as well.

    잘 부탁하다 is also commonly employed when you ask a favour from someone else. It, too, comes from hanja. So you should be quite familiar with that.

    ...면 되다 that structure could be translated to "all you have to do is blah blah"
  3. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    Actually, this brings home to me how dealing with Korean professors can be as much of an egg-shell walking exercise as dealing with their German counterparts was in my young foreign pre-1968 student youth...

    Person A: (to translate the labels as well as the speeches) has obviously bought some sort of present for the Professor in the hope of currying favor / making a favorable impression / on the Great Guy, but now s/he's getting cold feet and is seeking assurance from someone more in the know about the etiquette of these things in case the gesture backfires. So s/he asks "I hear s/he's a really distinguished professor. Will s/he really like a present like this one?"

    I'd translate the phrase that begins B's answer as "I wouldn't worry about that if I were you". [A slightly more literal translation might be "Maybe s/he will, maybe s'he won't: who cares?, but that would rather badly misrepresent the tone]. But that's followed by, in effect, a warning against barging into the Prof's office in person sporting the problematic gift, assuming it's half-way portable. "The way to do it is to phone his/her Assistent [to borrow the closer German term, but I suppose "research / teaching assistant" will have to do in Anglo-Saxon speech] and ask him/her nicely to act as intermediary."
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  4. ddungbo Member

    -구 말구요 brings about in my mind an extended version of the phrase that goes like "좋아하구(고) 말것도 없어요" which can be translated to 'it goes without saying'. But this is just what just flashed in my mind as to the origin of the expression, especially regarding my own question, 'why on earth do we use 말구요 here'?
    In my book, the original phrase speaks of something that might be along the same line with 좋아하고 말고 얘기할 필요 조차 없다.
  5. Tourmaline

    Tourmaline Senior Member

    I will give you a simple word-for-word translation, and some explanation.

    1. '구말구' = 'of course one does/is.'

    Actually, it is written wrong, the correct one is '고 말고'.
    It indicates one's strong affirmation about the verb ahead of it,
    because it is derived from a double negative idiom, "좋아하고 말고 할 것도 없어요."
    It is a colloquial term, so you don't want to use it in a formal writing.

    2. "조교를 통해 전해주고 잘 부탁하면 될 겁니다."
    = "It will work if you give (the present to him) through his assistance and ask for (it) politely."

    Korean sometimes leave out objectives that already mentioned previously (so all speakers know about it.)
    Secondly, '전해주다' is a kind of tricky one,
    because it is a collective term having both meaning '전하다'(hand over/tell) + '주다'(give),
    but doesn't have an exact word for English.
    You can just understand it as the same meaning with 'give' or 'tell',
    but when it has the meaning of 'give',
    it means the thing is given to someone THROUGH somebody else.

    When it has the meaning of 'tell'
    '전해주다' and '전하다' is perfectly interchangeable,
    but '전해주다' is more used when the notification is unilateral.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  6. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    조교를 통해 전해주고 잘 부탁하면 될 겁니다.

    Actually I think that "조교를 통해 전해주면 될 겁니다." is enough, the adding of 잘 부탁하- has somehow shaken the "normality" in my mind. But now it looks more natural after what I am explained.
    The sentence would mean like "It will work if you i) ask his assistant to give it to him and politely (maybe by giving just another present to the assistant) ask him to do this."

    And one reason why I don't understand the sentence is that I have never presumed the assistant has the magic to change his/her boss' likes by giving the present through him/her.
  7. 경상남도로 오이소 Member

    저는 20대인데요, "-구말구"라는 말은 좀 옛스런(영어로 old-fashioned) 느낌이 나고, 젊은 사람들은 잘 쓰지 않아요. 누가 "좋구말구!"라고 하면 약간 TV에 나오는 연기자같이 어색하다고 해야되나? 그런 느낌이 있지요.
  8. Well, to my ear, 좋아하구말구요 sounds like 'Definitely he would love that!'.

    The sentence #2 is incorrect. I have no idea what the sentence means. (Why should he send a present to a professor's assistant, not in person? and what should the speaker ask for?)
  9. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    Haha, maybe this is not a good sentence for a learner and should be deleted as if never seen. I doubt if my textbook contains too much Northeast China 조선어 or 북한어. Just that it is the best self-learning book I have access to so that I keep using it.

    Hey, but is 구말구 the 북한어-form of 고말고?
  10. Tourmaline

    Tourmaline Senior Member

    No.. It is not 북한어 :)

    '-고 말고' is a colloquial term, but '-구 말구' is a more colloquial term.
    It's like 'yeap' to 'yup' in English.
    Many Koreans pronounce '구' than '고', although '고' is correct one, because, well, it's easier.:D
    ('이것 좀 하구요' rather than '이것 좀 하고요')

    Well, actually, the term '-고 말고' itself is kinda old-fashioned. ;)
    It only appears in a conversation in a story book, or..
    only in a conversation among people of my father's generation,(I'm 20대, actually.)
    or.. in a conversation which is strictly in a business manner.

    Secondly, well, you could have mentioned with which you are confusing with sentence 2 ;)

    Sentence 2 actually sounds natural.
    What wired with sentence 2 is that it leaves out an object,
    which, like I said above, the characteristic of Korean.
    We don't know WHAT and WHOM he wants to ask, with the present.
    That's why you are confusing if it works to ask to an assistance.

    But the important thing is, we can assume that both speakers surely know about that,
    then.. there's no problem.
    Unless you should find out what 가 wants to ask and whom 가 will ask to.
    Well, there can be somethings that an assistance can affect the decision of his boss,
    and somethings the assistance can't.
    It can mean both that 가 will ask professor directly, or will ask assistance when he hand over the present.

    If the conversation is just for learning the Korean language,
    or just listening the Korean language,
    I think there's no problem :)

    Rather, I think it reflects a real-life conversation well.
    You know, if it is grammatically correct conversation, it would be very wired for spoken Korean.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012

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