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

  1. vientito Senior Member

  2. stelle89 New Member

    Madison, WI
    Well. I think it is optional. However, remember "-자" has many different usage other than "-마자."

    For example,
    "왕이 죽, 백성들이 슬퍼했다."

    In this case, -자 is used to describe "cause - effect." (After the King passed away, people bemoaned.) However, it is not wrong to mean it "As soon as the King passed away..."
  3. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    You can get closer to the inbuilt semi-ambiguity of the Korean by saying "No sooner had the king passed away, than..." Like the Korean, that implicitly links sequence and causation, without actually pinning the speaker's colours to the mast on the issue.

    Actually I'm not sure that questions like the original one are answerable. Except by the somewhat frequently-encountered type of Korean seonsaegnim who thinks ALL questions are answerable. That doesn't mean they aren't worth asking; but the best any enquirer should hope for is a set of reasons, preferably grounded in real (= attested from third-party sources, not just made up to "prove" a point) examples why no clear-cut answer can be given.

    The question itself was actually provoked by a rather sloppy expression of a kind rather disturbingly common in that source (which seems to be badly in need of a somewhat firmer editorial hand, like so many web-collaborative resources) "..., it is more common to leave off the optional 마자,..." Exactly why is the word "optional' there at all in that sentence? If it's "common" to leave it the 마자 off, as indeed a scan of any suitable text corpus will show that it is, then of course it can't be mandatory, so it must be "optional" and doesn't need to be designated as such.

    At the back of such statements lurks the notion that there is indeed a "correct" Korean language locked away somewhere in a safe in the Ministry of Culture, which is conceptually distinct from whatever Koreans actually speak or write. But there isn't (even if for all I know there may be just such a safe which claims such contents).
  4. ddungbo Member

    funny how the website view the -자 and -마자 as virtually the same thing. It may be passed down from an authoritative source, but even if it really is, to me, they are two different things. 자 = as / 마자 = as soon as. Easy. :)

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