Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by 조금만, May 11, 2009.

  1. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    I'm defeated by one word in this little exchange I heard in a recent TV drama (fortunately one with the script on-line, so I've been able to check my hearing)

    A wife tells her husband that she knows he's a really upright (바른) man.

    She then continues

    - 그거 알아요. 바른 사람 옆에 있다 보면 [pause] 비둘어진 사람은 더 삐뚫어져만 간다는거

    and he responds

    - 당신은 삐뚫어진 사람 아니잖아.

    My problem is with the forms 삐뚫어져만 and 삐뚫어진 (which unfortunately are the nub of the exchange)

    Translating what I can, I get

    - You need to realize something. Seen alongside someone who's upright [pause] someone who's crooked just becomes all the more XXXXXXX

    - But you aren't at all XXXXXXX.

    I know the word 비뚤어지다, which I've translated (not wholly satisfactorily) as "crooked" there. But what's 삐뚫어지다? I guess the similarity to 비뚤어지다, alongside it in the first sentence, points to some sort of pun, but beyond that, I'm lost, and so are my dictionaries.
  2. want8 Member

    There is no such word as '삐뚫어지다'. It's just a typo.
    '삐뚤어지다' is the right word and yes, it means 'to be crooked'.
  3. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    First of all, thank you very much indeed for the reply. Although, for reasons I'll explain in a moment, I don't think this actually is a typo, your confirmation that it isn't an actual word in the Korean lexis as known to native speakers has put me on the road to a solution. I think...

    So why do I say it's not a typo? First, because what drew my attention to it were the lines as spoken on the soundtrack, with the actors concerned audibly playing up the ㅂ / ㅃ and ㄷ / ㄸ contrasts. It was because I wondered what was going on there that I looked up the script to check I wasn't imagining things, and found that the actors' enunciation exactly mirrored, phonetically, what was in the script as I reproduced it in my top posting. So in speaking the word that way the second and third time round, they were doing what the writer for some reason wanted them to do. Secondly, because unless there is some sort of intentional (and intelligible) contrast between the first occurrence, as 비둘어진 사람 and the second occurrence, in the selfsame line, as 더 삐뚫어져만, then the line would be meaningless.

    After all, if we have a structure, in any language, with the basic form "X is all the more Y", then if we rule out deliberate or accidental nonsense, there are really only two possibilities left. Either 1) Y is lexically distinct from X, i.e. it's a different word with a different meaning. Or 2) X and Y are the same word, but in a different guise, with the difference making some rhetorical, rather than strictly semantic, distinction.

    Thanks to your clarification, I can see now that 2) must be the case here (though as a foreigner I have to start from the assumption that different forms represent different words, until someone who knows the language properly can assure me that they don't, which is the service you have kindly performed for me.) So the two occurrences of the form with different spellings (and sounds) are there as some sort of device to foreground the word.

    Whether this could be faithfully translated into English is another matter (and not a crucial concern in this case, since what I wanted was to understand the drama as performed, not translate it). Korean is of course characterised by a huge number of onomatopoeic words and phrases, and seems to apply onomatopoeia very broadly, extending it beyond the sound of words imitating real-world sounds into uses where the sound of words is felt to mirror some more abstract sort of meaning, such as an emotion or state of mind. I suppose there's a slight similarity with the way an English speaker might say "This posting is so b-o-o-o-o-o-ring", stretching out the sound of the word to imitate the tedium of the thing described. But my impression is that that's a much more restricted phenomenon in English than it is in Korean.
  4. want8 Member

    I can absolutely see your point. The problem, however, is that '삐뚫어져만' seems like a bad spelling mistake. This doesn't look rhetorical or bombastic at all. I don't quite know how to deliver this delicate nuance but '삐뚫어져야만' is too obviously misspelt to be rhetorical. So is '비둘어진'. These two go so far as to be pretty stupid. Actually '삐뚫어진' is one of the most commonly misspelt words. Some people misuse 'ㅀ' instead of 'ㄹ' or the reverse (also in the case of 'ㄺ' and 'ㄹ').

    For example,
    틇리다 (틀리다)
    실다 (싫다)
    일다 (잃다) and so on.

    I think '비둘어진' is just a typo for '비뚤어진' and this also means 'to be crooked' but a bit soothed. There are so many synonyms that there is no reason to use the same word in a different way.

    I offer you some synonyms.

    The bottom line is that spelling 'ㅀ' instead of 'ㄹ' is not a good choice. It gives an impression of being uneducated and ignorant.
  5. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    Thank you so much for being so patient with my wish to get to the bottom of this. And thank you too for that wonderful list of synonyms.

    Koreans make frequent and creative use of homophones and synonyms in ways that elude non-native speakers (even those who have been working away at the language for some time and have abundant reference works to hand), so to have such things laid out by a native speaker attuned to a foreigner's difficulties is truly invaluable.

    But above, all, I think you really have got to the root of my initial puzzlement, thanks to your remark: "it gives an impression of being uneducated and ignorant". The context is a wife who has an uneasy feeling that her husband is "too good" (socially, morally, financially AND educationally) for her. So alongside his "바른" exemplary uprightness, she inevitably looks flawed. Including looking like the sort of person who can't spell properly... (I've been struck by how often in TV dramas, spelling mistakes are a shibboleth of "inferior" education).

    Another enigma solved, I think! Thanks again!
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  6. littlemonyou

    littlemonyou Senior Member

    삐뚤어지다 is more stronger to the ear than 비뚤어지다. Both 비뚤어지다 and 삐뚤어지다 is in Korean dictionary.

    I am not so sure how one could possibly make sound of ㅀ explicitly, but if the script had it right I think there is the writer's intention. 비둘어지다 is actually pretty ridiculous, when I hear it alone, but she(the wife) is clearly doing it in purpose for giving some more emphasis on the meaning, uttering it from 비둘어지다 to 삐뚫어지다 in order.

    But ㅎ is added to 뚤, so I think it's just another emphasis, rather playfully, that is made on the writer's part in script whether the viewer could notice it or not from the wife's utterance.

    Your understanding in Korean language is unbelievable. My deep respect for you :)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  7. vientito Senior Member

    how can you add emphasis with ㅎ (뚫) which usually remains silent anyhow? It is rather ㄹ which is going to pair up with the next vowel, isn't it?
  8. littlemonyou

    littlemonyou Senior Member

    Well, I think it's impossible to make emphasis with ㅎ, phonetically, as you said, but what I meant was that, possibly, maybe, the writer played it a bit by adding ㅎ if the script had no mistakes whatsoever. If you look at "뚫" and "뚤", "뚫" is more in a "full" shape, so to speak, because of "ㅎ". I would understand if somebody says it sounds like forced interpretation, but I am only saying I think it's not impossible. Hope that helps :)
  9. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    I struggle now to recall the full context of the actual example that led me to start off this thread so long ago, but I think some of the more recent exchanges here don't really take into account the implications of the fact that we are indeed talking about a drama script where the writer isn't trying to write correct Korean, but simply wants to get across to the actor and director that the words are to be (mis)pronounced in a certain way. King Sejong had enough on his mind without making provision for people who might someday want to mis-use Hangeul to represent the incorrect pronunciation of words, so it's actually rather difficult to do that, a minor defect of the system's massive virtues. I'd say now, in the light of the responses to my query some three years ago, that the odd spellings in the script are just the writer letting the production team know the kind of thing she had in mind, not an attempt to notate it precisely.

    In fact, I only mentioned and cited the script because the first respondent assumed the form I posted must be a typo, and I knew it was unlikely to be that since I was cutting and pasting it from the script, and because the soundtrack made it plain that the speaker was indeed following that script when pronouncing the word, rather than merely correcting it on the fly, as tends to happen in performance where there's a truly accidental typo in the script.
  10. 경상남도로 오이소 Member

    비행청소년들이 삐뚤어지게 행동하죠. 어린이들이 술담배 하는 것, 오토바이 타는 것, 염색하는 것, 예를 들면 이런 것도 "삐뚤어진" 행동이라고 할 수 있지요. 아니면 도박중독, 술중독, 마약 뭐 이런것도 삐뚤어진 것이고요. 개념 자체가 사회 통념하고 많이 관련이 있는것같아요.

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