Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Writing Korean (Hangeul)

Hangeul is the Korean writing system. After you've learned how to pronounce each individual character in Hangeul, you need to know how to put the characters together to write words. Because unlike English, where the letters follow on one after the other in a s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t  l-i-n-e, Korean consonants and vowels are grouped together in little blocks, each block representing one syllable.

The letters read from left to right, and from top to bottom. So in this example:

You can see the first sound (top left) is 'ㅂ', next (right) we have a vowel sound 'ㅏ', and lastly (bottom) there is the final 'ㅇ sound. In this word, the 'ㅇ' has a similar pronunciation to the '-ng' in English.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Noraebang Survival Guide

Noraebang (노래방 - literally, 'song room') is Korean karaoke. But you knew that already, right?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Rotating Car Parks in Seoul

It seems obvious to say this, but there's not much space in Seoul. That's why buildings rise up to 20 or 30 stories high, and why the subway at rush hour has more bodies packed into it than you ever previously thought possible.

So where do people park their cars in this city? Well, as well as numerous underground car parks, another solution to car parking is a rotating car park. The car is driven onto the platform on the ground, and then the whole thing rotates like a ferris wheel, lifting the car up inside for safe storage until you want to bring it back down again later.

What you can see above is the skeleton of one such car park, before they had finished building. It looks like they can park six cars in that thing. Pretty cool.