Category: Culture

How to Get Korean (Hangul) Working on Ubuntu 16.04

EDITED October 31, 2016

This tutorial might also work on Ubuntu 14.04, I haven’t tried yet.

I love Ubuntu and I love Hangul but I’m not going to deny it – it’s not hyper-easy to get it running on Ubuntu, not because it’s super hard but because there aren’t any helpful blog posts out there to walk someone through it.

By golly, miss molly, that ends today!  Let’s begin…

  1. Hit the super key and type ‘languages’ and then click/open the “language support” icon as per this:

01_language_support_in_dash

2. Click ‘install/remove languages’ as per this:

02_install_remove_languages

English should be selected already (if your mother-tongue install was English).

3. Choose “korean” from the list, then apply, and wait (a really long time sometimes) while it downloads King Sejong and the kitchen sink…

03_select_korean_from_list

EDIT! Some have reported not finding the Korean option in this list.  I cannot explain why this would be, nor have I experienced this, but I would recommend that if this is your case try logging out completely and logging back in and trying again.  Let me know if that helped.

Here is where the non-intuitive stuff starts.  You’d think doing the above would be all you need but you need to do a bit more.

EDIT! If you have tried this tutorial before, make sure you *log out* here completely and log back in or you might not see the next “Korean (Hangul) (ibus)” option.

4. Go to the top right of the screen where you see English (En) and click that and you’ll see ‘text entry settings’

04_text_entry_settings

Now you will English sitting there all alone.

5. Press the + sign and then type ‘korean’ and select it.  Then you’ll see a screen like this.  Choose Korean (Hangul) (Ibus).

05_adding_hangul_ibus

I had some issues leaving the ‘master keyboard’ (that’s a name I gave it) switching with the default (something with the super key) and so I changed mine to Control + space bar.  You can do whatever you want by just clicking in the space where the default is and hitting your favourite combo in on your keyboard.  When finished just close the window and your changes will be saved.

Remember, this is *not* the hangul-english keyboard language switching combo.  This is the keyboard combo that switches your keyboard from the “English only” (En) one to the “Korean with English capabilities” one.

06_changing_accelerator

Now, we’re getting close to being able to angle your Hangul, but just one more critical step that will save you the pulling out of multiple strands of hair.

6. You must now either reboot, or log out and log back in again in order to be able to eat your green eggs with Hangul.

You will know that you have successfully reached Hangul-Land when the top right area that used to say “En” is now a colourful Korean swirl like so:

07_korean_swirl

Although you now have full Korean capabilities, you now must use the keyboard combos found within this Korean keyboard in order to switch between English and Korean.  The default combo is shift + space bar, and you can try it out now for a fun test.  You may, like me, wish to change this keyboard combo to something else. If you do,  go on to the next section.

How to Customize Your Shiny New Korean Keyboard with a Custom Language Toggle Keyboard Combo

Click the colourful swirl and select ‘setup’ as per this:

08_hangul_customize

Next, you will see the Hangul toggle key space with the defaults. If you want to change the keys used to toggle between Korean and English, just click ‘add’ and then, even though it says ‘key’ singular in the pop up, you can hit the key combo with your computer and it will work.

*Warning!* It shows this popup when you hit ‘add’ under the Hangul toggle area, which is *incorrect*. It should say ‘hangul’ not hanja here. Both hanja and hangul display the same pop up box so it just needs a bug report to fix this but I’m too tired at the point of writing this blog…

10_incorrect_hanja_in_popup

In this case, I used control +right alt key because I remember using something like that back in the day and it felt comfortable.  You can do whatever floats your boat.

09_new_toggle_added

아이구! 신기 신기! 오렛동안 한국말 이컴퓨터에서 못했어….  드디어.

Hope this helps you grow in Ubuntu and Korean!

 

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Pokemon Go Away!

Pokemon Go Away Forever.

I didn’t even like the original Pokemon playing cards.  After all, the short form is ‘pocket monster’ and why on earth would I want my kids to have a monster in their pockets, let alone in their room or in my house?

The great part about Pokemon Go is that I have never seen it with my eyes, nor cast a gaze on one of its players.

I have never Pokemon’d myself – and I never will.

But from what the general media is saying, a lot of people are Pokemonin’ themselves around town.  And the creeps and weirdos are all over it and the parents don’t care.  But then again – they didn’t stop their kids playing with their smart phones and tablets so what’s the big surprise that they are now getting lured into old vans down dark streets?  Their phones lead straight to the prey and the gatekeeper was blissfully enjoying ‘quiet time’ with their own phone when it happened.

So don’t act all surprised when things fall apart.  The buck stops with us adults.

I believe Pokemon Go will be the catalyst towards change for a new group of people who realize that something is going seriously south with our world.

How did my phone lead me here?

How did they find out where I live?

How did he know that I didn’t like whole wheat bread?

Something is very creepy. Something is very sinister.

And these adults will look down at their mobile device and realize that they, too, have a monster in their pocket and the monster isn’t Pokemon.

The real pocket monsters are Apple and Google.

 

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Has the Traditional ‘Telephone Call’ Seen Its Day?

Which do you prefer? The sound of an incoming text message, or a telephone call?  Which sound makes you lose your focus more?  Which sound evokes more stress?  Which sound compels you to take action?

It seems as though the people around my age and younger would say ‘anything is better than the phone call’.   And you will notice that they don’t call people much, either.  They practice what they preach in that way.

And for people my age or slightly older (I hover around 40 now) the phone call is an ‘interruptive technology’.  You are just about to get started on that business plan., or you are right in the middle or writing that blog post, or you have just found a few quiet minutes to read your Bible and then ‘ring-a-ling-ding-my-dingy-ling-long-wang-chung-have-fun-tonight’ happens.  Or perhaps some other ringtone.  But it doesn’t stop.  Then, if you want to know what this person wanted you have to go to your voice mail, only to find out that no one leaves a voice mail any more because who the heck doesn’t have some kind of caller ID?

It would appear the traditional ‘phone call’ for social purposes is dying indeed…

Even my mom who is 76 years old said ‘text message because it doesn’t keep ringing while I’m on the toilet!”  Good point, mommers!

I believe that phone still has one place and that is for business calls during business hours, or as one friend put it “I don’t take calls that are not scheduled.”  So here is how I see phone still having a place until everyone has some form of VOIP connection:

  • a message (ie. text, Telegram, email) is sent scheduling the call.

example:  eg. “J-dog. Able to chat at 9:30 for 10 minutes?” or

Dear Mr. Robertson, do you have an hour at any point tomorrow for a phone call?

  • the call is made or rejected or rescheduled

For a business, however, it makes sense to have the phone lines open for sales and customer service.  Anyone in sales or customer service would be justified to be with phone and on call.  They are paid to be interrupted.

Did I miss anything?

Do you disagree?

 

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A Brief Comparison of Korean Gayageum, Chinese Guzheng and Japanese Koto

Eun Chae, one of my students, submitted this interested topic for her writing.  I thought it was quite intriguing so I thought I would publish it. She didn’t do exceeding amounts of research but enough for all of us to benefit. Enjoy and thanks, Eun Chae.


 

Why do musical instruments that come from Korea, Japan, and China look similar? All three countries were in the same cultural area, and shared commercial relationships, and musical elements such as instruments, and songs. Just like the evolution and changes that occurred culturally between the regions, music and instrument variations also occurred. People in their respective countries improved the instrument to benefit their unique playing methods. Therefore, the instruments in each country do not look identical. The reason why they updated the instrument was a result of a lack of understanding of those methodologies, and to make clear their own respective and unique national identities. Thus, one cannot state that Korea, China, and Japan have the same instruments. After comparing the three countries’ typical stringed instruments: the Gayageum (Korea), the Guzheng (China) and the Koto (Japan), the differences will become apparent.

Chinese Guzheng

A good starting place to begin to explore the similarities between the Korean Gayageum and the Chinese Guzheng is that both are Asian traditional long zithers, and both are made of paulownia. An Asian traditional long zither is a square, elongated, stringed wooden resonance box that looks like the harp but played lying horizontally on the floor. The paulownia is a tree that produces the best wood for musical instruments because it is not vulnerable to fire and because it resonates well. In addition, both the Gayageum and the Guzheng have bridges and both are played with the fingers, and people usually push the left side of string to produce a vibrato effect on both instruments. There are also differences between these two cousins. While the Gayageum has twelve strings made of silk thread, the Guzheng has twenty-one strings made of metal. The Gayageum player performs a vibrato technique – the gentle bending of the string to create a wavering effect on the sound wave- but the Guzheng creates a celestial sound by doing rapid alternate picking. Lastly, the Gayageum is played with the bare fingers, but the Guzheng requires picks on the player’s right thumb, forefinger, and middle finger.

Korean Gayageum

The Korean Gayageum and the Japanese Koto also have similarities and differences. The Gayageum and the Koto are similar in that they are both made of paulownia, and they are classified as Asian traditional long zithers. Also, both instruments’ bridges can change the pitch of the string by manipulating or moving the bridge. In regards to their strings, they are usually made out of silk. The Gayageum and the Koto are different in that the Gayageum players put the instrument on their knees in a cross-legged position when they play it, where the Koto is placed on the floor in front of the kneeled player. On the top surface of the body of the Koto, there are tuning pins like a piano’s, to facilitate tuning. The Gayageum sounds soft, and lingering, but the Koto has sharp, clear tones and its sound limited sustain. While the Gayageum is played with the bare fingers, the Koto requires the use of picks on player’s right three fingers like the Guzheng. Finally, the Gayageum was invented by Wu Ruk, who was commissioned by Gaya’s king, but the Koto is an ancestor of the Guzheng.

Japanese Koto

Comparing the Japanese Koto and the Chinese Guzheng reveals more similarities than differences. Both have clear, and sharp sound. In addition, unlike the hand controlled tuning pegs of a violin, they have a tuning mechanism for tightening and loosening the strings more like a piano. Both musical instruments usually use rapid alternate picking when the players want to make the sound ornate. Furthermore, their movable bridges along the body look similar, in that they are angular arch-shaped and have two long legs while the Gayageum has round arched bridges with short legs. However they differ in that the Koto has thirteen strings, while the Guzheng has twenty-one strings. It is difficult to find the differences between these two instruments because the Koto originated from the Guzheng.

The Chinese Guzheng, the Korean Gayageum, and the Japanese Koto have individual, indigenous sounds distinguishing one from the other, though they look similar externally. Each respective country’s musicians redesigned the instrument by applying to it their character which contributed to the unique sound of each one. Also, traditional instruments are connected to their own country, so people who might think that those three musical instruments look the same and have almost the same sound could find the differences easily after hearing them individually. One should not be surprised because China, Korea, and Japan share similarities between their cultures, while maintaining their own unique customs.

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Was Japanese Artist Sharaku Actually Korean Kim Hong Do?

Being married to a Korean it’s hard not to be interested in Korean controversial issues.  One of the more famous examples would be the Korean Dok-Do Island which Japan has given another name and tried to claim as their own.  It’s a glorified rock, but, of course, it represents nationality and borders so it’s pretty serious.

A new one that my student Eun Chae (ps. thanks for the free content!) introduced me to today is really interesting.  Without further adieu, here is her short essay on the topic which sums up well the ‘mystery’.

Enjoy.

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In Korea, if somebody asks who is the greatest painter in the country, most people would answer ‘Kim Hong Do’. Kim Hong Do was a painter working for royalty, many artists at that time wanted to be him and sometimes they drew the same landscapes. In Japan, one of the most famous painters is ‘Toshusai Sharaku’. However, scholars cannot be convinced that Toshusai Sharaku is Japanese because he suddenly appeared in 1794 and worked only for ten months and disappeared. Some scholars suggested that Kim Hong Do might be Toshusai Sharaku for several reasons and as a result, there is a hypothesis that Toshusai Sharaku, who is the one of the best three portrait painters, was actually Kim Hong Do, the greatest artist in Korea.

The strongest evidence in support of the suggestion that Kim Hong Do is Sharaku, is that both Sharaku’s productive period and Kim Hong Do’s latency period are the same. Toshusai Sharaku suddenly appeared in 1794 and painted about 140 creations for ten months. Conveniently, at that time in Korea, King Jung Jo sent Kim Hong Do to Japan as a secret agent. Therefore, many people theorize that Kim Hong Do changed his name to Sharaku and drew paintings for financing his mission. In addition, it is difficult to establish where Sharaku was born or how Sharaku died. Thus it is no wonder that scholars hypothesize that the most the most convincing suspect is Kim Hong Do.

As a secondary piece of evidence to prove that Sharaku and Hong Do are the same person, both shared a similar painting method. Kim Hong Do had his own personalized brush stroke which, at the end of the stoke, curved up. Comparing the two painters’ drawings, Sharaku’s brush stroke line looks very similar to Kim Hong Do’s. Moreover, Kim Hong Do often drew Buddha with six toes in his painting, which is unusual. Surprisingly, Sharaku also drew six toes on his Buddha, exactly the same way Kim Hong Do drew.

Some of Sharaku’s poems were translated into the Korean language of that era, which was unusual. Some of Sharaku’s Japanese poems made no sense when they were read by the Japanese reader. However, when Sharaku’s poem translated into the Korean language of that time, it was perfectly comprehensible. In addition, found within one of Sharaku’s poems, there are a word ‘danwon (단원)’ , which is a reference to his nick name. Furthermore, spanning across the breadth of his various works are other subtle references to the man Kim Hong Do.

In conclusion, Sharaku and Hong Do have several things in common, including their perfectly matching productive and latency periods, their painting methods. To cement the evidence, the blazingly obvious references of Hong Do in Sharaku’s poetry and the clearly Korean literary style leave little doubt that they are one and the same However, even with the existence of such strong proof, there have not been found any official documents in either countries conclusively proving that Sharaku was indeed Hong do. This topic has become an increasingly popular topic in both Korea and Japan after both respective countries aired mystery shows alluding to the possibility of the shared identity. Neither countries boldly took a position but instead simply left the strong inferences for the viewer to decide.

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