Korean through signs: tutoring advertisement on the street

Monday, February 22, 2010


Today's image is that of an ad for tutoring that you can see on the streets pretty much everywhere, where someone who is going to a certain university offers to tutor other (usually high school) students. Tutors are popular because Korea is all about university entrance (after getting accepted university is pretty easy), and people that have already been accepted to a university will often best be able to help prospective students get into the same one. Of course, the pressure on them from the parents can be pretty immense as well since they shell out good money for the expectation that their son or daughter will then be able to attend the university the tutor is from.

The style in these advertisements is similar to what one might find in a resumé, with lots of hanja-based vocabulary in order to make it more concise. The suffix 시 (時) for example is used to mean "when", but in conversation people use 때. 시 comes from hanja whereas 때 doesn't, so 시 fits in better with the terms used here.



과외 - tutoring
서울대학교 - Seoul University. The English name is Seoul National University, and it's the best public university in the country.
동아리 - group, crew. This is right in front of the phone number so it's probably the name of the group that sets up the tutoring sessions, kind of a recruiting group.
기초 - basic
부터 - from. 기초부터 means from the basics.
체계적인 - systematic. 체계 by itself means system.
반복 - repetition
선행 - performance
학습 - study
Put all those together and we have 기초부터 체계적인 반복, 선행학습, or "Systematic repetition and performance(-based)/progressive study from the basics"
학생 - student
과 - and. 와 when there is no 받침 (a consonant on the bottom) in the preceding word, so "school and" would be 학교와, not 학교과.
선생님 - teacher
의 - possessive marker. Put these together and you get 학생과 선생님의, or Student and teacher's...
맞춤 - ready-made. 맞추다 means to fit something, and removing the 다 and then adding a ㅁ to the bottom makes it into a noun. After that add 수업, class, and it means a class that has been made to fit the student. There is also a 1:1 before that so that means one teacher and one student.
무료 - free (as in cost)
시범 - test. Test as in to try something out, not to take a test (which would be 시험).
강의 - class.
후 - after
수업 - class again.
결정 - decide. Put all these together and we have 무료 시범 강의 후 수업결정, or (you can) decide (whether) to take the class after a free test class. IOW, go in there once for free and see if you like it before you pay.
책임 - responsibility
성실 - sincere
시간 - time
엄수 - strict observance
철저한 - thorough
수업 - class
준비 - preparation. Put all this together and we have 책임, 성실 시간엄수 철저한 수업준비, or "Responsible, sincere, punctual (i.e. strict observance to time) and thorough class preparation".
방문 - visit. Put a 시 after it and it means "when", or when the teacher visits.
재학 - studying, currently studying.
증명서 - proof, certificate
졸업 - graduation
제출 - give, provide. Put all this together and we have 방문시 재학 증명서 졸업 증명서 제출, or "When (the teacher) visits, (he/she will) provide proof of enrollment and graduation". IOW, proof of the teacher's credentials.

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