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As much as a Rat's Tail : Korean Slang (English and Korean Edition) Paperback – March 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0980197426 ISBN-10: 0980197422 Edition: 2nd Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Exile Press LLC; 2nd Revised edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English, Korean
  • ISBN-10: 0980197422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980197426
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A Rat's Tail is loaded with the latest lowbrow lyricism Hangul has to offer, with readable ruminations regarding radical roots revealing the underbelly of contemporary Korean from the foul to the sublime.

--Groove Magazine, Seoul

In his new and 3rd book `As much as a Rat's Tail,' author Peter Liptak along with Korean coauthor Siwoo Lee take the reader on a humorous journey through Korean slang and common daily expressions. 192 pages of amusing Korean phrases, their meanings, and how to properly use them provide a satiric and sassy glance at the local lingo and culture.

Being entirely bilingual makes the book fun and easy reading for Koreans as well as foreigners living in Korea who probably find themselves in such typical situations as the one below:

간지난다[gan-ji-nan-da]
look cool or be cool; off the hook

Ganji (간지), Cheju dialectic for hoidae (횃대), which means a coat hanger or clothes rack, is used here to represent a person with a good sense of style as if an example of good style on a clothes rack or mannequin. Literally "off the rack," but closer to the English slang expression "off the hook." (Ganji may also come from the Japanese for feeling, as in to make a favorable impression.)

Off the Hook
소윤 Wow, you look ganjinanda. You going somewhere today?
지윤 Ha, ha, my interview's today so I put some effort into it.
소윤 Wait a minute! Where did you get those clothes?
지윤 Off the hook in your bedroom. Why? You weren't using it.
소윤 Off my hook? Well, I guess that makes me ganjinanda too.
지윤 That's "off the hook!"

간지난 놈
SoYoon 너 간지난다! 오늘 어디 가?
JiYoon 하하 오늘 입사면접이 있어서 신경 좀 썼어.
SoYoon 잠깐만! 그 옷들 어디서 났어?
JiYoon 네 침실 안 옷걸이에 걸려 있었어. 왜, 너 이거 안 입잖아?
SoYoon 내 옷걸이에? 음, 그럼 나도 그 옷 입으면 간지나겠다.
JiYoon 그거는 "off the hook!"이다. --PR Magazine, Seoul, October 2009

From the Inside Flap

Reviews

"This book is the bomb!" --Mr. Kim

"A must read for Koreans and foreigners alike!" --Mr. Park

"Shockingly fun!" --Mr. Lee

"Great bathroom reading!" --another Mr. Lee

More About the Author

Peter Liptak was born in Chicago, Illinois, grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and moved to South Korea in 1995. For the last 15 years he's been living and writing in Seoul. A world traveler and avid cyclist, Peter loves to say "Woo Hoo!" and knows that the simple experiences in life hold the greatest adventures.

Exploring his interests at the University of Minnesota, from the wonders of Astronomy and Anthropology to Philosophy and Poetics, he graduated with a BA in English Literature. Peter learned new skills as a preschool teacher, waiter, dance instructor and massage therapist in school and has worked as an actor, teacher, and writer since. Completing his Master's in Korean History at Yonsei University and using Korea as a source of inspiration, linguistic and otherwise, you can follow along with his musings at www.poeticmisadventures.com or www.coffeeshopcontemplations.com

"Woo Hoo!"

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This is considered a good sign, and basically, let the good times roll!
Michael A. Robson
What's also intuitive about this book is that it includes some cultural explanations to some words as well as onomatopoeias that Koreans love to use!
B. Bautista
I've used this book as a conversation starter in my classes and the Korean students are amused, shocked & amazed.
Mr. Luke B. Doyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Luke B. Doyle on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've got a copy of the Korean edition which is fantastic. I'm an English language instructor at a Korean university in Seoul. I've used this book as a conversation starter in my classes and the Korean students are amused, shocked & amazed. I've often heard exclaimed, "Teacher, you shouldn't learn these bad words!" Well, red rag to a bull...Anyway, this is the most practical Korean you'll find in any book about the Korean language. Bust these lines on your new Korean friends and watch their jaws drop at your masterful and deep understanding of their language...

Beautiful layout & good organisation, easily accessible information, all the lists you need with all the words you need to know, example phrase usage in sample dialogues (in Korean and in English using the Korean phrase). unlike any other Korean slang books, there are explanations of everything so you can know that you're using the material right!

Very cool guys. Thanks for making this book! I keep it with me at all times now :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Robson on December 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been through the usual textbooks for Korean learning: I got the Pimsleur Audio course on iTunes; I got some very stiff textbooks at the Incheon Airport Bookstore, I've watched many of the hit Korean comedies from the last 10 years (subtitled, obviously), and I even (briefly) joined a Korean language Institute (before they doubled the hourly fee!).

So why was I so drawn to this book? Because the author came right out and declared that you really can't get a handle of Korean life from those stiff old textbooks, that the answers I was looking for are not found through repetition of grammatical structures, but that the culture was a wildly different thing from anything in the West, and would have to be paced through gradually. In other words, slang was part of the education, it was not an optional aspect of language, but integral, and require learning for anyone with even a passing interest in the Korean language. Basically, this book, ostensibly a dictionary of racy, zany, hilarious Korean slang (with mini dialogues for each word, many of which are incredibly funny) was going to be my next step in further understanding Korean pop culture.

I insist on using the term `pop culture' here, because it does a great disservice to thousands of years of Korean history to say that you will more deeply understand it by watching Gangster movies. I wouldn't dare. That is a very distant mountain I have yet to set foot upon. I want to be very careful here in any `wisdom' I glean from such a book. To be clear, any book about slang, is obviously going to be geared towards a younger set. Much of the slang is inappropriate, especially in an austere Korean business environment (and yet, ironically, totally perfect, in a 3 hour drunken Korean Karaoke session, also integral to Business life).
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Bautista on October 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is simply a godsend for those learning Korean slang. I have been studying Korean on my own and have been learning random slang words from my time chatting online. Although I have owned Making Out in Korean: Revised Edition (Making Out Books) for awhile, it doesn't really give any useful examples of how to use the words. It's just straight word and definition. However, this book gives real conversations in Korean that include the slang word that it's trying explain and also includes English translations. What's also intuitive about this book is that it includes some cultural explanations to some words as well as onomatopoeias that Koreans love to use! Try out this book! You'll definitely impress your Korean friends. As usual, there are some words in here that should never be used with people you don't know. However, that's just common sense stuff. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.W.Atkinson on May 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Forget the textbooks! This is what the kids are REALLY saying on the streets.

This is a well thought out, well laid out, and well organised text. Not only do you get the vocabulary, each page gives you a true-to-life dialogue along with the background and origin of each slang term.

Full credit to the authors.

Use some of these gems with your Korean friends and you're sure to raise more than a few eyebrows ;)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Callie on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is real entertaining. As a non-Korean native, I find the book highly entertaining. Something that my korean friends find it funny as well. A great read. Highly recommended! It's the real deal.
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By T. Shin on March 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Per my "Frog's Tears" review, I picked this book to get reacquainted to Korean (and slang). It seems to be on the same level, but maybe little more advanced than Frog since this is more of a usage book rather than a comprehension book.

But anyone studying Korean or wanting to learn Korean will eventually have to read this book or something like it because Koreans use a lot of slang due to the many homonyms in the Korean language.
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