Writing/ To write

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ThomasK

Senior Member
Belgium, Dutch
I had been following the thread on writing up and down at All Languages. While exploring the Korean translation, I read some interesting notes made by terredepomme:

[For publishing] one would use 쓰다. It is used for writing in general. 적다, however, means a more narrow type of writing: to take a note, to fill in your name, to write a memo, to write a list, etc. It generally tends to be associated with handwriting, I think. Of course, one could say 받아쓰다 instead of 받아적다 for "to write down." But it would have a different nuance.
That seemed amazing to me, as there seem to be two different stems/roots. yet, I thought every writing - in every culture - started with handwriting (first drawing ?) and publishing in print came much later and was based on handwriting. Could anyone comment on writing in Korean starting from TdP's observation?
 
  • terredepomme

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Both can be used for handwriting. You can 쓰다 or 적다 a memo. You can 쓰다 a book but cannot 적다 it. If I 쓰다 a poem that would probably mean that I am the author, even if it was printed on a paper and I didn't literally write it. If I 적다 a poem in a piece of paper, it could be my poem or anyone else's. I guess 쓰다 extended to more abstract meanings while 적다 didn't.
     

    kenjoluma

    Senior Member
    Korean
    쓰다 = to write (in most general sense)

    적다 = to write some phrases, things you need to remember later, numbers you later need to check out, something worth a writing. Emphasizing the content you write.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    쓰다 = to write (in most general sense)

    적다 = to write some phrases, things you need to remember later, numbers you later need to check out, something worth a writing. Emphasizing the content you write.
    Fine, K, but are those different stems ? Are those the bases of different word groups or even semantic fields ? Would you say there is a link with English (a similar distinction) ?

    But in #3 I seem to begin to understand the difference: writing as a creative process, and writing as a 'promulgative' process...
     
    Hello, Thomask.

    Whilst the verb '쓰다' is commonly used when you write something, the verb '적다' has more confined meaning and less conjugation range.

    Suppose that there is an information board at the famous historic site which explain its custom and origin. And then, I really want to keep those things, so I will write down on my notebook. In this circumstance, we usually say '적다'. (받아 적다, 옮겨 적다, 적어 놓다)

    In the classroom, the same situation is occured. When teacher explains or comments really important conception, students will write down on their text book or notebook for their exam. In this situation, we usually say '적다' too. (노트에 받아 적다)

    The clear difference between 쓰다 and 적다 is, although 쓰다 covers the meaning of all writing behaviour, even a creative way, e.g. keeping[write] a diary, writing an essay, writing a novel, 적다 reveals the way in which the subject(a man) take on a passive attitude, e.g. taking a note of the lecture.

    I don't know exactly its etymological origin, but in terms of semantics, they can be placed under the same category.



    I'd like to add one more thing here:

    To avoid confusion and ambiguity on the official exam, The Korean Exam Institution made a rule.

    When answerer is asked to write a word and a phrase, the question can be made with the verb '적다' or '쓰다'.
    When answerer is asked to write a sentence, a paragraph, even an essay, the questioner should use the verb '쓰다', not '적다'
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great information, thanks!

    Now, could you to conclude - for the time being ;-) -
    + what you mean by 'less conjugation range' ?
    + explain the symbol and give me the pronunciation ?

    I mean: I see two symbols in both 적 다' or '쓰 다', but they seem to have a common part다, the second one. Does it have a separate meaning? I just used Google Translate, and it gave :

    적 다' enemy + there,
    '쓰 다' write + all,

    and
    was translated as 'all parts'

    I suppose the (latter) part is a fairly general. The 'write' comes as no surprise, the 'enemy' seems strange though...
     
    Good question!

    1. Before answering your question, Google translation is wrong. In korean(korean language), the basic form of the verb always ends '-다'.
    Therefore, the principle of marking the verb is to add the '-다' to the morpheme(적-,쓰-) which contains the actual meaning.
    To conjugate, we replace the part of '-다' with other forms such as -었다'(past), -고 싶다(hope) etc.

    2. 적다 : [dgək da] 쓰다 : [s da] s in 'suppose[səpos]'

    3. Although I thought 쓰다 conjugate broadly than 적다(because 쓰다 covers much meaning), thinking deeply, 적다 is able to conjugate the same way (because both are the verbs). I'm sorry. :D
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Ah, it is just a verb ending. I see. And thanks for the information on the pronunciation.

    It might be interesting for you to see why you thought like that about the conjugation. Could you be illustrate the difference in range of meaning? What is not possible with one, what is with the other ?
     
    I discerned the difference between '책을 쓰다' which is correct expression, and '책을 적다' which is incorrect expression.
    As you can see, there is no conjugative difference.


    Most verbs can conjugate as a future form, in English using 'will', 'shall' + infinitive.
    However, in Korean, the verb '마음먹다' which means : make up one's mind can not conjugate as a future form.
    The other verbs including '쓰다', '적다' conjugate as a future form like this : '쓸 것이다', '적을 것이다' (~ㄹ 것이다 is the future ending) whilst '마음먹을 것이다' is an incorrect expression by logic. In this case, I think '마음먹다' has less conjugative range because it cannot be used as a future form. But, as I stated above, '쓰다' and '적다' can conjugate in the same way.

    쓰다, 적다 (basic[original] form)
    썼다, 적었다 (past)
    쓸 것이다, 적을 것이다 (future)
    쓰고 싶다, 적고 싶다 (hope)
    쓰여 있다, 적혀 있다 (passive)
    쓸 수 있다, 적을 수 있다 (possiblity)
    .......etc.
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I am not sure I can follow, but I could imagine there is a logical problem with regard to 'to make up one's mind' in the future... But the main conclusion is, so I understand, that there is no real difference between the two as for the conjugation... Thanks !
     

    wonlon

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese
    Great information, thanks!

    Now, could you to conclude - for the time being ;-) -
    + what you mean by 'less conjugation range' ?
    + explain the symbol and give me the pronunciation ?

    I mean: I see two symbols in both 적 다' or '쓰 다', but they seem to have a common part다, the second one. Does it have a separate meaning? I just used Google Translate, and it gave :

    적 다' enemy + there,
    '쓰 다' write + all,

    and
    was translated as 'all parts'

    I suppose the (latter) part is a fairly general. The 'write' comes as no surprise, the 'enemy' seems strange though...
    In my opinion, Google translate is not reliable for Korean-English translation. Anyway, typing the word with or without space, in any translation machine, can get very different results. So 적다 and 쓰다, as they are single units, should not have space in-between.

    I am still a learner, but as I know, spaces between sentences units are important in Korean.
     

    kenjoluma

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Let me bring to you what some of linguists suggest:

    As in Japanese, to scratch, to paint, and to write all sound 'ka-ku', which are 掻く, 描く, and 書く respectively. We can clearly see 'to write' is derived from scratching somthing on the floor or the wall. In Korean, as well, 긁다 (to scratch), 갉다 (to gnaw), 끌다 (to draw) etc. all start with k or g. Some linguists suppose 쓰다 (스다 in Middle Korean) is derived from 긁다, or at least, share the same root with those words. I don't understand, but they say G to S transition is somewhat common worldwide. In English, they say 'sand' is derived from 'gand' in Old English (really?). Well, this part is still debatable.

    적다, some think it is from 쪽, which means 'page'. 쪽 also has multiple meanings: page, corner, direction, small... probably derived from 'small corner page you want to quickly jot something down on'.


    In conclusion: IF all of those theories are correct:
    쓰다 is derived from the action of "drawing".
    적다 is derived from the material on which you write.


    I found this juicy information in the book '한국어 어원 연구'. Might be a good idea if you are interested in etymology.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, both of you. I agree that Google T is not reliable at all, but it does give some idea of what a text is, 'for a good understander', as we say in Dutch.

    That is quite an interesting piece of information, Kenjoluma. The /g/ to /s/ transition is one I have never heard of, however, though I am not an etymologist; I could ask a specialist. But 'san' was not 'gand' in English. I do know about the /g/ to /f/ transition, as in Dutch/German genoeg/genug vs. English enough [f], and some others. /f/ and /s/ are fricative indeed. However, the theory seems quite plausible to me. At any rate there is something fascinating about the different stems...

    I'll be checking with a real German etymologist! But tell me when you are ready translating the book please ! ;-)
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I am back, got some answers from this etymologist, Mr Heinrich Tischner, who mentions some Korean on this page.

    He looked for the transcription of your words, Kenjoluma, resulting in this:
    As in Japanese, to scratch, to paint, and to write all sound 'ka-ku', which are 掻く ka-ku 'kratzen', 描く e・ga~ku 'zeichnen', ka~ku 'schreiben', and 書 く (andere Schreibweise) respectively. somthing on the floor or the wall.
    In Korean, as well, 긁다 geulkda (to scratch), 갉다 ??? (to gnaw), 끌다 kkeulda (to draw) etc. all start with k or g. Some linguists suppose 쓰다 sseuda 'schreiben' (스다 seuda in Middle Korean) is derived from 긁다 geulkda, or at least, share the same root with those words. I don't understand, but they say G to S transition is somewhat common worldwide. In English, they say 'sand' is derived from 'gand' in Old English (really?). Well, this part is still debatable.
    적다 jeokda, some think it is from 쪽 jjok, which means 'page'. 쪽
    jjok also has multiple meanings: page, corner, direction, small... probably derived from 'small corner page you want to quickly jot something down on'.
    In conclusion: IF all of those theories are correct:
    쓰다
    sseuda is derived from the action of "drawing".
    적다 jeokda is derived from the material on which you write.
    He did wonder if you were suggesting a link between geulda and sseuda. He has not heard of an evolution linking /s/ and /g/ and thinks the error might be due to parallal forms of /s/ and /g/ in print. He checked the 'gand' variant in Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by J.R Clark Hall, and could not find it.

    The link between scratching and writing is indeed very plausible. He refers to lat. scribere, also Eng. write (as in 'Boso wraet runes', about rune signs). But he thinks Chinese and Korean were painted, rather than written. Or could it be a reference to printing plates ? Still, he seems to doubt the link between geulda and sseuda.

    Do you feel like commenting, correcting ?
     
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