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김家네

Hi everyone. Back with another Korean 간판(signboard). This is not “funny” but very interesting.

I live just across the street from my university so it’s very convenient whenever I receive a last-minute phone call to cancel an appointment and also when I want to meet someone around school.

One day, a friend of mine from Australia called me and asked,

“Do you want to have lunch together?”

So I said,

“Yes, where shall we meet? Where do you want to go?”

So she said that she wanted to go to “김네” but I had never heard of such place near my university so I asked her back, “김네? (wondering what it could mean) Where is it? I don’t think I know the place.”

She sounded surprised that I didn’t know this place because it was literally just around the corner from my house. And the place she took me to was this place in the photo.


kimgane-learnkorean-koreanclass101.jpg

Do you get it now?

My friend had been in Korea only for a few weeks and she wasn’t really aware of the fact that a lot of Korean words can be written in Chinese characters as well, although we pronounce them differently from how the Chinese or Japanese do. (Learn more about this in this newsfeed)

So basically MOST Korean people, if they look at this name “김家네” and read it as “김가네” because家(가, meaning ‘house’ or ‘family) is one of the basic Hanja(Chinese character) words that they learn in elementary school, and get to see everywhere. I’m not trying to say that my friend was ignorant of what she was supposed to know, and actually her Korean got really better during her stay. When I saw this shop again on my way home the other day, I wanted to share with you all of you readers how 한자(Hanja) is very commonly found in Korea.

And this is a very clever name too, because 김(as in 김밥=Kimbap) means laver (and I’m sure you know what 김밥 is. If you don’t, please see the photos below.)

kimbap1-learnkorean-koreanclass101.jpg

kimbap2-learnkorean-koreanclass101.jpg

“네”, when it’s attached to “a family name + 가(家: house/family)”, means (again) “house” or “family”. And “김” happens to be the word for both “laver” but also the most common family name. So if it weren’t a shop name, 김가네(金家네) means [Kim’s family] or [the Kims].

The “ㅇ가네” expression is not so commonly used these days, but it’s still a clever restaurant name to give people a very familiar and intimate feeling, while being very obvious that they sell as well.
Alright. Thank you for reading, and see you next week!

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