Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Korea Tip 113: Naver's Dictionary

Don't waste your money on an electronic dictionary - much less the neolithic paper versions.  Naver (Korea's #1 search engine) has a top notch English/Korean dictionary.  You can initiate your search in either Korean or English, and it will provide you with (1) a definition of the word or phrase and (2) examples of actual uses of that word or phrase on the net. 
For example, today I looked up: 혹시 (hokshi), and I got the following results:

1. (만일)      
혹시 이쪽에 오게 되면 꼭 연락해라
If you're ever in this area, be sure to give me a call. play
혹시 저 없을 때 전화 오면 받아 주세요
Please answer the phone for me while[if] I'm out. play
2. (행여나, 어쩌면)      
혹시 내일 떠나게 될지도 모르겠습니다
I may have to leave tomorrow. play
혹시나 했던 일이 현실로 나타났다
My fear has come true. play
혹시나 했던 일이 현실로 나타났다
What I feared has come to pass. play
혹시 그녀가 아픈 건 아닌지 모르겠다
I'm not sure, but she might be sick. play
혹시 그녀가 아픈 건 아닌지 모르겠다
I'm not sure if she's sick (or not). play
3. (확실한 건 아니지만) by any chance, (just) in case      
혹시 우리 만난 적 있나요?
Have we met by any chance? play
혹시 모르니까 우산을 가져가라
Take an umbrella just in case. play
혹시라도 제가 못 가게 되면 혼자 가세요
Go alone if by any chance I cannot go. play
큰 병은 아니겠지만 혹시 모르니까 병원에 가 봐야겠다
I'm sure it's nothing serious, but I should go see a doctor just in case. play
혹시 그가 집에 있나 하고 전화를 걸어 보았다
I called him to see if he was home. play

This is far more comprehensive than any other dictionary I've seen, and this is only about half of the results.  I use this at least a few times a week when I'm trying to understand exactly what my Korean text book is saying.
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