“m” is for miyeok guk
Continued from the previous post on miyeok guk
Did I make you want a bowl of miyeok guk in the last post? I hope so! It sure had me craving it as I wrote the post! In the last post, we talked a little bit about miyeok guk, the health benefits of it, and the significance of it in Korean culture. Today, we will deconstruct the term! Maybe, just maybe, if you happen to be at a restaurant with a menu written in only Korean that happens to have miyeok guk, you would be able to spot it and know what it is!
미 is like when you’re saying “me”, but it’s commonly spelled as “mi”. Remember the 받침 (bahd chim/final consonant)? We don’t see it in 미, do we? Yep, 미 is a syllable without a bahdchim. The word “miyeok” means seaweed in Korean.
.The “ㅇ” as an initial consonant is kind of silent here . Yeok…..the more common Romaja spelling of it may be written as “yeok”, but the pronunciation of it is more like “yuk”. It’s almost like you’re saying “yuck”! Here. The 받침 (bahdchim) is “ㄱ”. Remember “ㄱ” from our first alphabet series? If you missed it, recap here. As an initial consonant, “ㄱ” produces a “g” sound. And as a 받침 (final consonant), the “ㄱ” sounds like a “k”. That’s why it doesn’t pronounce like a “jug” or “UGG” or “mug”. Again, the final consonant is always at the bottom…if you put ㅇ, ㅕ, and ㄱ all together, it should look like this: 역
Mieyok is the word for seaweed. 미역
Guk….sounds more like “gook”.
Again, we see “ㄱ” as a final consonant (like in 역/yeok), producing a “k” sound than the “g” sound you’d here when it’s an initial consonant. So it’s not like it would sound like “goog” or even “kook”. It’s guk! Put ㄱ, ㅜ, and ㄱ all together in the right spots and you get 국!
“Guk” means soup.
Add the word “guk” to miyeok and it’s “seaweed soup”! Duh. 미역국!!