Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Jjim Jil Bang-Korean Souna 찜질방 한국 사우나

Picture from My lovely Sam Soon
Watch My lovely Sam Soon
(내 이름은 김삼순)

A typical jim jil bang consists of various sauna rooms, some dry and some full of steam, ranging in temperatures from room temperature to 90 degrees. There is almost always a "cold" room as well, where customers can recover from a rapid increase in body temperature. The saunas scratch only the surface of what the typical jim jil bang has to offer. There are often computer rooms, sleeping rooms, game rooms, movie rooms, a restaurant and snack bar, "nora bang" or singing rooms, massage rooms and massage chairs. Bookworms can also check out the latest comic books. While some customers visit the jim jil bang strictly for medical reasons, many people look at a visit as a chance to get out of the house, chat with friends, watch a movie and eat a meal. Some adventurous souls are known to spend the entire night relaxing at the jim jil bang. Most jim jil bangs are open 24 hours a day and cost only 5,000 or 6,000 won from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and slightly more during the evening. There is no time limit for a customer's stay. more stories

교실 용어 (敎室用語)

1. 선생님(을) 보세요. Please look at the teacher.
2. 말하세요. Please speak.
3. 크게 말하세요. Please speak loudly.
4. 들으세요. Please listen.
5. 읽으세요. Please read.
6. 쓰세요. Please write.
7. 알아요? Do you know?
8. 몰라요. I don’t know.
9. 알겠어요? Do you understand?
10. 질문(이) 있어요? Do you have a question?
11. 대답하세요. Please answer.
12. 책(을) 덮으세요. Please close your book.
13. 숙제하세요. Please do your homework.
14. 연습하세요. Please practice.
15. 외우세요. Please memorize.
16. 다시 하세요. Please do it again.
17. 잘 했어요! You did good job!
18. 좋아요. It is good.
19. 안 좋아요. It is not good.
20. 맞아요. It is correct.
21. 말하기 Speaking
22. 듣기 Listening
23. 쓰기 Writing
24. 읽기 Reading
25. 예. Yes.
26. 아니요. No.
27. 1과 (課) Chapter 1
28. 1급 (級) Level 1
29. 선생님 Teacher
30. 학생 Student
from Basic Conversational Korean Textbook.

Korean must save face: 체면 (Chae Myeon)

사진: 양반탈 (Picture: Hahoetal)
Most Koreans are concerned about what others think of them that’s why they try to dress up , look good to keep up with the Jones’. We call this 체면(Chae Myeon). (한국사람한테 체면이 아주 중요해요). Chae Myeon mens “to save face". It can be translated as "maintain dignity in the presence of others.
It might sound a little strange or overly self conscious but it’s a part of Korean culture. Some people even get loans to buy fancy cars or the latest cell phons so as to show that they are not less than their peers. In Down town Korea, we often see many well dressed women who look like cook wherever shoe goes. As you can see, Korean culture is probably some what different from all over the world, there are cultural differences from historical and social, so consider theym carefully with an open mind. When you begin to accept and understand the differences between the Korean culture and that of your own, you will meet a whole new world the warm-hearted Korean people. Source

I am embarrased by Koreans!

Picture from
Koreans are asking so many personal questions!!

Yes, I understand this. Ha ha, It is natural to some Westerners to say hi to strangers with a smile. Some Korean people may misunderstand that you like them. You are saying "Hi~" to them whenever you see them and they think that you are interested in them. Then they may start to ask some questions to get to know you better. Many Koreans are really thoughtful and caring people so if they get to know someone, they want to become closer by asking about the person's personal life. For instance, you may have questions such as "How old are you?", "Do you have a religion?", or "Do you have a boy or a girl friend?". Do not be embarrassed! Koreans regards asking these kinds of questions as a way of getting to know you more closely and being a friend. Especially Koreans care so much about a person's age. Korea maintains the strong hierarchical relationship between the olds and youngs. If Koreans know that you are older than them, they will treat you in a more respectful way. Therefore, the question "how old are you?" originates from cultural and historical reasons. Source

Koreans eat from the same dish!

Koreans eat all together from the same dish!

It may be really shocking and strange for you to discover that Koreans share their food from and eat out of the same dish without using serving spoons or individual plates. It is a Korean custom to share their food in this matter. For the Koreans, having a meal together is not merly eathing but also a sharing of the mind and a chance to get closer to one another. If you feel uncomfortable eathing out of the samedish, you can ask the host to give your individual plate before hand the start of the meal. They will be delighted to do that. Nowdays, the wester style eathing culture has caught on in Korea. So Korans understand that eating out of the same dish can be unacceptable to Wester Culture and even some Koreans! So, do not hesitate to say” Mai I have my own palte?” (개인 접시 좀 주시겠어요?) before the start of the meal. However if you have an advaenturous sprit, you are always welcomed to try meal together the Korean way, be close to them and experience a new culture. 출처
김치찌개는 조금 맵지만 아주 맛있어요. (Kim Chi Jji gae is a bit spicy but it is delicious)

Culture Shock in Korea : A toilet paper on the table

1. A toilet paper on the table?

You might be shocked see toilet rolls in the living room or even on the dining table. You might be more shocked when your Korean friends suggest that you could use the toilet paper or to wipe your mouth or face. In Korea, toilet paper is used everywhere in homes, offices and classrooms. Please don't think it is dirty or unhygienic, after all the paper comes form the same factory as he tissue boxes and it’s just matter of presentation. This toilet roll has never been in the bathroom before. Each culture has different ideas about what is acceptable or not acceptable. So don't prejudge that this practice is unhygienic but rather, try to understand the thinking behind this social practice with an open mind. Source
티슈: Tissue, 물 티슈: Wet Tissue, 화장지: Toilet paper or bathroom paper, 휴지: Waste paper

Korean Greetings

Picture from left: Casual Greeting, Common Greeting, Formal Greeting

한국 인사말

1. 안녕하세요?
2. 안녕히 가세요. Good bye.
3. 안녕히 계세요. Good bye.
4. 드세요. Please try. (this food)
5. 잘 먹겠습니다. Thank you for the food. (Before the food)
6. 잘 먹었습니다. Thank you for the food. (After the food)
7. 천만에요. You are welcome.
8. 안녕히 주무세요. Good night. (Respective form)
9. 감사합니다. Thank you.
10. 고맙습니다. Thank you.
11. 축하합니다. Congratulations.
12. 미안해요. I am sorry.
13. 또 만나요. See you again.
14. 실례합니다. Excuse me.
15. 만나서 반갑습니다. Nice to meet you.

Cultural Note: Korean Greetings

There are many greetings in Korea. When you greet someone, it is polite to bow your head down. However, you may have to give a bigger bow when you greet your elders. There are two ways of saying “goodbye” in Korean. 안녕히 가세요 is said to the person who is leaving. On the other hand, 안녕히 계세요 is said to the person who is staying or not leaving, to the host.

from page 10, Basic Conversational Korean Textbook

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Delicious! 맛있습니다!

맜있습니다. Delicious! 더 주세요: Please give me more 더 드세요: Please eat some more
When you drink alcoholic drinks with an elder or more, you should turn the head to side to drink. When you have a meal with more than two people, the eldest must pick up the spoon or chopstick first then you can start your meal.

Don't risk your life!~ 목숨 걸지 마세요~

(Moksum gulji maseyo)
Take one's death upon : ~에 목숨을 걸다.
e.g.: lay[or put, place] it on the line: (목숨~돈 따위를) 위태롭게 하다, 걸다. 돈을 걸다.
Only $5! : 단 돈 500원! e.g.: 가방이 단 돈 10,000원 싸지요? (싸다: Cheap)
President's room/director's room: 사장실 (社長室):

Insadong - a place to experience Korea's past

A hundred years ago, it is said that Insa-dong was full of stores providing high quality wares for the palace. Modern day Insa-dong is made up of antique stores, used bookstores, hand made craft stores, and traditional teahouses. In carefree disregard of the high-rise buildings in its backdrop, the stores here are usually one-story buildings that have maintained the atmosphere of the past. Here, in the myriad of fine craft stores that line both sides of the street, you can find anything from a simple hanbok (traditional Korean clothing), key chains costing only 1,000 won to beautiful Goryeo era vases. All sorts of items representative of traditional Korea, small and large, are gathered here. Recently there has also been an influx of items that have dominated an era yet can't entirely be considered Korean, as well as foreign peddlers selling items from various countries around the world. Insa-dong can now be considered a giant flea market. And more..
Insadong Pictures

A Cup of Tea - Traditional Teahouses of Insa-dong

After a long day strolling about town, nothing is as rejuvenating as sipping a cup of Korean tea in a traditional Korean teahouse, or chatjip. These enchanting places are a wonderful medley of tastes, aromas and sounds, brought together in a warm and quintessentially Korean setting. Go with a friend and share an intimate conversation over tea and Korean snacks, or go by yourself to relax and soak in the atmosphere. The charming Insa-dong neighborhood, with its plethora of galleries and antique dealers and craft shops, is home to many Korean traditional teahouses, each one unique in its own way.

Monday, 26 April 2010


from Hwang Jin I Drama

The grass always looks greener on the other side. 남이 떡이 커 보인다.

Pronouciation: Namui tteoki keoboinda.

We all love to compare and when a person often do and complain, people often advise with this idiom.

예문: 너무 효리를 부러워 하지마.. 항상 남이 떡이 더 커보이는 거야.. 자기 만족! 알았지!


Koreans culd not find nor bother to find nor proper translations. Ha ha, Koreans use English into Korean slang. When Soulth Korea adopted English, the words flooded into our culture as all internet new languages are made among new generation and used... They shorten the word or put the word together with Korean "하다" often and use conveniently.

오늘 뭐 했어? 응~ 쇼핑도 하고 인터넷에서 채팅도 하고.... 해피한 날이야!

Korean Language in Australia

The immigration of Koreans has increased since very early 90's and is expected to grow more. No one knows how Koreans came to Australia and when but number of Korean population is increasing steadily. Although Korean Hangeul School on Saturday is available and Korean language course is available in universities or colleges, the students are rarely taking Korean language. Compare to New Zealand, at least Australian government has been supporting Korean schools (Hangeul School on Sat.) for immigrants’ second generation and foreigners (locals) but the given budget from both (Australia and Korea) countries are insufficient as our immigrant society is economically weak and teaching manpower and materials are lacking.

I often compare with my experience in Singapore when I started setting up Korean courses for first time in Singapore and feel that I took a time-machine in Perth. However, I can see a potential for Korean languages for our next generation and foreign students to experience the great deal of benefits from learning Korean Language one day as my students have been experiencing in Singapore from the zero generation in Korean language learning if we consider below points and contribute.

1. Korean government needs to provide intensive supports for the revitalization of Korean Language Education providers especially for Hangeul Schools and universities. Korean books are must be in local libraries for young learners to improve their reading skills that also gives a connection to the culture in Korea from young.

2. Australian government should have more confident in introducing Korean language as Korea is in their top trade business countries and top universities should adopt Korean language in their SAT II test system as well as other Asian languages.

3. Korean Hangeul Schools must consider to have more trained teachers with teaching supports such as textbooks, materials, updated information in teaching, right honorarium etc.) and the schools must provide proficiency tests for the learners yearly so that the learners may aim for working or studying in Korea with the scholarship or own. Language is a tool and these students will contribute the economy for both Australia and Korea.

4. Second generation children should speak more than one language from this era as many South Asian countries education system has already implemented in their curriculums (e.g.: The Bilingual Education Policy in Singapore, Singapore) from two decades ago. All parents should be aware of importance of speaking Korean as it is their identity in them. Following up and checking their study and practicing it together at home should be carried out and there are useful information in the internet as well.

5. Foreign Students should have a confident to explore to study the language and the culture as many countries are doing business with Korea. Korea business market has been aggressively expanding internationally from late 90’s as everyone sees Samsung, LG, Hyundai, logos around us because Korea is now a business hub of Asia. Masters courses with the scholarship programs are given to many international students in Korea and getting the schoparship has been getting comptitive among international students and this shows the strong demands among international students and new generation Koreans.

To the immigrants, How about if our children do not have the Asian’s values in them anymore nor other speaking foreign languge from very young? I met foreign parents enrol their chileren to Hangeul schools for them to learn Korean. Both parents are not Korans.

To the countries, are we able to avoid the multinational society in Australian culture from now? Do we put enough budgets on our education system including second or foreign language programs? Not only the education can be the investment for ten decades but also it is intangible cultural assets for both countries.

Today, people used to be busy to be westernized but people want to be orientalized with many reasons. I might be unrealistic to point out above points with my one year living in Perth but there is a hope for everyone to make a difference from zero generation stage for our children and locals who value Korean culture in Perth.

24 April 2010

A Glance of Korea - Tradition Martial Arts Foods


To understand Korean culture, this movie is highly recommanded. 100 Best Korean Movies
including Shiri, Shilmido and others
Plot: While digging up remains at a Korean War battlefield to set up a memorial site, the South Korean Army excavation team notifies an elderly man that they identified some remains as his own. He believes that they may be those of his brother and drives over to the site with his granddaughter. Continue with

Friend : 친구 (Chin Ku)

At a time when students had to fasten their collars and crease their slacks till they're razor sharp, these four friends strutted around in their own custom-fashioned uniforms. They walked the streets with their heads held high, shoulders straight, and chests out, fearing nothing when they were together. Joon-suk, a son of a vigilant gang boss; Dong-su, the only son of an undertaker; Sang-taek, a diligent student; Joong-ho, who never keeps his mouth shut. Those are the gang of friends who share their fantasies about naked woman on the porn magazine and their awe at Bruce Lee's Kungfu.Each of their lives takes different turns as they grow up and their paths cross in conflict with each other's. Joon-suk becomes the leading henchman of his father's crime ring and Dong-su is serving for Joon-suk's rival gangs. Sang-taek and Joong-ho find themselves helplessly watching their two best friends wield knives at each other...
In this movie, the actors use heavy "Busan" accent and we call "Saturi" 사투리. Seoul accent is standard.

The empty cart makes more noise. (빈수레가 요란하다)

Binsurae ga yoranhada.

For centuries, Koreans have applauded tacifurnity and frowned on chaterboxes. In the culture, people prefer to a man with less words.

요란하다: noisy, loud, boisterous..
요란한, 요란스럽다, 요란하게

오토바이가 요란한 소리를 내면서 지나갔다.
콘서트가 아주 요란하게 시작했다.
배가 고파서 "꼬로록" 소리가 요란스럽다.
옆 집 아줌마가 옷을 요란스럽게 차려 입었다.

Ppalli, Ppalli!!! (빨리, 빨리!!!)

Be Hurry, hurry!!! Koreans say "Ppalli ppalli' when they want to other to speed up. The term now symbolizes Korean's penchant for rushing things. Although Koreans do not need to be hurried, they seem always in a hurry to do things.

예문: 빨리 빨리 가, 빨리 빨리 숙제 해! 빨리 빨리 샤워 하고! 빨리 빨리 자! 한국사람들은 그저 빨리 빨리...