I do not know if the Korean characters (hangul) will be readable in this tip, but I will leave them in regardless:
excuse me - "shil yeh hap ni da" (실례합니다)
Where is ____? - "eo di yo ____?" (어디에 ___?)
the bathroom - "hwa chang shil" (화장실)
motel - "motel" (모텔)
hotel - "hotel"(호텔)
train station - "gi cha yeuk" (기차역) or "yeuk (역)" for short
bus terminal - "bus-eh teh-minal" (버스 터미널)
airport - "gong hang" (공항)
Good morning - "annyeong ha sae yo" (안녕하세요)
I'm good - "na nil chong da" (나는 좋다)
Thank you very much - "cahm sa ham ni da" (감사합니다)
Goodbye - "annyeong hi ga sae yo" informal (안녕히가세요)
Have a nice day - "chong eun haru dwih sae yo" (좋은하루되세요)
can you speak English? - "ha da yeung-ah leul hal soo it-ueh yo?" (하다 영어를 할 수있요?)
'Hagwon' is the Korean word for "private school" or "academy." Private schools are generally a big part of Korean family life. Most school children from middle income families attend hagwon after finishing regular school, sometimes not finishing until 9 or 10pm at night. If you're wandering the streets of Seoul or Busan and see kids in uniforms just coming out of class, they're almost without a doubt just leaving their hagwons to go home where a pile of homework often awaits them to be handed in the next day. I've never seen kids spend such long hours in school until I came to Korea. Even some 5 year olds will spend 12 hours/day in a classroom.
English hagwons are very common, and I used to teach in one. They run like a business so rather the focus being on teaching, the importance is the parents' satisfaction and the image of teaching. They also have math hagwons, science, art, taw kown do, etc.
Red arrow gate with arrow-shaped decoration on top.
Standing in front of Palacs, Government Office ,Royal Tombs, Famous Graveyards, and Public Buildings. it's the places of symbol and protect from devil.
Texting (as it's called) is not that big in Canada (no one can justify the 10 cents it costs per message, so they'd rather call and blow 50 cents, I guess) but it's BIG in Korea. I was a convert as well...sending and receiving 9,000 (4,500 incoming, 4,500 outgoing) texts in about 5 months (as well as 100 or so pictures). There are many reasons why I loved it so much:
(i) it's private - no one knows what you are reading and writing (especially good if you're juggling social engagements or job-hunting, you can even reply when in a meeting if you need to);
(ii) it's immediate, but can be delayed - like email it can sit there and you can read it anytime (like when you wake up or finish a meeting);
(iii) it's non-intrusive - without a ring and hello you need not feel burdened by a text;
(iv) it's simple - I even learned the hanguel easily and found it to be very simple and faster to use (faster than English in some cases!);
(v) it's written - this is obvious, but if your sender or recipient is non-native speaker there can be burden and confusion in any conversation, texting allows both sides to consult friends or dictionaries to get meanings straight;
(vi) it's semi-permanent - espcially for addresses or meeting times, this is a big plus (no need for pen and paper or a PDA, it's in your phone!)
So, if you go to Korea learn the text functions quickly--you'll need them!
I vaguely remember getting my first 화투/hwa-too (what Koreans call a deck of Go-Stop cards) when I was about 10 years old. I got them from a relative who thought it would be good for me to learn. Unfortunately, the rules are so complicated (and I learn from doing, not reading) and no one else knew the game so they all vanished.
It is a fun, game, though. Usually only older Korean MEN play it, but now younger ones and even (horrors!) women are playing it as well. There are 12 suits (one for each month) and 4 cards in each suit, but that's where the fleeting similarity to Western cards ends.
I could go into explainging all the rules, but Yahoo has a good run-down on it here:
I don't know what it is. Korean women are (in my and many who have visited Korea and learned the difference between Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and other Asians) the most beautiful in the world. And yet, they seem to love to wear (sometimes a lot of) make-up, even in casual situations.
At least they (i) usually have a more-or-less natural look to it, (ii) can apply it well and (iii) are consistent. In Korea it's see and be seen, so I can understand the mindset. Imagine a neighbor sees you taking out the trash with no mascara! I've also seen gals dolled up for such things a jogging/rollerblading, going to the beach and going grocery shopping. No wonder shops like Missha are doing so well!
This was so well done, I just did a cut and paste.
In Korea, you're likely to be asked, "What's your blood type?" If, like me, you answer, "I don't know," you'll probably get an incredulous, "How can you not know your blood type?!" It all started in 1927 when Takeji Furukawa, a philosophy major with no scientific background, first proposed the theory that blood type determines one's personality. The torch was passed in 1971 to Masahiko Nomi, a journalist (again, with no scientific background), and finally to Masahiko's son, Toshitaka Nomi, in 1988. Their theories have become increasingly popular in Korea. Of all types, it seems that blood type B men (described as selfish, mercurial cads) have been the most vilified. Despite an utter lack of scientific evidence, people still believe this, usually because of anecdotes. However, as any psychology student knows, the human mind tends to remember information that confirms stereotypes, and forget information that does not. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Moreover, it seems there's disagreement amongst the quack "experts."
While Asians describe type A's positively as responsible, trustworthy, and hardworking, Peter J. D'Adamo (who theorizes that one's diet should be determined by one's blood type) describes them negatively as poorly suited for leadership and prone to anxiety.
The four basic blood types were first identified early in the twentieth century by Karl Landsteiner according to what type of antigens cover the red cells and are in the plasma. However, 276 discrete red-cell antigens have since been discovered. So instead of four types, shouldn't there be 276? I'm not trying to paint Koreans as backward bumpkins because a healthy dose of skepticism is something all societies could use.
Written by Richard Stansfield
'Regular' rental contracts are becoming more popular in Korea (especially Seoul) but most are still based on the Jeon-se system.
Jeon-se involves the renter putting up about 50% of the market value of the home (apartment, usually) with the owner. The owner then must pay back that sum at the end of the contract (often 2 years; usually a 1 year minimum). The renter does not pay rent, but instead gives up the opportunity cost on the money (Korean interest rates are higher than in the West by about 1-2%) and if the property appreciates by the time the contract ends the renter will have to put up more money to stay in the place (and vice versa).
Some officetels (read: small apartments of about 300-400 sqft) have a combination: rent may be $500 a month and the deposit may be $5,000.
As mentioned, others are pure rentals (minimal deposit) but that is usually only in special locations where foreigners frequent (near Itaewon, usually).
If anything, Koreans only know square meters in Korea, not square feet, and they typically use another system for all area measurements (from apartment floors to country sizes!). This is pyoung.
Thankfully, conversion is pretty simple. As a rough guess (which is as good as you might get as apartment sizes include such things as common-space in their pyoung calculations) 1 pyoung = 3.3 square meters = 33 square feet. So a 100 pyoung place (probably costing $1 million) would be equal to about 3,300 square feet (or 3,000 or 3,100 or 3,200 depending on the effect of common areas).
In the website below pyoung is the symbol that looks like a roman numeral 2 (II) with a circle underneath it.
Koreans are an interesting lot when it comes to dating. For many Koreans dating is with one thing in mind: marriage. This is true for both parties, it seems. Upon meeting single Koreans (guys and gals), especially since I am married, I invariably get the request to introduce them to some nice person. It's quite flattering at first, but then you get to notice a pattern here.
Koreans are often introduced by friends, relatives and (in rarer cases now) matchmakers. They are so busy studying (when they're younger) and working (when they're older) that they have little chance to mix-and-mingle--and when they do go out on the town it is usually in same-sex groups or with relatives or co-workers (which, it seems, are off-limits).
If a date is one-on-one it is called a so-gay-ting (weird name) and if double ot triple dating it's called a mee-ting. Before a first date (or 5 minutes into one) each party will likely know the other's (i) graduation year and school (and job and title), (ii) birthday, (iii) family and religious background (including father's job), and likely (iv) salary and (v) goals. This is one of the few areas that Korea is extremely efficient in.
They usually meet at a trendy cafe and exchange vital information. After that, if things go well, future dates ensue. If not, that is it. Very matter-of-fact (and rather an oddity here, given Koreans penchant for high emotion--e.g., football matches).
Parents then, usually, cover the wedding and help set up the couple and off they go to make a family.
I'll talk about the Seolnal.
First, the Seolnal is Janeury First by luner calender.
We eat Rice cake soup(Toeukguk) this day.
One of the reason of eating Rice cake soup is Seolnal is starting day so we need to clean our body so they eat Rice cake soup.
Second, it meant to live long like white long Rice cake.
Third, it mean to be rick like the rice cake which become longer and longer
Also, we play Yutnori which is Korean traditional play.
Yutnori is play by forecast the year's farming.
And we take Korean traditional cloth and give adults new year greeting.
New year greeting mean give the greeting to adult. If we did New year greeting, then adults give us well-wishing remarks.
It is becoming more common for Koreans to change their names. They believe that their names are associated with something akin to fate and karma, so by changing their name, they can realign their stars so to speak.
However, please note that Koreans do not change their names when the get married. The bride and groom will keep their original names, but their children will take the family name of the father.
In all my travels I have had some unique and wonderful foods that are not mainstream where I grew up. Korea itself is the reason for many of those. There are things like live octopus, curdled beef blood, etc.
However one of the most foul foods that I have ever come across is called hong-eh (홍어 in hongul). It is pickled stingray. It can have the texture of jerky or softer, but always has a near gagging limit of ammonia smell.
I've wondered where the smell came from, but just accepted it as a byproduct of the natural pickling process. It probably has something to do with the extra salt content in the flesh.
The story goes that long ago down in the waters far off the southwest of Korea, a fisherman got a stingray along with his catch of fish. This in itself is not uncommon. Back in that day, the fish would have just been dried in the sun since refrigeration was not available.
However the fisherman did not feel like throwing the stingray back into the water, so kept it in the hold of the boat. During the long journey back home, the ray naturally fermented and pickled itself in the boat's locker.
Upon arrival the fisherman was too determined to discard the new curiosity. So with a bit of resolve, gave it a try. It has evolved into a bit of an expensive delicacy here, although few like it since it has such an acquired taste.
Thankfully I've never done this but it might have happened to some fool foreigner who didn't check things correctly.
You see, in Korea when one is married you give one gift: money. Cash, actually (since checks are non-existant there). A relative is about 100,000 won (USD 87), close friend is 50,000 won and casual friend is about 30,000 won. Funerals have a cash gift too...probably the same amounts, haven't been to one yet.
Now comes the tricky part. You can always give it in a simple white envelope, but many of the shops here sell special ones with Chinese writing on them. Of course us foreigners can't read a lick of Chinese (although Korean is relatively easy to pick up).
This is your hint: the WEDDING envelope has THREE Chinese characters on it. The FUNERAL envelope has TWO Chinese characters...don't screw it up, whatever you do.
Every year on November 11th, the Koreans hand out boxes and bags of peperos to one another. They give them out the same way we would Valentines in Western countries - as romantic gifts between couples, or to schoolmates, friends, and family.
The pepero is a cookie stick dipped either halfway, or fully in chocolate. They're pretty yummy.
This hotel was budget friendly compared to other hotels in the area. The room was more spacious than...more
My wife and I have stayed twice at the Westin Chosun within the last three months. The rooms are...more
Dragon Valley Hotel 130 Youngsanri, Doap-Myun,Pyungchang-Kun, South Korea