Korea’s “Netflix and Chill”

missInterpretation header made in Photoshop 11 by myseouldream.com creatorNetflix and chill? Move aside.

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Let’s go back a few years. When I studied abroad at Yonsei University in 2014, I frequently went to festivals and events held in the area. 신촌’s streets would fill with booths, performers, and music, and my friends and I would wander through it all. My favorite festival was a big art festival where my friend bought a painting and I bought two sets of artist-made postcards. Continue reading

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Korean Memes: 겟!짤

In my return into the world of 만화 and 웹툰 (Korean comics both in print and online), I have discovered a feature on the Naver Webtoon app: 겟!짤

Essentially it’s a place where you can peruse bad puns, comics recreated entirely through symbols, and…well, the inappropriate trolls that are common to everything on the internet.

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If I pretend to care will you go away?

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눈팅. The crime of all 카톡 crimes. Checking a message but not replying (so the little 1 next to the message goes away but no reply ever comes…)

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The 4th Chaillot Human Rights Forum 2014 in Seoul

A few weeks ago, I attended the 4th Chaillot Human Rights Forum 2014. My professor for my Politics and Society of North Korea class is a researcher at KINU, or Korea Institute for National Reunification, and he invited his students to attend the forum as guests.

And so it begins. And so it begins. 통일 합시다!

The forum was hosted at the Joseon Westin Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. It was packed with reporters (at least for the first session), ambassadors, researchers, and Continue reading

Pronunciation Problems

안녕하세요!

Proper pronunciation can make as much difference as the comma contrasting meanings: “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma”. While pronouncing things the wrong way sometimes can change the meaning of a sentence, it can also just make me sound more like a beginner and less like the fluent person I’m pretending to be.

You also don’t know that you’re doing or saying something wrong until someone tells you – this is the peril of self-taught language learning.

Continue reading

Family Outing

Family Outing Season 1

Family Outing Season 1

(Link updated 6/23/14; please comment if links do not work! Thank you.)

안녕하세요!

One of my favorite Korean variety shows is Family Outing (패밀리가 떴다). It’s a hilarious two-season show that aired several years ago and still provides fantastic information on life in the Korean countryside. A core group of celebrities – from singers like Kim Jong Kook, Yoon Jong Shin, BIGBANG’s Kang Daesung and Lee Hyori (a solo artist originally from Fin.K.L) to models and actors like Lee Chunhee, Kim Sooro, and Park Yejin to the “Nation’s MC” Yoo Jae Suk – along with celebrity guests go to different rural villages and small towns throughout South Korea and spend about a day and a half living in the home of an elderly couple. They take care of the couple’s chores and house while the elders are sent on a vacation.

Note: The core group changed during the show; Kim Jong Kook was unable to begin immediately, Park Ye Jin and Lee Chunhee left to pursue solo activities, and Park Haejin and Park Siyeon filled the empty spots. 

And sometimes they do things like create a "family band" and perform for villagers.

And sometimes they do things like creating a “family band” and then perform personally composed songs for the local villagers.

 

Family Outing is a gold mine of language-learning and culture exposure. Each episode is full of interesting activities – ever wondered how kimchi is made? Ever seen a really old machine heat up and pop rice so explosively that it make Yoo Jae Suk want to run away? Ever learned how to prepare squid after catching it yourself? Ever seen a pretty, delicate Korean actress named Park Yejin pop an eye out of a fish? (These celebrities have to get the ingredients and make the meals besides performing the chores and playing games. I’ll be honest – there was a scandal about how real their ingredients-gathering was, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the show or learning Korean!) This is just a tiny peek at what you’ll see in Family Outing.

"One Man" Kim Jong Kook catches "One Fish"

“One Man” Kim Jong Kook catches “One Fish”

 

Family Outing wouldn't be Family Outing without lots of ridiculous and hilarious games to play.

Family Outing wouldn’t be Family Outing without lots of ridiculous and hilarious games.

Family Outing has the trademark subtitling of a Korean variety show, too, making it so rich for the language-learner. Much of what is said is also subtitled or rephrased in Korean. When a celebrity is surprised, the screen flashes a huge “SURPRISED” in Korean. When someone yells SHIMBATA – translated basically as eureka or a cry of victory – it’s subtitled in big, easy hangul. Don’t ignore these and only read the English subtitles – absorb all the Korean you can. Reading Korean subtitles will help with your language comprehension.

Chunderella choom choom chooming...clumsily.

Chunderella and Step-mother Sooro choom choom chooming…clumsily. 바보야~!

 

This show is funny. It’s so funny that you might want to warn others around you before you watch it, or else you’ll startle them with fits of maniacal laughter. You’ll love everyone on the show so much that by the time you finish the first season, you’ll feel like you’re saying goodbye to an actual family that you’re a part of. You’ll begin to understand the social interactions between old and young, male and female, in Korea. You’ll pick up slang, vocabulary, quick phrases. You’ll appreciate Korean culture for its tradition and its beauty. And you’ll find that watching Family Outing – while being a great learning experience – gives you that smile and that laugh that you need after a long day.

 

Yoo Jae Suk, the Nation's MC, endures a lot of burdensome moments for the sake of the audience's laughs...and because he's a really, really nice person in real life.

Yoo Jae Suk, the Nation’s MC, endures a lot of burdensome moments for the sake of the audience’s laughs…and because he’s a really, really nice person in real life.

 

감사합니다!