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Lesson Transcript

Tim: Hello, everyone. I’m Tim, and I’m joined in the studio by…
Debbie: Debbie! Hey everyone!
Tim: We’re happy to bring you part eight in our “All About” series.
Debbie: That’s right!
Tim: So Debbie, what is today’s topic?
Debbie: Today’s topic is the “Top 5 things you need to know about Korean society!”
Tim: “Top 5 things about Korean society?”
Debbie: Yes, there are 5 different categories we’ll be touching on today - major cities, family life, economy, politics and generational trends.
Tim: It’s a very broad topic!
Debbie: That’s right, but don’t worry! We can make today’s lesson simple and interesting, right Tim?
Tim: Yes! Okay, let’s jump right in – “top 5 things you need to know about Korean society!”
Debbie: First, let’s talk about the major cities of Korea. Tim, I have a quick question for you. When I give you the names of cities, then you have to tell me the first thing that comes up in your mind. Are you ready?
Tim: Yes!
Debbie: “Washington D.C, Tokyo and Beijing”.
Tim: Hmm... The first thing that comes to mind is…I don’t know!
Debbie: Well.. how about the listeners? Maybe they're smarter than Tim.
Tim: Hey, wait a minute... I just got an email from one of our listeners. He wrote, the answer is... they're all capitals!” ps.“Shame on you, Tim!"" Ehh?
Debbie: 하하..I’m sure he was just kidding. But, he's right! Washington D.C is the capital of the U.S., Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and Beijing is the capital of China. So, the first city we are going to talk about is…
Tim: Ah-ha! 서울 “Seoul!”- the capital of South Korea.
Debbie: Yes! By the way, what’s the population in Seoul Tim?
Tim: More than 10 million people are living in Seoul.
Debbie: What’s more, there are many satellite cities around Seoul, so Seoul has become the center of commerce, business and entertainment.
Tim: Public transportation is also very good.
Debbie: Good point! Public transportation such as buses and subways are very well-developed throughout the city, so it is very convenient to move around. By the way, Tim, do you like shopping?
Tim: Ah! Yes! Seoul is very famous for shopping as well.
Debbie: That’s right! Well, what’s the next city?
Tim: Hmm… I guess…Is it 부산 “Busan!?""
Debbie: 딩.동.댕! Yes, Busan is the 2nd largest city in Korea. What’s its population, Tim?
Tim: Hmm…About 4 million people! Ah, Busan is located in the far southeastern part of Korea. Debbie, do you know what Busan is famous for?
Debbie: Of course. I know! It’s famous for “fresh seafood and beautiful beaches!”
Tim: That’s right! Debbie, have you heard about 해운대 “hae-un-dae”?
Debbie: Ah~~ 해운대 “hae-un-dae beach"" – the most famous and popular family destination in the summer.
Tim: Yes, every summer, 해운대 “hae-un-dae” is packed with thousands of people.
Debbie: “해운대 “hae-un-dae” in the summer!” Hmm…That sounds so exciting!
Tim: Okay, Debbie! What’s the next category?
Debbie: Second, “Family life!”
Tim: What about family life?
Debbie: Well, families in Korea are both traditional and liberal.
Tim: Korean society used to be much more traditional and conservative…
Debbie: But, today it has adopted many changes in the way of living and the way of thinking.
Tim: Yeah, it’s true, but many aspects and values still remain traditional.
Debbie: Like…?
Tim: Like the National Holidays. Almost everyone visits their parents and family and spends quality time together.
Debbie: Yeah, it’s true! What else?
Tim: This is pretty much common sense, but elders must be treated with respect.
Debbie: That’s true, too. However Tim, one thing that has changed a lot is that getting married at a young age is NOT a must.
Tim: No, you’re right! Today more and more people choose to get married much later.
Debbie: Right, for example in their late 20s or early 30s...or sometimes even later than that. So generally, we can say that Korean families now hold similar values as many Western families.
Tim: Now let’s talk about the next category. What’s next?
Debbie: Third, let’s talk about Korea’s economy.
Tim: Korea’s economy is ranked 13th in the world and…
Debbie: It is strong in shipbuilding, semiconductors and digital electronics.
Tim: Yes, some well-known Korean companies are Samsung, LG, Hyundai, and Kia.
Debbie: Hmm... What about the working hours in Korea?
Tim: Hmm… The average weekly working hours is 40 hours.
Debbie: It’s just the same as in Western countries. What about salaries?
Tim: The average salary ranges between 2,000 to 3,000 US dollar per month.
Debbie: Hmm...That’s not too bad. Okay, thanks for that bit of information, Tim.
Tim: Sure. What’s next?
Debbie: Generation trends.
Tim: Generation trends? What does generation trends mean?
Debbie: Generally speaking, the older generation and younger generation tend to do things differently.
Tim: Hmm… For example?
Debbie: The older generation tends to be loyal to their company, whereas…
Tim: Today’s generation tends to be more flexible with their jobs, right?
Debbie: Yes. Here's another thing - The size of a family used to be 3 to 7 or even more people, but....Today the size of family has dropped to 1 to 3… some young couples don’t even want to have kids at all. So I think it’s fair to say that like any country, the old and the young generation do things differently, especially in Korea.
Tim: 네 맞아요 “Yes, you're right.”
Debbie: Well, that’s all for today’s lesson. I hope many listeners have learned and got some general ideas about “Korean Society” throughout this lesson.
Tim: I think they did. 그럼 여러분 들어주셔서 감사합니다. Thank you for listening.
Debbie: Thanks for listening and see you next time.
Tim: Bye!

33 Comments

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KoreanClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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I find the work culture highly abusive when the extra hours becomes inculturated int he organization. it becomes a self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating environment where the pressure as demonstrated by co-workers in their hard working pushes each and every person to the brink of exhaustion. My girlfriend who is working for a firm in korea puts in on average 18-20 hours a day, sometimes 7 days a week. that's 140 hours!

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:02 AM
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Hi Gregorji,


Thank you for posting. Yes, Train to Busan was definitely a good (and scary) zombie movie! But there was light at the end of the tunnel (in Busan)!


Cheers,

Lyn

Team KoreanClass101.com

Gregorji
Sunday at 08:59 AM
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June 12, 2021. I guess now when you say Busan, what comes to mind would be some trains, blood, running, hiding, and hmmm, zombies!!!

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:20 PM
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Hi Hanna,


Thanks for posting!


It can't be helped, right? :wink:


In case you have any doubts, please let us know.



Cristiane

Team KoreanClass101.com

Hanna
Saturday at 11:41 PM
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The intro music is getting stuck in my head :smile:

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Monday at 07:00 PM
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Hello ʻAnalū Kalaka,


You're very welcome!

Please let us know if you have any other inquiries.


Sincerely,

Lyn

Team KoreanClass101.com

ʻAnalū Kalaka
Monday at 07:06 AM
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린 선생님 안녕하세요! (Hello Lyn!)

가르쳐 주셔서 고맙습니다. (Thanks for the help.)

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:07 AM
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Hi Ian,


Thanks for posting. You will have no problem communicating in standard Korean no matter which part of Korea you visit, as everyone learns it at school. :smile:


Cheers,

Lyn

Team KoreanClass101.com

Ian
Friday at 08:35 PM
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So would knowing the standard Korean dialect be enough to feel comfortable visiting all the major cities in Korea?

KoreanClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:48 AM
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Hi ʻAnalū Kalaka,


Thank you for commenting. Until recent times, Koreans used Chinese characters in everyday life--they were written in newspaper articles alongside Hangul. It was only a few decades ago when Korea decided to write everything in Hangul, which is why if you look at older books, you will be able to see Chinese characters in them. Sino-Korean words still exist in their Hangul form today.

Having said that, each province in Korea has its unique dialect, and Jeju island has its own as well. It is interesting to hear that you are interested in the 부산 사투리.


Cheers,

Lyn

Team KoreanClass101.com

ʻAnalū Kalaka
Tuesday at 05:28 AM
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안녕사세요!


Today we learned about the two top cities in Korea 서울 and 부산.


I am very much interested in the way words in Korean are written using Chinese characters. Of course, we have very few opportunities to see Korean written in Chinese characters but occasionally we can see them in newspapers, titles of books, in billboards, signs and shop names around town, etc. As far as I know, all place names in Korea, can also be written in Chinese characters. The one big exception is 서울. Also, 서울 used to be written as 漢城 / 汉城 by the Chinese but this has changed to 首爾 / 首尔.


Traveling around Korea, I soon discovered that there are many dialects there. I have more opportunities to visit the south of Korea, especially 부산 and know that it is famous for its strong dialect. In fact, there is even a book with a CD that has been published here in Japan all about learning the dialect used in 부산. I borrowed the book from the public library here, took a look and listened to some of the CD. If I ever master just a bit of standard Korean, I definitely want to learn even the basics of 부산 dialect for when I travel there or talk to my Busan friends. One more thing, on TV we can often hear many dialects from around Korea in TV dramas, programs or movies.


In Busan dialect 어디 가노? or standard Korean 어디 가요?


고맙습니다.