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Lesson Transcript

Seol: 안녕하세요. 윤설입니다.
Keith: Keith here. Korean Culture Class Number 6, kinship terms. Now, today we’re continuing on with our mirage of culture classes. Yay.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: 좋지 않아요?
Seol: 좋아요. 재미있어요.
Keith: 제일 좋아하죠?
Seol: 네.
Keith: Yes, she… I know you like this the best because it’s the least amount of work.
Seol: Yes, all I do is just chat in front of the mic.
Keith: Yes, that’s fun, too.
Seol: Yes.

Lesson focus

Keith: And I think it’s fun for the listeners too. So we had a culture class on age and a culture class on politeness levels. Now, we’re going to go one step further with social dynamics, talking about kinship terms. Now, kinship terms in Korean are used quite frequently.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: And what we mean by kinship terms is words like mother, father, brother and sister. Now, we use it, of course, with our family, but also use it with people who are not our family. And this may come across as little confusing sometimes, so we want to clarify that today. Ok. So to start off, what’s mother and father?
Seol: 어머니, 아버지.
Keith: And who do we use this with besides our family?
Seol: My friend’s mother and father.
Keith: That’s because they’re supposed to treat you…
Seol: Yes.
Keith: Treat you like a mother and father.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: And do they?
Seol: Yes.
Keith: 어떻게?
Seol: 아이고, 우리 설이 왔니? like this. So yes. My friend’s mother treats me as her daughter, seriously.
Keith: So anytime that you come over… You’re… They’re always so nice to you, they’re always…
Seol: Yes. She welcomes me and she cooks a lot of food for me…
Keith: Sometimes, they give you money, too. Right? Like here. Hang out. Have fun.
Seol: Yes. How did you know that?
Keith: Well, my friend’s father does that, too.
Seol: Yes?
Keith: He gave me a whole lesson on this because I used to call him 아저씨.
Seol: No, no. That’s rude.
Keith: Can you break that down for us?
Seol: 아저씨.
Keith: And this kind of means like “Sir” or “Mister”. And it’s used to regard anybody maybe around to your father’s age. And he used to say: “No, you cannot call me that. You have to call me 아빠 or 아버지.” So I learned from that experience. And then, after that, he gave me a lot of money. Always gave me money to hang out, it was like, anytime I’m back at home, he’s always like: “Hey, give me your call. Let’s go eat lobsters, let’s go eat stake.”. So he really does treat me like a son. And yes, that’s who we use “mother” and “father” with. 어머니, 아버지. Now, let’s talk about brothers and sisters. 설, 형제는 어떻게 되세요?
Seol: 저는 언니 한 명이랑 동생 두 명이 있어요.
Keith: What is that word that you said for your older sister?
Seol: 언니. 언니 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 언니 [natural native speed]
Keith: This is for girls, regarding their older sisters. And we use this with friends, too. Right?
Seol: Yes. When my friends are older than me, I call them 언니.
Keith: And they’re supposed to treat you like an older sister, too. Right?
Seol: Yes.
Keith: So this is typically speaking. Typically, not everybody is always so nice and not everybody is so sisterly, but when you think of 언니, what do you think?
Seol: They should be like my big sister. They should be really kind and they should give me advice in my life like… So yes, when I call them 언니, I expect that kind of thing from them.
Keith: And are you that kind of 언니 to your 동생s?
Seol: I’m trying to be.
Keith: And can we break down that word?
Seol: 동생
Keith: This is just generally younger brother or younger sister. And I have an older sister, too. But I don’t call her 언니. What should I be calling her?
Seol: 누나. 누나 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 누나 [natural native speed]
Keith: And this is for males calling their older sisters or older friends that are females. And once again, they should be doing the same thing for me. Treating me like an older sister. So buy me food…
Seol: Wait a minute, wait a minute. You are calling me 누나, right?
Keith: Yes.
Seol: So I should buy you food…
Keith: Yes.
Seol: And like, give advice…
Keith: Yes.
Seol: And sometimes, to drink…
Keith: Yes.
Seol: Ok.
Keith: 하기 싫어?
Seol: No, it’s ok.
Keith: It’s ok? All right. So yes, I think the same things as you. Older sisters should, you know, be there to give me advice, help me out and here’s another thing that might friends like. If they’re single, they want their 누나s to introduce all their 동생s to them.
Seol: I got it.
Keith: That kind of thing so… And but that’s the thing, though. Older sisters 언니 or 누나, they feel the need to do it.
Seol: Yes. In Korean society, it’s very important.
Keith: So just like with your younger sisters. You feel the same thing.
Seol: Yes. I feel like I should treat them very well and I should give advice.
Keith: And you try to be that person as much as possible.
Seol: Yes. 누나처럼, 언니처럼.
Keith: That’s the thing. We have an image. Korean people have an image of when they hear the word 언니 or 누나 or the other words we’re going to get to a little later. They have an image of what this person should be to me. So Seol, I have an image of you buy me food after we finish recording.
Seol: Wow. I really want to, but all I have in my wallet is about… Sorry, next time. I really want to be like the image, so… Next time, next time.
Keith: Ok.
Seol: Sorry.
Keith: Ok. All right. So we have 언니, 누나 and what’s your favorite out of all the kinship terms?
Seol: 오빠.
Keith: Can we break that down?
Seol: 오빠 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 오빠 [natural native speed]
Keith: Now, a lot of you that are into Korean dramas, into Korean movies, you probably have heard this word tons of times. Tons of times. And this means?
Seol: Older brother for a girl and also my friends who are older than me.
Keith: Males.
Seol: Yes. So those male friends who are older than that female.
Keith: Yes. Once again, these terms are not limited to family. These are used for friends and even boyfriends and girlfriends.
Seol: I used to call my boyfriend 오빠.
Keith: Well, before we get into that, what is the image you have of 오빠?
Seol: 오빠 should protect me, they should take care of me and they should be, like really big, they should be a guy. That’s the image that I have about 오빠.
Keith: So the image that you have is taking care of you, protecting you, and if you’re ever hurt, he comes running to you, he’s like: “Oh. Are you ok?”. Like that.
Seol: Wow. I need that kind of 오빠. Where’s my 오빠?
Keith: And that’s the image that girls have. Now, what percentage of males do you think live up to this image?
Seol: Ten? Am I too negative? Ok. 30.
Keith: Ok. All right.
Seol: But you have a different term for 오빠.
Keith: Because I’m a male.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: And the term for me, as a male, calling an older brother, would be 형. Can we break that down?
Seol: 형
Keith: The image that I have about a 형 is kind of like the same image that you have for 언니. Like an older friend that will give me advice when I need him to. Or if I’m in trouble, that he will help me.
Seol: Also buy you a drink.
Keith: Yes. That’s a thing we guys do. They always want a 형 to drink with. It’s like 형, 우리 술 마시러 가자.
Seol: And 형 pays everything. Right?
Keith: Yes. Always, always. And that’s the best part. You know, when I think of 형, I think of that movie 태극기 휘날리며 and 원빈 is the younger brother and he’s always like 형, 형.
Seol: “I’m afraid. Let me go out of here.” Like that?
Keith: Yes. So he’s always calling him for his brother’s protection.
Seol: Sorry, I didn’t watch the movie, actually.
Keith: Are you serious?
Seol: Sorry.
Keith: Wow.
Seol: Yes. More than a quarter of Korean people watched that movie, So it’s very uncommon that I didn’t watch it.
Keith: You must have been really busy, because that was a good movie.
Seol: I should watch it.
Keith: Yes. Well, if you watch that movie, you’ll definitely find out about social dynamics between 형 and 동생.
Seol: You know the English title of that movie?
Keith: “Brotherhood.”
Seol: Right.
Keith: So yes, that will definitely give you a better idea of the relationship between a guy and his older brother.
Seol: There was a TV soap opera titled 가을 동화 and that drama will give you an idea about the relationship between 오빠 and 동생.
Keith: That’s older brother for girls. So yes, Korean media is laced with all of these social dynamics, these 형, 오빠, 언니, 누나. If you’re a Korean media fan, then you’ll definitely get a good idea of what these social dynamics are. 누나, 우리 끝났어.
Seol: 집에 가자.
Keith: Are you going to buy me food?
Seol: Yes. I should withdraw some money.


Keith: All right. That is going to do it for today. Remember to stop by Koreanclass101.com and leave us those comments. Let us know if you have any personal experiences with these and if you do, be sure to let us know. And after you do that, remember to check out the accompanying PDF. All right. That’s going to do it. Thank you for listening to us and we’ll see you next time.
Seol: 안녕.
Keith: See you.