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Lesson Transcript

Seol: 안녕하세요.
Yujin: 안녕하세요. 유진입니다.
Keith: Hi, Keith here. And today is our Christmas feed. Yay. Christmas.
Yujin: Yes.

Lesson focus

Keith: What’s Christmas in Korean?
Yujin: 성탄절.
Keith: And well, people don’t really use this, right?
Yujin: Yes. Probably you can see those words in the newspaper and news, but we usually say... 크리스마스 is Christmas.
Keith: Yes. Just Korean pronunciation. That’s the colloquial version. And 성탄절 is formal, is the formal version. No?
Seol: I’m so excited about my Christmas vacation.
Keith: 뭐 할 거예요?
Seol: 크리스마스에는 집에 가서 맛있는 거 먹을 거예요.
Keith: 유진씨는 뭐 할 거예요?
Yujin: 아...안타깝게 아직까지 계획이 없는데 친구랑 놀 거 같아요.
Keith: 친구랑 아니면?
Seol: 친구랑.
Keith: Just friend… Just friend… Well, let’s talk about this a little bit. Christmas in Korea, is it… What do you usually do?
Seol: It’s a couple event. So if you’re alone, if you’re a solo, it’s like you’re having a very lonely Christmas with your family.
Keith: Well, that doesn’t sound lonely. You’re with your family.
Seol: But they feel like: “Oh. I’m staying with my family because I don’t have a girlfriend or a boyfriend.” That’s what they feel.
Keith: Wait, wait.
Seol: I don’t know why, but you know, in Korea, Christmas is like a couple event.
Keith: Ok. So Christmas in Korea is a couple event. But when I think of Christmas, I think of waking-up, snow and going to the tree and opening up presents.
Seol: Wow.
Yujin: You’re watching the movie very often.
Keith: Yes.
Seol: That’s why.
Keith: That’s a commercial Christmas, right?
Yujin: Mhm.
Keith: But what’s commercial Christmas in Korea?
Seol: For example, you are having a Christmas dinner with your boyfriend or girlfriend, so you have to get a reservation at a very famous and expensive restaurant. That’s the commercialized Korean Christmas.
Keith: So what about on commercials, like on TV, what kind of things come out about Christmas?
Yujin: Usually, TV focuses on couples, they just show couples all the time, So if we don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, then we feel like: “Oh. This Christmas, it will be miserable for me.”
Seol: But sometimes, like family gathering and family party comes out from the commercial.
Keith: Sometimes.
Seol: Sometimes.
Keith: But mainly, it’s like Valentine’s Day with red and green.
Seol: Right. You’re right.
Yujin: Yes.
Keith: Pretty much. Well, how about when you’re a kid? You know, you don’t have girlfriends. Girlfriends and boyfriends, they’re all: “Ew. I don’t want to talk about girls and boys.” What do you do when you are a kid?
Yujin: I woke up in the morning on Christmas and I was waiting for the present from my parents.
Seol: Not from Santa Claus?
Yujin: Yes, probably around five I thought, yes, it would be Santa Claus, but after five, probably, I realized that Santa doesn’t exist. The sad story.
Keith: So sad.
Yujin: So sad.
Seol: I think I got presents from Santa Claus until I was 18,19.
Yujin: You kidding?
Keith: Yes, right. Well, I have a funny story, though. When I was a kid, I was waiting for Santa, I was maybe like five years old, or six years old, I was like: “Oh. Where’s my present? Where’s my present?”. You know, December 25th and it passed. And I didn’t get my present, I was so sad.
Seol: Oh.
Keith: And I, you know, went to my mom and cried, I said “Mom, where is Santa Claus?” and then, like two days later…
Seol: Oh.
Keith: So girls, Santa Claus came and my mom was “Oh, sorry I forgot.”
Seol: Wow. That’s the real Santa Claus, right?
Keith: Yes. That’s when I realized that Santa doesn’t exist, But I guess it’s around, it’s the same in Korea, too. Kids start to realize that Santa doesn’t exist, maybe around five or six years old.
Seol: Yes.
Yujin: Yes, maybe.
Keith: Well, what is Santa Claus in Korean? How do you say that?
Seol: 산타 클로즈
Keith: There is another one, too, isn’t it?
Seol: 산타 할아버지
Keith: Yes. Ok, so we have?
Seol: 산타 클로스
Keith: And then, it’s just a Korean-ized version of Santa Claus. But what’s the other one?
Seol: 산타 할아버지
Keith: Ok. So we have?
Seol: 산타
Keith: “Santa”
Seol: 할아버지
Keith: “Grandfather”. And we also call him our grandfather because we call everybody around our grandfather’s age 할아버지, grandfather. It’s just… It just means grandfather, but we call anybody who’s around our grandfather’s age 할아버지. All right? So there’s Santa Claus in Korea, how about Rudolph?
Seol: 있어요.
Keith: Yes?
Yujin: 어디서 볼 수 있어요?
Seol: 백화점에서?
Keith: Only in department stores?
Yujin: Yes, that’s the sad story in Korea.
Keith: So what about like cartoons or…
Seol: 어, 있어요.
Keith: Yes?
Seol: Yes. Santa always comes with Rudolph.
Keith: So they’re kind of like a set.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: Santa and Rudolph. The elves?
Seol: Not really.
Keith: So who helps Santa?
Seol: Rudolph.
Yujin: Only Rudolph.
Keith: Only Rudolph? Ok. What’s Rudolph in Korean?
Yujin: 루돌프
Keith: Just a Korean nice way to say Rudolph. Ok. And do you say Rudolph, the red nosed reindeer?
Seol: 루돌프 사슴 코는 매우 반짝이는 코.
Yujin: Yes.
Keith: Yes, that was very good. Well, can you explain the lyrics of that song?
Seol: Rudolph’s nose is very shiny and it’s so bright, so everybody can notice that Rudolph is coming.
Keith: Well, let’s talk about the carols a little bit. Is there the same songs as in, let’s say America, like “Jingle Bells?”
Seol: Jingle Bells, jingle all the way…
Yujin: Yes.
Keith: Wait, wait. Is that in Korean?
Seol: We have 징글벨.
Keith: Jingle Bells?
Seol: But it’s like 징글벨, 징글벨, not Jingle Bells.
Keith: Ok, ok. Well, how about…
Seol: 실버벨.
Keith: Oh, well. All right. So some of them are Koreanized, and some of them, they make Korean lyrics to them, too. All right. Ok, so Yujin, when you think about Christmas, what thoughts come to your mind?
Yujin: First of all, I think of vacation things. And second of all, probably, yes, I have to go out and you know, hang out with my friends.
Keith: Ok. So as you’re saying, Christmas is mainly for couples and this is maybe, what age group?
Seol: About 20s, 30s.
Keith: High school, too, maybe?
Seol: They gather with their friends.
Keith: Ok. So high school students gather with their friends, and after high school, university, post-university and then up until, maybe, around 30s, mid 30s, it’s a couple oriented holiday. So outside of that, it’s a family oriented holiday.
Seol: Yes. When I was 13 or 14 I was always with my family, having a Christmas feast. But there’s nothing special about Christmas feast. It’s just a cake.
Keith: Ok. So you guys don’t go out and hey let’s go eat some 갈비, let’s go eat some…
Seol: 갈비 does not go with Christmas.
Keith: No?
Yujin: No.
Keith: So what kind of foods do you remember eating on Christmas?
Seol: Just ordinary meals and plus cakes, wine.
Keith: Wine?
Seol: My parents drank wine. We just saw.
Keith: They didn’t give you wine when you were 13?
Seol: No, no.
Keith: Ok. So if you do have a date, if you are a couple, what do you do in Korea? What kind of things?
Yujin: Usually, they go to see movies, released on Christmas, like romantic comedies. Yes.
Keith: Now, that’s really popular in Korea, like romantic comedies, right?
Yujin: These days, yes.
Keith: Yes. Ok. And movies, going out to eat… But that’s just like a regular date. What kind of Christmasy things?
Seol: There’s a big, big 루미네이션.
Keith: What’s that word again?
Seol: 루미네이션.
Keith: This is the Korean word for just Christmas lights, and it means lights that are, you know, if you put them on a tree or if you put them on a building, make a building all pretty with Christmas lights and that’s…
Seol: 루미네이션.
Keith: 루미네이션, yes. And what kind of places do you go and see Christmas lights?
Yujin: 시청 앞 광장.
Keith: And what is that exactly?
Yujin: It’s, you know, literally, before the City Hall. If you go there, you see a lot of 루미네이션 things and Christmas trees, also.
Keith: Yes, well, I’m from New York and the famous Christmas Tree is at, you know, the Rockefeller Center. What about in Korea? Where is the famous Christmas tree?
Seol: That’s not a Christmas tree, but if you go to 청계천 you can see the big Christmas lights.
Keith: Ok. So 청계천 is…
Seol: Famous for Christmas decorations.
Yujin: But it’s near 시청 앞.
Seol: So yes, if you go to 시청…
Yujin: You can walk along the 청계천, too.
Keith: So 시청 is City Hall, and 청계 River is a river that’s near 시청 – “City Hall”, but it’s a man-made river, and it’s really famous for couples. A lot of couples go there because it’s really pretty and really nice. Ok. So when you have a date, when you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you go to 청계천, you go see 루미네이션, the Christmas lights, and…
Seol: You have to go to a very famous and expensive restaurant, too.
Keith: Well, maybe only for you.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: That’s what you expect.
Seol: I was programmed like that. The TV programmed me like that.
Keith: So that’s commercial Christmas in Korea.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: So do you think that way, like: “We have to go to an expensive restaurant, we have to eat really, really good food.”
Yujin: Not everybody, but almost everybody thinks like: “Wow. It’s Christmas. So we have to plan something special.” So they plan to go to the, you know, expensive restaurant that they couldn’t go, you know, usually.
Keith: So if I had a date, and I didn’t really plan it out… “So hey, let’s go grab something to eat. It’s Christmas.”
Seol: Your girlfriend will be really disappointed.
Keith: Well, ok. So all the fellas out there or all the ladies out there, remember to plan out your dates in Korea. Plan them out maybe about a month ahead. No?
Seol: Yes. Really.
Yujin: Yes.
Keith: Maybe a week ahead.
Seol: I think a month ahead is a good idea.
Yujin: Really?
Keith: Ok. So and you get the reservations and the presents. Let’s talk about presents a little bit. Wait. What does that mean?
Yujin: Because I don’t know what to buy for my friends and for my boyfriend.
Keith: Well, So do you give presents to everybody?
Seol: No. But to very close friends.
Keith: And family members as well?
Seol: No. Just cake.
Keith: Just cake?
Seol: Just cake. I think for family members, cake works.
Keith: So when you’re young, when you’re really, really young and or if you have children, or you are their child, maybe 13 years old, then you give presents to your family members. Starting from middle school, maybe high school, you start giving it to your friends, and not really to your parents or to your family members, right?
Seol: Exactly.
Keith: Ok. So is it equal when you’re out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, do you exchange presents or is it just one person giving presents?
Yujin: These days, usually they exchange presents to each other, and then I tend to give them a Christmas card, too.
Seol: When I was a school student, I exchanged Christmas cards with my friends and that became very routine, So if I did not get, you know, Christmas card from my close friend, I was disappointed and I was like: “Why she didn’t give me a card? Maybe she doesn’t like me.” that kind of thing. But as you grow, you give presents instead of Christmas cards.
Keith: To your friends?
Seol: Yes.
Keith: Ok. Well, am I getting a present?
Seol: Yes...
Keith: I don’t think I like that reaction. Let’s try that again. Am I getting a present?
Seol: Sure.
Yujin: Sure.


Keith: Yes. Yes. All right. So let’s wish everybody a happy and healthy Christmas.
Seol: Merry Christmas.
Yujin: 행복하고 따뜻한 크리스마스 보내세요.
Keith: All right. Merry Christmas.