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Lesson Transcript

Seol: 안녕하세요. 윤설입니다.
Hyunwoo: 안녕하세요. 선현우입니다.
Keith: Keith here. Culture Class Number 8, Dining Out with the Boss.
Seol: Wow. Another culture class. This is my favorite class, you know that, right?
Keith: Well, in addition to this culture class, you’re going to be liking what we’re talking about because today we’re talking about?

Lesson focus

Hyunwoo: 회식.
Keith: Company dinner. Can we break down that word real quick?
Hyunwoo: 회식 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 회식 [natural native speed]
Keith: These two words are comprised of two different 한자s, Chinese characters. What’s the first part?
Hyunwoo: 회
Keith: And this means company.
Hyunwoo: 식
Keith: To eat. But what does this mean exactly? Company eat.
Seol: You’re eating with your colleagues and boss.
Keith: And this is a common practice among Korean companies, right?
Seol: Yes.
Keith: How often do companies go out on 회식?
Hyunwoo: It depends on the company, but it’s not like every week. It’s usually, around the New Year or once a project is over.
Seol: But it all depends on the boss. If the boss likes drinking with, you know, his subordinates, it will be like once a week. And sometimes, twice a week.
Hyunwoo: That’s right.
Keith: Well, when I was working in a Korean company, I had 회식 about once a month.
Hyunwoo: That’s about normal.
Keith: That’s normal?
Seol: Yes.
Keith: But is it a really good way to get to know my co-workers, when we are working we’re just working, working, working, But when we are outside, we’re actually talking about, you know, our real life stuff: our families, what we did over the weekend, what we like to do. And I really enjoyed it, going out on 회식.
Hyunwoo: I usually enjoy 회식, too, because you kind have a feeling that you’re getting closer to the colleagues once you have a drink with them. You talk about your private lives, things that you normally wouldn’t talk even during your lunch.
Seol: But the problem is, when you feel bad or when your condition is not very good, but you still have to go and join there.
Keith: But is it a mandatory thing?
Seol: Kind of. Nobody forces you to go there, but you feel like you have to be there.
Hyunwoo: 그거는 맞아요.
Keith: And why do you feel like you have to be there?
Seol: Because, it’s a part of work and it’s part of teamwork and you have to build the teamwork when you work. But it’s like the extended work, sometimes.
Keith: But 회식 can also be a little bit of work.
Seol: Yes.
Hyunwoo: That’s right. The next day, you don’t want to feel like you’ve missed out something very important, right?
Keith: Ok. But we get to get out, we get to know our co-workers, but sometimes, when we’re a little stressed, a little too tired, just want to go home, watch some TV, but there’s a 회식, you kind of have to go.
Hyunwoo: That’s right. But under normal circumstances when you’re feeling well and you want to get together with your colleagues, that’s a very good opportunity.
Seol: And you can drink and eat.
Keith: Well, that brings us to our next topic. We’re going to 회식. Where are we probably going to go?
Seol: 삼겹살집.
Hyunwoo: Or 갈빗집.
Keith: All right. Can we break down that first word?
Seol: 삼겹살집.
Keith: And this can actually be broken down again. What’s the first part?
Seol: 삼결살
Keith: Three fat pork.
Seol: Wow.
Keith: Three fat pork. It’s basically glorified bacon. Like bacon on steroids. But it’s bacon and it’s really, really thick, and juicy, and tender, and really good.
Seol: And I love it.
Keith: Ok. Well, I think we all do. Well, what’s that, what’s the second part of the word?
Seol: 집
Keith: And this means home or house, but we also use it for restaurants, as well, so there’s 삼겹살집 a 삼겹살 restaurant and as Hyunwoo said.
Hyunwoo: 갈빗집
Keith: A 갈비 restaurant.
Hyunwoo: 냉면집
Keith: A 냉면 restaurant. And so this 집 can be used as a restaurant as well. But it’s the same thing. 갈빗집, same thing. 갈비 home, but갈비 restaurant. And typically 회식, usually goes to some kind of 고깃집. Can you break down that word, too?
Hyunwoo: 고기, 집.
Keith: And the first part is?
Hyunwoo: 고기
Keith: “Meat’. And the second part is 집, once again restaurant. But any kind of meat restaurant. Now, why are we usually going to 고깃집, like some kind of meat place?
Seol: Well, maybe it’s because we have to drink, so maybe we need something fatty, for you know…
Hyunwoo: A good 안주, right?
Seol: Yes. Kind of.
Keith: 안주. Well, that’s something you eat while drinking.
Hyunwoo: And if you go to a 고깃집, you cook the meat all together. You roast it all together, so you kind of have a sharing feeling.
Seol: Wow.
Hyunwoo: And you like, it’s instead of just ordering food and waiting for it to come. You can make the food together, you wait, you have to wait for it to cook. That’s really good.
Keith: Wow. So actually, the way that you barbeque the meat is, you get one big strip of meat, you put it on the barbeque and then you cut it up and you eat it together. But it’s like cooking together, eating together. But maybe that’s part of it.
Seol: Wow.
Keith: So team building exercise like: “Here. I’ll fry, you cut it. I’ll eat it.”. Like that kind of thing. Ok. All right. But let’s say we’re at a 고깃집, we’re at a 삼겹살집. What’s the first rule? The number one rule?
Seol: I know the answer.
Keith: Ok.
Seol: Don’t start until your boss has started to eat.
Keith: And why is that?
Seol: Because he’s the most important person. He’s the man who has your life, so you should show that you respect him.
Keith: Well, I don’t know if he has my life in his hands, But yes, he’s the most important person in the company. So that what happens when you go out to eat. You wait for the most important person to start eating first, and then, everyone else can start eating. But even in families, that happens, as well.
Seol: Sure. Before my father starts to eat, I cannot eat.
Keith: Hyunwoo, not in your family?
Hyunwoo: Well, we used to, when we were living together, But I am living on my own now, so I miss the good old days.
Keith: But when you go back to your parents’ house on holiday?
Hyunwoo: Yes, we do. Actually, we live with my grandmother, But we wait until she starts. And my father has to wait until she starts. So it’s...
Keith: Well, is it like an order, like you wait for your grandmother and then you wait for your father afterwards…
Hyunwoo: Yes. I’m a very, very good son.
Seol: Yes. I may be a little bit spoiled, but in my family, my father was the first, and everybody was the same. Like, after he eats, it’s ok to eat.
Keith: Ok. So what about in the company? There’s a senior, there’s a second in rank, there’s third in rank? Do you have to wait like that?
Hyunwoo: I don’t think we really care about the ranks that much, but as long as the 사장님 “the boss” starts, it’s fine.
Keith: Can we break down that word?
Hyunwoo: 사장님.
Keith: Boss.
Hyunwoo: 사장님 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 사장님 [natural native speed]
Keith: Ok. So the boss is like: “Ok. 먹자. Let’s eat.”. So he picks up his chopsticks, and then, what happens?
Seol: You have to say 잘 먹겠습니다.
Keith: Can we break down that phrase?
Seol: 잘 먹겠습니다.
Keith: And what does this phrase mean exactly?
Hyunwoo: It means “I am going to eat well.”
Keith: Yes, it doesn’t really translate too well in English, but it’s a custom in Korea. Whenever you eat and you’re thankful for the good that you are going to eat, then you say this phrase. So you’re thankful. In this case, why are we thankful to eat?
Seol: Because the boss is paying for our food.
Keith: That’s the best part of the 회식, right? The boss is paying. So let’s go over a couple of other examples where you say this phrase.
Hyunwoo: When your mom cooks for you and the food is ready in front of you, you say 잘 먹겠습니다 before starting to eat.
Keith: So you’re actually thanking somebody. You’re thanking your mother. Even like the lunch room at the cafeteria. If the lunch lady put some food on your plate, you say 잘 먹겠습니다. “Thanks for giving me the food.” Even to the lunch lady.
Seol: And sometimes, when somebody is saying to me 잘 먹겠습니다, before, you know, food, I just feel like I have to pay for him and I have to pay for her.
Keith: Ok. So let’s say we go out to eat one day and then, you sit down and I say 잘 먹겠습니다.
Seol: I just feel like “Ok, I have to pay for Keith’s food.”
Hyunwoo: No, in that case, I say 잘 먹겠습니다, too. Now it’s even.
Seol: Ok. Ok. Ok. Now I got the tip.
Keith: Well, all right. But let’s say you’re going out with a bunch of Koreans And you sit down and you say 잘 먹겠습니다. Then, the Korean person feels like they have to pay because the person who says it says “Oh, thanks for paying.”.
Seol: I know.
Keith: That’s pretty much what it means, right? Thanks for paying or thanks for making the food. Thanks for providing the food. All right. So now, the boss has picked up his chopsticks, he’s eating, he’s fried up the food, you say 잘 먹겠습니다. What are we drinking with 고기?
Hyunwoo: 소주.
Keith: Can we break that down?
Hyunwoo: 소주 [slowly - broken down by syllable] 소주 [natural native speed]
Keith: And this is distilled Korean liquor. What are other kind of alcohols are there that we eat with 고기?
Seol: 맥주.
Keith: Beer.
Seol: 맥주 and 막걸리.
Keith: Non-distilled rice wine. And what other kinds of alcohol are there? Actually, what’s the word for alcohol?
Seol: 술.
Keith: Just general alcohol.
Seol: 다른 건 없는 거 같아요.
Keith: All right. Well, it’s ok, because all we need is 소주, right?
Hyunwoo: Yes.
Keith: Because Korean people love 소주.
Hyunwoo: 소주 takes some getting used to, but it’s really good once you’re used to it, right?
Keith: Especially with 삼겹살, right?
Seol: Wow.
Hyunwoo: 맞아요.
Keith: But yes, Korean people drink 소주 all the time. And actually I read a news article on the Internet about how Koreans get most of their energy, mostly their calories from 소주. I don’t know how true this is…
Hyunwoo: No way.
Seol: Really?
Keith: I don’t know if it’s true or not.
Hyunwoo: You can say that for rice, you can say that for 김치, you can say that for 소주. Those three main things.
Keith: So Koreans need rice, 김치 and 소주. And sometimes 삼겹살.
Hyunwoo: Right.
Keith: All right. Well, 소주 and 고기 “meat” they go together. It really tastes good together. Now, how do you guys drink it actually? How do you drink the 소주? Do you drink 소주 first and then take a bite of 삼겹살 or do you take a bite of 삼겹살 first and then drink the 소주? Is there an order in which you guys do it?
Hyunwoo: There’s no fixed order, But personally, I take a bite of the meat and drink 소주, but I don’t think there’s a fixed order in that.
Keith: I agree with you. I, personally, like to take a bite first, and then wash it down with the 소주. It tastes really good that way. Ok, but now that we’re talking about drinking, there’s a certain set of rules that come with drinking, as well, right? What’s one of the rules when it comes to drinking?
Seol: When pouring drinks, you have to pour with two hands.
Keith: And why is that?
Seol: Because using two hands means you’re showing respect.
Keith: But this definitely goes to your boss. So when you’re pouring a drink, you’re pouring with two hands. And also when you’re receiving a drink from someone you should respect, like your boss, you take it with two hands as well.
Seol: Right.
Hyunwoo: That’s right.
Keith: And drinking with two hands goes for a lot of things. It goes for handling money as well, when you’re giving someone money, you’re giving with two hands. If you’re giving a present to somebody, to someone that you should respect, you give it with two hands. And this goes for drinking. When you pour a drink, two hands, when you receive a drink. And once again, this goes for someone that you respect. So let’s say we three, we go out drinking. Would I get a pour with two hands or not?
Seol: Not really. No.
Hyunwoo: Not really.
Keith: No? Why not?
Hyunwoo: Because we’re good friends.
Seol: Yes. We’re friends. You don’t have to respect us.
Keith: Ok. But wait, wait. But you guys are older than me. You’re my 형, you’re my 누나. Is that part of the two hands? Do I have to do that?
Seol: Maybe at first, when we are not that close, you had to. But not right now. Because we got closer, so we do not have to show that.
Keith: But that goes for your co-workers as well. If you’re close with your co-workers than you don’t have to give the two hand pour, But if you’re not so close with them or if you don’t know them too well, remember: Two hands.
Hyunwoo: And another important thing to remember when you’re drinking in Korea, never ever try to refill the other’s people glass until it’s completely empty.
Keith: Actually, the last time we went on a 회식, we were teaching our friends how to drink Korean style, and that was one of the things: we took a shot, actually we did one shot…
Seol: Yes.
Keith: And what is that? Can we break down that word?
Seol: 원샷
Keith: This is a Korean-English word which means “one shot” just take all of it down at once. And we did the one shot, we flipped the glass upside down…
Seol: Yes.
Keith: And put it over our heads. Like this.
Seol: Yes.
Hyunwoo: To prove it?
Keith: Yes, to prove that our glasses are dry. And it’s like a fun way to show that we drank everything…
Seol: Right.
Keith: Our glasses are free to be refilled again.
Hyunwoo: Yes. I usually get very drunk after five rounds of one shot of 소주. How about you?
Seol: I can drink one bottle of 소주.
Hyunwoo: Wow.
Keith: Wow. We got a drinker over here. A heavy way.
Seol: But you have to take responsibility after that.
Keith: But I got to carry you on my back, take you home. Ok, well, that goes for everyone as well. Drinking with your boss, drinking with your co-workers as well.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: Well, when you’re drinking with your boss, isn’t there a certain way that you should drink your drinks?
Hyunwoo: You should turn your head so that your boss won’t have to see you drinking. 아니에요?
Seol: 맞아요. Yes, yes.
Keith: Wait. Why do you seem so hesitant?
Seol: Because, at first, you have to do that, but then, your boss will say just feel free and loosen up. So you don’t have to do that again. So…
Keith: Let’s go over it like really quickly. If I’m facing my boss face to face, I get a drink from my boss, and of course, I take it with two hands, right? Because I respect my boss. But instead of drinking it face to face, I turn to my right or to my left, and then, drink from there.
Seol: Yes.
Keith: So my side is facing my boss.
Seol: Right.
Keith: So this should be done if you’re meeting someone of super, super, high importance.
Seol: Like the president of Korea.
Keith: Like the president of Korea or like the top military general of the ROK, the Korean military.
Hyunwoo: Or, your girlfriend’s father.
Seol: Yes,yes.
Keith: That’s a good one, too. That’s a good one, too.
Hyunwoo: I think who you do it with is with people that can change your life.
Keith: Like your girlfriend’s father. He can change your life, right? All right. So that’s going to do it for 회식. 회식 is usually a really good time, it’s a lot of fun and a lot of drinking.
Seol: And we have 회식 today.
Keith: Yes. That’s right. We have 회식 today. Actually, today we’re actually going to record a video as well to go along with this audio clip. And we’re also going to be showing how to do these things that we talked about. This is going to be a really simple video to show how we do it and show how we pour with two hands or drink to the side, and wait for the boss…You know, just simple things like that. But yes, we’re going to show a video clip as well, so remember to stop by Koreanclass101.com and check out this lesson. We’re going to have a video in our post. All right. But now that we’re done with 회식, where are we going? What’s after 회식, usually?
Seol: 노래방.
Keith: Karaoke. Ok.
Hyunwoo: Or, another 술집.
Keith: Another bar or something.
Seol: That’s called 2차.


Keith: Well, we’ll save that for our next culture class, all right? All right. That is going to do it. Remember to stop by and say hi to Hyunwoo, Seol and maybe me, if you want. All right. See you later.
Seol: Bye, bye.
Hyunwoo: 감사합니다.

Bonus Video