Jeju Island

제주도 is a volcanic island and popular vacation destination for native Koreans and foreigners alike due to it’s beaches and  lush countryside.

The best time to go is during the spring when yellow rapeseed flowers are in full bloom.

Here are some (of the many) things to experience in Jeju:

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  • Korea’s highest mountain, Hallasan which stands 1,950 meters above sea level.

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  • Grandfather Stones: Also formed due to lava, these dry stone walls protect fields from storms. In 1750, they were carved into forbidding figures in order to ward off invaders.

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  • The Female Divers (핸요). As men would frequently disappear for weeks on end in fishing boats, the island needed someone to put dinner on the table. Weather conditions are unfavorable for rice, so women learned to dive for octopus, abalone, clams, squid, and seaweed. Today, a 핸요 average at 65 in age; some being as old as 80 brave the dangers of the open sea.

If you only go to one place on Jeju, it should be 성산일줄봉, or Seongsan Sunrise Peak. It is only a 20-minute walk to the top and from there, you can see the entire island. Get there by sunrise and you get to enjoy a beautiful view.

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Learn more about Jeju here!

안동 하회 마을 Andong Hahoe Folk Village

Today is: 2017년 7월 20일


Andong Village is a village from the Joseon Dynasty and one the few places in Korea where you can still find old buildings and architecture. Unlike those in most parts of Korea, buildings and houses in Andong have withstood both the Korean War and the country’s period of economic development.

The village gets it’s name, “Hahoe,” from the fact that it is surrounded by Nakdong River. Hahoe means ” surrounded by water.”

Here are some (of many) things you must experience if you ever visit Andong:

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한옥스테이 – stay at a traditional Korean house (do they have AirBnB?)

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하휘탈 쓰기 – wearing a traditional “hahoe” mask

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탈춤 보기 – watching the traditional mask dance

For more info of Andong Hahoe Folk VIllage, visit this sitesite!

That’s it for today, 안녕!

Shows to watch when learning

The thing that really jumpstarted my Korean language learning and kind of put me ahead of my friends that I am learning with is the fact that I avidly watch Korean tv shows. So, today I’m going to suggest few to you.

I won’t suggest any dramas because you can easily get lost in the plot and forget that you’re even reading subtitles (this happens to me at least.) So instead, here’s 5 variety shows that I recommend:

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Running Man: This was my first variety show and it has a special place in my heart. In fact, I’m watching this week’s episode as I type. Eight hosts/MCs (previously seven before the departure of Gary and addition So Min and Se Chan) complete missions at different landmarks to complete races. They’ve even been to other countries like Australia, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam and Dubai. Up until around last year, name tag ripping races were very common at the end of episodes (they had a name tag ripping race this week!) The show has shifted to be more game/competition focused but it’s still just as funny in my opinion. This show features varying numbers of celebrity guests for each episode (sometimes there are none.)

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Infinity Challenge: Infinity Challenge, is recognized as the first “Real-Variety” show in Korean TV. It is unscripted and follows a similar format to RM where the MCs complete challenges, oftentimes with celebrity guests. The only difference is the variety of these challenges. For one arc, the MCs became cheerleaders for the national soccer team and on another, they complete their very own relay webcomic with the help of well-known professional comic artists. They even made a movie once, featuring real actors and singer, rapper, songwriter G-Dragon of BigBang. There are also reoccurring segments such as “Infinite Company” (what the movie was based on) and a music festival that comes around every two years where the MCs work with actual Korean musicians to create and perform songs for an audience. They even had Jack Black on once.

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Knowing Bros/Ask Us Anything: I just caught up to this one last week, it features one of my favorite Hallyu celebrities who has a very sarcastic and semi-offensive sense of humor, Kim Heechul of Super Junior. The format changed somewhere around episode five or something. Now, it is basically set like a high school where for every episode, a new celebrity (or group of celebrities) come to the “school” as transfer students. They have to introduce themselves to the class via questions in the first half of the show and there’s always an extracurricular activity for the second half.

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Hello Counselor: A group of hosts and celebrity guest-hosts act as counselors to people with serious problems. After hearing their story, from all sides, the hosts and 200 guests in the studio audience vote on how severe they think the problem is. It’s a generally funny show but I find myself genuinely angry at some of the accused guests. One time a man had his middle school daughter’s life planned down to a T. She could only ever watch one tv show and the rest of the time was spent studying or doing chores! Just this week, a girl’s mom was throwing away her treasured and/or new things that she bought with her own money just because they didn’t “suit her tastes,” yikes! It has even featured foreign guests, one man from Africa was able to speak up about his issues with casual racism.

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Happy Together: This show is almost like your classic talk show, except it has way more MCs. It’s definitely the calmer of the five (but this is SoKo so it’s still weird in it’s own way). Celebrity guests come on to have a chat with the hosts about whatever and sometimes show off talents they have; some episodes even have specific themes. One episode only featured guests that had dogs and they brought their dogs on set and another was for idols from other countries (like America, Thailand, Japan, etc.) It’s a very chill show while still being funny and entertaining. The show actually started off set in a sauna and then it stopped airing after some years. It then came back with a classic talk show setting and recently, as of last month, became split in half to become “Happy Together” for one part of the airtime and “Big Mouth” for the other with an almost completely different set of hosts (the main host remaining for both shows.)

One thing you will notice that Happy Together, Running Man, and Infinity Challenge have in common is Yoo Jae Suk.

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He’s known as the “Nation’s MC” and is the host of a great deal of Korea’s popular variety and talk shows.

Bonus Shows:

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Gag Concert: This isn’t really a variety show, rather it is a weekly sketch comedy concert. There are some of the skits that I don’t find entirely funny but for the most part, this show is a really good and entertaining part of my Saturday mornings.

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Roommate: Roommate is more of a reality show where 12-13 celebrities (actors, idols, and comedians) live together in one sharehouse. It only had two seasons before being canceled but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

 

Hope you enjoy one or all of these suggestions like I do and end up learning a bit like I have!

Happy watching! 안녕!

 

Gyeongju

Today is 2017년 7월 5일

Gyeongju is in the North Gyeongsang Province in the southeastern part of Korea. It was the capital of the 신라 (pronounced she-la) Dynasty from 57 BCE to 953 CE. The city still has many historical buildings and is a major tourist sight for natives and foreigners.

Key places:

불국사: Bulguk temple was built in 528 CE

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석굴암: A grotto built in 751 CE

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첨성대: The oldest astronomical observatory in Asia

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Learn more about Gyeongju here!

 

What is 1004Korean??

1004Korean, or 천사 한국어 in hangul, is a play on words.

1000 in Korean is “천” (pronounced as chun) and 4 in Korean is “사” (sa)

1004 is “천사” (chunsa)

However, 천사 also means “angel”

I wanted my blog’s url to have some sort of meaning to me, in order to make it my own and completely different from any other Korean language blogs out there. I have a dog named Angel so, it made perfect sense!

So, 1004Korean is basically my dog’s name, followed by “Korean”.

Keep in mind that it’s in the context of “Korean language” (한국어), not “Korean native/person” (한국인/한국 사람)

And that’s 1004Korean!

오늘의 노래 (today’s song):