Learn Korean Past Tense

Posted on 25. May, 2015 by in Uncategorized

When you talk about something with your friends, lots of topics are already happened before. In the case, you need to use past tense instead of present tense. Most foreigners learn present tense first. So when they adopt to learn past tense after present tense, they have hard time to change it. Let me give you brief explanation how to change it. There are three kinds of verb in Korean: descriptive verb, action verb, and 이다 verb. For D.V and A.V, you can mostly use this grammar rule “V.S. + 아/어+ㅆ+다/요”. Please read examples below.

To eat/ 먹다/먹었다-먹었어요 (먹었다 is infinitive of past tense. You need to change it to 요form which is speaking form)

To wear/ 입다/입었다-입었어요

To sleep/자다/잤다-잤어요

To be pretty/예쁘다/예뻤다-예뻤어요

To be hurt/아프다/아팠다-아팠어요

Only when there is ending consonant, use the 아/어 as you see the above examples.

Irregular: To sing/부르다/불렀다-불렀어요

“Photo from by  KOREA.NET on flickr.com”


Any question? Please leave on the facebook message.  Many thanks!


Please watch the video below to see more examples.

Korea Embracing Plastic Surgery Norms Through ‘Medical Tourism’

Posted on 21. May, 2015 by in Culture, Korean Culture, Korean Tourism, Uncategorized

K-Pop stars are, for many, the inspiration for plastic surgery in Korea.  [Photo courtesy of www.seoultouchup.com]

K-Pop stars are, for many, the inspiration for plastic surgery in Korea. [Photo courtesy of www.seoultouchup.com]

South Korea has been pushing efforts both privately and through government agencies to increase tourism to the ROK in the non-traditional form: medical tourism.  In 2014, about 56,000 Chinese alone visited South Korea for plastic surgery, according to China’s Ministry of Health, up from 4,700 in 2009. The social norm in Korea (as well-documented as ever in this Washington Post article), especially for women, is not only acceptable and embraced, but essential and necessary, has taken on new form with the nation’s heavy-handed promotion of medical tourism, mostly for plastic surgery.   From adding eyelids to bigger breasts (or smaller ones for men) to shaving off the jaw bone for a smaller face, Korean norms are quickly becoming a financial market, one clearly embraced and promoted by the private and public sector.

A contest sponsored by the Korean Tourism Organization (한국관광공사) is promoting a competition this month for Malaysian travelers entering Korea between June and November entitled: “Imagine Your Korea: Wondrous K-Beauty”.  The contests asks guests, “In not more than 100 words, state your reason on why you would like to experience K-Beauty in Korea!  Choose one out of the two clinics as stated below in which you would like to experience K-Beauty at…”  The grand prize is a medical voucher awarded to 20 contestants, which is probably aimed at repeat visits or word-of-mouth advertising.  Additionally, the tourism organization is holding an all-day seminar in Kuala Lumpur later this month to teach Malaysians all about “K-Beauty”.

The expansion is capitalizing on the “soft power” of Korean dramas, K-Pop, and Korean image abroad as being distinctly beautiful (as seen on TV).  The industry has reached $5 trillion overall, up to $453 million annually, and nearly one in five Korean women under 50 have had a procedure.  When the Miss Korea 2013 competition created international and domestic shaming due to how similar many of the contestants–most of whom were assumed to have had plastic surgery–resembled each other, it was more surprising that the debate about Korean plastic surgery norms came up in a superficial beauty competition.  Or perhaps it was because Miss Korea looked stereo-typically more Western Caucasian than Korean.

The leading Korean surgeries are double eyelid surgery and a rhinoplasty for a “high ko”, or perceived Western-style nose.  Nearly all Korean job employers require a photo of the applicant, a practice common in Europe and other countries and regions as well.  But in South Korea, that could be make or break for the job, and living in a nation that has the highest number of plastic surgeons per capita leaves the feeling of having little excuse for a flat-nosed, no-eyelid lady in society.

But the phenomena is not as common as one might imagine, with most advertisements being in wealthy regions and not catered to the average income, though prices are relatively cheap compared to other plastic surgery meccas like Southern California.  One doctor claims that 40 percent of his clients are non-Korean citizens.  South Korea is fully embracing the wave of medical tourists, projecting to nearly quadruple revenues, and to have almost 1 million medical tourist by 2020.  (It wouldn’t be shocking for Korea to promote it heavily during the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyongChang [평창 동계 올림픽].)  And if you can’t come to Korea, the doctors will be happy to set-up shop from the U.S. to Mongolia, as the state is promoting doctors to set-up clinics abroad.

One of the reasons Korea keeps costs low, and why medical tourists come, is because its nationalized health care system has not succumbed to foreign pharmaceutical companies, and has therefore kept drug and recovery costs down, relying heavily on generic drugs, as well as being considered a leading in biomedical drug research.  The growth and push for Korean medical tourism is not new, nor is it primarily based on plastic surgery.  Korea has previously promoted significantly cheaper alternatives dental surgery, knee and hip replacement surgery, prosthetic limbs, and ultrasound equipment exports, but lags behind other OECD nations overall.

For a couple of interesting looks, see the videos below:

From ABC News:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image


Learn Korean “If” and “When”

Posted on 18. May, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Some of my students were confused using “If/(으)면” and “when/(을)ㄹ 때” because they can be used in the similar situation. For instance, when you go to the store, please buy me a coke. If you go the store, please buy me a coke. Can you classify what is different between two sentences? We all know that they are different, but it is not easy to explain them. Here is easy explanation “If” is using in hypothetical situations. I am not sure a person goes to the store or not but if the person goes the store, I want to get a coke from the person. However, when you use “When”, it is talking the time. Let’s read more examples below to get ideas.

If you are full, please stop eating/ 배가 부르면 그만 드세요/bae ga bu reu myun gu man due sae yo.

When you are full, please stop eating/ 배가 부를 때 그만 드세요/ bae ga bu reul ddae gu man due sae yo.

Can you tell the hypothetical situation in the first sentence? I am sure you can. Above the examples are that you can use “If” and “When” at the same time with different meaning. However the example below is not.

미국에 가면 요리를 많이 할 거예요/ If I go to America, I will cook a lot.

미국에 갈 때 요리를 많이 할 거예요/ When (While, at the time) I go to America, I will cook a lot.

The first one is fine because it is in hypothetical situation, but the second one sounds silly because “When” is time (the time when). Please watch the video below to see more examples.