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That Was Awkward: North and South Korean Language Barriers Posted by on Oct 5, 2016

There is a very good chance you will never meet, let alone speak Korean to, a North Korean (북한국인). But if you did meet, say, a defector or diplomat, chances are you would test out your Korean (한국어) in order to build a trust and strike common ground, right?  But would they understand your South Korean? Last…

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Malbok: The Final 10 Days of Summer Posted by on Aug 16, 2016

The beginning of the end for any summer in Korea starts with malbok (말복), the first of the final 10 hot days as defined by Korean tradition and the lunar calendar. And this summer in Korea, which has been a sweltering, record-breaking one, makes malbok that much more special. Across South Korea, that moment will…

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Surviving Monsoon Season In Korea Posted by on Jun 28, 2016

Koreans will proudly tell you of their four seasons, no matter how much you plead with them that there is, say, the same thing in Michigan or most places in the Northern Hemisphere. But what is left out is one essential, annoying part of those four seasons: Monsoon season (장마). If you’re heading to the beaches of…

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Conan’s Korean Seafood Market Experience Was an Authentic One Posted by on Jun 11, 2016

Korean seafood markets are filled with the sort of edible fish that you wouldn’t see in, say, fish markets in Seattle or Normandy. It’s intense and, like in most languages, the names of fish only enhance language barriers and push translators to the brink. Some are familiar, though, but still not in our culinary past…

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Baekdu Mountain: the Pride of Korea, both North and South Posted by on May 7, 2016

Roughly 70% of South Korea is mountainous land. But for South Koreans, it’s most prized and cherished mountain lies on the border between North Korea and China. It’s a volcanic mountain, capped at it’s peak with a crater lake know as “heaven lake” (천지), named Baekdu Mountain (백두산), the sacred white-headed mountain. The common ties…

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Korean Baseball’s Growing International Success Posted by on Nov 22, 2015

Baseball 야구 in Korea is not only a pastime, but a way of life, a social event.  Koreans take the Korean Baseball League (KBL) and their players seriously.  So it was a national pride and celebration when Korea defeated Japan, a serious rival, in a thrilling 9th inning comeback at the Tokyo Dome–which you can…

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Busan’s Taejongdae Cliffs (태종대): Seafood on Korea’s Serene Coast Posted by on Nov 14, 2015

By tram or hiking up to Busan’s At Taejongdae Cliffs, the southern most point of Korea’s coastal and second largest city, Busan, located on Yeongdo (영도구) island, nestles up to a natural park and opens to the serenity of the open sea.  There the observatory and lighthouse on the edge of the dense, evergreen forest combines…

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