An idol’s life : sweat and sleepless nights

An idol’s life : sweat and sleepless nights

아이돌의 삶 : 땀 흘리는 날들과 잠 못 자는 밤들

One frigid day late last month, a group of teenage girls began to gather in front of a building in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul, apparently waiting for someone, or something. After a while, a well-dressed boy wearing makeup and surrounded by bodyguards appeared at the entrance, and the girls erupted in excitement.

*erupt : (화산이) 폭발하다, (군중이 흥분으로) 폭발하다

지난 달 말의 어느 몹시 추운 날, 한 무리의 10대 소녀들이 강남 청담동 건물 앞 모여들어 누군가를, 또는 무언가를, 기다리고 있었다. 잠시 후에, 멋지게 차려입고 메이크업을 한 소년이 경호원들에 둘러싸여 입구에서 나타났고 소녀들은 열광해서 폭발적인 반응을 보였다.

They’d been waiting to catch a glimpse of or maybe even chat with the up-and-coming boy band Beast. It’s a relatively common sight in the neighborhood, which is full of practice rooms and boarding houses for Korea’s pop idol groups.

*catch a glimpse of : 힐끗 보다, 잠깐 보다
*up-and-coming : 전도유망한, 떠오르는

그들은 요즘 한창 인기있는 보이밴드 비스트를 잠깐이라도 보기 위해서, 그리고 어쩌면 잠깐 얘기를 나눌 수 있을지도 몰라서, 기다리고 있던 참이었다. 한국의 팝 아이돌 그룹을 위한 연습실과 숙소로 가득한 이 동네에서는 비교적 흔한 광경이다.

“There are many girls coming every day and waiting to see the boys,” said Park Yong-bok, manager of the boy band, giving the regulars a nod as he passed.

*regulars : 단골, 정기적으로 오는 사람들
*give (somebody) a nod : (인사나 찬성의 뜻으로) 고개를 끄떡여주다

“많은 소녀들이 매일 와서 멤버들을 보려고 기다리고 있어요”라고 말하며 비스트의 박용복 매니저는 단골로 오는 소녀들을 지나칠 때는 고개를 끄떡여주기도 했다.

The word “idol” first meant an inanimate object of worship, but it’s evolved to include modern celebrities. On the Korean pop music scene, “idol groups” are bands consisting of boys or girls in their teenage years or early 20s. And in recent years they’ve dominated the industry.

*inanimate : 무생물의
*celebrity : 명성, 유명인사

“아이돌(우상)”이라는 말은 처음에는 숭배의 대상이 되는 물체를 뜻하는 것이었지만, 현대의 유명인사를 의미하는 말로 진화했다. 한국의 대중음악 현장에서, “아이돌 그룹”은 10대나 20대 초반의 소년이나 소녀들로 구성된 밴드들을 말한다. 그리고 최근 몇 년 동안 그들이 업계를 지배해왔다.

But stars aren’t built in a day. To become a member of one of these bands, young children go through years of grueling training – all without any guarantee of success in the end.

*grueling : 대단히 힘든, 기진맥진하게 만드는

하지만 스타는 하루아침에 만들어지는 것이 아니다. 이러한 밴드의 일원이 되기 위해 어린 아이들은 몇 년에 걸쳐 대단히 힘든 훈련을 해야한다 – 결국에는 성공한다는 보장도 없이.

Last month, the Wonder Girls, the girl group whose debut became the first by any Korean musicians to make it onto the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, lost a member to the stress of idol life when Sun-mi announced she was leaving to focus on her studies. The 19-year-old’s decision came during the group’s U.S. tour, which kicked off last year.

*kick off : (경기 등이) 시작되다

한국 뮤지션으로는 처음으로 미국 빌보드 핫100 싱글 차트에 이름을 올린 걸그룹 원더걸스의 경우, 지난 달 멤버 한 명이 아이돌로서 사는 것에 대한 스트레스로 그룹을 떠났다. 그 멤버, 선미는 공부에 집중하기 위해 그룹을 떠나겠다고 발표했다. 이 19세 소녀의 결정은 그룹이 작년에 시작한 미국 투어를 하는 도중에 이루어졌다.

“It was such a happy and precious experience for me to be on the tour of 50 U.S. cities and perform on the stage, but I came to wonder, can I go on living like this?” Sun-mi said in a statement later released by the group’s management agency JYP Entertainment.

*release a statement : 성명을 발표하다

선미는 나중에 원더걸스의 운영 매니지먼트사인 JYP 엔터테인먼트에 의해 발표된 성명에서 이렇게 말했다. “50개 미국 도시를 투어하며 무대에서 공연을 하는 것은 행복하고 소중한 경험이었습니다. 하지만 이렇게 계속 살아갈 수 있을까 하는 생각이 들게 되었습니다.”

Sun-mi’s announcement not only jolted fans, but also stirred up controversy about the pressure on idol performers – either yet a trainee aspiring to be an idol star or already such a one – to maintain a schedule some say is too hard for a teenager to bear.

*jolt : 덜컹거리다, 충격을 주다

선미의 발표는 팬들에게 충격을 주었을 뿐만 아니라 아이돌 그룹 멤버들이 겪는 압박감에 대한 논란을 불러일으켰다. 아직 연습생이건 이미 아이돌 스타이건 그들이 유지해야하는 스케줄은 십대가 감당하기에 너무 힘들다고 말하는 사람들이 있다.

In Korea, entertainment agencies looking to create idols – which they then also manage – maintain well-ordered training programs. Prospective talents in music or acting register with an agency, then, if accepted, undergo four to five years, on average, of training before their debuts. During that process, the company may require the aspiring star to live in a boarding house with colleagues (or rivals), go on a strict diet with regular weight checks and put in more than 10 hours of practice a day.

*well-ordered : 질서가 잡힌
*aspire : 열망하다

한국에서는, 아이돌을 만들고 – 나중에 그들이 매니저도 되는 – 엔터테인먼트 회사들이 잘 짜여진 훈련 프로그램을 운영한다. 음악이나 연기에 재능이 있는 유망해 보이는 아이들이 에이전시에 등록을 하고 받아들여지면 데뷔하기까지 평균 4-5년 동안 훈련 기간을 거친다. 훈련기간동안 스타가 되고 싶어하는 아이들은 동료(또는 경쟁자)와 숙소에서 합숙하고 정기적인 체중 검사를 동반한 엄격한 다이어트를 계속 하고 하루 10시간이 넘게 연습하도 한다.

From Joonang daily

Cheers! (Drinking in Korea 1)

Cheers!

Whether it is at work or at university, whether you are new at your job or tired of the daily routines, in Korea there are always reasons to go out as a group and have ‘a drink’. So people would ask you

술 한 잔 할래요?
(Sul han jan hal-lae-yo?)

which means, ‘Do you want to have a drink?’

술(Sul) is a term for all alcohol drinks and 한 잔(han jan) is ‘one(한) glass(잔)’. 잔 is glass in terms of ‘cup’ so it is all cups made of glass. You don’t use 잔 for windows or fake jewlery. The Korean word for glass in terms of material is ‘유리’. 할래요(hal-lae-yo) means ‘want to do’. (Remember, the 요(yo) at the end indicates the polite form.) So 술 한 잔 할래요? means, ‘Do you want to have(drink) a glass of drink?’
Instead of 할래요, you can use 마실래요(Ma-shil-lae-yo) which means ‘want to drink’ and is grammatically more correct. In spoken Korean, however, you can use both.

When you are finally at a bar people would ask you (this could even happen while having dinner)

술 잘 하세요? (Do you drink alcohol drinks well?)
(Sul jal ha-seh-yo?)

or to be gramatically correct,

술 잘 마시세요? (Do you drink alcohol well?)
(Sul jal ma-shi-seh-yo?)

Which is actually asking you if you can drink a lot. Remember, however!! Even when it comes to drinking, you cannot forget that modesty is always required, unless you are at a job interview. If you cannot drink a lot of alcohol but you still like to drink and enjoy, you can say

잘 못 마셔요.
Jal mot ma-shyeo-yo.
(I can’t drink well. / I can’t drink a lot. Koreans will take this as ‘Yes, I can drink a reasonable amount.’)

If you actually CAN drink to a reasonable extent which would be from a guys standard, about one to two bottles of soju or many cans of beer (for women one third to a half of that), you would say

좀(조금) 마셔요.
Jom(Jo-geum) ma-shyeo-yo.
(I drink a little.)
좀(Jom) is ‘little’ and is the short form for 조금(jo-geum). But even if you say ‘a little’, people would take it as being modest and understand it as “can take SOME alcohol.”

If you can’t drink much or don’t want to drink, make some believable facial expressions or gestures and say,

못 마셔요.(Mot ma-shyeo-yo.)
which means, ‘I can’t drink.’ or

안 마셔요. (An ma-shyeo-yo.)
‘I don’t drink.

Please, don’t be too honest to say
네, 잘 마셔요.(Ne, jal ma-shyeo-yo)
Yes, I can drink a lot.

What people will actually think is that you can drink hell a lot, like a keg of soju, and if you have a heavy drinker around, he is definitely going to try to make you drink until you become sick. So don’t use the last expression unless you are confident to stay fine.

The 'Days'

Valentine’s Day, a day for all couples and people who are in love, may be celebrated all over the world. In Korea as well, of course, but did you know that there are other ‘Day’s every month, too? For those who have been in Korea during November, you might have experienced a day when all the stores were selling choco sticks (or similar) as if were a national choco stick selling day. Actually, those choco sticks are snacks with the name ‘Pepero’ and that day was ‘Pepero Day’, the day when people give pepero to each other. Below are some other days listed. Continue reading

Korean Alphabet

Learn Korean Alphabet

Learn Korean Colors

Colors

English                   Korean          Pronunciations
black                       검정색            Geom.-jeong-saek
blue                         파랑색            Pa-rang-saek
blue                         청색                Cheong-saek
deep blue              남색                Nam-saek
gold                         금색                Geum-saek
gray                         회색                Hwi-saek
green                      초록색            Cho-rok-saek
green                      녹색                Nok-saek
light green           연두색            Yeon-du-saek
maroon                 밤색                 Bam-saek
orange                   주황색           Ju-hwang-saek
purple                   보라색            Bo-ra-saek
red                          빨강색            Bbal-gang-saek
silver                      은색               Eun-saek
sky blue                 하늘색          Han-eul-saek
white                       흰색              Hin-saek
yellow                    노랑색          Norang-saek

What to say on Seol(설)

What to say on Seol(설)

Seol (설; or 설날(Seollal)) is lunar New Year’s Day and one of the biggest national holidays in Korea. On that day, families gather, no matter what, despite bad weather or worse traffic jam. No wonder, it is quite awkward to lots of foreigners when 24/7 liten-up-Korea shuts all doors and stops all work.  It is a holiday for family and everywhere you go on Seol you say

새 해 복 많이 받으세요!
(Sae hae bok mah-ni ba-deu-se-yo!)

which means, ‘Happy new year!’, of course(remember it is new year, although it’s after the lunar calendar).
복(bok) is ‘luck’ or ‘fortune’ and 해 here, means ‘year’. So literally, the sentence above would be translated as ‘Get lots of new year’s good luck(fortune)’.
You can also say,

설 연휴 잘 보내세요!
(Seol yeon-hyu jal bo-ne-se-yo!)

which means, ‘Spend your Seol holiday well!’, but you would use this sentence rather at work, to your coworkers, when you are finished with your job and heading towards the door, one step closer to the heart-warming holidays.
연휴(yeon-hyu) is the word for holidays. It is a combination of 연 for continuos and 휴 for rest. You can infer that continuos rest would be a series of days to relax.
Gathering on Seol is one thing, the other important one is 세배(Seh-bae), which is a bow to the elderly that you do on New Year’s day. Traditionally, the Korean culture is very shy in bluntly expressing their feelings and it has been only a few decades that hugs and kisses have become a form of showing their love. 절(jeol; bow) was a way to greet and express your respect and love towards the elderly, and that’s exactly what Korean people have done on new year’s day. So the bow(절) on new year’s day was given a special name, 세배. In Korea there’s nothing more adorable than a little child trying to do 세배(at least the pose is just cute), and there is nothing lovelier when you get 세배 from your child(no matter if it is 3 or 30).

Usually, after you do 세배 to your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and so on, you give each other words of blessing. Theses days, the person who received your 세배, will give you some pocket money, the 세뱃돈(seh-baet-don; 돈(don) for money) if you are still a child. If you are already grown up, however, and earn your own money, it’s customarily that you give them some pocket money. The amount is totally up to you. There are also some scamps who would even do 세배 to an older sister or cousin, just for the sake of getting some 세뱃돈.
So if you are ready to get some love from your family’s senior members speak it out loud:

‘세배 받으세요.’
(Seh-bae ba-deu-seh-yo.)

Asking for contact information

Asking for contact information

You are out in Korea, enjoying your time and meeting new people. You’ll definitely find someone that you want to keep in touch with, but how do you ask someone in Korean for their phone number? The expression below will prove to be very useful in such situations.

연락처 좀 알려주시겠어요?
(Yeol-lak-cheo jom al-lyeo ju-shi-ges-seo-yo?)

which means, ‘Could you give me your phone number(e-mail address), please?’

연락처(Yeol-lak-cheo) is any means you can get in contact with the other person, so it’s anything like a phone number, e-mail, address… If you ask someone in Korea for his/her 연락처, usually they will give you their phone number or e-mail address.
좀 is literllay translated as ‘little’ or rarely ‘please’ and is often used in informal conversations to soften your statement.
연락처 좀 알려주시겠어요? is a polite expression that can be used in any situation, whether it is after a short business meeting (to ask indirectly for someone’s business card) or a nice chat at a bar. Don’t be disappointed or feel offended, though (especially you guys), if people (maybe the girl you liked) are not giving you their number. It is a part of Korean mentality that you will meet again if you are meant to, so this can wait until next time and there’s no hurry to exchange numbers or addresses; and if you are not meant to see again, what’s the use of exchanging numbers anyways.

Making Polite Sentences

Making Polite Sentences

With verb stems which end in vowels such a ka-, ha- and sa- , it is possible to make these into polite sentences by adding -yo to the end of the words, such as Kayo ( which means “to go”, or “I go” or “he goes” ). Verbs in the polite style can be used as statements, questions, suggestions or commands, and may be further emphasized by the tone of your voice. For example, Chal Chinaessoyo may be both expressed as a question by asking how someone is, or can be a question stating that you are fine. Another example is the more common Annyong Haseyo.

Slangs

Slangs

________________________________________

Airhead.
바보 (babo) Continue reading

Usage of "안녕하세요" (ahn nyung ha sae yo) – Hello

Usage of “안녕하세요” (ahn nyung ha sae yo) – Hello

“안녕하세요” (ahn nyung ha sae yo)

Use it to say hello when you meet someone.
You can also use 안녕 (ahn nyung) – informal form of hello. You can use this to say hi and bye.
안녕 (ahn nyung) = hi
안녕 (ahn nyung) = bye