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How to make homemade sauerkraut

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I’ve had such a good time brewing my own kombucha that sauerkraut seemed like a natural next step. Making healthy, probiotic-filled sauerkraut is easy and cheap -and it’s so much better for you than the chemical-filled sauerkraut you buy in the store.


  • 1 medium head fresh green cabbage, 2 ½–3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt (table salt has additives so don’t ferment with that!)
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill


1. Chop up your cabbage -green or purple. I will warn you that in my experience, purple cabbage needs more help fermenting so you might have to add more brine, but I’ll explain that later.

Start by discarding the limp outer leaves of the cabbage, setting aside one of the cleaner ones for use at the end. Quarter, then slice cabbage crosswise into thin ribbons. The lactobacillus bacteria needed for fermenting is found inside of the leaves, so chop it as finely as possible in order to get the most surface area. Put your chopped cabbage in a large bowl or pot. It seems like a lot, but don’t worry, because the volume goes way, way down.

2. Add your sea salt to draw the juice out of the cabbage and also to prevent unfriendly microbes from growing in your ferment. Mix well. Seriously, massage your cabbage for at least 5 minutes.

I like to add dried dill at the end, but you could use fresh dill, carrots, caraway seeds, or whatever.

3. Pack your salty, juicy cabbage mixture into a large glass container, periodically pressing the mixture down tightly with your fist or a large spoon so that the brine rises above the top of the mixture and no air pockets remain. Pour any brine left in your mixing bowl into the jar and scrape out any loose bits stuck to the sides of the bowl or to the side of your jar.

4. Now, make sure your fermenting mixture is in a safe anaerobic (no air) environment. This means that you need to keep the cabbage mixture submerged in the brine while it ferments. 

Take that cabbage leaf you saved during step 1, tear it down to just fit in the jar, and place it over the surface of the packed cabbage. (You can also fold a narrow piece of parchment paper to size or even cut an old plastic lid to size.) 

Place something clean and heavy (like a jelly jar) on top of the cabbage leaf, to weigh it down. At this point, I put a tie a clean cloth over the container to let it “breathe,” but many directions indicate that it’s okay to completely close the top.

5. Fermenting things can be somewhat intimidating at first, but allow your kraut to ferment for 1 to 4 weeks. You stop when you like the taste. I usually check every few days, just to make sure the veggies are below the water line. If you don’t have enough water, mix a teaspoon of sea salt with a 1 cup of water and pour over veggies until covered.

The longer you ferment it, the greater the number and variety of beneficial bacteria that can be produced. No need to go beyond four weeks, though.

6. Next, put your sauerkraut in smaller containers and into the fridge. If successfully fermented (tastes and smells good), your sauerkraut can be kept preserved in your refrigerator for up to a year. Mine never lasts that long, though. I eat it as a side with meals, or just straight out of the jar. 


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.


Learn Korean With Kpop: Top 19 Psy ‘Daddy’ Lyrics

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Want to study Korean and listen to a catchy Kpop tune at the same time?

Well, today is your lucky day! We’re back with another instalment of “learn Korean with Kpop” and today we’re going to break down the top 19 lyrics from Psy’s new song, “Daddy.”

On Novempsy-logober 30, the Korean pop sensation Psy released his new hit single on YouTube and already it’s racking up the views! Still a ways off from the records “Gangnam Style” set, but it’s still early!

Featuring tons of funny new dance movies and awesome lyrics to learn from, Psy’s “Daddy” has lots of promise. With Psy’s face superimposed onto a child’s body to an elderly Psy with a combover riding a scooter, this video will give you plenty to laugh at.

two girls dancing in Gangnam style on a white background

Also, using the lyrics from catchy Kpop songs like this is a great way to learn Korean, since it makes the phrases so much easier to memorize and takes the boredom out of your studies. All you need to do it learn it once, and let the catchy beat take effect! You’ll automatically repeat the lyrics in your head over the coming days and they will begin to sink in permanently.

Just beware of the fact that Kpop lyrics use a lot of slang and informal Korean. Use them to learn phrases and vocabulary, but you don’t necessarily want to talk to same way to all of the Koreans you meet! Not to worry, learn to express yourself with the correct formality levels, and you’ll be in the clear.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the lyrics from the song and briefly break them down to make them easier to understand. If they still don’t make sense to you, that’s totally fine! It may just mean you need to study more. You can memorize for now and as you learn the grammar points, it will all make sense. If you wish to join our step-by-step course and learn to speak Korean in 90 days, check out our full Korean course.

Let’s get right into it!

1. 널 보자마자 나 어머나 땡잡았어 – As soon as I look at you, oh how lucky I am! (0:28)

Many K-pop songs use contractions so that the lyrics fit into the song. For example 나는 becomes 난 and 너를 becomes 널. This is important to look out for as these contractions might not come up straight away in a dictionary.

When you attach -자마자 to the end of a verb root, it changes the meaning to “as soon as.” Therefore, 보자마자 means “as soon as I see you.”

어머나 is in an interjection that means “Oh my” or “Oh!”

땡잡다 is a verb that means “to get really lucky.”

2. 이미 게임 끝났어 – The game is already over (0:34)

The word 이미 means “already” in Korean, and if you sound out the word 게임 you may be able to get its meaning: “game”! 쏟

끝나다 is a verb that means “to finish or end” and if we change it to past tense, it’s 끝났어.

3. 한국말로 박제상 – In Korean, Park Jae-sang (0:41)

Right after signing the lyric in English “my name is P-S-Y,” Psy sings this in Korean. He is merely saying his Korean name, which if you didn’t already know, is 박제상!

한국말 means “Korean” (language) and when you attach the particle -로, you are saying “by way of Korean” or “in Korean.”

4. 너의 아련한 눈동자에 빠져서 헤엄치고파 – In your dim pupils, I want to plunge in and swim (0:42)

Here, Psy is telling the girl he wants to dive in and swim in her eyes! Let’s break it down.

너 means “you” and we we attach the possessive -의 it changes to “your.”

아련한 is a descriptive adjective that means “dim or faint” and he uses this to describe her pupils (눈동자). Attaching the marker -에 adds the meaning of “in” –> “in your dim pupils.” 

빠지다 is a verb that has multiple meanings, but in this case it means “to plunge into something.” 

헤엄치다 is a verb that means “to swim or have a swim.”

5. 오빠 달린다 꽉 붙잡아 언니야 – Older brother is running, hold on tight sister (0:46)

As you may know, you refer to Koreans differently depending on your respective ages. Since he is older than the girl, he calls himself 오빠, an older brother (to a female). Therefore, he is referring to himself!

달리다 is a verb that means “to run.”

붙잡다 is also a verb and means “to take or grab hold of.” 

꽉 is an adverb and means “firmly or tightly.”

언니 means “older sister” (from a younger female) so it’s funny that he uses it here to call the girl “sister” since he is a guy!

6. 나는 아름다운 아가씨의 동반자 –  I am the beautiful girls’ partner (0:50)

나 means “I” and 는 is the topic marker of the sentence.

아름답다 is a descriptive word that means “beautiful” and if we conjugate it to use as a “front adjective”, it becomes 아름다운. He uses it to describe the girl (아가씨). Again, when we attach -의 it changes to the possessive form. 

동반자 is a noun that means “companion or partner.”

7. 지금부터 선수끼리 – From now on, among the players (0:59)

지금 means “now” and when we attach -부터, it changes to “from now on.”

When we affix -끼리 onto the end of a noun, it means “privately or among ourselves.” He attaches it to 선수, which means “athlete or player” but in this case he is using the slang meaning of “player” as in  ‘playboys.’

8. 밤이 아까워 – I don’t want to waste the night (1:01)

Let’s dissect this sentence!

밤 means “night” and 이 is the subject marker when the preceding word ends in a consonant sound.

아깝다 is commonly used to express when something is going to waste. When we conjugate it, it becomes 아까워.

In this case, he says “밤이 아까워” which could translate as “(we’re) wasting the night” or “it’s a shame to waste the night” and it is implied that he doesn’t want to waste it! 

9. 불타오르는 아름다운 그대여 – You’re on fire and beautiful (1:04)

불타오르다 is a verb that means “to be set on fire or be ablaze” and it has been switched to a descriptive form. He also adds in the adjective 아름다운 (beautiful) again. These descriptive words are used to describe the girl, who he refers to as 그대 (the poetic form of “you”).

10. 넌 한폭의 명작 난 아낌없는 buyer  – You’re the one masterpiece, I’m the unstinting buyer (1:57)

Again, he uses contracted forms of “you” (너는 –> 넌) and “I” (나는 –> 난).

He describes the girl as a 명작 (masterpiece), and calls himself the 아낌없는 (unstinting or unsparing) buyer. It’s as if he is describing himself at an auction relentlessly bidding on this “masterpiece” of a woman! 

11. 까고 말해봐요 – Open it and tell me (2:03)

To understand this lyric, we need to look back to what he says right before in English. He says “don’t be a liar.”

He follows that up with “까고 말해봐요.”

까다 is a verb that usually means “to peel or hatch” as in a banana or an egg. In this case, he is using it to mean something similar to “uncover” or “open” since he is talking about a lie. 말하다 means “to speak or tell” and the connector 고 attaches the two verbs. The ending -아/어 봐요 means “to try to do.” Here, it is just a softener changing the sentence to be less harsh.

He is essentially saying “open up the truth and try to speak to me.”

12. 낮에는 잠만 자 밤이 오면 상남자 – During the daytime I just sleep, when night comes I’m a real man (2:08)

낮에 means “in the daytime or during the day.” 잠 자다 is a verb that means “to sleep” and he attaches -만 which means “only.” He only sleeps during the day!

The second part of the sentence talks about the nighttime. As we know, 밤 means “night” and the subject marker 이 is attached.

오다 is a verb which means “to come.” Attaching -면 to the verb root means “when” or sometimes means “if” so he is saying, when night comes or “when it’s nighttime.”

상남자 is a noun which means “a real man” (as opposed to an effeminate man).

Put together, this means that he just sleeps all day, but at night time he becomes a real man!

13. 널 보자마자 나 너무 좋아서 뻑이 가 – As soon as I look at you, I like it so much I go crazy (2:11)

Remember the first lyric we covered, 널 보자마자 나 어머나 땡잡았어, which we translated to “as soon as I look at you, oh how lucky I am?”

Here, he starts with the same grammar point saying “as soon as I look at you” but this time it ends differently.

나 means “I” and 너무 means “very or so.” 좋아하다 means “to like” and here he uses 너무 좋아서 (“because I like so much”).

뻑이 가다 is a slang phrase that means “to go crazy.” 

14. 척 보면 압니다 – See it from miles away (2:15)

척 보면 is an expression that could translate to “with just one look” or “if you only look once.” 

The verb 알다 means “to know” and if you conjugate it formally, it becomes 압니다.

Here, he is saying “I/you can see it from miles away” or “I can see it so easily.”

15. 신나면 어린애 입니다 – If you’re excited, you’re a kid (2:17)

신나다 means “to be excited” and again, attaching -면 to the root changes the meaning to “if.” Therefore, this means “if you are excited.”

어린애 means “a child or kid.” 

이다 means “to be” and the formal form is “입니다.”

This translates to something like “if you get excited by this, you’re a child,” perhaps hinting he is child-like as well!

16. 오빠가 오방가 깜빡이 안 키고 훅 들어갑니다 – Older brother doesn’t turn on the blinker and suddenly comes in (2:18)

Let’s break down this part bit by bit!

오빠 (older brother to a female) plus the subject marker -가.

깜빡이 means “blinkers or turn signal.” 키다 is a verb which means “to turn on” as in a light or switch. Putting 안 in front of a verb makes it a negative, so he is saying “don’t turn on the blinkers.”

훅 means “suddenly” and the verb 들어가다 means “to go in.” In the formal form, it is 들어갑니다. 

He’s comparing himself to a drive that doesn’t turn on his signal and just cuts into your lane!

17. 그대로 받아왔어 그 몸매 – Just like that, got this figure (3:27)

그대로 means “just like that.”

그 means “that” and 몸매 means “physique or figure.”

받아오다 is a compound verb which means “to get or receive.”

He is saying “and just like that, I received (inherited) this physique.” What a figure it is, too!

18. 신사이길 거부하는 신사 – Gentleman refusing (to be a) gentleman (3:30)

거부하다  is a verb which means “to refuse or reject” and here he changes it to an adjective form in front of the noun.

신사 means “a gentleman.” Where have we heard that before?!

19. 이 구역에 미친놈은 바로 나 – I’m the crazy guy around these parts (3:33)

이 means “this” and 구역 means “area or zone.”

미친놈 is a slang term which means “a crazy guy.” When he attaches the location marker -에 to the noun (이 구역에), he is saying “around here” or “in this area/in these parts.” 

바로 나 means roughly “exactly me” or in other words, puts emphasis on the fact that this is describing him (the crazy guy part)! Are you doing to disagree with that? 

Let’s wrap up with the full set of lyrics for you to look at! Thanks for learning with us. We’ll be back soon with another instalment of “learn Korean with Kpop.”

Psy ‘Daddy’ Lyrics – From the Music Video for PSY – DADDY (feat. CL of 2NE1)

I got it from my daddy

I feel nice, you look nice
널 보자마자 나 어머나 땡잡았어
Don’t think twice
이미 게임 끝났어
You’ll be my curry, I’ll be your rice
My name is P-S-Y
한국말로 박제상
너의 아련한 눈동자에
빠져서 헤엄치고파
오빠 달린다 꽉 붙잡아 언니야
나는 아름다운 아가씨의 동반자

Hold up, wait a minute
지금부터 선수끼리
밤이 아까워, turn up louder
불타오르는 아름다운 그대여
How you like me now? (x4)

Hey! Where’d you get that body from? (x3)

I got it from my daddy (x2)
I got it got it
(Hey, where’d you get that body from?)
I got it from my daddy (x2)
I got it got it
(Hey, where’d you get that body from?)
I got it from my dad (repeated), daddy (x2)

I’m on fire, take you higher
넌 한폭의 명작 난 아낌없는 buyer
Don’t be a liar, 까고 말해봐요
I be your honey, never expire

낮에는 잠만 자 밤이 오면 상남자
널 보자마자 나 너무 좋아서 뻑이 가
척 보면 압니다
신나면 어린애 입니다
오빠가 오방가 깜빡이 안 키고
훅 들어갑니다

Hold up, wait a minute
지금부터 선수끼리
밤이 아까워, turn up louder
불타오르는 아름다운 그대여
How you like me now? (x4)

Hey! Where’d you get that body from? (x3)

I got it from my daddy (x2)
I got it got it
(Hey, where’d you get that body from?)
I got it from my daddy (x2)
I got it got it
(Hey, where’d you get that body from?)
I got it from my dad (repeated), daddy (x2)

My papa was a superman, hey
그대로 받아왔어 그 몸매, hey
신사이길 거부하는 신사
이 구역에 미친놈은 바로 나, hey

I got it from my dad (repeated), daddy (x2)

Which are your favorite lyrics from the song? Share in the comments section!

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time

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South Korea —

Four (4) days left ’til Christmas day. If I was still in the Philippines today, I would have already been hearing Christmas jingles since September, carollers would be knocking on our doors every night, my mom would also be listing the noche buena (Christmas Eve) menu and my BFFs and I would have already been celebrating our annual Christmas get together. However, things have changed. I’m married and I got a new home here in Korea for more than half a year now. I might be celebrating a white Christmas and see dazzling fireworks on New Year’s Eve, too. But, most importantly, no matter where we are in the world, let’s not forget that Jesus is the real reason for this season. Have a blessed Christmas, everyone.

7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. Luke 2:7 (NLT)


Hagwon Hell to Heaven

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So, you didn’t read up on living and working in Korea quite enough, you didn’t research your school enough, etc. and now you’re in a new country without a job or a place to live.  Great.  First things first: PANIC.

You’re going to panic whether Dr. Kate tells you to or not.  If you have a place to stay (hotel, love motel, friend’s place) then go there and have your freak out.  It won’t help you to be crying in public in a new place where nobody can or will make sure you’re okay.  Once you’ve gotten the initial shock out of your system, there are a few things you’ll want to remember:

1. You’re not alone.  This has happened before and it will happen again.

2. You have options.  You’re already in the country, you already have an E2 visa (Teacher’s visa – you can transfer your visa to a new school and you won’t have to get new paperwork), and you have 14 days in which to find a new job.  This will be rushed, but since you’re physically available to go on interviews you’ll have a better chance of choosing a good school and seeing where you’ll actually be living and working.

3. This is an opportunity.  Would you have wanted to work for a bad school for an entire year?  I doubt it.  If you can make it through the first 6 months it’s always better to avoid financial penalties of breaking a contract, but you may have dodged a bigger bullet.  If your Hagwon Horror story has occurred during your first 6 months definitely check out your options with LOFT: Legal Office for Foreign Teachers.

4. GET YOUR LETTER OF RELEASE – this is a biggie!  Your school owns your E2 visa, so unless you get your LOR you’re not going to be able to work anywhere else.  You can transfer to a D10 visa if you think you’ll need longer than 14 days to find new work.  Unless you have a letter of release (or an immigration officer who takes great pity on you) you’re not finding a new job.

Once the shock wears off and you’ve stopped considering packing up and going home, get your resume ready.  Write a new cover letter stating that you’re already in the country and are ready to work immediately.  There are tons of jobs listed on Koreabridge and Dave’s ESL Cafe, so email out your resume and cover letter to every posting that sounds even remotely good.  You can start judging when you’ve got an interview.  Don’t be afraid to work with new recruiters or entertain multiple schools.  You have to look out for yourself!

There are tons of fantastic private academies (hagwons) in Korea, you just need to know where to look!  I’m definitely lucky with my school and my contract.  What you need to remember is that in every job there will be things that are not ideal.  Sure, there are more risks involved with choosing the hagwon system over public schools, but in my opinion more often than not these risks can have great rewards!

Do you have a Hagwon Horror story to share?  Tell us all the gruesome details in the comments below!

Wonhyodae Temple – 원효대 (Gijang, Busan)

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The emperor-looking Sanshin statue inside the packed Samseong-gak at Wonhyodae Temple in Gijang, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Named for the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617 A.D. to 686 A.D), Wonhyodae Temple is located in Gijang, Busan. In a valley just south-west of the towering peak of Mt. Daleumsan, the temple is scenically situated alongside other smaller temples like Daedosa Temple.

You first approach the temple alongside an offshoot of the Ilgwang-cheon River. At the end of this offshoot, and down a country road, lies Wonhyodae Temple. Hanging a left towards the temple sign that reads 원효대, you’ll arrive in the temple parking lot. The first sites to greet you are a collection of three Podae-hwasang statues. The bronze coloured statues are joined to the right by a smaller sized collection of statues of the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, teaching his disciples, the Nahan.

Straight ahead, and up a flight of stairs, is the Cheonwangmun Gate at Wonhyodae Temple. Inside the gate stand four crudely sculpted statues of the Four Heavenly Kings. But these statues are no way indicative of the rest of the temple. Passing through the slender Iljumun Gate, you’ll finally enter the main temple courtyard.

Straight ahead stands the rather boxy main hall. While understated on the exterior, as soon as you enter the main hall, you’ll be greeted by a row of nine large statues on the main altar. The three statues in the centre are of Seokgamoni-bul, Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom), and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). This triad is joined to the right by another triad. This triad is centred by Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha). And he’s joined by Ilgwang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Sun) and Wolgwang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Moon). It’s also over in this part of the main hall that hangs the large guardian mural. And the triad of statues to the far left are centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). He’s joined by Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul). This triad is joined in the corner by a mural and statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife).

Situated to the left of the main hall are two additional shrine halls at Wonhyodae Temple. The first, which can only be entered through a side entrance on the right, is the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. Resting on the main altar is one of the most elaborate multi-armed and headed statues of Gwanseeum-bosal that I’ve seen in all of Korea. To the right hangs a collection of prominent monk portraits including Wonhyo-daesa. And to the left sits a triad of statues centred by Amita-bul. This triad is joined by a black guardian mural.

The other shrine hall in this area of the temple is the Myeongbu-jeon. As soon as you step inside, you’ll notice the unique statues including several guardians, the Ten Kings of the Underworld, as well as Jijang-bosal on the main altar. Of note, there is a stunning, modern Dragon Ship of Wisdom mural hanging elevated on the left side of the shrine hall.

Between the Gwaneeum-jeon and the main hall is a glass enclosure that also acts as another shrine hall on your way towards the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall that lies to the rear of the temple grounds. This glass enclosure acts as both a Yongwang-dang, which is dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King), as well as a shrine for an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal statue. The Yongwang shrine has a seated statue of the Dragon King, as well as one of the largest murals of the shaman deity that I have yet to see in Korea. To the right stands the large image of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Both are joined by mountain water that flows in and out of the glass shrine hall.

The final shrine hall you can explore at Wonhyodae Temple is the Samseong-gak shrine hall. Between the Gwaneum-jeon and Yongwang-dang, and up a bit of a wooded trail, is the Samseong-gak. The golden lettering at the front of the Samseong-gak is a sign of things to come. Stepping inside the Samseong-gak, you’ll be greeted by wall-to-wall multiples of the three most popular shaman deities in the Korean pantheon. Hanging on the right wall is a modern interpretation of Chilseong (The Seven Stars). To the left, on the main altar, hangs an older looking image of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), who is fronted by a statue of himself. Next, hangs a similarly styled painting of Chilseong as the Dokseong mural. In the centre of the main altar hangs a newer painting of Chilseong. To the left of the third Chilseong painting is a large statue of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), who is holding a large golden ginseng root. Sanshin is also wearing a large emperor’s crown. Rounding out the set is an older painting of Sanshin from the older set of three. And there is a peculiar guardian mural hanging on the left wall.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Jwacheon train station in Gijang, you’ll need to take a taxi to Wonhyodae Temple. The ride should last about 15 minutes and cost around 9,000 won.

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10. Wonhyodae Temple is a hard temple to rate. There are several unique features like the loaded Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall with the ginseng bearing Sanshin inside, as well as the glass enclosure for the Yongwang-dang. Also adding to the temple’s overall rating is the expansive main hall and the amazing Gwanseeum-bosal statue. However, it’s harder to get to and it has a modern concrete feel to it in places.


The Cheonwangmun Gate at Wonhyodae Temple.


One of three Podae-hwasang statues at the temple.


Out in front of the Cheonwangmun Gate is this collection of statues of the Buddha and his disciples.


One of the rudimentary statues of the Four Heavenly Kings.


The main hall at Wonhyodae Temple.


A look across the well-populated main altar inside the main hall.


The statue of Jijang-bosal to the left of the nine main altar statues.


A closer look at Amita-bul.


The glass enclosure that both acts as a Yongwang-dang and Gwanseeum-bosal shrine.


The large painting and statue of Yongwang.


And the all-white statue of Gwanseeum-bosal that keeps Yongwang company.


The Gwaneum-jeon Hall to the right with the Myeongbu-jeon Hall to the left.


The main altar inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.


The elaborate Dragon Ship of Wisdom painting inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.


A look inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.


The mural of Wonhyo-daesa to the right of the main altar.


A better look at the amazing multi-armed and headed Gwanseeum-bosal.


The beautifully situated Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall.


A look around inside the Samseong-gak as you first enter the hall.


The left corner that houses the unique statue and painting of Sanshin. Of note, there are three statues dedicated to the Mountain Spirit.


And the view from the Samseong-gak.

How to Write Korean New Year’s Resolutions

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Happy New Year, or 새해복 많이 받으세요 (that’s how we say Happy New Year in Korean)!

Sure, the end of the year is a great for partying, drinking and having fun with out families and friends. But each new year brings its own challenges and personal goals, and it’s that time of year to ready ourselves for self-improvement! That’s right, now that the holiday season is behind us, it’s time to pledge how we plan to better ourselves and set our New Year’s resolutions – in Korean!

So get ready to sit back, evaluate what you have done during the past year and what you plan to change in the year to come.

This post teaches you how to write the most common New Year’s resolutions in Korean. Here we go!

나는 한국어를 배울 거예요 – I will learn Korean

Learn Korean

나는 살을 뺄 거예요 – I will lose weight

I will lose weight in Korean

나는 돈을 저금 할 거예요 – I will save money

I will save money in Korean

나는 식습관을 바꿀 거예요 – I will change my eating habits

I will eat healthy in Korean

나는 규칙적으로 운동 할 거예요 – I will exercise regularly

I will exercise in Korean

나는 자원 봉사를 할 거예요 – I will volunteer

I will volunteer in Korean

나는 새로운 취미를 가질 거예요 – I will take up a new hobby

New hobby in Korean

나는 담배를 끊을 거예요 – I will quit smoking

I will quit smoking in Korean

나는 책을 자주 읽을 거예요 – I will read more often

I will read in Korean

나는 남자 친구를 사귈 거예요 – I will get a boyfriend

get a boyfriend in Korean

나는 여자 친구를 사귈 거예요 – I will get a girlfriend

get a girlfriend in Korean

나는 새로운 곳을 여행 할 거예요 – I will travel to new places

i will travel in Korean

나는 새로운 직업을 가질 거예요 – I will get a new job

get a new job in Korean

나는 텔레비전 보는 것을 줄일 거예요 – I will watch less TV

watch less TV in Korean

나는 가족과 함께 더 많은 시간을 보낼 거예요 – I will spend more time with my family

spend time with family in Korean

나는 더 부지런 해 질거예요 – I will be more diligent

be more diligent in Korean

나는 술을 줄일 거예요 – I will drink less alcohol

drink less alcohol korean

Well, there you have it! Those were the most popular New Year’s resolutions and how to write them in Korean.

The new year brings so many possibilities. For some of us, we might meet that special someone. For others, it may be about a decision to study Korean no matter what it takes and meet our language study goals. Whatever that goal may be, ew have made the decision today to change your life, and learned some Korean in the process!

Take the one New Year’s resolution that resonates most with you, download the picture, and share it on your social media to help others hold you accountable and to give yourself motivation.

Whether or not this motivation lasts until the end of the year is another issue. Research shows that 45 percent of Americans normally set New Year’s resolutions. On the other hand, a mere 8 percent of them are successful in in eventually hitting their goal. That’s weak!

We won’t let this happen to you – especially if your goal is studying Korean!

Share your chosen resolution on social media and also let us know which one you chose in the comments below.

Touchstone Final Exams: They’re Difficult!

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Want to Get High Student Evaluations? My Secrets, Revealed!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret right now and tell you the easiest way to get high student evaluations without risking your job or spending a lot of money. Since most of our contract renewals in Korean universities are based on this (at my current university, it’s the sole consideration and the bottom 50% get the cut), listen carefully for my secret!

Forgot the Expensive, Sketchy Stuff

But, first of all. If you want to get high evaluations and have money to burn, take your students out for coffee, dinner, etc. Have a pizza party. Constantly bring them snacks. They’ll love it (and you). I however, am way too cheap/frugal for that (see these 101 frugal living in Korea tips if you’re looking to save yourself some money).

You could also start your classes late and most importantly, end them early. The students will also love you for that one, but it’s kind of risky if the administration at your university find out and I certainly would never do it myself.

High Evaluations Minus the Bribery and other such Questionable Operations

What I am all about is getting high evaluations without bribing my students, or risking losing my job. Here’s the secret: with any sort of grading that seems “subjective,” hand out high grades like candy. In my classes, as long as you do the most minimal of efforts on homework, you’ll get a perfect score. Same with speaking tests. As long as you’re not terrible, you’ll get at least an 11 or 12 out of 15. It’s reasonably easy to get 14 or 15 as long as you study, even if you don’t really speak English that well.

However, since most universities have a curve system of some kind, you’ll need to separate the wheat from the chaff somehow. I do this through my written midterm and final exams. The final exam is particularly hard since it’s based on everything we’ve studied that semester, including from before the midterm exam. The average score is usually somewhere in the 60% range, making it ideal to separate the excellent students who will get “A’s” from everyone else.

The average students will often get almost perfect scores on attendance, homework and speaking tests, however they’ll often get something like 8/15 on the midterm and 6/15 on the final. Cha-ching! They’ve just gotten themselves an 85%, which is a B+ and won’t take up one of the top “A” spots.

Students don’t really seem to mind getting such low scores on written tests as they do on speaking ones and nobody will ever try to fight for a higher grade. I think it’s because their mistake is there, in black and white and it’s usually not up to my discretion. So, I don’t think this hurts my evaluations in any way, whereas grading speaking tests more harshly would likely result in some serious backlash.

Touchstone Final Exams

The books I’m using for my classes this semester are Touchstone 2 + Touchstone 3.

Touchstone 3Touchstone Two

And, here is the Touchstone final exam that I made for each classes, as well as the pictures and audio files that I used to go along with the tests. The first two questions on each final exam are listening ones, where I only play the audio once. One question was a listening thing that we did in class while the other one was from a unit we studied in the book, but it’s something we didn’t do in class. It’s a very easy to separate the excellent students from the weaker ones because the good ones will go through all the listening files in the book as part of their preparation. The weaker students will not even get the one we did together in class already.

Touchstone Final Exam (Book 2)

Touchstone 2 Final Exam Map

Touchstone 2 Audio Files (my questions from pages 51 +54)

Touchstone 2 Final Exam


Touchstone Final Exam (Book 3)

Touchstone 3 Final Exam Pictures

Touchstone 3 Audio Files (my questions from pages 66 + 81)

Touchstone 3 Final Exam
What do you do in your classes?

Check out the Touchstone final exams and leave a comment telling me how you separate the best students from the weaker ones when you have to grade on a curve.




The post Touchstone Final Exams: They’re Difficult! appeared first on .

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



South Korea’s 10 Best Winter Activities & Festivals (Videos)

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Sunrise over Kenai River, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”

-John Burroughs, Winter Sunshine

Temperature is dropping, but you know it’s the time to explore the whole new world of winter activities and scenes in South Korea. So, don’t hibernate at home! Explore all the fun out there.

1.  Strawberry Picking

Picking fresh strawberries at a farm is a great excursion to both kids and adults! Take them home with you, and they’ll be your healthy, delightful dessert of the day.

Enjoy this family-friendly activity near Seoul in Gapyeong (90 mins journey from Seoul), as well as other winter adventures like Gangchon Rail Bike (Refer to #5 below) and Nami Island, an island that boasts amazing natural landscapes, esp. the redwood-lined path.

Youtube Video credits to tiger g (

2. Snow Swimming

If you really want to see snow, like LOTS and LOTS of snow, you definitely have to get away from the city and go to the rural areas in Gangwondo Province. You’ll never see so much snow in your life! Plus, you can have fun swimming in the pile of snow. Not joking, watch this video clip.

Youtube Video credits to hanbin KIM (

3. Skiing at the Venue of 2018 Winter Olympics

Did you know that South Korea will be holding Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics? ;) Without further ado, you should definitely experience cross-country skiing when you’re in Korea.

There are great value ski resorts, such as Yongyong Ski Resort and Vivaldi Park Ski Resort, and all of them offer wide range of slopes for all levels of skiers, and magnificent views of winter landscapes on the slopes. So, just choose any according to your taste!

See More Ski Resorts in South Korea from Trazy’s Ultimate Selection.

Youtube Video credits to 배장필름웍스 (

4. Snow Sledding

If you’re unable to get out to provinces, here’s what you can enjoy in the city. In Seoul, for instance, you can enjoy snow sledding in the biggest sledding hills at Seoul Land, Korea’s first theme park.

Plus you’ll be able to see the fantastic illumination show at night which makes your winter experience just more enchanting! :) Seoul Land Sledding Hill One Day Pass is available on

Youtube Video credits to 귀요미희재 (

5. A Rail Bike Ride

For those of you who want both actions (not too aggressive though) and nature, a rail bike ride is just the thing. You can pedal down the rail track while enjoying fantastic winter scenes around you with your friends, families and lovers. Forget about the cold, go and try in Gangchon.

Youtube Video credits to 주진 (

6. Light Festivals

Glisten and glow. Here are the most romantic light festivals in South Korea, Everland’s ‘Romantic Illumination’ and the Garden of Morning Calm. Whichever festival you choose to go, 100% satisfaction and incredible travel photos of your lifetime are guaranteed!

Youtube Video credits to 에버랜드 withEverland (

7. Ice Fishing Festival

Can you catch fish with bare hands? Try it at 2016 Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, which is announced as one of the 7 Winter Wonders of the World by CNN. It’ll be a great chance for travelers and tourists to have whole lot of fun while traveling Korea! The admission tickets and a round-trip shuttle bus are available here.

Youtube Video credits to Milk Factory (

8. Sunrise Festival at Winter Sea

Scenic pine trees, the blue winter sea, a tranquil coast, and rustic railways make Jeongdongjin one of the top tourist destinations in Korea. Above all, this is a popular spot where you can watch the earliest sun rises in Korea. Celebrate the New Year with people you love in Korea!

Youtube Video credits to LuCKi’s World travel 토종감자 수입오이의 세계여행 (

9. Sheep-Feeding

Now that the green fields are gone, why not give some grass to the flock of hungry sheep? It’s fun, and it doesn’t cost you much (only 4,000 KRW for an adult) compared to what you’ll be rewarded! A beautiful view of huge wind turbines on the white rolling hills of snow! So, try it at a sheep farm in Daegwallyeong.

Youtube Video credits to 두발로 TV (

10. 2015 SBS Awards Festival (SAF)

Ready to meet your favorite Korean TV shows and stars in one place?! Here comes 2015 SAF from 25th~31st Dec. It’s a Korea’s broadcasting festival held by SBS, which celebrates all the accomplishments in SBS’ TV programs throughout the year!

Here, you can engage in various events and win special prizes such as autographed CDs and tickets for the Gayo Daejeon (Kpop Music Festival), Drama & Entertainment awards ceremony! Oh, and don’t forget that BTS, BAP, EXID, GOT7, Twice, and many more will be performing! Free admission tickets are available here.

Youtube Video credits to SBSNOW (

11. The 25th Seoul Music Awards

The weather will be icy cold by January 14th in 2016, but WHO CARES! It’s one of the biggest and the hottest annual music festivals in Korea!

How to enjoy this festival? Simply get the ticket only, with ‘The 25th Seoul Music Awards & Red Carpet Entrance Ticket’, or enjoy the tour of the city and this major K-pop festival all in one with Trazy’s ultimate ‘Seoul Music Awards Ticket & Seoul Tour Package’. See more details here.

Youtube Video credits to namja12four (

Those are South Korea’s 11 best winter activities and festivals that’ll make your travel unforgettable. Now, which one would you like to add to your travel bucket list?

See more TOP 12 Winter Adventures from Trazy’s Winter Special ‘White Korea‘.

a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

Learn Korean in 2016: 90 Day Korean Roundup

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2015 was another fantastic year in the world of Korean learning and we can’t thank our readers enough for all the support, comments and wonderful feedback! 

In the past year, we’ve seen our lessons and teachings reach more and more students in many new countries and we’ve had new members join our Inner Circle from Israel, Switzerland, Singapore, Indonesia and many other countries! Our students and readers are amazing and we appreciate every single one of you.

Our paid Korean course launched a third 90-day module this year, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive as we’ve had a cohort of students go through the entire course and learn Korean to an intermediate level. We look forward to building onto our course in the next year and giving our learners more and more learning materials.

We’ve also had more than 15 000 people go through our 90 Minute Challenge in the past year and learn to read Korean, and we’ve seen our social media audiences more than triple! Korean is definitely spreading, and we have you to thank for it.

Our official “Learn Korean” Blog launched just over a year and a half ago and we’ve seen the readership continue to grow significantly. In 2015, we published more than 70 blog posts thanks to our additional writers we brought on, and we hope to write more and more in 2016.

Though we published articles on a wide variety of topics related to Korean learning and culture (many of which were inspired by our readers who suggested a lot of the ideas), some of the content we published really resonated with readers and it truly shows in the number of times they were liked, shared and read! 

When we polled our audience, six of our posts emerged as the clear winners in terms of being the most engaging, helpful pieces of content we shared in the past 12 months.

As we wind down and head into the new year, we take a closer look at those 6 articles that had the most impact (as chosen by our readership).


#6 Holidays to Fall in Love in Korea

This post seemed to resonate with our readers for a variety of reasons. Aside from the fact that it introduces some lesser known love holidays and provides a glimpse into the underground Korean culture, it is just plain fun! The variety of holidays for romance-filled (or romance-deprived) means there is an opportunity for everyone to hop on board and celebrate – whether single, with a crush, or in a serious relationship! There’s no right or wrong way to express love in Korea, and this one hits home for the cultural enthusiasts.

Coming in at #6, this article is a great overview of Korea’s cultural holidays devoted to love and romance (or lack thereof).

Click here to read the article >>

#5 The Seven Levels of Korean Aegyo

Aegyo is adored by many, and despised by others! When you speak Korean and wish to spice things up with some adorable gestures and phrases, then you’ll definitely want to know about aegyo. Korean aegyo (애교) refers to someone acting cute or childish, even if they’re not a child! This post breaks down what we have called “the seven levels of aegyo,” ranging from a few cute mannerisms all the way to off-the-charts cuteness levels! Love it or hate it, go through the list to see how much aegyo you can handle with this post coming in at #5.

Learn to talk cute in Korean here >>

#4 Satoori: How to Speak Korean Like a Local

Once you have gotten your Korean to a certain level, it’s fun to start learning some of the subtleties of the language – and learning ‘satoori’ is one great way to do that! Each region in Korea has its own regional dialects, which we call ‘satoori’ in Korean. This was one of our most requested posts of the past year, and we hope we’ve done the topic justice. We plan to build on it more in the coming year. A great overview, this post comes in at #4 and helps you break into the world of Korean dialacts and speak Korean more like a local (and impress your Korean friends in the process).

Learn to talk like a local here >>

#3 Korean Slang: 25 Popular Words

One way you can really make your Korean friends laugh is by injecting slang words into your conversations. When we study the language, we often study the formal ways of speaking, but when you go off and start using the language with your Korean friends and those of a similar age to you, you’ll notice they don’t always talk in that manner! Picking up some Korean slang is a great way to stay trendy, impress your friends, and have a better idea of what is being said around you and in your favorite Korean dramas and songs. Coming in at #3, this post will help you get there faster!

Learn to use Korean slang here >>

#2 Top 10 Korean Jokes

Who doesn’t love humor? And when you combine Korean study and Western style jokes, everybody wins! This post is a work in progress and we hope to build it up more and more over the years to have the best database of Korean jokes on the internet, so if you have any of your own, please send ’em on in! 

Coming in at #2, this roundup post counts down the top 10 Korean jokes we’ve heard over the years! Put your level of Korean understanding to the test and see if you can explain each one before peeking at the answers (and don’t forget to laugh out loud)!

Get a dose of Korean humor here >>

#1 8 Korean Experts Reveal the Biggest Mistakes Students Make When Learning Korean

This article was the clear winner this year, and many thanks to our panel of expert friends who helped make it a huge success. For this one, we called up Korean university professors, talk show stars, cultural icons, business owners, Korean textbook authors and experts to give their advice on one simple question: “What are the biggest mistakes Korean learners make?” The insights we gathered are invaluable and we recommend you read this one twice to extract all the gold from it! 

Our top post this past year, this one is one to bookmark and read again and again. Happy studies!

Learn straight from the experts here >>

Well, there you have it! Another year, another win for the Korean learning community. It’s been a pleasure studying with you in 2015 and our entire team looks forward to 2016 where we’ll be continuing to innovate, release more Korean content and find new ways to help you get your Korean to the next level. 

We always love your ideas and suggestions, so feel free to drop us a line by email.

Thanks again for all your amazing support in 2015 and we’ll be back with more very soon! Have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year! 

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