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Flickr’s ReBirth

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Flickr for me was my starting point as a photographer. It was way way back in 2006 when I first started uploading my photos and I really haven’t stopped. Flickr has served me as a backup and as a portfolio for many years. Flickr was always a place for photography and photos… good or bad.

Gampo

I watched flickr go through some low times and slowly slide into obscurity. Sites like 500px and instagram came in and pushed Flickr further away to the point were few were using it and the groups were dead. Yet, flickr somehow stuck around. It got handed off to different people who promised to make it better or at least “what it was” and then nothing happened.

Now, we see that Smugmug has picked up the torch and is planning to do something with Flickr. What that is, I am not sure at this stage in the game. However, those with a free account are seeing the first of many changes. This being the recent limitation of the free accounts to 1000 photos.

While this may have made a number of people angry, the fact of the matter is that for Flickr to work, it has to be profitable. Before you you start talking about greed and whatnot, you have to be realistic. Flickr was dying a slow death. Smugmug wants to improve the platform but that takes money. Money is something that Flickr is losing on a daily basis. Hence why there is a shift towards paid accounts.

Why Flickr? Why Now?

Flickr is like a homebase for me. It is ad free (for pro subscribers) and doesn’t have that “like/unlike” thing that instagram has. It was for photography and full of photographers, at least it was 5 to 10 years ago. For me it just has a familiar feel and I appreciate that.

Seongnamdong
My most recent addition to the explore page.

I think that people are now getting disillusioned with sites like instagram and they are looking for a place that is more about the photos than the places or products in them. I feel that photographers are also looking for a place to chat about lenses and share their photos with said lens.

The groups in Flickr were great. There was a group for just about everything! From your favourite lens to city-based photo clubs. These were not just hashtags but actual groups where people went to discuss everything related to that topic and plan meetups.

McDrive-throu Korea
This terrible image is my most viewed image on flickr. It has 23,954 views thanks to an inclusion on one of those strange places lists.

This is something that is missing from instagram and even 500px. There is not a sense of community. Facebook groups have come a long way and for most part have replaced the need for groups but if you look at how Flickr organizes the topics you can see there are differences. Again, Flickr is geared more towards photography than social networking in my opinion. Which possibly is a reason why people abandoned it for facebook and instagram if you think about it.

The other thing to point out is that Flickr has been around and many sites still accept imports, uploads, and embeds from Flickr. A huge plus is also the fact that you can export directly from Lightroom simply and easily. The export dialogue has a number of specific settings that you can customize like the watermark that you now see in my images on Flickr. Somehow Flickr retained some usefulness especially since you can’t export to Facebook from lightroom anymore.

Lessons from 500px

Smugmug needs to look at sites like 500px and see what worked and what went wrong. A number of years ago, 500px was THE photography site to be on. It had all of the trappings that photographers craved. It also seemed to be a huge improvement over the then dying Flickr, or so we thought.

Gampo Morning Light

There are many photographers who gained their following from 500px but many more complained about the system used to get to the top. From their acquisition by VCG to shutting down their online marketplace last July, it has left a lot of photographers wondering about the future of 500px.

In many regards, 500px has fallen from grace and it would be important if not critical for Smugmug to figure out why. For many years, 500px reigned supreme with portfolios, websites, and a market places that help photographers make money. Now, I can find little value in even maintaining my profile.

The Future of Flickr

What I would like to see is more life being brought back to the platform. As Nicolesy points out in her article, many of the groups are long since dead. I am not just talking inactive but dead as in the last discussion ended 5 years ago… So yeah, more energy and people are needed.

I would also like to see a more community-based approach to the renewal. If they started working with photographers around the world and figuring out what they wanted or what would work for them would be a start. While I like seeing input from celebrity photographers like Trey Ratcliff, I feel the success of the platform depends on the regular photographer’s input and enthusiasm. Fan appeal is one thing but when people feel apart of and appreciated by a site that they use could be a game changer.

Lotte Wheel
My second most popular image. With over 20,000 views thanks to explore. What this means in reality? Not much.

The other thing that I hope they stay away from is trying to emulate instagram. It’s been done and done to death. I would love to see the Smugmug team sit down and restore what is currently broken and drive towards building Flickr into something beyond what it was and beyond another ad-filled social network full of boomerang vids of people drinking starbucks coffees.

With regards for the app, I think that they can ditch camera unless they do something REALLY special with it or partner with an app like camera+ to make it stand out. Otherwise just focus on streamlining the user experience.

Personally, I hope that this fresh perspective can breathe new life into Flickr. I never really had a problem with the platform or the app. Fact is, the only thing that I really didn’t care for was explore. That was simply because the algorithm seemed to favour either coffee, cats, or lego.

0V4B4197_AuroraHDR2019-edit.jpg

So if your photo managed to get picked up by explore it was not really a mark of excellence because the 5 photos next to yours were snapshots of a latte with a lego figure on the edge.


The bottomline here is that the future of Flickr rests on the proverbial knife-edge. The changes that Smugmug makes could change the industry or go the way Google+ did. If you remember, Google+ was all the rage in the photography circles and poof! people left it to die.

I am hopeful for a future for Flickr. If handled correctly with the right vision then we could see this being a new era for the site. If they screw it up, then just let it die this time as I don’t think anyone can help if smugmug can’t.

The post Flickr’s ReBirth appeared first on The Sajin.


Using The Bus In Korea

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Although Korea, and especially Seoul, has an extensive subway and train network with which you can painlessly get from point A to point B, it is far from being the only choice of transportation. Another means of transportation that you should give your attention to is the bus network. After all, it is the one that also operates in the villages and smaller cities of South Korea, unlike the trains and subways. And although Seoul’s subway lines have amazing reach, you would definitely find it lacking without the bus network to complement it.

Many foreigners in Korea, however, continue to find the bus system complicated and difficult to figure out, especially in the bigger cities like Seoul and Busan. Typically, the longer you stay in Korea and the better your Korean gets, the easier it becomes to figure out. In the beginning it’s understandable, because it can seem so hard and impossible that many don’t even give it a try. But opting to use subway only often means having to walk longer distances, or having to take a taxi to get to many places.

But what if that was something you didn’t need to do? By reading through our guide, you can shortcut your way into a better understanding of the Korean bus system. The sooner you have a grasp of it, the sooner your life in Korea will transform for the better!

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Bus Network In Seoul

Unlike many other cities and towns in Korea, Seoul has an incredibly extensive subway network system. This enables for relatively easy travel from one’s home to wherever you need to go. However, as extensive, convenient and great as it is, it’s not perfect. The simple fact is that not every spot in Seoul can be reached by the subway, or at least not by the subway alone. At the same time, its bus network is also more extensive than other cities and towns, but also seemingly more complex to understand.

In Seoul, the buses are divided into color groups based on their routes. Green buses are ones that go a route that only accesses a select number of neighborhoods in one part of the city. Blue buses, on the other hand, go from nearly one side of the city to another. Then there are red buses which actually go outside of Seoul and into surrounding areas such as Ilsan, Bundang and Yongin. There are other buses in the Seoul area, but these three are the main ones.

Unlike many other countries, the buses in Korea do not have a fixed operating schedule. However, they do typically come every 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the route and the amount of traffic. Luckily you won’t have to stand on the bus stops completely clueless over when the next bus will come. Many bus stops will have an electric sign telling you how many minutes later the next bus will arrive. There are also apps, KakaoBus being the most popular, with which you can check out the arrival time of the next bus as well as its route. On KakaoBus, you can also check out which buses stop at your bus stop.

It really isn’t that difficult to figure out which bus or buses to take to get to your destination. All you need is Naver Map, where you can input your starting location as well as your desired destination, and it will give you the suggested directions, typically mixing both subway and buses.

So what exactly do so many foreigners in Korea find difficult about navigating the buses? There is one issue that seems to rise above everything else: getting off at the right bus stop. Chances are it’s not that difficult for you to find the right bus to take you where you want to go, or the bus stop to get on that bus from. However, actually getting off the bus may be tricky. But why is that? Well, the unfortunate reality of the bus system in Seoul, and frankly all over Korea, is that all of the route information on the bus stop and inside the bus is only available in Korean! This can be tricky to handle for someone who can’t speak Korean, especially if their Naver Map application shows the bus stops in English only. And although many bus stops on many routes are announced in English, not all of them are, leading to anxiety over whether you’re getting off at the right stop. Besides learning to read Korean so you know which stop is coming up, the best you can do in this situation is try to keep track of where you are with your smartphone’s GPS. At least then, you’ll be getting off close to your intended destination.

Bus Network Elsewhere In Korea

Most cities and towns are accessible by express buses from Seoul. There are several terminals all over Seoul, such as East Seoul Terminal in Gangbyeon and Express Bus Terminal, from there you can take a bus to just about anywhere. You can buy the tickets online or at a ticket counter at the terminal. Many of the bus terminals in other cities and towns also offer transportation to other cities and towns besides Seoul.

Compared to Seoul and Busan, many cities and towns in Korea use buses alone as their public transportation. The routes are typically less complex and there are less buses to choose from. However, in these towns the buses will come at larger intervals from one another, so it’s best to plan ahead which bus to take so you won’t end up waiting an hour for a bus to come.

At the end of the day, Korea not only has an extensive subway and train transportation network to get you where you need to go, it has an incredible bus network as well. And although it may be beneficial for you to learn how to use apps such as Naver Map and KakaoBus, as well as learn the names of the needed bus stops in Korean, you’ll be delighted to know that navigating the bus in Korea really isn’t all that difficult after al!

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

The post Using The Bus In Korea appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.


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Korean FAQ – Is June 유월 or 육월? Is October 시월 or 십월?

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Why is June 유월, and not 월? And why is October 시월, and not 월? It would make more sense for them to be 육월 and 십월 due to 6 being 육 and 10 being 십, right? Well, not really.

There's a reason why these words are the way they are, and it has to do with them being easier to say that way. Find out more in detail~

The post Korean FAQ – Is June 유월 or 육월? Is October 시월 or 십월? appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


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Teaching English Is Difficult, But Fortunately You Can Improve Your Situation

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Is teaching English difficult? Are you stressed out? Do you have any of the following problems?

  • Kids that won't pay attention
  • Kids that are talking when they shouldn't be
  • Classes that are out of control
  • Students who won't talk
  • Students who use inappropriate language
  • Teaching large classes
  • Students who are bored
  • Students who don't want to be there
  • Students who are speaking their native language
  • Problems with your boss or management

Do you have any of those problems?

If so then I can understand as I was there once. I have had all of those problems. And most of them are the result of poor lessons. 

Sure...

Sometimes there are difficult kids too, but if you make your lessons better and improve your teaching methods I can guarantee that your situation will improve dramatically.

How do you do it?

Well, the free way is start researching: read books, watch videos, attend workshops, etc. But if you want some guidance and a streamlined course especially focused on teaching kids and solving your problems then I recommend this advanced course.


 
Things You Probably Didn't Know About Teaching English In Asia, But Should Know


Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 15] – Beginner Korean (Listening Practice)

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Want to test your Korean? Here's a beginner-level Korean listening practice. Note that this doesn't mean a l0w-beginner would be able to solve it, but more like someone who's already toward the ending stages of the beginner level. See if you can solve it~

The post Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 15] – Beginner Korean (Listening Practice) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


Gampo Sunrise: How I Got the Shot

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ISO 50 105mm f/7.1 184.0 sec canon 5D MKiii 24-105mm lens with 10 stop ND filter

Recently, I posted this online to one of my favourite photo groups on Facebook and was asked about posting the settings in order to help people better understand how to I achieved this shot. It is a common question but I feel that it only shows part of the puzzle. It’s a bit like asking a cook how much spice did they put in their sufflet. Only knowing the amount, you still won’t be able to make the same dish. Photography is much the same.

With this in mind, I thought that I would breakdown the whole image. Giving you a better understanding of the process rather than hoping if you copy the settings in the image caption that you will achieve a similar result.

Location

I scouted this location a couple of days prior and saw that the rocks in the water are a very interesting. This is a popular area for many photographers. I made a note of this spot due to the foreground elements and the rough waters.

The direction is also facing the East and thus would be best shot at sunrise. With that in mind, I studied the landscape for a moment to find the interesting elements. I saw where the other photographers were and tried to figure out what they were shooting too.

Composition

I composed this image in a way using the rule of thirds, for the most part. I zoomed into the lighthouse and also positioned it that it was in the upper right of the frame and away from the large cluster of rocks. I placed the horizon on the upper third of the frame as I wanted to give more weight the the foreground elements.

An improvement to this image would be to move a bit more to the left and have the rocks diagonally across the frame. This would have eliminated the blank spot in the lower left corner. Sadly, at the time there was another photographer in the exact spot I needed to be. I just had to make do with where I was.

Timing

I returned at sunrise a few days later and got set up early. The above shot was take actually before sunrise during the early part of golden hour. This meant that it was still a little dark and this was key for this type of shot.

The water was a rather calm on this day, so I chose to use a 10-stop neutral density filter to smooth out the water. This is a really dark filter and a risky choice as there is not a lot of time before the sun comes up. However, the effect it has is one that I find desirable and so I was willing to invest the time to get the shot.

Equipment

Using such a dark filter means that you have to have a stable tripod to make sure that your camera does not move in any way. An exposure time of 3 minutes also means that you have to have a shutter release capable of holding down the button for a long period of time. Mine has a locking mechanism that engages when you press the shutter and slide into the lock position. The filter that I used was a cheap “ICE” ND1000 filter that I picked up off of Amazon for around $30. ND filters can get really pricey and I have yet to justify dropping hundreds of dollars on then. This screw-on filter does me just fine at the moment.

Post-Processing

When I got home and after a nap and a LARGE cup of coffee, I began to edit the images. I wanted to show the warm pop of colour on the horizon and also the contrast of the dark rocks in the foreground.

To achieve this I used Skylum’s Luminar and a few of filters. Most notably, I used the “Golden Hour” filter to adjust the warm tones throughout the image and improve the “sunrise feel” to the image. I also used the “Top and Bottom Lighting” filter to lighten the foreground a bit more and then darken the sky.

Finally, I dropped the blacks down a bit more to create a bit more contrast. This drew more focus to the shapes of the rocks than the detail. I wanted to keep this image simple with out too many distracting elements.


The bottom line here is that there is more to an image than just the settings. If you are seeking to truly learn from photographers you must get inside their head a little more. Simply learning the settings is just a one-off piece of information. It is the whole process that will make you a better photographer and your images really stand out.

The post Gampo Sunrise: How I Got the Shot appeared first on The Sajin.


How to Say ‘Enjoy’ in Korean

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Do you think that the more positive vocabulary you know, the more positive you will sound? Who knows, right? But it surely wouldn’t hurt to try! Today you will learn how to say ‘enjoy’ in Korean. It’s a fun and happy word that can be used in a variety of situations. Don’t you just enjoy the sound of that already?

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‘Enjoy’ in Korean

The basic form for how to say enjoy in Korean is 즐기다 (jeulgida). It is the word used for expressing any type of enjoyment, from spending time with your loved ones to your favorite sport. It is sometimes used in a similar context with 재미있어요 (jaemiisseoyo), though the use of 즐기다 is preferable in those instances.

There is also another word for enjoy in Korean, with a slightly different nuance. This word is 누리다 (nurida). It can be used in contexts where we are talking about people of a certain country having high living standards, or in contexts where we talk about someone always being healthy. You can also replace this word with 향유하다 (hyangyuhada).

Associations for ‘Enjoy’ in Korean

Let’s create an association to help us remember 즐기다. To do so, we’ll use “mnemonics” or associations and stories to make recall easier.

What’s the best way to ‘enjoy’ a day? By chilling of course! 즐 sounds roughly likely chill and if you have a guitar to play (or listen to) it is an enjoyable day indeed! Guitar sounds roughly like 기다.

So we can use the image of ourselves being chill with a guitar to enjoy ourselves. 즐기다

You can use this association to get started and when you get better at it you can create your own!

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

Sample Sentences

Happy woman

Formal:

독신 생활을 즐기세요? (dokshin saenghwareul jeulgiseyo?)

Do you enjoy single life?

추석을 즐겁게 보내세요! (Chuseokeul jeulgeobge bonaeseyo!)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

Standard:

아쉽게 그 생일파티를 즐겁지 못했어요. (aswibge geu saengilphathireul jeulgeobji mothaesseoyo.)

Unfortunately I could not enjoy that birthday party.

요새 인생을 즐기고 있어요? (yosae insaengeul jeulgigo isseoyo?)

Are you enjoying life these days?

그 사람들은 어떻게 높은 특권을 향유하는지 알고 있을까요? (geu saramdeureun eoddeokhe nopheun theukkwoneul hyangyuhaneunji algo isseulggayo?)

Do you think those people know just how great privileges they are enjoying?

Informal:

나는 때로는 혼자서 있는 것을 즐겁다고 생각해. (naneun ddaeroneun honjaseo inneun geoseul jeulgeobdago saengkakhae.)

I think it’s enjoyable to be alone sometimes.

나는 바에서 근무하는 내 일을 즐겨. (naneun baeseo geunmuhaneun nae ireul jeulgyeo.)

I enjoy my job at the bar.

나는 운동을 즐기지 않아. (naneun undongeul jeulgiji anha.)

I don’t enjoy exercising.

어떤 스포츠를 즐겨? (Eoddeon seuphocheureul jeulgyeo?)

What kind of sports do you enjoy?

Now that you know how to say ‘enjoy’ in Korean what other Korean words and phrases would you 즐기다 us teaching you next? Let us know in the comments below!

Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto

The post How to Say ‘Enjoy’ in Korean appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.


Tartine Bakery in Hannam-dong, Seoul

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It’s been an age since I actually visited Tartine, but I did want to make a post about it, since there still doesn’t seem much information about it online in English. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a proud owner of the Tartine cookbook, and that the detailed instructions I found inside helped me finally master bread, which I had been trying to do for nearly a decade. I still highly recommend it for anyone who wants to make decent homemade bread but who just can’t seem to get it right. Maybe one day I’ll do a post on how I hacked my toaster oven to produce crusty, bakery-style loaves, but that’s for another time.

Anyway, the point is, I’ve never visited the original Tartine, which was opened in San Francisco in 2002 by Chard Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt, but I’ve heard a lot about it. In 2008, Robertson and Prueitt were named the best pastry chefs in America by the James Beard Foundation, but the real drive behind their bakery has always been the bread.

There’s plenty of good pastry to be found in Seoul these days, but bread is still a bit tricky, so I was really excited to hear Tartine would be opening a branch here in the neighborhood next to mine at the beginning of 2018. Robertson even traveled here to coach the team of 30 local bakers and make sure the Seoul branch was up to snuff. The Seoul staff also made a trip to the original Tartine in San Francisco to train before the Hannam-dong store opened.

When the place first opened, people were lining up around the back and dropping as much as 500 thousand won ($500) at a time on bread and pastries, so I waited a solid four or five months to drop by, hoping the hubbub would die down. But the place was still hopping when I went, even though I was there in the early afternoon on a weekday, so unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a seat and enjoy some of the eat-in menu items I was most curious about.


I hopped in the line that looped around out the front door and bought a bag full of pastries and bread to take home instead. I have to say, I went there for the bread, but I was lured in by the tarts, which looked incredible. They were pretty good — I won’t knock them — but for me, as I said, the draw of Tartine is the bread, and in retrospect, I wish I had stuck to my guns and devoted the money I spent on tarts on more bread instead.

The prices are mental. There’s not getting around that, but that’s pretty much what’s to be expected of an American bakery here in Seoul, especially one that’s known for being pretentiously priced even in the US (anarchists threw rocks through the San Francisco branch’s windows during the 2012 May Day workers’ protest while shouting “Yuppies out!” just to give you an idea). You may pay as much as 20,000 won ($20) for a loaf of bread, which is why I’m not exactly dashing over there every Saturday morning to walk out with a bag of the good stuff. But it’s definitely worth a try.

The bread tastes like bread, rather than tasting of nothing, which is something that’s difficult to find even in the US unless you’re in a bigger city. But just as big of a deal is the texture. It’s easy enough to find a baguette in Seoul, but much harder to find one that is an actual baguette, and not just shaped like one, with the kind of rustic crust and crumb that Tartine’s baguettes have.

The tarts have a nice balance of flavor, as compared to some of the tarts you find here in Seoul, which can be overwhelmingly sweet, in my opinion. You can also get some unique flavors that are hard to find elsewhere, like banana pudding and lemon tart. The croissants and other pastries were not on the level with what you can get in Europe, but I’ve found that most other pastry here is either essentially not even pastry or, at some of the European chains, way, way too greasy. I thought Tartine’s struck a nice balance.

I’m most excited to go back and try their dine-in menu, though. They had some interesting looking options, and a quick glance around the place at the plates of the people who were lucky enough to get a table had me intrigued. I will report back once I’ve had a chance to try that side of things.

Overall, Tartine was a little too pricey to be a regular thing for me, but it would definitely do the trick for when I’m just craving the real thing. They more recently opened a coffee and toast bar within the Ryse Hotel in Hongdae, but I haven’t been with. The website says you can get pastries and coffee at the coffee bar, or have a full meal made with Tartine bread at the toast bar.

Tartine Bakery
서울 용산구 한남대로18길 22
22 Hannamdaero 18-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tel. 02 792 2423
Monday-Sunday 7am-10pm

Coffee and Toast Bar at the Ryse Hotel
서울 마포구 양화로 130
130 Yanghwaro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tel. 02 324 6400
Coffee Bar: Monday-Sunday 7am-9pm
Toast Bar: Monday-Sunday 10am-12am

Click here for the website.

The post Tartine Bakery in Hannam-dong, Seoul appeared first on Follow the River North.


Follow the River North
Followtherivernorth.com

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

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Books & Stuff    Cafés & Shops     Korean Food & Ingredients      Personal     Recipes       Restaurants & Bars


Korean Sentence Connectors Part 2 (~서, ~니까, ~때문에) | Live Class Abridged

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This is an abridged version of the live stream covering sentence connectors, and is part 2 of the previous video. This episode covers ~서, ~니까, ~때문, ~덕분, and more.

The post Korean Sentence Connectors Part 2 (~서, ~니까, ~때문에) | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.


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