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What helped you the most when learning Korean?

What do you think has been the most helpful to you while learning Korean?

For me, a lot of things have been helpful such as having Korean friends to practice with (or dating with a native speaker), or having lived in Korea (I did this too), as well as practicing speaking in general, or watching dramas and listening to music, and many other things.

I talked with my friend Andy, who's also a fluent Korean speaker, about what we felt have been the most helpful things in our Korean learning journey to bring us to where we are now.

The post What helped you the most when learning Korean? appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Daeheungsa Temple – 대흥사 (Gyeongju)

The Gwanseeum-bosal Statue at Daeheungsa Temple in Gyeongju.

Temple History

Daeheungsa Temple is located in northern Gyeongju, and it’s situated at the start of a long valley to the south-east of Mt. Jioksan (569 m). Daeheungsa Temple is a modern temple that belongs to the Yeombul-jong Order, which is one of the twenty-seven Buddhist orders recognized by the Korean government. They give primacy to chanting, and they focus on Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) as their primary Buddha that they worship. Yeombul-jong Buddhism was first founded in 1991 by the monk Kim Yunbo, and its headquarters is located in the city of Daejeon at Wongwangsa Temple. As for Daeheungsa Temple, it’s built on the rather large area of some 12,400 pyeong, which is nearly 41,000 m2.

Temple Layout

You first approach the temple grounds past several farmers fields and up a narrow country road. The temple in fact seems to be misplaced; surrounded by agriculture on all sides. Standing in the centre of the temple parking lot, you’ll face a large retaining wall. Climbing the large set of stairs next to the retaining wall, you’ll finally pass through the Cheonwangmun Gate and enter the lower courtyard at Daeheungsa temple. Housed inside the Cheonwangmun Gate are four rather underwhelming statues dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings.

Finally standing in the lower courtyard, you’ll first notice the overall ornateness of the temple which is opposed to the understated Jogye-jong Order temples. To your immediate left is a statue dedicated to Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag). And a little further left, you’ll find the Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion), which houses a beautiful bronze bell. Straight ahead of you, on the other hand, is a large stone statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion), who stands in the centre of a shallow pond. To the rear of this pond, and elevated on an altar, is a statue dedicated to the Noble Eightfold Path. This statue is then backed by a seated stone statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). And over top of the outdoor shrine, in an archway, is a hanging stone sculpture of a manja (the swastika). To the right rear of the pond, you’ll find another elevated shrine. This time, the shrine is fronted by a large metal Geumgang-jeo (Diamond Pounder), and it’s backed by another large stone image of Seokgamoni-bul. Again, another hanging stone manja sways from an archway over the entire outdoor shrine.

Climbing another flight of stairs to the rear of the Gwanseeum-bosal pond, you’ll next come to the Cheonbul-jeon Hall. Just outside this shrine hall are sixteen large paintings dedicated to the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha). There are also smaller stone statues in this area of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Stepping inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall, and resting on the main altar, is a triad centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This triad, as the name of the temple shrine hall already hints at, is surrounded by a thousand smaller statues of Seokgamoni-bul and Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise).

Up yet another flight of stairs; this time, to the upper courtyard, you’ll pass through the beautiful dragon adorned entry gate. At the top of these stairs, and past the dragon entry gate, you’ll be welcomed to the upper courtyard by a large concrete main hall. The exterior walls to the Geukrak-jeon Hall are only adorned with the traditional dancheong colours. Stepping inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall, you’ll notice a large triad of statues resting on the main altar. This triad is centred by Amita-bul. And this central image is joined on either side by Gwanseeum-bosal and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul).

To the left of the Geukrak-jeon Hall is a training centre for monks. Also in this area is a large statue dedicated to Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha). But it’s to the right of the Geukrak-jeon Hall that your eyes will be most drawn to. Here, you’ll find a white shrine hall, which looks to be Indian-inspired, that houses sari (crystallized remains) inside it. But before stepping inside this elevated outdoor shrine, you’ll first need to pass by the guardians Narayeon Geumgang and Miljeok Geumgang (The Twin Guardians of Korean Temples). And on top of the oval-shaped shrine hall is a five-story stone pagoda. Once you step inside this oval-shaped white hall, you’ll notice that the walls are painted with Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life Murals). And resting on the main altar are the sari.

Just behind this white oval-shaped shrine hall, and to the right of the Geukrak-jeon Hall, is the Samseong-gak Hall. Housed inside this shaman shrine hall are three simplistic shaman murals. They are of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Yongwang (The Dragon King), and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint).

How To Get There

From the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take Bus #203. You’ll need to take this bus for forty-five stops, which will last about one hour and twenty minutes. You’ll need to then get off at the Oksan 2-ri stop and walk for an additional eight hundred and fifty metres to get to Daeheungsa Temple.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Daeheungsa Temple is definitely one of the more difficult temples to locate and then find. It’s placed in a remote part of northern Gyeongju to the rear of several farmers fields. With all of that in mind, Daeheungsa Temple is home to quite a few surprises like the white, oval-shaped shrine with sari inside it. Also as eye catching is the pond with a statue of Gwanseeum-bosal in the centre of it. Everything at Daeheungsa Temple seems to be large, so get out there and enjoy exploring this little known temple that’s apart of a lesser known Buddhist Order. In addition, the temple is just down the valley from Jeonghyesa-ji Temple Site, which houses a thirteen-story pagoda that’s a National Treasure

The front retaining wall at Daeheungsa Temple.
The walk up to the main temple grounds.
The statue of Gwanseeum-bosal.
The Noble Eightfold Path statue with the hanging manja (swastika) and statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) in the background.
Inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall.
The Geukrak-jeon Hall at Daeheungsa Temple.
A look inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall at the main altar triad.
The oval-shaped shrine hall at Daeheungsa Temple.
A statue of Narayeon Geumgang at the entry of the oval-shaped shrine hall.
A look inside the oval-shaped shrine hall with dragons adorning the ceiling and the Palsang-do adorning the walls.
The statue of Mireuk-bul to the left of the Geukrak-jeon Hall.

Squid Game – A glimpse of this popular Korean TV series

If you’ve read the news or been on social media at all lately, “Squid game” might already sound familiar to you. The name itself can already get someone curious, so what is Squid Game all about?

In this article, we will explain to you the plot of the TV show and how it relates to real-life in Korea, especially regarding the children’s games played in it. Let’s see what this much gushed Korean series is all about!

Squid Game

What’s Squid Game about?

Squid Game, also known as 오징어 게임 (Ojingeo Geim), is a Netflix series directed by director Hwang Dong Hyuk. This nine-episode series tells the story of people who were invited to play games, specifically children’s games, and compete for cash in desperate need of money.

These cash-strapped players accepted the strange invitation, and they were eventually picked up and brought to an unknown location. A total of 456 players initially entered the competition, and they quickly realized that winning the massive cash prize (equal to about $USD 38 million) has deadly high stakes.

The first episode out of the nine episodes ends with the majority of the players in the game voting to stop the game, and they initially return to their old lives. However, due to the same circumstances, they agreed to enter the game in the first place, most players end up volunteering to go back to finish the game properly in hopes that they will win the tempting prize.

What does the name Squid Game mean?

The show explains that the name “Squid game” comes from one of the popular children’s games played in the neighborhood of the lead character, Seong Gi-hun (played by actor Lee Jung Jae) when he was young. It is played on a squid-shaped court, with the idea of the game being similar to the Western children’s games tag and Red Rover.

Did real-life events inspire Squid Game?

While Squid Game is not a true story, its creators did draw inspiration from real life in Korea and elsewhere. Notable points were the poor state of the Korean economy back in 2008 and Donald Trump’s presidency.

What games are played on Squid Game?

A couple of different games are played in Squid Game, all of which are actual children’s games played in Korea.

Squid Game Play Games

딱지 (ttakji)

Firstly, Squid Game begins – and also ends – with the main character Seong Gi-hun being approached by a stranger at a subway station, challenging him for a game of 딱지 (ttakji). In this game, a round of “rock, scissor, paper” will denote which player will get to go first. The other player will drop his ttakji – a paper tile – on the ground, and the other player will attempt to throw their tile so that the opponent’s paper tile flips over.

무궁화꽃이 피었습니다 (mugunghwakkotchi pieosseumnida)

The first official game once the participants have entered Squid Game is called Mugunghwa Flower Has Bloomed (무궁화꽃이 피었습니다, mugunghwakkotchi pieosseumnida), which is a game internationally known as “Red Light, Green Light.” The Korean version of the game differs slightly, as instead of yelling out red light or green light, the “it” player will sing “무궁화꽃이 피었습니다.”

This introduces the players to the actual game they’ve entered. If you’ve heard about Squid Game or seen clips of it online, one of the most iconic parts is this game where the “Squid Game doll” chants the 무궁화꽃이 피었습니다 song. The doll appears to be a giant robot doll that detects movements from the players when it’s already “red light” and when they’re not supposed to move. If you’d think of Squid Game, this doll most likely will be the first one to come to mind!

뽑기 (ppopgi)

The first game the participants play once they voluntarily come back to the game is known as Dalgona Challenge – or Ppopgi (뽑기). In this game, each player is given their own honeycomb-like treat, with a figure drawn in, and they are supposed to get the figure out of the treat without breaking it.

줄다리기 (juldarigi)

Game #3 is another children’s game played all around the world, Tug of War. In Korean, the game is called juldarigi (줄다리기). Game #4 is played with marbles. This time, the players get to choose which game featuring marbles; specifically, they want to play, as there are multiple children’s games played with marbles in South Korea. The purpose of any of these games is to collect all of the opponent’s marbles.

Glass Game

Game #5 features a glass bridge and is the only game in the drama that is not an existing game. However, due to the popularity of Korean drama, it is possible to play a version of it online. Try googling “Squid Game, Glass Game,” for example, to find a version of it.

Is Squid Game a real game in Korea?

The final game played in the drama is Squid Game, which is indeed a real game in South Korea. This game requires a big space, like a schoolyard, so that the shape of a squid can be drawn on it. Typically it’s played in two teams. The offense will start the game from the squid’s head, while the defense will be in the squid’s body.

Squid Game Location

Photo credit:

The game starts with the offense team hopping on one foot from the head to the middle point. From there, they have two options to win: they either hop from one side of the center point to another, without the defense managing to disqualify them, or they can hop to the bottom of the squid’s body and try to “combat” past the defense to reach back to the head of the squid. This game is typically played by elementary school-aged boys.

Why should you watch Squid Game?

Squid Game quickly reached the number 1 watched show on Netflix all around the world upon release. In fact, it only took Squid Game four days to reach the spot. There’s even the possibility that Squid Game will become Netflix’s most-watched show altogether, thus far, and it’s certainly grown to be one of its biggest series launches, completely by surprise.

The series is this popular and talked about this much in the media for a reason, so it’s certainly worth being watched by you as well. Here are some highlights on why you could possibly like this series.

Exciting thriller/survival storyline

If you’re interested in a well-done thriller and don’t get squeamish easily, this will be a great watch for you. Similarly, if you enjoy watching movies like Hunger Games, a survival game movie, or Battle Royale, you’ll love this!

Great character background stories

While the games may be more horrifying than entertaining, the characters are incredibly compelling, with heartbreaking stories. It’ll be easy to root for a few of them and thus get emotionally attached to the series. Not to mention, the series feels highly addicting – and will keep you at the edge of your seat until the end of the finale!

The main characters all get a fleshed-out back story that explains their drive to win and has us cheering them on. But the game runners – so, technically the villains – aren’t left without their own backstory, either.

Squid Game Casts

Photo credit:

It’s not your usual plot

Before you watch the TV series, do know that it is quite dark in the subject matter. And, yes, also quite bloody. So as popular as the show may be, it is also not for everyone. It’s certainly a horror show due to its violence and the terrible choices it forces the players to make; it’s undeniable it’s also a deep and thought-provoking drama. Both of these qualities have been masterfully intertwined together. So, if you can give it a try, we highly recommend the series.

Learn more about Korea

Above all else, watching this series can also offer you some interesting perspectives of Korean society and life in Korea. Not only will you learn about the games that children play in Korea, but you’ll also know more about their culture. Plus, it’s always a great lesson in the Korean language!

How can you watch Squid Game?

All you need to watch “Squid Game” is a Netflix account! Alternatively, if you don’t have an account yourself, why not put together a Squid Game marathon with a friend who does have Netflix and might be interested in watching?

The show will be fun to watch alone, but perhaps it might be even more enjoyable if you watch and discuss it together with a friend. There is the option to watch Squid Game dubbed in English in certain locations, but for the best experience, we do suggest watching it in the original language, with subtitles turned on!

Is Squid Game getting a Season 2?

If you have finished watching Squid Game, you might be craving for a second season. There’s a lot of rumor going on about the Squid Game Season 2. The good news is, although there are no well-developed plans yet, it has been confirmed by director Hwang Dong-hyuk that there will be a second season!

Director Hwang has also previously mentioned in an interview that if he were working on the next season for Squid Game, he wouldn’t do it alone; instead, he wants to with multiple experienced directors and considers using a writers’ room for it.

Have you already watched Squid Game? What did you think of it? How many of these children’s games were you familiar with? Don’t forget to also read our article on Korean games if you’d like to know more about the types of games played in South Korea! Also, let us know in the comments similar games that are played in your own country!

The post Squid Game – A glimpse of this popular Korean TV series appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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The Zenith – The Unified Silla Dynasty (668 – 935 A.D.)

A Map of Unified Silla (Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia).

During the Unified Silla Dynasty (668 – 935 A.D.), Korean Buddhism would reach its zenith. A lot of the historic tangible cultural assets like National Treasures, Korean Treasures, and Historic Sites are datable to this time in Korean history. The Silla Kingdom, during the Three Kingdoms Period in Korean history, allied itself with Tang China in the mid-7th century. And in 660 A.D., in the sixth year of King Muyeol of Silla’s reign (r. 654-661 A.D.), the allied forces defeated the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.). Then, in 668 A.D., now under the new kingship of the famous King Munmu of Silla (r. 661-681 A.D.), as well as under the brilliant leadership of Kim Yusin (595 – 673 A.D.), they conquered the northern Goguryeo Kingdom (37 B.C. – 668 A.D.). Interestingly, the conquest of the Goguryeo Kingdom has a Buddhist aspect to it. During one of their largest battles with Goguryeo Kingdom forces, the devout Kim Yusin said, “When human strength has gone, depend on secret assistance.” After saying this, Kim Yusin went to a Buddhist temple where he intensely prayed. Only after saying his prayers did a large star fall from the sky onto the Goguryeo Kingdom camp. With this defeat, the reign of a Unified Silla was complete.

The Stele of King Muyeol in Gyeongju.

Buddhism was the dominant system of belief during the Unified Silla Dynasty. As a result, it played an integral role in both intellectual and cultural life. Numerous monks traveled to Tang Dynasty (618–690, 705–907 A.D.) in China to become better educated in Buddhism. And those that returned to the Korean peninsula brought back various Buddhist texts, relics, and sutras. This helped the peninsula develop both educationally and culturally. Buddhism continued to grow and flourish as it was viewed as protection against foreign invaders like the Chinese and Japanese. And to a small upstart nation like the Unified Silla Dynasty, the belief in protection was vital. And this protective belief was grounded in the nation’s belief in Buddhism.

The foundation to the vitality of the newly formed Unified Silla, other than Buddhism, were the Hwarang. The Hwarang, or Flower Youths, were trained in Buddhist teachings by Buddhist monks. The Hwarang were young warriors aged anywhere from between fourteen to eighteen years old. They were chosen from aristocratic families based on their looks and ability. Originally, the Hwarang were formed by King Jinheung of Silla (r. 540 – 576 A.D.), who was a devout Buddhist. Not only did this group allow the Silla Dynasty, during the Three Kingdoms Period, to thrive, but they also allowed it to outdistance any other kingdom on the Korean peninsula both politically and militaristically. Many famous kings and generals, like Kim Yusin, were ex-Hwarang. And their contribution to Silla society was immeasurable.

The Tomb of Queen Seondeok in Gyeongju.

During this period in Korean Buddhist history, a primary shift was made from Gyo, or doctrinal learning, towards Seon, which was focused more on direct experience and meditation. Specifically, Seon doctrine taught that belief shouldn’t, and couldn’t, be grounded in writing alone. Instead, Seon believed that enlightenment could be attained through meditation and the mind. It’s believed that Seon Buddhism first entered Korea sometime during the 7th century during Queen Seondeok of Silla’s reign from 632 – 647 A.D. Unfortunately, it was only vaguely understood at this time. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 9th century, during Unified Silla, that it became more commonly practiced. As a result, this then led to the creation of the influential “Gusan Seonmun – 구산선문” during this time. Seon Buddhism’s great popularity stemmed from its wide acceptance in the countryside by its gentry. The reason for its acceptance was twofold. Obviously, it gave the people something to believe in; but it also provided a basis for countryside independence from the political power that was found in the capital of Gyeongju.

An image of Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) from Jogyesa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

At this time, the Hwaeom sect of Buddhism was founded by Uisang-daesa (625 – 702 A.D.). It taught a doctrine of an all-encompassing harmony. This harmony focused on the belief that the one contains the whole, and that the whole contains the one. The purpose of this belief was to embrace all sentient beings, big or small, under a single Buddha mind. Another popular form of Buddhism at this time was Pure Land Buddhism. This form of Korean Buddhism focused on Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). It was especially popular among commoners. Pure Land Buddhism was popular among Koreans for two reason. The first is that it allowed people an escape from despair and gave them hope during a time in Korean history of danger and insecurity. The other reason it was so popular is that it was easy to practice. All it took for practitioners to show devotion was simply to chant, “Namu Amita-bul,” which roughly translates into English as, “I sincerely believe in Amita-bul.” In performing this chant, one could be reborn in the Western Paradise and escape this world’s pain and suffering.

There were a vast range of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that were highly popular during the Unified Silla Dynasty. At this time, Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) was highly popular. The reason that Mireuk-bul was so popular is that he was believed to have come to the Korean peninsula, in the form of Hwarang, to help Silla in becoming a Buddhist land. Another popular Buddha, as was already mentioned because of Pure Land Buddhism, was Amita-bul. Finally, and as a result of the Lotus Sutra, Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) was highly popular, as well.

The Daeung-jeon Hall at Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Much of Korea’s historic tangible past dates back to this period in Korean history in the form of temples, hermitages, statues, and pagodas. Such monks as Jajang-yulsa (590-658 A.D.) built Tongdosa Temple in 646 A.D. This made Tongdosa Temple the first Korean Buddhist temple to house the earthly remains of the Historical Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul. In addition to countless other monastic creations, the Silla nobility also helped in the spread of Buddhism’s popularity. These Buddhist buildings and structures were created by the nobility as a way of attracting good fortune during a time of frequent instability and insecurity. In addition to these structures, stupas (stone monuments that house the earthly remains of prominent monks) were increasing in number due to the increased popularity in Seon Buddhism and the idea of lineage. The oldest datable stupa was constructed during this period in 790 A.D.

The Unified Silla Dynasty was lucky early on to be ruled by notable kings like the first, King Munmu of Silla (r. 661 – 681). During his reign, he unified the peninsula and consolidated his rule that was centralized around a Buddhist belief system. However, as devout as King Munmu was, even he placed restrictions on Buddhism. In 665 A.D., during the fifth year of his reign, he ordered people not to donate land frivolously to Buddhist temples. He believed that temples had already become too prosperous for their own good. With all this being said, King Munmu still appointed monks as government officials. In 670 A.D., King Munmu appointed monk Sinhye as a government official, which highlights the influence Buddhism had not only on people, but also over government policy making. And in 671 A.D., the famous Buddhist monk, Uisang-daesa returned from China to warn Silla against a potential northern invasion. This was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that a Buddhist monk came to the aid of their nation.

Interestingly, it’s also at the height of Buddhism in Korea that its eventual ideological usurper, Confucianism, started to rival the more traditional system of thought in Korea. Confucianism gained traction among some Koreans because it stressed a set of moral standards for the world of human affairs. And as Confucians offered a beneficial system of moral and social values, Buddhism had a hard time competing with the hearts and minds of individuals in this sphere because Buddhism emphasized, and still emphasizes, personal salvation. While Confucianism had a long way to go to combat the dominant Buddhist belief system at this time, it eventually would in the centuries to come. But that change was still a few centuries off.

The Stone Brick Pagoda of Bunhwangsa Temple in Gyeongju.

The peak of Korean Buddhism, both tangibly and culturally came in the mid to latter half of the 8th century. This was especially true during the reign of King Gyeongdeok of Silla (r. 742 – 765 A.D.). During the 13th year of his reign, the Hwangnyongsa Temple bell in Gyeongju was cast. And in 756 A.D., the Bunhwangsa Temple’s Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha) statue was made. And after his death, but under his initial guidance, the famous Bell of King Seongdeok was finally completed in 771 A.D. While Buddhism thrived under King Gyeongdeok of Silla’s reign, it would reach its heights during King Seondeok of Silla’s reign from 780 – 785 A.D. Both Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Hermitage were completed during his reign. They were constructed for then Prime Minister, Kim Daeseong’s past and present parents.

Unfortunately, the final century of Unified Silla Dynasty rule was one of constant civil war. And while Buddhism would remain the national religion under the succeeding rulers of the Korean peninsula, the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), Korean Buddhism would never achieve such splendid cultural heights as it did during the Unified Silla Dynasty.

Inside the Seokguram Grotto on Mt. Tohamsan in Gyeongju.

Does 고 싶다 use the Subject or Object Marker? | Korean FAQ

When using the ~고 싶다 form, do you mark the noun using the Subject Marker or the Object Marker?

Both the Subject Marker and the Object Marker can be used for marking the noun with the ~고 싶다 form.

However, one of these forms will often sound more natural than the other form, and that's the Subject Marker. Find out the reasoning why, and how you can use this form.

The post Does 고 싶다 use the Subject or Object Marker? | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

GM shows no plan for EV production in Korea

 A key GM official threw a wet blanket on the Korean auto industry that has hoped GM may manufacture electric vehicles in its two plants in Korea. Steve Kiefer, GM International President, said in a press conference on Nov 12 that GM Korea will launch 10 new EV models in Korea by 2025, but none will be made locally. Mr.Kiefer added GM Korea will launch a new crossover model in 2023 at its Changwon plant. The crossover model will be a key product  for GM Korea to sell locally as well as export to overseas, following the footsteps of Trailblazer SUVs that have been exported  over 100,000 units since its launch in 2020 at Bupyeong plant.  When closing its Gunsan plant in 2019, GM Korea made a commitment to the Korean government to invest 900 billion won($7.5B) in its Changwon plant for the next four years. 

GM models are respected by Korean, evidenced by the word "Gemucee"(제무시) coined during the Korean War. Wowed at the performance of GMC military trucks used in the mountainous Korean terrain, Koreans called anything that is about power, strength, durability, or reliability as Gemucee.  For example, "Mike Tyson is a real Gemucee to beat his opponents with 19 straight K.O.s." Or, "You must be a Gemucee to have 11 kids!"  A few of these Gemucee trucks are still active in Korea over 70 years after the Korean War. Korean consumers respect GM products.  Korea has a strong auto supplier base including EV battery companies like LG Chemical, so many hope GM CEO Mary Barra sends Mr.Santa Claus instead  for the next press interview in Seoul. 

Speaking ONLY KOREAN with my bilingual son | Korean ice cream stores with no staff

My son is bilingual, and also happens to like ice cream (who doesn't). So I took him to an ice cream store that's open all day without any staff members, since it would be easy to film there, and let him pick out a few of his favorite flavors. Then we brought them back to our apartment and tried each of them. The whole time we're speaking only in Korean.

The post Speaking ONLY KOREAN with my bilingual son | Korean ice cream stores with no staff appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Munsuam Hermitage – 문수암 (Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do)

The Amazing View from Munsuam Hermitage in Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Hermitage History

Munsuam Hermitage is located in western Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do. The hermitage is named after Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). Munsuam Hermitage was first established in 688 A.D., when the famed monk Uisang-daesa (625 – 702 A.D.) built it. Uisang-daesa was led to the top of Mt. Muesan (545.6 m) by Munsu-bosal and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). The two Bodhisattvas appeared as beggars to Uisang-daesa. Uisang-daesa had a dream in which a Buddhist devotee foretold the coming of these two Bodhisattvas. Outside of the hermitage’s foundation, very little is known about it through the centuries. The hermitage shrine halls are modern creations, and the stupa (budo) that houses the sari (crystallized remains) of the monk Cheongdam was placed on the hermitage grounds in 1973.

Munsuam Hermitage has one of the most scenic views in all of Korea. The hermitage faces towards the south and the dozens of tiny islands that dot the South Sea. And between the hermitage and the sea are rolling waves of twisted red pines along the neighbouring ridgelines. Crowning the neighbouring mountain top to the south, and a little lesser in elevation, is Bohyeonsa Temple, which is named after the Bodhisattva that also assisted Uisang-daesa to the top of the mountain. So with the South Sea, the rolling ridgelines, the neighbouring Bohyeonsa Temple, the views from Munsuam Hermitage are simply breath-taking.

Hermitage Layout

You first approach Munsuam Hermitage up a zig-zagging road that winds its way up the side of the sloping mountain. When you finally do arrive at the hermitage grounds, you’ll notice that most of the shrine halls are precariously placed on the face of the mountain. The second thing you’ll probably notice is the amazing view. And rather remarkably, all of this can be seen just from the hermitage parking lot.

Passing by a cute collection of wood carvings, you’ll first encounter the Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Munsuam Hermitage to your left. Inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall are wall-to-wall statues of the Buddha. And resting under the main altar’s red canopy (datjib) is a triad centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is joined on the main altar by Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) and Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisatva of Compassion). Completing the artistic interior of the Cheonbul-jeon Hall are a collection of Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha) paintings on the ceiling of the shrine hall.

As you make your way from the lower courtyard that houses the Cheonbul-jeon Hall, towards the upper courtyard, you’ll pass by a storage building and an observation deck. It’s from this observation deck, which is also where the stupa (budo) that houses the partial remains of Cheongdam, that you’ll get the best view of the South Sea off in the distance. On the observation deck, you’ll also find a tortoise-based stele (biseok) and a stone statue dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul.

Further up the pathway, and now standing in the upper courtyard at Munsuam Hermitage, you’ll find the main hall. The exterior walls to this hall are adorned with beautiful Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals). As for the interior, and sitting all alone on the main altar, is an image of Gwanseeum-bosal. To the left of the main altar is a shrine with a standing statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal. And on the far left wall is a uniquely painted Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And to the right of the main altar is a statue of a youthful Munsu-bosal riding a blue lion. This statue is backed by a panel of glass that looks out onto a neighbouring mountain crevice, which is where a statue of Munsu-boal miraculously appeared to Uisang-daesa. And on the far right wall is a memorial shrine for the dead.

To the right of the main hall at Munsuam Hermitage is another observation deck that looks out more towards the rolling ridgelines of the neighbouring mountains. And to the left of the main hall are the monks’ dorms. And it’s from out in front of this building that you get some more spectacular views of the sea and the tiny islands off in the distance.

The final shrine hall that visitors can explore at Munsuam Hermitage is the Dokseong-gak Hall. This shaman shrine hall is situated up a treacherous mountain pathway. In fact, a portion of the mountain’s rocky face has been cut away to allow visitors access to this rather hard to reach shrine hall. Once you do finally arrive at the shaman shrine hall crowning the hermitage grounds, you’ll be greeted by a solitary image of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) inside the Dokseong-gak Hall.

How To Get There

From Goseong, you’ll need to take a taxi to get to Munsuam Hermitage, as there are no buses that go directly to the hermitage. The taxi ride will be around 13,000 won from the Goseong Intercity Bus Terminal. And the ride should take about twenty-five minutes (one way). Just make sure you hang onto your taxi, because it’s a long walk back to the terminal from Munsuam Hermitage.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Without a doubt, Munsuam Hermitage is one of the most beautifully located Buddhist sites in Korea right up there with Boriam Hermitage in Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do and Hyangiram Hermitage in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do. Adding to the hermitage’s scenic location is the crowning Dokseong-gak Hall and the main hall at Munsuam Hermitage. While lesser visited, Munsuam Hermitage is an absolute must see!

The amazing view from Munsuam Hermitage.
And a look towards the neighbouring Bohyeonsa Temple.
The Cheonbul-jeon Hall at Munsuam Hermitage.
The colourful interior of the Cheonbul-jeon Hall.
The statue of Seokgamoni-bul and the stupa dedicated to Cheongdam on the observation deck at Munsuam Hermitage.
The view from the observation deck.
And another amazing angle towards Bohyeonsa Temple off in the distance.
A closer look.
The view from the main hall.
A look inside the main hall at Munsuam Hermitage.
The statue of Munsu-bosal inside the main hall.
The uniquely designed Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).
The pathway leading up to the Dokseong-gak Hall.
And the statue of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) inside the Dokseong-gak Hall.

School in Korean – Words and phrases related to education

Today we will teach you how to say school in Korean. You will also learn a variety of words and phrases related to all things school.

Being a student and attending school can be enjoyable as it’s where you can meet a lot of friends. If you’re currently studying in South Korea, these terms might come in handy.

Sit down comfortably with your notes open, and let’s get to studying!

How to say “school” in Korean

You can say “school” in Korean as 학교 (hakgyo). For each different level of schooling, from elementary school to university, the word 학교 is attached.

This lesson will primarily focus on the words related to school in Korean. However, there will be a separate article focusing more on schools in South Korea.

Vocabulary for school in Korean

Here is some common vocabulary related to school in Korean.

Words for schools in South Korea

There are different levels of education in South Korea. Here are some of them.

초등학교 (chodeunghakgyo)elementary school
중학교 (junghakgyo) middle school
고등학교 (godeunghakgyo)high school
대학교 (daehakgyo)university
대학원 (daehagwon)graduate school
학원 (hagwon)cram school, private academy
유치원 (yuchiwon)kindergarten
전문대 (jeonmundae)college
어학원 (eohagwon)language school
어학당 (eohakdang)language school
기숙 학교 (gisuk hakgyo)boarding school

Words for people related to school in Korean

Here are some words for roles that people have related to school.

교수 (gyosu)professor
교사 (gyosa)school teacher
선생님 (seonsaengnim)teacher
학생 (haksaeng)student
중학생 (junghaksaeng) middle school students
고등학생 (godeunghaksaeng) high school students
초등학교 선생님 or 초등학교 교사 (chodeunghakgyo seonsaengnim or chodeunghakgyo gyosa) primary school teacher
반 친구들 (ban chingudeul) classmates

Words for subjects in Korean

Different subjects are taught at school. Here are some of them in Korean.

과목 (gwamok)subject
수학 (suhak)mathematics
과학 (gwahak)science

Verbs related to school in Korean

Below are some action words related to school in Korean.

가르치다 (gareuchida) to teach
배우다 (baeuda)to learn
연습하다 (yeonseupada)to practice
공부하다 (gongbuhada)to study
교육하다 (gyoyukada)to educate

Other words related to school in Korean

We’ve also listed down additional essential vocabulary related to school in Korean.

학부 (hakbu) department
수업 (sueop)class
시험 (siheom)exam
강당 (gangdang) auditorium, assembly hall
학교식당 (hakgyosikdang)school cafeteria
교실 (gyosil)classroom
학년 (hangnyeon)grade
교육 (gyoyuk)education
도서관 (doseogwan) library
학기 (hakgi)semester

Elementary school in Korean

Elementary school in Korean is called 초등학교 (chodeunghakgyo). The elementary school falls under primary education.

Middle school in Korean

Falling under secondary education, middle school in Korean is called 중학교 (junghakgyo). Middle school students are called 중학생 (junghaksaeng) in Korean.

High school in Korean

After middle school, the high school level comes next. The word for high school in Korean is 고등학교 (godeunghakgyo). A high school student is called 고등학생 (godeunghaksaeng) in Korean.

Graduate school in Korean

The word for graduate school in Korean is 대학원 (daehagwon).

Graduation in Korean

The word for graduation in Korean is 졸업 (joreop), and the verb “to graduate” is 졸업하다 (joreopada). The word for graduation ceremony is 졸업식 (joreopsik). The word for ceremony is 식 (sik).

University in Korean

The word for university in Korean is 대학교 (daehakgyo). Sometimes, when spoken of a specific university, for example, 한양대학교 (hanyangdaehakgyo), it may get shortened as 대 (dae). In other words, instead of saying the full 한양대학교, you may just say 한양대 (hanyangdae). Like this:

한양대에서 졸업했어요.

(hanyangdaeeseo joreopaesseoyo.)

I graduated from Hanyang University.

College in Korean

The word for college in Korean is 전문대 (jeonmundae). However, frequently the term 대학교 (daehakgyo) is used interchangeably or is shortened as 대학 (daehak). Typically the word 전문대 is used specifically for colleges with programs lasting 2-3 years, as opposed to a university’s 4-year degrees.

Teacher in Korean

There are two words for “teacher” in the Korean language. The first one is 교사 (gyosa) which translates to school teacher, and the other one is 선생님 (seonsaengnim) which literally means teacher. The difference between the two is that 선생님 (seonsaengnim) is an honorific, while 교사 (gyosa) isn’t.

In addressing your teachers directly, you should say 선생님 (seonsaengnim), not 교사 (gyosa).

For example, “Hello, teacher!” in Korean is 선생님, 안녕하세요! (seonsaengnim, annyeonghaseyo!) and not 교사, 안녕하세요! (gyosa, annyeonghaseyo!).

Student in Korean

When there’s a teacher, there’s also a student. And Korean students are generally called 학생 (haksaeng). As you learn Korean and improve your language skills, you can also consider yourself as 학생 (haksaeng).

Book in Korean

The word for book in Korean is 책 (chaek). However, for school book specifically, the words typically used are 교과서 (gyogwaseo) and 학교 도서 (hakgyo doseo).

Study in Korean

There are a few words for how to say study in Korean. Perhaps the most common one is 공부 (gongbu). You can also use it as the verb “to study” by attaching 하다 (hada) to the verb, like this 공부하다 (gongbuhada). Sometimes the word 학습 (hakseup) is also used. More specifically, this noun means “learning.”

Pencil in Korean

The word for pencil in Korean is 연필 (yeonpil). And the word for “pen” in Korean is 펜.

Go to School in Korean

Lastly, you will probably want to know how to say go to school in Korean. The phrase for this is 학교에 다니다 (hakgyoe danida). The word 학교 means “school,” and the verb 다니다 means “to go” and “to attend.” Based on the formality, you can drop 다 and add -녀(요) to use the verb in action.

The 에 attached to 학교 is an integral Korean particle, noting location or time. If you are still unfamiliar with this particle or Korean particles in general, we kindly ask you to refer to our particle guide.

Cartoon teacher with pupils, school kids sitting at desks in classroom. Elementary school children studying in class vector illustration. Children having geography test or exam, getting knowledge

Phrases related to school in Korean

Now that we’ve learned some Korean words related to school in Korean, let’s level it up to the Korean phrases below.

좋은 대학교에 입학하게 되기 위해서 열심히 공부해요. (joeun daehakgyoe ipakage doegi wihaeseo yeolsimhi gongbuhaeyo.)

I study hard because I want to get into a good university.

제가 제일 좋은 수업은 영어에요. (jega jeil joeun sueobeun yeongeoeyo. )

My favorite school subject is English.

지금 한국어학원을 다니고 있어요. (jigeum hangugeohagwoneul danigo isseoyo.)

I am currently attending Korean language school.

일주일에 학원에서 3개 수업을 들어요. (iljuire hagwoneseo 3gae sueobeul deureoyo.)

I take three classes a week in a private academy.

And now you should be ready to talk about school in Korean! Do you have plans to attend school in South Korea, or have you already attended school in Korea? How else can you make today’s material useful to you? Let us know in the comments below!

The post School in Korean – Words and phrases related to education appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.


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