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Priya

Hi friends,

I’ve began my journey in learning Korean in March 2021. Despite having learning the Hangul and basic grammar, I still find it challenging to understand spoken Korean particularly in Kdrama and Kmovies.


I realised I have been facing 3 main challenges in learning Korean and I’ve listed them down below:-

1. Conjugation Korean words from dictionary form to Past Tense. Present Tense and Future Tense

E.g 가다 – to go

a) Any tips on how to help learners conjugate Korean words?

 

2. Making sentences using conjugated words in Past Tense. Present Tense and Future Tense or other forms of conjugation

e.g 보다 - to see ➡️ 보세요 or 볼 수 없어

a) Sometimes, it’s difficult to make sentences using conjugated Korean verbs

 

3. Combining Korean words

e.g 하다 - to do + 요리 – to cook = 요리하다

a) How to combine these words and use them in a sentence?


I’m wondering if any of you are facing the same challenges as I do. Wishing you all a wonderful day ^^

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Shanna

                                                                                         



                                                                                                           Idol Webtoons Part 1 [Series]


Hey everyone! It’s great to see you here again!😆

Today, I’m excited to be reviewing a Webtoon based on HYBE Entertainment’s (known as Big Hit Entertainment before changing the company name) male group; Enhypen. I love this group!

                                                                                               

                                                                                                (Enhypen 'Drunk Dazed'  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc7-Oe0tj5k )


 I watched them in their Survival Show; I-Land. (You can watch I-Land on Viki Rakuten) It was a very emotional ride for me, so I’m sure it must’ve been tough for them. But they worked hard and debuted so I’m very proud of them! I am going to be reviewing every Webtoon inspired and created by Hybe Entertainment groups. So this will be part one of this series! I’m so excited!

Shall we get started? 




Dark Moon: The Blood Alter (Enhypen) (Ongoing)

https://enhypen.fandom.com/wiki/DARK_MOON

The link above will give you more information about this webtoon./ Click the underlined title to go read. 

Who would enjoy this read: If you enjoy reading about Vampires and Werewolves then I recommend this read. There are also many cute and funny moments which is something I personally enjoyed very much.

Who wouldn’t enjoy this read: If you’re not very interested in fantasy creature-based genres then you’re likely to not like this read. 

Personal Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ (Exciting/Funny)

Rating on Webtoon: 9.85/10 (9.2 Million Readers) 



Out of the 3 webtoons that I’ll be reviewing today, this one is personally my favorite. I’ve always been very into vampires and werewolf-based novels, movies, and comics. There’s something about it that has always fascinated and intrigued me. There may be a few spoilers, so just be aware haha!



This story follows a student named Sooha. Due to her dark past, she hates vampires more than anything in the world… the difficult thing about that is, she may or may not be a vampire, no one really knows yet. But she has interesting abilities. 

Sooha is a bit of an outcast because she doesn’t want anyone to find out about her past and hate her more than she already hates herself. This has also caused her to have a bit of social anxiety. Although it’s not her fault, she can’t change the fact that she is different.

She meets one of the students at her new school named Heli (who is inspired by the Enhypen member Heeseung) who seems to quickly become drawn to her. He’s a bit mysterious, and soon she meets his other friends who are kind (most of them are) but quite mysterious as well. They are all vampires who grew up together in an orphanage. Sooha still has no idea what they are by the way… Yikes.😬

(Dark Moon Main Characters inspired by Enhypen members)



There is one friend, Solon (inspired by Enhypen member Sunghoon), that even though he’s drawn and attracted to Sooha he happens to be harboring a really big secret (other than the fact that he’s a vampire😅). So he doesn’t want to have a “human” around him and his friends.  They all have this attraction to her and it can definitely make things complicated (and confusing... at least for me...)

In the recent episode, she stops Heli’s friends from fighting with a group of werewolves who are from another school. They are all confused because they said that it felt like she put them under some kind of spell or something. I found it so interesting because even though the webtoon goes over some of Sooha’s past in the beginning, there is still so much that we have to find out about her. And there's a ton to learn about the guys too. 

I DEFINITELY recommend you to read this webtoon. It’s still ongoing as it’s a new release, but I can’t wait to see how the storyline comes along. I am so excited!


                                                                                                             Closing Note

Although these series' are inspired by Hybe Entertainment groups, they still have their main characters aside from them. I really like that a lot. Dark Moon specifically has a lot of points and twists that I really like. Even though I'm sure it'll have some cliché parts, I enjoy the unpredictability of the story.

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Chris

Three reasons why I love k-drama

(short version)

If you only have 2 minutes for a quick read, here’s my top three reasons.


Reason 1.  Learn to speak Korean faster

·     turn of subtitles in your own language

·     do a hundred hours of Youtube rabbit hole jumping to learn about the food and culture

·     drink heaps of soju and find your singing voice.


Reason 2.  Plots, subplots, twists and turns

·     compare k-drama plots to other countries

·     learn how to do that wonderful Asian squat

·     Find any other non k-drama series that offers hunky goblins and vampires (let me know?)


Reason 3.  Visual feel goods

·     See the world with great scenery, music, and eye candy

·     Online shopping opportunities

·     Did I mention eye candy or hot oppas? 


If you’ve got 5 minutes, read on for the longer version.


Three reason why I love k-drama (longer version)


Covid-19 restrictions for me, meant working from home, being closer to the fridge, the lounge, and the TV, which was great for the first month. When I complained to my sister about my brain cells dying of boredom she suggested watching a k-drama on Netflix. She just forgot to tell me how addictive it can be!

 

My very first k-drama was Chocolate, the story of a doctor who abandoned his childhood dream to open a restaurant, and a woman who became a chef because a boy cooked a delicious meal for her when she was a hungry, lonely child. The two characters meet as adults working in a hospice for terminally ill patients. I was hooked from the first episode. So began my love affair with k-drama.

 

I have tried to contain my list to only three main reasons why I love K-drama, but it’s been difficult. If you’ve already fallen in love with k-drama or if you are learning the Korean, or want to travel to South Korea one day, you may already have your own list of reasons why you love K-drama, and you’ll know why it’s so hard to have only three reasons.

                                                                           

                                                                     So here we go  .  .  .             

 


Reason number 1.    Culture language, food, history, and all the stuff I can learn about Korea.


Trying to learn the language? K-dramas can be a big help, especially if you turn off the subtitles in your own language and try to listen and identify the more commonly used words and phrases.

Before you know it, you will be giving a little bow and singing out annyeonghaseyo to your neighbour, or sitting on your bed surrounded by soggy tissues and your nightie covered in crisps, softly whispering  saranghae to your cat.



 

Love food? Koreans love food and why wouldn’t they, with all that delicious crunchy chicken, spicy stews, and sweet syrupy pancakes? Of course, each meal is served with a bowl of rice and a hundred different side dishes, (slight exaggeration). Sometimes Koreans drink maekju (beer) or soju (Korean distilled spirit) to wash it down.

 


Be careful if you decide to try soju because it comes in different flavours. My quiet sister-in-law once went to a Korean restaurant and ordered peach soju, then drank a full bottle (in cute little glasses), thinking it was a novel way to drink a soft drink. She later told me she could hardly stand up and had to wobble out of the restaurant holding onto my brother who had his hand over her mouth to stop her from singing.

 


K-dramas can cause weight gain. No doubt about it. Every k-drama shows steaming ramen noodles or a bubbling pot of jjigae or the characters talk about eating all the time.  If you’re anything like me, the mere suggestion of food has me leaping out of bed like a slightly rounded gazelle, coming back for the next episode five minutes later with a steaming bowl of instant noodles and snapping chopsticks. The fogged-up glasses and extra load of calories at 2am in the morning does not deter me at all.

 


Want to know about the culture and history? K-dramas are a clever way to learn the history of Korea from Joseon dynasties and Kings, right up to the current day. There’s also a k-drama about King Sejong who together with his scholars invented Hangeul which we use today. You could read an encyclopedia or watch YouTube to learn this as well, but I find it so much more entertaining to watch and learn from k-drama. Have a look at Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth to see what I mean. Ah hah.  Now we’re talking.


K-dramas also invite us into the world of the characters and allow us to experience and learn about Korean culture, from early days to now, the values, traditions, special occasions, births, weddings and funerals and everything in between.

 


Reason number 2.  Plots, sub-plots, twists, and turns, and lots of BIG emotions.


There is no doubt that the writers and directors of Korean drama and Korean films are up there with the absolute best. Say goodbye to boring predictable storylines where the ending becomes evident in the first ten minutes.

In K-dramas, just when you think you’ve worked out the story line and plausible ending, along comes another plot twist, such as, the lead character was abandoned as a baby, (saved by a poor fisherman who had a daughter the same age) then he grew up and fell in love with his childhood friend who may, or may not, now be his cousin or sister. And they’ve already kissed. Gasp.You get the idea.


The average k-drama has 16 to 20 one-hour episodes and that gives time to get to know each character well and then to
experience every emotion or crisis as though it was your own.  

Yearning, hunger, love, anger, sadness – it’s all there.  And the male character cry openly and often, a great example of humanness, especially for those growing up in a culture that implies men crying publicly is a sign of weakness.  Viewers also get to watch deep male friendships developing, often referred to as ‘bromances.’


The female characters embody sadness by sometimes dropping to the deep Asian squat in the middle of the footpath, head to knees, making big sobbing noises until they feel better, or until the love interest finds them, whatever comes first. How do they do that?

I’ve always been fascinated, and I have now incorporated learning how to do this drop bear pose in my exercise routine. I only wish those four gorgeous Korean trainers (Allblanc hear my plea) would put in hot tips on how to make my body bend that way without falling on my nose, or worse. Can anyone else do the deep Asian squat?  Without lifting your heels off the ground?

Also, there’s a genre for every preference, so if you’re into fantasy, ghosts and goblins, horror, mystery, vampires, historical, out of this world creatures, gaming, robots or romance, k-drama has a genre for you. Fill your boots.

 


Reason number 3.  The visual feel goods

 


In my experience, k-drama directors combine great cinematography with South Korea’s stunning locations to bring unforgettable scenes that can identify and distinguish one k-drama from another. 

 

For example, k-drama lovers who see this image might be able to identify it quickly as a scene from Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, (it was filmed at one of the breakwaters near Yeongjin Beach). Toss in some great lines, good acting, and a bit of heart rendering music and you’ve got an unforgettable scene, with unforgettable emotions.

 

If you plan to travel to South Korea, there are now k-drama tours set up to cart the enthusiasts, such as myself, to all the different spectacular filming locations. Imagine being on a day tour with a heap of other people who love the same thing as you do?

 

K-dramas allow us to live vicariously among the wealthy, with their latest fashion, jewelry, luxury cars, phones, and the inside world of the rich. Sometimes, I prefer to relate to the characters struggling with poverty and hardship, those with a part time job and a cute little rooftop apartment that has an outside space for their friends to BBQ pork belly and drink soju in the middle of the night.

The visual feel goods encourage me to look at my own life and try to make changes. Recently, at the end of one series, I found myself re-arranging my pot plants and ordering knock off earrings and a Korean electric BBQ plate online.


Quite different from the real thing, but about as close as I can afford right now.

   

Did I mention eye candy? All those hot hunky actors and actresses – whatever takes your fancy? Be still my racing heart. Strong lead characters, especially tall, good-looking guys who work out and beautiful young women can move into character and deliver lines well go a long way towards the success of a series.

Wonderful cinematography, great script/story writing, inspirational settings and attractive and relatable characters add up to an ideal experience when immersing yourself in a k-drama.


What I wouldn’t give to have one of those handsome oppas carry me home on his back after I had too much to drink or rush me to the hospital if I cut my finger.

Anyway, I warned you that it wasn’t easy to keep to only three reasons why I love k-drama. I hope you love k-drama too. 


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Bingo

안녕하세요 ! 

I'm newbie here 

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Shanna


Top 3 Popular Webtoons That Make You Want to Start Over



Today we’ll be going over some Korean Webtoons that will either have you wanting to read again from the beginning, or they will have you thinking about how you can be a better person in your life. This list will include a variety of genres.

Let’s begin, shall we?




1. About Death, by Hyeono and Sini

https://myanimelist.net/manga/50027/About_Death

The link above will give you more information about this webtoon.



Who would enjoy this read: For those who enjoy heartfelt and touching webtoons/stories, this is for you. (Or if you like to cry then this is very much for you. 😅)

Who wouldn’t enjoy this read: If you’re not one for too serious or wholesome topics, then you may not enjoy this read much. 

Personal Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜(Inspirational/ Heartfelt)

Rating on Webtoon: 9.8/10 (6.1 Million Readers) 


About Death is personally my favorite Webtoon that I’ve read in a long time which is why it’s number 1. In each short chapter, we see people of various different deaths, meet God. Whether it’s a murderer's death, a car accident, or natural causes, each story is for sure to keep you wanting to read to the end of each chapter. There are also a few chapters that had me misty-eyed or in tears.🥺

Each person either lived a horrific life, a busy life, or a life where they only cared for others more than themselves. In this Webtoon, God seemed to have a very monotone wittiness to him, but his personality did show some slight changes depending on each deceased person. 

As someone who is not a very religious person, I loved how the creators showed how many people may have felt whilst going through a tough time and having religion thrown at them. The creators also went over a few topics that many young people these days go through and it was very touching.

Even if you don’t believe in God or a specific religion in general, I still highly recommend this webtoon. The art itself is very simple and in black and white, which was very giving to the stories that were being told.



2. True Beauty, by Yaongyi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Beauty_(South_Korean_TV_series)

The link above will give you more information about this webtoon/ drama.



Who would enjoy this read: If you like heartfelt as well as funny and cute romance then I think you will love this Webtoon.

Who wouldn’t enjoy this read: If you aren’t interested in romance or don’t have a taste for beauty talk or women empowerment as well then this webtoon is more than likely not for you.

Personal Rating:❤️❤️❤️❤️ (Cute, Funny, Empowering)

Webtoon Rating: 9.6/10 (834.9 Million Readers) 

Where to watch Drama Adaptation: Viki Rakuten


True Beauty is honestly such a masterpiece. I’m sure many of you have already seen the drama adaptation, (I have of course.💅) but if you haven’t read the webtoon then you’re seriously missing so much! 


There are so many points in this ongoing webtoon that I found so relatable. It covers so much about bullying and unrealistic beauty standards. True Beauty follows Im Jugyeong, for the majority of her life, according to her family and most people she is considered “ugly”. That is until she learned how to master the art of ✨ Makeup✨. Now she has men all around her falling in love with her. (I mean I get it. She’s a goddess.✨)

The storyline of this Webtoon shows the really hard parts of young women trying so hard to fit into what their society deems as “beautiful”. We can see the difficulties that Jugyeong must face while trying to conceal the fact that she is “ugly” underneath her makeup. She must hide who she really is in order to be accepted by others. We can also see how exhausting and draining it is for her to keep up with this routine every day. 

As a woman, I was able to relate so much to Jugyeong. Waking up with the feeling of, either I get dressed up and put makeup on, or I can get made fun of for a face I was born with. It really hit home and I’m sure many women who have read the webtoon, (or who watched the drama as well) have felt this at some point. 

It also follows her developing love triangle between Lee Suho and Han Seojun, very complicated but very cute and also funny. I enjoyed reading their development and how much closer they all got quickly. At some point, there is a slight bromance between Suho and Seojun and I found it very adorable. 

Overall, this webtoon made me come to feel better about myself, as well as helped me realize more that we are all beautiful and great in our own ways. It helped change a bit of my thinking.



3. Cheese in the Trap, by Soonkki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheese_in_the_Trap_(TV_series)

The link above will give you more information about this webtoon/ drama.



Who would enjoy this read: If you enjoy lots of drama, a bit of wittiness, and some romance with many twists and turns then you will surely love this webtoon.

Who wouldn’t enjoy this read: If you’re not one who enjoys too much drama, then I highly recommend you not to read this webtoon. (But also, it’s too good to not read. I’ve read it 3 times…)

Personal Rating: 💛💛💛💛 (Juicy, Dramatic)

Webtoon Rating: 9.7/10 (151.8 Million Readers) 

Where to watch drama adaptation:

Movie: Netflix, Amazon Prime

Drama: Netflix, Viki Rakuten


This Webtoon which has also been developed into a Korean Drama and a movie is so entertaining. Cheese in the Trap is one of the most popular webtoons to date. I personally watched the drama before reading the webtoon and I must say, the webtoon is way more in-depth.

Film -


K-Drama -


That’s usually how it goes though, I mean we would have a 4 season show if we went over every detail in the webtoon😂 ! (I wouldn’t mind another season though😪…)

Cheese In The Trap follows Hong Seol, she has multiple part-time jobs and is overall very hardworking and headstrong. She’s super smart but also really clumsy. (I relate to the clumsy part…😬🤷‍♀️)

She takes a break from college and when she returns, she has a lot in store for her. From a Mr. Perfect (aka Jung Yoo), who seems to suddenly start being nice to her, to having a frustrating student life and many surprising (maybe annoying) situations thrown in front of her. She comes to believe that everything going wrong in her life seems to be connected to Jung Yoo. 

There’s so much that I want to say about this Webtoon but this is one of those stories where every little detail can spoil the whole thing…

From the intense family drama to the crazy sister, it's great storytelling!

I will say this, if you like plot twists and juicy drama then this is definitely a read for you!

You’ll definitely want to read it more than once.



                                                                                Closing Note


My favorite thing about all 3 of these webtoons together, is how they talk about so many different factors of Korean Culture. The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I love that. Something I’ve realized while studying about the culture and the language, is I’ve learned so many new things about the morals and respects of others from another country. It’s a beautiful knowledge to hold. 


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Amoge

5 Books To Shake Things Up for a Fresh Start

It is the beginning of a new year, after two long years that have made many of our societal problems very glaring. As such, people all around the world are looking for new ways of being, and new systems that benefit everyone: one way or another, people are demanding change. The 5 books listed here all challenge existing societal structures and unspoken rules in one way or another, and shed light on issues that are peculiar to South Korea, yet familiar to the rest of the world. Through these books, the authors ask us readers, “What new world do you imagine?”


The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun

Billed as an eco-thriller, this story tells of Yona who has worked at a travel company called Jungle for ten years. That is, until she is harassed by a colleague. To prevent her from “stirring things up”, the company decides to send her on a paid vacation to an island. But mind you, it is really just an excuse for Jungle to make her work while on vacation. When Yona gets to her destination, where the main attraction is a giant sinkhole, she finds that the resort intends to manufacture a natural disaster to bring in more customers and profit. While there, the manager of the resort offers her a job, and Yona must decide if she will make a fresh start with the new job, return to her life-sucking company, or completely cut ties with everything and begin again on a clean slate.


This book is for: people who currently feel helpless or stuck between two choices. Sometimes, there are other options to be had.


The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Sometimes, when we make life-altering choices that reboot our lives and way of living, it is not always us who are made uncomfortable by the change: sometimes, it is those around us who are unable to accept our change. In this hyper-realistic novel, we meet Yeong-hye who decides to renounce meat completely. A fairly benign choice to make; however, her husband, the rest of her family, and society refuse to accept her decision, resulting in a lot of extreme actions that in turn affect Yeong-hye and everyone around her. By the end of the book, we see how Yeong-hye has completely changed, despite all the voices that demand her to stay the same. There are several other interpretations that can be read from this work, but change is the main driving force. Trigger warnings for abuse and eating disorders.


This book is for: people who have made a choice, but are finding it difficult, for whatever reason, to maintain it. Your change may disturb others, but remember: every revolution has started with someone making a decision and sticking to it.


The Story of Hong Gildong by Unknown

One of the most famous Korean classics (if not the most famous, according to the translator of the Penguin classics edition), Hong Gildong is considered the Korean Robin Hood. While some of the tropes and archetypes are present, there are several things that make Hong Gildong different. Our hero is the illegitimate son of a government minister, which makes him a second-class citizen. Because his class hinders him from doing as his heart wishes, Hong Gildong decides to leave home, setting the stage for an adventure that will see him become a king. While the story is very straightforward and just plain fun to read, it gives us deep insight into pre-modern Korean culture and class issues; ultimately, it is a story of how our hero overcomes obstacles in order to come into his own.


This book is for: people who are worrying about a decision, whether big or small, they have already made. Let your decision take you on an adventure to rediscover yourself. 


Almond by Won-Pyung Sohn

This might be the most popular translated Korean book of 2021, after RM of BTS spoke about it. And yes, popular books can flop because of high expectations, but this one lives up to the hype. The main character is Yunjae, who was born with Alexithymia, a condition that makes it difficult to feel anger or fear. This does not present much trouble, because his grandmother and mother are there for him, until tragedy strikes, leaving Yunjae all alone. As he goes to school, he meets troubled Gon, who tries to bully him but fails (because Yunjae can’t feel). Somehow, they form an unlikely friendship that changes the course of their lives.


This book is for: anyone about to start a new relationship or who is scared to start new ones. Making friends is hard, especially as we get older. However, good friends can exert a powerful influence on our lives, becoming a second family. 


North Station by Bae Suah

Our final recommendation is a book of short stories, the central theme of which is crossroads. Death, breakups, chance encounters, even dreams, all of these can become timestamps that mark a before and after in our lives, a break from what used to be. They remind us that we are not always the initiators of change; sometimes change happens to us, whether we want it or not. All the stories leave a deep impression on you, pulling you into the world that the author has created. This book is also perfect for people who are short on time, as you can read one story at a time.


This book is for: anyone who has gone through something big in their lives, and is still processing that event. Take your time; you are allowed to go at your own pace. 


Many a time, we search for answers in the books to read, only to find even more questions. However, those questions allows us to reexamine and rediscover who we are, especially in the face of change. I hope that these five wonderfully written books will accompany you as you continue on with the new year. Have you read any other books by Korean authors that deal change and new starts? Let us know in the comments!

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Monica


First time at a Korean restaurant


This was my first time going to a Korean BBQ restaurant.

After listening to my numerous tales about the foods I see on the k-dramas I watch, how delicious they seem, so mouthwatering, my fiancé, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, were convinced to try it ( I literally would not stop bragging about it 😂).


So we went to this restaurant, called Jindalai (later I found out that in Korean '진달래' is the name of a flower), in the centre of Milan city.

We tried a mix of meat skewers to grill, dumplings and fried chicken with spicy sauce ( I'm the only one who loves hot food. Would even have it for breakfast, although it'd be a little too much 😬).


And last, but not least, the famous Soju, the Korean 'must have' drink we've all heard about. We had the peach flavored one, as the waiter advised us to start with a mild and less strong flavor. And once we've gotten used to the flavor, then we could have the normal one, which is slightly strong, with a few more degrees of alcohol percentage. 


What a delighted evening. Everyone enjoyed this experience. I was so proud. 


Here is the flower


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Helena 쌤

가끔 몸이 안 좋아지면 삼계탕이 먹고 싶어져요.

이번엔 아주 오랜만에 삼계탕을 먹으러 갔어요. 

삼계탕을 시키면 몸에 좋은 재료로 만든 삼계탕과 반찬이 나와요. 

그리고 어떤 곳에서는 술도 나온답니다. 보통 이런 술은 인삼이 들어갔는데 몸에 좋다고 해서 '약주; 약이되는 술'라고 불려요.

그런데 사실 술이 약이 될 리가 없겠죠? ^^;;;

술 맛이 궁금해서  살짝 맛을 봤어요. 

잔이 아주 작고 귀엽죠? 보통 소주잔보다  이 잔은 더 작아요. ㅎㅎ

재밌는 건 이렇게 맛있게 먹었는데  14000원(약 $13)만 내면 된다는 거예요. 

한국에서 치킨 가격이 최소 16000원에서 19000원 인데, 삼계탕은 훨씬 저렴하답니다. 


여러분도 건강을 생각하신다면 치킨말고 삼계탕을 드셔보세요. ㅎㅎ

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Shanna

Even though I've been studying Korean for almost 2 years, I never really studied much from the "beginning". I just went straight into learning how to speak after learning Hangul that is. Having friends who are Korean of course helps a lot. However, I find it difficult speaking about little household things as well as anything other than what I'm used to. So I'm trying to start from the beginning again. Let's practice some household items that I just learned recently!

Pillow- 베개

Comb- 빗

Lamp- 램프 & 전등

Pot/Kettle- 주전자 

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Shanna


Meet the Reviewers!

Today is an introduction of our two K-Pop Reviewers; Soyoung and Shanna!


Meet Soyoung~



Where are you from and how old are you?

S: I’m from the U.K. and I’m a fossil aged 50. 


When did you first start listening to K-Pop? 

S: My daughters introduced me to K-Pop but at first I ignored it. It wasn’t until 2016 that it really caught my attention. 


First group you actively became a fan of and are you still a fan?

S: The first group I actively liked was BTS. I loved their dance and their overall energy. They were so different from anything else I’d ever seen. I’m not really a fan these days as I’m not keen on their music style these days but I do like their old songs still.

 

[2016 BTS]


Favourite concept/style for comebacks? 

S: I like dark concepts, so anything with vampires, gangsters or the “bad boy” look works well for me. 


Do you like girl or boy groups or both? 

S: Definitely boy groups! 


Favourite song so far this year?

S: Don’t Stop by Ateez 

 [Ateez Don’t Stop Concept Photo]


A song you liked unexpectedly & why?

S: Actually there are 3. And they're all girl groups which is really unusual for me. Loco- Itzy, Eleven -IVE and Wadada- Kep1er. They’re all really catchy and not as cutesy as most girl group songs usually are.   

[Top: Itzy/ Middle: IVE/ Bottom: Kep1er]


Has any part of K-Pop inspired or influenced your everyday life?

S: K-Pop is the reason I started learning Korean so it’s definitely influenced me. It’s raised my standards in general but especially for men 😂😂


Do you have any funny/special K-Pop related experiences? 

S: My most special experience so far would be holding hands with all members of BAP but especially Yongguk. Also, I got a tattoo done by Yongguk’s sister so that one is very special to me. 

[BAP Member Yongguk]


A song you would recommend a new fan to listen to? 

S: Answer by Ateez.



A group you think should have more hype & why? 

S: Of all the disbanded groups BAP and History should definitely have had more hype. They had so much potential and talent.

[Top:History/ Bottom: BAP]


Have you watched any survival shows? If yes what’s a memorable moment for you?

S: I’ve watched a few. The most recent was Kingdom and there was a moment that made me cry. It was in the Ateez performance of Answer: Ode to Joy where Jongho sings the high note at the top of the stairs. I got shivers and felt so emotional right then as if I wanted to join in the battle happening on stage.  


Do you collect any merch/albums/pcs & why? 

S: Can I hide now? I collect albums and photocards and Polaroids and other random merch too. I like collecting things in general but especially the cards. I like looking at them and arranging them. It’s a bit like stamp collecting, I think, but with cooler images. 


What’s one thing you would change in the industry?

S: Accessibility in Europe. Not only are album prices high but there isn’t as much choice and availability. Buying from Korea incurs high shipping and customs fees. And it’s not only buying albums that is difficult here. Ateez recently had an event where fans could buy their clothes at very reasonable prices but it was through an app only available in America. Europe exists K-Pop, Europe exists. 



Meet Shanna~



Where are you from and how old are you?

S: I’m from America and I live in the big state of Texas. I’m 22 years old!


When did you first start listening to K-Pop?

S: I first started listening to K-Pop in early 2020 after I started learning Korean in late 2019.


First group you actively became a fan of and are you still a fan?

S: The first group I actively really liked is BTS, and I still really enjoy their music and content. They are my Ult group but I think anyone who is a fan of any artist or group can agree that they have songs that they don’t enjoy as much as others. So I’m definitely not an exception, but I really look forward to their next comeback.

 

[BTS 2019 Dispatch]


Favourite concept/style for comebacks?

S: Honestly, it depends on the group. For older aged groups I prefer darker or spicier comebacks, but for younger aged groups I like a softer style comeback.

 

Do you like girl or boy groups or both?

S: I definitely prefer boy groups! Mainly because, in my personal opinion, a lot of the girl groups that I’ve watched and listened to are very cutesy and a little too girly for my taste. Although I’m not really a stan of any girl groups, sometimes there are performances and songs that I really like!

 

Favourite song so far this year.

S: I have 2; Stray Kids (Bangchan and Hyunjin) Red Lights and

Ateez- Deja Vu (It’s a bit hypnotizing to be quite honest.)


[Top: Stray Kids Red Lights Shoot/ Bottom: Ateez Deja Vu Concept Photo]



A song you liked unexpectedly & why?

S: I also have 2 answers for this question as well and they are both by the older male group SHINee; Replay and View. These are 2 of their older songs and I was a bit hesitant, as well as a bit biased, to listen to them. But I heard them come up a lot in many K-Variety shows so I gave in. And they are so addicting and catchy to listen to. (SHINee’s vocals also never cease to amaze me.)

[K-Pop Male Group SHINee]



Has any part of K-Pop inspired or influenced your everyday life?

S: Not only just K-Pop but also Korean music, in general, has really helped in many aspects of my life. It helps with my Korean listening skills as well as comforts me emotionally. I like to keep to myself sometimes when times are hard, and the messages in a lot of the music I listen to are uplifting and comforting.


Do you have any funny/special K-Pop related experiences?

S: Whenever I first started getting into BTS, Suga did a Vlive and I decided to watch. I asked if he could give a song recommendation and he cheekily answered by replying with the title of his own song ‘Suga’s Interlude.’ It happened to be the day before my birthday I believe so it was a great birthday gift.


A song you would recommend a new fan to listen to?

S: It’s hard to choose so I’ll suggest 4 songs from different groups that I really like haha!

Ateez- Deja Vu, Stray Kids- Thunderous, SHINee- View, iKON- Killing Me 


A group you think should have more hype & why?

S: SF9 and Enhypen. Many people know SF9’s members from K-Drama’s and for their looks but don’t pay much attention to their music. They are great rappers and singers as well as great performers. I think they should be seen for all of their talents and not just their face.

Enhypen is a rather new group and they are super young, but they have great character and performances as well. They also sing a few different genres of music.

[Top:SF9/ Bottom: Enhypen]


 

Have you watched any survival shows, if yes what’s a memorable moment for you?

S: I’ve watched the JYP Stray Kids survival show and recently I’ve watched Kingdom: Legendary War. 

In Stray Kids, the moment when Felix was in the practice room and he got so frustrated that he started crying really made me emotional. You could tell that he wanted to desperately do well but couldn’t seem to focus well. Whenever Lee Know and Felix got eliminated, to see all of the members so heartbroken and worrying for one another really showed their love and true brotherhood for one another.

I became a fan of The Boyz, Ateez, and iKON while watching Kingdom. But I think my most memorable moment was during Ateez’s cover of iKON’s ‘Rythym Ta’, not only was the whole performance really great but San’s note in the line “I just wanna make you move” and his whole bit in that part gave me goosebumps. Also Ateez’s ‘Answer: Ode to Joy’ was such a BEAUTIFUL performance.

[Ateez Member San ‘Rhythm Ta’ performance.]



Do you collect any merch/albums/pcs & why?

S: I’m not really a merch or album collector. I used to buy BTS albums but it was too expensive for me to just buy something and never use it. It’s just not my thing 😂.


What’s one thing you would change in the industry?

S: Of course no matter where you go as a celebrity, there are paparazzi, ridiculous rumors, and crazy fans. Even so, I wish Idols had the freedom to date and see whoever they want, whether it’s publicly or in private, without the fear of having to lose their dream and their job.


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