Ask B&B

Do you have any questions or requests for Blue or Bella? Whether you’re curious about an aspect of a Korean culture or history that you observed in a drama, have questions about the Korean language, have a translation request that you’re dying to find out (but please, no request to sub an entire show, unless that show is *ahem* titled Sungkyunkwan Scandal – applies to Blue only), or have a request that we dedicate a post to any particular subject, please ask away! The only restriction is that your questions or requests must in some way or form be connected to the Korean entertainment culture/industry (dramas, movies, music, celebrities, etc), but this connection is loosely defined. We’ll try to answer them as best as we can!

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  1. kcomments

    Oh boy, seeing hanboks in The Princess’ man really making me want to wear one ^^

    Dear B&B, which figure do you think best to wear hanbok? Slim, a bit chubby, petite, tall? Cuz my friends went to Korea, and took pictures wearing them, it turned out didn’t look as good as in the drama, so I wondered. And what do you call a man’s garb in opposite to the hanbok? Thanks.

    Oh-uh, just saw Bella dropped PM, and I thought I would try that, oh nooo!

    1. blue

      Hi kcomments!
      I don’t think there is an ideal figure to wear a hanbok. It’s not very form-fitting, so it can suit any body types. That said, I personally think hanbok doesn’t look as good on very tall people. Also, perhaps because I’ve seen hanbok worn mostly by Koreans, but I’ve always thought hanboks looked best when matched with a darker hair color. For example, when Paris Hilton and Britney Spears wore a hanbok on their visit to Korea, it didn’t look very good.

      Hanbok literally means “Korean clothing.” And thus, it is a word for all traditional Korean clothes, whether men’s or women’s. There are different words for each garment though. I thought this was a very good blog post on hanboks:
      http://thetalkingcupboard.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/traditional-korean-clothing-inspired-by-kdramas/

      1. kcomments

        Thanks Blue ^_^

  2. Lizzie

    Hi ^^ so, I saw that Lee Dong Wook was recently the guest of SBS “Healing Camp”… and I wonder does Bella/blue like him? Wonder if a recap is possible, not demanding just asking… but if not I understand ^^~

    1. blue

      Hehe, I’m a step ahead of you. I left my Monday night free since I saw the preview last week so that I can work on the recap. Hope it turns out to be a good episode! *crosses fingers*

      1. Lizzie

        Yay! hehehe ^^ Hope it’s a good episode too!

  3. peculiar

    Hello,

    Really want to say thanks for the efforts put forth in educating me in better understanding the korean culture in context to the dramas and movies that I love. Up front I’ll apologize for my poor writing skills.

    My entry kworld entertainment was the movie “3-Iron’. Hooked me further into kmovies, kdramas, kvariety, kculture.

    As Koreans in America, I’d love to get your thoughts on kdramas and kmovies global exposure and acceptance.

    And, do you feel that some of the poorly subbed videos that you mention are a deterrent to this acceptance or is it irrelevant because those of us who don’t understand the language are grateful for any subs that we can get our hands on?

    Thanks for your time.

    1. blue

      I’m sure business-wise, the industry must be happy to get that exposure because it means more money for them.

      But for me personally, as a fan, I’m just happy that there are more people to share my addiction with. As for the poorly subbed videos, I do think they prevent the audience from getting a full grasp of the quality of the shows sometimes. Some dramas really have brilliant dialogues, but they can only be as good as how good the translators are, right? But then again, some dramas really have poor dialogues, and people can just as easily overlook that.

      That said, as subbing groups become more well-established, I did notice that the overall quality of the subs have gone up.

      1. peculiar

        Thanks for your input Blue. As a kworld addict, I appreciate all of you who willingly share knowledge with people like me. As a linguist, but not a korean one, there is always something lost in translation especially with cultures whose (right one?) humor is so much about word-play. And yet, I still watch what I can and appreciate anything translated.

        With Korea’s interest in pushing kentertainment global, I hope they find a way to incentivize subbing groups to showcase different kinds of entertainment for the international fans. It’s a pity that some very funny people aren’t recognized internationally because of a lack of translation. I hope one day, shows like Taxi and Muhan Girls get the exposure they deserve. Same goes for some really great radio show personalities that Korea is fortunate to call their own.

        Thanks again.

  4. jed

    dear B&B, thank you so much for the beautiful website.. I was able to get information about korean culture, (tho I have to steal some time from our office hours to browse your page..kekeke) kudos to both of you.. kamsamhamnida!!!!!

    1. blue

      Thank you for your support!

  5. amelia

    hi B&B, I was wondering… how do kids/teenagers address adult strangers? for example if there were someone famous whose name they know, do they call them “*insert-name-here*-ssi”? or is there a different honorific to be used? thanks so much!!

    1. blue

      No, never by the name. It would be considered rude.

      Instead, an adult male stranger would simply be ahjussi and an adult female stranger would be ahjumma. If the strangers are younger, “oppa” and “unni” would be more appropriate. If the strangers are senior citizens, the kids/teenagers should call them “grandfather” (harabeoji) or “grandmother” (halmeoni).

      If the stranger is well-respected, “seonsaengnim” (teacher) would be a good title to use, even if that person is not really a teacher.

  6. gella

    hi B&B, just wondering if you have finished TPM already. If you have, what are your thoughts on the drama?

    1. blue

      Hi gella!
      Yes, I’ve finished it. Although it didn’t win me over heart and soul, objectively, I thought it was a very well-produced, well-written, and well-acted drama… and my vote for the best drama of 2011 so far.

      But personally, I was really frustrated with the male character (not the actor) and found many things he did to be pretty idiotic. I know that the drama is fictional within the realm of a historical background and so his revenge had to fail, but I still would have preferred if the downfall was brought by the circumstances, and not by the characters’ continued blunders.

      That said, if you have not watched it yet, I’d definitely recommend it.

  7. muchadoboutlove

    hi again B&B! I’m marathoning some sageuks right now and I’m curious about some things.

    why the way of addressing people older than you as ‘eonni’ and ‘hyung’ were reversed, like the former for men and the latter for women? also, what’s the exact meaning of ‘orabeoni’?

    thanks in advance! ;)

    1. blue

      They’re not necessarily reversed, but there are actually multiple definitions for those words. For instance, when a woman calls an older woman by hyung, I can guarantee it’ll always be as “hyungnim.” It’s pretty long to go over it here right now, but I PROMISE I’ll cover the multiple definitions of hyung and unni… someday.

      As for orabeoni, it’s an archaic way of saying “oppa.”

  8. jed

    hi blue and bella. i just want to ask if you are going to recap Healing camp feat. jang hyuk? if yes! i would be very thankful.. :D

    1. blue

      I’m considering it, but it’s not on my priority list. I’m not much of a fan of Jang Hyuk…

      But if he wins me over in “Tree With Deep Roots”, his “Healing Camp” recap might just show up here too! :-)

  9. tun teja

    Dear B&B,

    i really wish u can do the mini-documentary on the house/location that appear in drama.I mean,after watching a lot of kdrama, it just occur that many drama use the same house.I would love to know more..thanks..

    1. blue

      Hi tun teja,
      Interesting topic! Most of our past posts have been on those that I knew already, whereas this topic will require much research. But I’d be interested in doing this topic somewhere down the line. Thanks for your suggestion!

  10. whoopeeyoo

    Hi Blue and Bella!

    I would like to transfer to my own domain too and I just wanna ask people who already did it as for where did you register your domain name and what hosting plans are you currently using? I’m reading tons of articles on how to set up my own site but I think it would be more informative and helpful to learn from someone who just did it. And the two of you are very approachable and lovely (I love the live chat!) so I just wanna ask. Thanks in advance! :D

    1. blue

      Hi whoopeeyoo!
      I just emailed you via the email you used to write the above comment! Let me know if you don’t get it. You’re welcome to ask me anytime if you ever need any help. Best of luck!

  11. Lee Anne

    I just had a not so quick question on pronouns in Korean that I am too lazy to look up elsewhere. I initially thought spoken Korean didn’t use pronouns like he or she because in conversations, I always notice the person’s name is used when it is translated as he, she, you, etc. But I was rewatching Coffee Prince and noticed that in the big reveal of the she, it was translated something to the effect of why “Why do you keep calling him and her” which had me reevaluate the potential for pronouns in the Korean language. Can you please fill in some of the gaps in this non-questiony question. Thanks.

    1. blue

      There are pronouns in the Korean language. Like you mentioned, they’re just often omitted because a sentence can be grammatically correct even without pronouns. Without knowing the actual words that were used in the conversation you mentioned, I have no idea whether the characters actually used pronouns or whether it was implied by the subbers. Either one of them is possible.

  12. vikky

    Hello Blue.

    Several months ago I stumble onto your site but forgot to bookmark. I crazily search for weeks. Finally I’m here. Can i please request you to translate the full song to Jo Su Mi “If I leave” sung by Kim Jung In.

    Can you please translate the whole song. I know she only sing half but please translate the full song. I’ve been looking for the english translation everywhere and you have the best translation i found.

  13. Grinchmas

    Hi Bella and Blue! Have either of you watched Brain so far? What is your opinion of the drama so far?

    1. blue

      Hi Grinchmas!
      Sorry for getting back so late to you. I have been watching Brain on and off, but my “review” of the drama will be coming in a separate review. In short, the best thing about that drama is the actors. Otherwise, I think it’s a pretty crazy drama.

  14. malta (also 1Love / InLove)

    Dear B&B,

    I follow your Korean Language and Culture Series and I have a language question. I’ve been watching Baker King Kim Tak Gu recently and I noticed that the young version of Tak Gu and his Mom seem to speak slightly differently than everybody else. Their intonation, rhythm of speaking and some of the words they use seem different. Are they speaking an even more formal Korean or is it a dialect or simply an accent? Tak Gu’s is very heavy and noticeable in the first few episodes while his Mom’s is less so.

    Thanks!
    Happy New Year

    1. blue

      You’re correct! Tak Gu and his mom spoke in a dialect from the region of Gyeongsang Province. But when people refer to dialects, you may think that the language is different enough that people may not be able to understand each other. (For instance, those speaking in Mandarin and Cantonese may not be able to understand each other.) In contrast, the different dialects of Korean are of the same language, but as you have mentioned, the intonation and some of the words used are different. But they’re close enough that all Koreans understand each other.

  15. Fanderay

    Maybe this is a long shot, but at this point I pretty much assume that you guys know everything. Do you happen to know what song this is?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8r0xRPNm5g

    I think there’s a good chance it’s from a musical, and I feel like I should know what it is (which is driving me crazy). No one has been able to identify it so far, so don’t feel bad if you can’t either :)

    1. blue

      Koreans (in Korea) were unable to identify it either. People are guessing that it is an original song made for the drama. Very nice song though!

      1. Fanderay

        Thanks for looking into it Blue!

        I managed to navigate a few korean sites while searching, but only ever found lyrics with no title, so your answer makes perfect sense. I’m actually sort of happy that it’s original because that gives more credit to the drama, but if they’re going to put all that effort into writing a song they should at least give it a name! I feel bad for What’s Up…it probably has the most interesting soundtrack out of all the musical dramas, and it doesn’t even seem like they’re going to release a full OST :S

        Thanks again :) I feel much more at ease now that I know I’m not crazy for not being able to figure it out.

  16. kcomments

    Dear B&B *waves*
    I need your expertise!
    I bought a package of instant Chajang Myun (that’s how it’s written on the package) from NONGSHIM. How do you usually cook yours? I’m a bit confused, do you pour the water out after boiling? And add vegetable oil too? Thanks!
    From Hungry gal ^_^

    1. blue

      Yikes, this reply is so late! Hopefully you were able to enjoy yours already? But yes, after cooking the noodles in boiling water, pour out the water. And then add the packet of sauce and vegetable oil. Let me know how you liked it!

      1. kcomments

        Man, sooooo glad you’re back, nop, afraid to ruin it, been waiting for your technique first hehe. But veg oil? Will try and let you know, thanks!

        1. blue

          Ahh, one more thing. You must throw out the water, but don’t completely drain it. You need some moisture in order to mix the powder sauce. Good luck and bon appetit, my dear!

        2. kcomments

          Duh..too late, I tried it already! And of course, I drained all the water out and it was so dry I had Sprite to go with it , haha.
          Sorry to say, it was not good compared to the actual cooked one. It felt like instant noodle mixed with the black thing, and tasted like instant noodle O_O I know, it might be my expertise in cooking that couldn’t even cook this thing right. I think next time, I should resort to a Korean restaurant. Thanks for your help though *cover face in shame-run to clean the bowl used*

  17. lyn

    HI, dear B&B~
    I see your twitter and then find your blog. I am inpressed by your introduction.
    I saw what yoy wrote above in the pag, but…
    I want to make sub for one tv show but need korean translator.
    Is the any chance to help me?
    This tv program is only 2 episodes with Lee Jun KI and I have korean script for it.
    I really need someone who is fluently with Korean and English, but ot hard to find such person. So in your face I see a person who can help me. Please…
    I hope you will reply me and sorry for disturbing.
    Regards~

    1. blue

      Sorry for the late reply! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! Which show with Lee Jun Ki? Honestly, I’m so busy right now and won’t be able to commit to anything, but I hope you were able to find someone to help you since you last posted!

  18. lychee28

    when are you gonna wirte about chapter 7 and so forth of the book “the moon that embraces the sun”

  19. malta

    I’ve been watching Fermentation Family (kimchi Family) recently. At the very end of episode 2 our heroine and her sister sing a beautiful song. Do you know what song that is? Is it a traditional Korean song? I would like to know what it is so I can try to find a version to buy. I’m not sure, but this song doesn’t seem to be on the OST… Thanks! :)

    1. blue

      Hi, malta! I’m not aware of the song, but according to this article, it seems like it was a song made specifically for the drama.
      http://www.tvreport.co.kr/?c=news&m=newsview&idx=178750

      1. Malta

        aww…love that song. Thanks for the article. Now I’m convinced again that I need to take learn Korean!

  20. Kwave magazine

    Hello, this is KWave magazine. We would like to ask you some collaboration work with us. We would love to send you our company descriptions and other things.
    please e-mail me. Thanks!

  21. Softy

    Not all Koreans :) This one had so much difficulty understanding, she dropped the drama. Plus listening to them talking like that is catchy. Sort of makes you want to imitate them cuz the way the tone goes up and down is as fun as pretending to speak with an Irish accent. :)
    thanks for the info about which Province the dialect came from Blue. Whenever I go to jejudo, I barely understand anything anyone says there too. I guess you have to be fluent in Korean to begin with to understand all the dialects. that’s probably why I try not to leave Seoul too often. Cuz outside of Seoul, I have to face reality that I am not a native Korean – the word foreigner is stamped all over my face with my “huh? Come again – could you repeat that” expression.

  22. EGvisitor

    I’m hoping you guys can shed light on a certain curiosity of mine. This might be a “K-language and culture” issue or maybe it won’t be, but I’m still very curious. And the first people I thought of are you guys. So basically, I don’t know if there is any cultural significance of the wind chime/bell with a fish that I see hanging from the eaves so often on K-dramas/K-television, but every time I see it, I can’t stop thinking about it. Is it just a decoration in high demand, or is there any significance to its presence? Thank you very much.

  23. Lizzie

    Hello bella and blue, do you by chance know how to search or check ratings of kdramas episodes? You know It’s so hard to find news about it, there is a site that shows the ratings of the kdrama of the day or something like this?

    Or how is ”ratings” in korean? So I can out the name of the drama (in korean) plus the ratings in korean and maybe find something…

    Kisses!

    1. blue

      Yikes, I’m sorry I was so late in responding to your question. I just saw it now.

      Korea generally uses either the TNS ratings or the AGB Nielsen ratings. You would need to be able to read Korean, but they can be found here:

      TNS – http://home.tnms.tv/rating/main.asp
      AGB – http://www.agbnielsen.co.kr/index.asp?ref=0

  24. jawaria

    Hello,
    This is such an awkward question and I am not even sure how to ask you. I am brown-skinned New Yorker thinking of going to Korea to teach English next year through a scholarship. I started watching dramas about 2 years ago and have become completely enamored of Korean culture and people. I was researching Korea and was so surprised to read about racism in Korea. Is it just American media hyping everything up or are foreigners really not welcomed in Korea? I hope you don’t take offense at my question! I love South Korea and don’t want that to change by actually going there. Imagine how awful it will be if I come back and am never able to watch a drama again.

    1. blue

      No, you’re welcome to ask any questions and that’s why this is here!

      Yours is a tricky question, and I think “Ask A Korean” already did an excellent and thorough job answering that exact question. And my response would be the same as his. But the gist is that although there are racist attitudes shared by some (not all) in Korea, it is very unlikely that you will actually experience any of it as a tourist or you would in fact be considered un-welcomed. Anyway, here is AAK’s answer:

      http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2012/02/outer-edges-of-koreas-racism-and.html

      If you decide to go, I hope you enjoy your stay!

      -Blue

  25. PetraLorre

    Hi Blue & Bella! Thanks for your informative Korean culture series!

    I have a question. I’ve been watching “Can We Get Married” and I’m a little perplexed about some of the wedding related stuff. What does it mean for a bride-to-be to “buy the bottom drawer?” And why does she have to buy expensive wedding gifts for her in-laws?

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