Korean news

Teens on Holiday Face Chastity Watch

Concerned social organizations have announced a campaign to guard the chastity of teenagers at holiday resorts along Korea?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s East Coast. The conservative groups including Hwalbindan, the Korea Dokdo Green Movement and the Senior Citizens Association of Jumunjin, Gangwon Province have been prowling beaches and entertainment places since Aug. 6 with the slogan, “Lose your virginity in a moment’s carelessness and immoderate merrymaking, regret it for the rest of your life.”

At night, they plan to snatch girls seen drinking with strangers in the entertainment districts of downtown Sokcho and Gangneung from the teeth of disaster. The groups said they were spurred into drastic action by a survey of about 200 male and female high school students as well as girls in their teens and 20s in bars, karaoke clubs, saunas and Internet cafes near the beaches, 65 percent of whom said they lost their virginity at summer resorts or nearby entertainment districts.

With a catchy slogan like “”Lose your virginity in a moment’s carelessness and immoderate merrymaking, regret it for the rest of your life.” I am sure they will do well As to “plan(ing) to snatch girls seen drinking with strangers” doesn’t that imply kidnapping? And what about “protecting” young men? Or is it just women they are concerned about?

Too Much Japanese in Korean, Amateur Linguists Say

Visitors to the website of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs say there are too many words derived from the Japanese in daily Korean use. The ministry said users in an online campaign by the ministry (http://www.cyworld.nate.com/lovelovekorea) cited language as one of the legacies from colonial times that has to be overcome. The campaign, which started on July 4, marks the 60th anniversary of Korea?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s liberation from Japan.

Words visitors to the site want purged include ?¢‚Ǩ?ìippai?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning full, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìdasu?¢‚Ǩ¬ù, a Japanese pronunciation of the English word dozen, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìgisu?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning scar, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkara?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning empty or meaningless, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìsara?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning plate, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkachi?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning a cigarette, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìdadegi?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning seasoning sauce, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìeri?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning collar, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìyoji?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning toothpick, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìbumppai?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning division, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìshita?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning assistant, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìsashimi?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning raw fish, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkuruma?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning handcart, and ?¢‚Ǩ?ìhako?¢‚Ǩ¬ù meaning box.

Among terms or words coined in Japan and introduced to Korea are ?¢‚Ǩ?ìyukgyo?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (overhead walkway), ?¢‚Ǩ?ìwonjogyoje?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (relationship between young girls and older men for money), ?¢‚Ǩ?ìkwarosa?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (death from overwork) and ?¢‚Ǩ?ìijime?¢‚Ǩ¬ù (bullying). The expression used to mean a favorite song, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìNo.18?¢‚Ǩ¬ù, originates from 18 kinds of script for kabuki.

Koreans Rush to Take TOEFL Before Format Change

The TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language) test is so popular in Korea that the Korean-American Educational Commission, which administers it, has for the last month been offering the test in the evenings on top of the regular morning and afternoon sessions. The commission reports an explosion in interest for the test, a prerequisite for study in the U.S. among other things, with Korea perhaps the only country where it has been increased to three times daily.

One reason for the surge in applicants is that the TOEFL will from next year replace an antiquated multiple-choice grammar section that can be tackled by rote-learning with a speaking test, where all bets are off, with students hoping to secure a higher score while they still can. The exam can be sat at only three places in Korea — two in Seoul and one in Daegu. A maximum of about 700 people can sit the exam daily at all three places, or 450 on Saturday, and slots are booked till the end of October. There are occasional openings when someone cancels, but the long waiting list makes stand-by openings practically impossible.

The shortage of opportunities is causing some hardship. Kim, 17, is preparing for his college entrance exam in the second semester and has to take the test by the end of this month if he is to complete his college application by the middle of next month. He is concerned he may not get a seat. Shin, 23, who is preparing to study in the U.S. next fall, will have to give up on his plans if he fails to take the TOEFL exam this fall since the deadline is early November and he needs to submit a TOEFL score. “I’m thinking of going to Japan or Southeast Asia, where it’s said there are seats,” he says.

There are other reasons for taking the test before the format changes. One is that candidates can prepare for the test by asking those who have already sat it what questions came up and reconstruct sample answers. Many prepare for the TOEFL by memorizing reconstructed answers, and language schools prep their students using reconstructed sample questions, since the test authorities refuse to release past papers for preparation.

An official with the Korean-American Educational Commission admits that these test reconstructions can boost applicants?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ scores through memorization rather than actual English skills. But he says if the test format changes it could also change U.S. universities?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ tendency not to accept TOEFL scores of Asian students since they seldom reflect their actual skills.