How Korean Invest Money?

Today I will introduce the Korean word what people commonly use for the investment. It is called Getek(재테크) and the meaning is “investment techniques”.

Different with Europe, Korea government can’t guarantee the people’s old life security that normally Korean try to prepare the asset for the old age.

According to the statistics, 90% of the workers are investing their 20% of the salary in the investment. There are diverse parts the people can invest their money in Korea, and people usually use the below 6 ways.

1. Bank deposits or Installment savings: 63.1%

CMS(=Cash Management Service) account is common in Korea and the interest is about 2~3%. About 20 years ago the interest was about 12~14% that many Korean just put their money in the bank account and did not go on the other kinds of the investment but now the interest is getting lower that people are looking for the other ways.

You can check the Korea interest change in above graph. On 1996, the interest was 10~12%, but on 2006 the interest was 4% and now it is about 2~3%.

2. Stock, bond, Fund: 48.5%
Many people purchase the installment fund product and putting their money in each month regularly.

3. Insurance, pension: 33.3%

There is Korea national pension which Korea government manage. Part of the people salary needs to be paid in national pension. It is the obligation that people pay money in national pension but people do not trust if they could receive the payment from the national pension after they retire as it is expected national pension will be exhausted after 50 years. So a lot of Korean prepare the private pension and the variable life insurance.

4. Real Estate & Auction: 24.8%

When you look at the below real estate price change, you can see the Korea real estate price didn’t fall down a lot. Always went up and up. So many people think the real estate price will go up also in future and try to invest the money in house or building purchase.

5. Gold or foreign currency: 2.5%

6. virtual money, Bitcoin: 2%

People’s purpose of the investment is usually for preparing retirement savings, child support expense, purchase house, marriage fund.

Thanks for the reading:)

Why so many Korean wear hiking clothes?(With Korean hiking pictures)

I received the question “Why so many Korean wear hiking clothes when hiking? from my foreign friend and I realized it could be weird as so many people are wearing hiking clothes in a mountain. After that when I hiked the mountain I also got surprised at I could see a lot of people were wearing the hiking fashion clothes than I expected!

Today I write about my thought why so many people are wearing the hiking clothes.

1. Korean care what other people think and the hiking clothes fashion got trendy.

I feel much Korean care a lot how the other people think including the wearing. About from 2006 the Outdoor clothing brand ‘The North Face’ clothes and brand started to get popular.

The North Face brand got so popular that even many middle school and high school students started to wear the North Face’s padded jackets.

You can see the many Korean students are wearing the padded jackets in above picture. Almost every middle and high school students wear the uniform in Korea but usually, the uniform is thin to wear in cold weather. In Korea normally the temperature fall down to 14F(-10C) in winter that the uniform is not enough to be a worm. So many schools started to allow wearing the padded jackets and from some point north face jacket became trendy. (But this fashion already changed now in 2017 that North Face jacket became a little old fashion.)

In the similar time as the North Face jacket got popular through the Korea students, the hiking fashion got popular through the middle-aged Korean. Between 2006 and 2012, the Korea hiking clothing market grew about 500%. There is the statistics data that the one person in Korea paid about 1000USD in a year for buying hiking clothes.

2. Many people like hiking.

70% of land in Korea is the mountain that there are so many mountains in Korea. In my case, I live in a suburb in Seoul and there are more than 6 mountains where I can go within 30mins with a car, and the nearest mountain is in 10mins with walking from my home. It is easy to hike that I started to hike the mountain a lot since I was in university. I assume it will be similar with other Korean. They can easily hike mountains for exercise that especially many middle-aged Korean men hike. So many middle-aged men hike the mountain that in Korea there is the perception that “Hiking=Middle-aged men(Ahajussi(아저씨)in Korean)”
As many middle-aged men who have the purchasing power frequently hike, the expensive hiking clothes could be easily trendy in Korea.

3. It is comfortable

After the hiking clothes got trendy, there are people who wear even traveling in abroad…The most reason why people wear hiking clothes even in daily day and travel are they say it is comfortable. Good at waterproof, light, sweat isn’t trapped inside.

For me, I just wear the hiking pants and the hiking shoes. When I hiked the Bukhansan-Mountain in Korea with the normal shoes it was so slippery that I bought the hiking boots since then.

Today I will show you the people who are wearing the hiking clothes when I was hiking the Gwanggyo Mountain in Korea. It is the pictures I took when I was going up the top of the mountain.

This person also hide her face with hat and mask. I think she is trying to protect the skin from UV radiation.

I could see many people who were using the hiking stick.

I think more than 50% were wearing the hiking clothes when I was hiking the mountain.

Thanks for reading.:) If you have a question, please leave a comment.

How to buy a subway ticket and how to take subway in Korea(with Pictures)

Recently I forgot to bring my credit card from home to go to work that I had to buy the subway ticket for taking a subway. Fyi, most of the credit card in Korea has the IC chip inside that it is possible to pay the transportation fee just placing the credit card in the machine.

So on that day, I had an idea for taking all the pictures while I’m using the subway ticket and posting about how to buy a subway ticket in Korea. I will start introducing!

Taking the subway in Seoul is a best way to travel in Seoul. As you can see a lot of subway stations in Seoul in below map, you can go almost everywhere just with the subway.

If you want to see the full size of Seoul subway map go to the below link.

Step 1

First, you have to go to the subway vending machine and prepare the cash. The basic fare is 1,350KRW(about 1 dollar) and the there is an addtional fee depend on the distance; 100KRW(about 1 cent) for each 6.2mile(=10Km).
Press the English language button than you can see every info. in English.

Press the most left part of the button in picture as it is the ‘Choosing travel destination(목적지 선택)’. Then the in the screen it appears the amount of cash I have to put.

Put the cash in the ‘insert bills here’ part in the above picture which is in the left side. Then you can have the change with the subway card.

Don’t forget to return the subway card in later when you arrive the destination. If you return, you can get back the subway card deposit. The amount is 500KRW(about 0.5 dollar). Now it is done for the buying ticket.:)

Place the subway card in the entrance then you can go inside. Now take the subway to the destination. All the Seoul subway line do the English services that you don’t have to worry about missing the station. Check the subway map and listen the women’s English voice in subway, you can’t miss it!

Now I arrive in destination. But when I place the subway card in the machine it says ‘my subway card balance is lack’ that I had to go to the ‘Deposit Refund Machine’. I think maybe I pressed the wrong subway destination when I buy the subway ticket.

There is a ‘Fare Adjustment and card reload machine’ when you go upstairs after you leave the subway.

First put my card in number 1 part where is red in above picture. Then the lack amount appear in the screen. I put the cash inside the machine then the subway card is charged.

Place the charged card in the subway entrance. Now the last step is left.

You have to go to the ‘Deposit Refund Machine’.

Insert the used subway card where the arrow is in above picture.

When you return the cared, you will receive 500KRW(about 0.5 dollar) with a coin.

Thanks for reading.:) If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Is there Kimchi Refregirator in each Korea home?

The answer is YES. Kimchi is traditional Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings and eats Kimchi all the year. Until the mid-1990’s when the Gimjang(김장: making Kimchi) is done, each Korean home put the Kimchi in a crock pot and buried underground as the picture you can see in below.

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Korean take out the Kimchi little by little when want to eat.

Now, most of the Korean live in an apartment without a garden, people put Kimchi in the refrigerator. However, the Kimchi in regular refrigerator easily got too sour that people had to make Kimchi often. This is because usually, people open the refrigerator often as there are various food and beverage in there and then the refrigerator’s temperature changes. Is is not a good condition for Kimchi.

Meanwhile, Kimchi refrigerator is just for keeping Kimchi fresh and 85% of all Korea households have Kimchi refrigerator. The good thing is Korean already have the normal refrigerator that can prevent opening the Kimchi refrigerator often. It was first created in 1992, there was only the cover type’s Kimchi refrigerator.

Currently, Kimchi refrigerator has two types of its design.

1. Cover Type

This was the first type of Kimch. Currently, people does not use the cover type a lot, and most of people buy Stand type or Stand combination type.

2. Stand Type

The adventage of the stand type is it is easy to take out the Kimchi from the refregerator comparing the cover type.

3. Stand Combination Type

This is the type for putting both normal eating food and the Kimchi in one refrigerator.You might have a question of “what is a difference of the stand combination type and the stand type?”. In fact, Kimchi’s appropriate temperature is a little different with the normal food. Also, Kimchi needs time to be matured after the Kimchi is first made and putten in Kimchi refrigerator. When the Kimchi is in mature, the refrigerator temperature will be higher than for the normal food that if we put together the other food will go bad. Accordingly, the Kimchi and other food need to be in different part in the refrigerator.

After the Kimchi is matured, the Kimchi is kept in cooler temperature comparing the normal refrigerator and normally we don’t open the door often that many people put the veggies and fruit to Kimchi refrigerator to keep it fresh. My mom also do when has to keep the veggies and fruit for 5-8 days more in a home. When I eat the fruit, I can feel the fruit kept in Kimchi refrigerator is more fresh.

Thanks for reading.:)

Why Korean put cash into the pig mouth?

Last winter, I went to a Han River, riding a bicycle and saw the new opened water skiing shop. The first thing I saw in the shop was a pork head with cash in its mouth.


In Korea, many people do the ritual blessing ceremony called Gosa when they are launching its own business, starting a business-related project and moving a new house. It contains many of the typical shamanist features, such as various food and alcohol offerings, burning incense, bowing, and especially the central place of a pig’s head offering. You can see the Korea opening ritual ceremony in below video.

Visitors stick cash what they prepared into the pig mouth or nose or ear. Then they kneel down and bow to the table. The big reason people put cash into the pig is pigs are a symbol of good luck and fortune in Korea.

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1. Pig has similar pronunciation with Money in Korean

Roughly more than 60% of the Korean vocabulary came from Chinese and Pig(돼지) word is in this case too. Pig(돼지) is written as 豚 Chinese character and it pronounces ‘Don’(돈) which is same pronunciation with Money(돈) in Korean.

2. Pigs symbol the fertility

Pig usually gives birth to about 10 piglets at once and one pig could give over 100 piglets for 5 years. Because of this reason pigs have been signed the fecundity and luck in Korea for a long time.

So people believe the pigs will help in thriving a business and that’s why they put cash into the pig. However, normally people prefer to stick the cash in pig’s mouth and even some people never stick it in pig nose or ear. They believe if you stick the cash in pig’s nose, the pig could not breath and will die. And if you stick the cash in pig’s ear, the pig could not hear when you make a wish. Meanwhile, the pig will bring money when you stick the cash in pig’s mouth.

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Good luck dreams

Also dreaming of a pig is interpreted as being extremely fortunate as the animal is symbol of good luck, wealth, and fortune in Korean culture. So many Korean buy lottery after the day they had a pig dream and believe it or not few people said they won the lottery which they bought after they had a pig dream.

Thanks for reading.:)

Why March 3 is Samgyeopsal Day in Korea?

Samgyeopsal is thick and fatty slices of pork belly meat which is a popular Korean dish. March 3rd is Samgyeopsal Day in Korea in every year and it started in 2003. This is because the word “Sam” in Samgyeopsal has similar pronunciation with 3(Sam in Korean) and March 3rd has two 3.

You can check how to pronounce Numbers in Korean in here.

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There are few origins about the Samgyeopsal day starts and the two reasons are most persuasive.

1. To promote the consumption

Early 2000s foot-and-mouth disease occurred in Korea and spread in the country rapidly. 12 percent of the entire domestic pig were slaughtered to ensure the disease would not spread further. After that, the Korea livestock association started March 3rd as the Samgyeopsal day to promote the pork consumption.

2. One call from the elementary student

One of the elementary student called the Korea Federation of Livestock Cooperatives and said “March 3rd(3월 3일 pronounce Sam woul Sam il in Korean) is similar with Samgyeopsal and eating samgyeopsal in 3/3 will be more delicious! Let’s make March 3rd as the Samgyeopsal day”. Then the livestock employee posted this idea in internet and the responses were good that it started.

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I’m not sure which origin is true, but it is obvious that Samgyeopsal day promoted the Samgyeopsal consumption. Statistically in Korea Samgyeopsal is sold 3~5 times more than other days in Samgyeopsal Day and also many big supermarkets(e-mart, Lotte mart, Homeplus) are doing discount event in March 3rd.

Thanks for reading.:)

Why Korean say Cool when eating the spicy food-Part 2

Today I will introduce the situation of using the “Cool” meaning except in food.

1. When the pee came out
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People say Cool as expressing the cool feeling when just after the pee came out. To be more concrete, the word “Cool” means the good feeling of the impurities came out well from the body in this situation. But don’t say “Shi-won-ha-da”(Cool) in Korean to somebody else you are not familiar with. Koreanonly say to really close friends.

2. When scrubbing off the dead skin from the body.

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Korea has a unique culture in Korean bathhouse. Getting naked and scrubbed down.

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This is the scrubbing towel which Korean use and it is called “Italy towel” or “ttamiri towels”(때밀이 타울) in Korean. Instead of using a soft loofa, Korean use wash cloths that aren’t very nice. However, Korean who say cool are enjoying this painful feeling. As it has the hurt feeling, it produces excellent results in getting rid of the dust in the body. When the dirt is coming off from the skin during scrubbing, they feel the body is getting clean and eliminating the waste from the body. This is why they say “Cool” when scrubbing the body.

3. When having a massage
Normally, older Korean prefer to have very strong massage.

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When having a massage it could be felt a little painful but also could have a good feeling at the same time. Because it helps the muscle to get recover from the fatigue. Many Korean say “Cool” in this situation, especially who are old. I think they feel the pain as the muscle is getting relax.

4. When soaking in a hot tub

Korean say “Cool” for the hot feeling when they are in hot tub.

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One of the Korean characteristics what you can see from the number 2,3,4 is partly Korean enjoy the painful impression. My mother sometimes say “Cool” while she takes the shower. Before, I checked the water temperature when she was taking a shower, but it was really hot for me that I could not imagine taking shower in that hot water.

These four situations are the general situation when Korean say “Cool”. If there is other general times to say “Cool” please leave a comment.

Thanks for reading.:)

Why Koreans say “Cool” when eating the spicy food-Part 1

The popular question from foreigners to Korean is why they say “cool” when eating the spicy food.  Some of my friends especially men say “It’s cool(called Shi-won-ha-da/시원하다 in Korean)” when eating the spicy or hot food.

Shi-won-ha-da is the multiple meaning word and the first meaning is “cool” in English. Second is said after eating the hot food. Today I will introduce about the cool’ second meaning. However, when I thought about the cool(Shi-won-ha-da)meaning, I recognised Korean say this word frequently in many situation with multiple meaning. So in the part 1, I will introduce the cool meaning which is connected with the food, and in the next part 2, I will introduce the other cool meaning which is used in the others situation.

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This is the one of the scene of the Shin ramen(Korean noodle) advertisement and this person is PSY(Korean signer). In my opinion, this face represent the “Shi-won-ha-da”(cool) meaning well. As eating the spicy and hot food, he feels this hot feeling. However, this burning feeling also makes all the stress out and that’s one of the reasons why Korean says Shi-won-ha-da(cool).

When I was young, I could not understand why Korean middle-age men say cool during eating the hot soup. However, as I grow up in Korea I got stronger in the hot food and also could understand what does the cool mean. In fact, I could not eat Kimchi and every spicy Korean food until when I was in seven years old. I could only eat white Kimchi which is not spicy, or I ate Kimchi only after I wash it in water. However, I was continuously exposed in spicy food that I could be stronger in spicy food little by little.

Since I was in high school, sometimes I’ve started to say “cool” when eating the hot food. According to my experience, this cool is the word which expressing the refreshed and fresh feeling. When we eat the hot food, the sweat comes out. Base on my experience, when I eat spicy food I feel the bad wastes is coming out from the body and feel it cool. Also when I eat the spicy or hot food ,the sweat comes out from my body and the sweat is getting evaporate that it makes the body temperature lower. As the body temperature is getting lower, I feel it cool.

These are the examples when Korean say “Shi-won-ha-da”(Cool)

1. When eating the spicy food: this cool means refreshed.

2. When eating the hot soup(high temperature liquid): If you eat the hot soup, you could feel the liquid is passing the throat. I also like to eat the hot soup especially in winter and sometimes burned the roof of my mouth. It feels like my throat got cleaned and say cool. I think this is similar as the throat burning feeling when drinking the strong liquids.

The cool(Shi-won-ha-da)meaning is quite complicated and the meaning could be slightly different depends on the people that I’m not sure If I explained well about it. But I was trying to explain specifically of the meaning based on my experience.:) If you have any question or have the different idea, please leave the comment.

In next week, I will introduce about the rest of the Cool(Shi-won-ha-da) meaning.

Thanks for reading.:)

What is Konglish?-Season2

Today, I will introduce more about Konglish expressions which is commonly used in daily life, following the What is Konglish?-Season1.

If you remember the words in season 1 and 2, you are knowing a big part of the Konglish what Korean frequently use.:)

Electronic products

1. Hand phone

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It is same as “cellular phone or mobile phone” in English. Even after the smartphone is widely used, many Korean still use “Hand phone” word instead of “Smart phone”.





2. Selca(Self Camera)

This is same meaning as “Selfie”. Today, taking pictures with selfie stick(it is called “Selca bong’ in Korea) has been more popular than ever. 🙂

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3. Di-Ca: This is the abbreviation of the word “Digital Camera” and it is same as “Digicam”.

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4. Concent: It is “electrical outlet”.

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FYI, 220V is used in Korea.

5. RemoconIt is “remote control”or “remote”. This word is commonly used for TV, air conditional’s remote control.

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6. Air con: This is the abbreviation word of “air conditioner”.

Konglish which came from Japan

: From early 20th century many English vocabulary came from Japan to Korea. Accordingly, there are quite lots of Korean words which has Japanese pronunciation and Japanese expression.

1. Autobi(auto+bicycle): The compound word “Autobi” is formed from the words auto and bicycle in Japan, and after this word came to Korea.  It means “Motorcycle” in English.

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This is the most common design of the motorcycle what you can easily see in Korea. Because food delivery culture is popular in Korea that this motorcycle is often used to deliver.

2. Y shirt

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Y shirt is a same meaning as “shirts” or “dress shirts”. This word came from Japan and it is an abbreviation for ‘white shirts’.




3.  Handle: It is the ‘steering wheel’ and it came from Japanese word “Handoru”.

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4. Missing: This is “Sewing machine” in English. The origin of this word came from “Sewing machine” which pronounced the “machine” in Japanese style except the first part of word(Sewing), and the pronunciation is like “missing”.

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1. Burberry: It is “Overcoat or trench coat” in English and “Burberry” word came from the British’s Burberry company name. Burberry is still the cool fashion in Korea that many people wear in spring and in fall.

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2. One-piece: It does not mean ‘be safe’ in Konglish.:) This is same meaning as ‘dress’ in English.

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One-piece means the clothes which in top and in the bottom are in one. If these are separate in top and the pants or the skirt, it is called “Two-pieces” in Korea.





3. Panty stockings: It means “pantyhose” or “tights”.


1. Running machine: It is “Treadmill”. I assume if you say treadmill to Korean, many people don’t know this word.

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 2. Accessory: Korean pronounce as “ac-ce-ssa-ri” that English came in Korea for little wrong pronunciation. Generally used as jewelry and product for women’s hair which you can see in below picture. However, it is also widely used for accessory of phone, computer, bicycle, car…etc.

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3. Morning call: It is “wake-up call” in English. This usually means the call from hotel or motel in the right time. However also widely used for the common wake-up-call with cellphone, clock which the person made.

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Thanks for reading.:)




What is Konglish?-Season1

Konglish(=Korean+English) is a term which were invented by Koreans through combinations of English words or applying a new meaning for usage of a common English word. Korean frequently uses the Konglish in daily life, and also I frequently use Konglish when I talk with my Korean friends.

Today, I will introduce the Konglish what Korean frequently use.

Konglish word


1. I’m in slump

Slump means the status of mind and body or the work is temporary poor that feel the depression. ‘I am in a bad mood these days’ or ‘I feel down these days’ will be the same meaning of ‘I am in slump’ which Korean use.

According to the statistical data, 97.7% of Korean employees had experienced the slump, and there are four main reasons why they feel the depression.

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1) Exhaust because of the excessive work

2) Experience difficulties in adjusting after changing job or doing a new work

3) Conflict relation between boss, co-worker or subordinate

4) Emotional pressure because of anxiety about the future or burden of the performance.

Generally not only the employees but also the students, athletes use this word frequently.

2. Skinship

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Skinship(=Skin+relationship) is generally used for any kind of physical contact such as caressing, kissing, hugging between two loving ones, especially boyfriend and girlfriend. It is similar as “cuddling”, “snuggle”, “petting”.

3. Condition: Koreans use this word to refer to their body’s condition. It is commonly used such as “Today, my condition is not good” ,“Condition is good”.

4. Eye shopping: It means “window shopping”

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5. Cunning

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This is the same word as “cheating”. But the cheating has more wide meaning than cunning. Cunning is just used in exam. When someone look at the other person’s paper or look at their hands which is written down, the word “cunning” is used.

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6. Fighting: It is similar as “Cheer up” , “Go, team” in English. It also refers “You can do it”, “You will be good” and so on.

7. Dutch pay: It means “Dutch treat” in English.

8. Arbeit: It means “part-time job” and came from the German “Arbeit”.

9. Team: This is usually used for the group in a company that has a common goal.

It is also used as “Team project” or in a big company’s group is divided as finance team, human resource team, marketing team…etc.

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Housing style

1.  Apart: This is the abbreviation word of ‘Apartment’. The meaning of apartment in Korea is the place of private own.

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2. One Room: This is the apartment for one person especially single or young person. It is same as “studio apartment”. When the students enter the college, and if the college’s location is far from their home, they normally live in One Room, boarding house or dormitory.

3. Villa: this is a small-sized condominium that usually from 3-5 floors, two units per floor. It is also the common housing style in Seoul. However, the most usual housing style in Seoul is the apartment.

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4. Office Tel(=office+hotel)

Usually a small, modern room that has basic facilities including a kitchenette and a bathroom with a shower. However, the difference with ‘One-Room’ is ‘Office Tel’ is also used for working that it is a multi-purpose building with residential and commercial units. The advantage of the ‘Office Tel’ is for minimising the commute time.

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Duplex type of Office Tel got popular in Korea, because it is good for making use of space.




5. Condo: It is ‘time-share resort’ in English. It is usually located in ski resort or famous tour places in Korea. Normally Korean stay in condo when they take a trip.

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Thanks for reading and Konglish-Season 2 will be posted in next week.:)