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Old 09-19-2007, 11:41 PM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,149,132 times
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Hello everyone! I was hoping to get a feel for Incheon from someone who has visited the city, or heard anything positive or negative about it. I am applying for an English teaching position there but I don't know much about the city. Wikipedia is quite vague

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,240,768 times
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I don't know a thing about it (sorry ) ... however, my 17-year-old daughter has a pen pal in South Korea and she corresponds (via email and instant messaging and web cam), and maybe she can ask him -- would you like me to have her ask? I can't remember which city he is in. He did, though, say it is very expensive there! Maybe by now you have already gotten the information you need. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:21 AM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,149,132 times
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That would be great if she could ask him! Fortunately the position comes with a furnished apartment so I wouldn't have to fork over lots of money for housing...
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,240,768 times
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I told my daughter last night and she said she'd check with him. He seems like a nice kid (he'll be joining the Army there soon -- they have to do a mandatory two-year stint). I know that they LOVE learning English, though! That's how my daughter met him -- she goes on this pen pal site for people wanting to practice other languages. She was teaching herself Korean (she loves Korean pop music: K-pop), and he wanted to learn better English. (My daughter is already fluent in Spanish, too, having lived in Chile.)

She said he told her that regular houses go for about 2 million dollars each! He said that most people there rent. It's also a big deal to go on tour buses to North Korea -- you might want to try that out, too! He was bubbling over with his recent trip to North Korea!

It should be fun. I assume you already know a lot about the Asian culture there?? We were quite surprised to learn about Asian culture from our foreign exchange student from China, and Japanese students we were in a language meet-up with, and kids from Korea....apparently, alcohol plays a major portion in the business world there....hope you can hold your liquor!
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:49 AM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 2,149,132 times
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Thanks for checking into that for me! How is your daughter doing with her Korean? I just started learning it, and I'm already feeling overwhelmed. And that's coming from a language enthusiast! (I studied Spanish in college and lived in Ecuador for a few months) But I hear that Korean is easier to learn than Chinese or Japanese, so I guess I should count my blessings!

I wonder if foreigners can also go on those trips to North Korea? That would be very interesting. Although, I think I'd wait and tell my mom after I got back just so she wouldn't worry

I actually don't know a lot about Asian culture, but I'm eager to learn. I'm planning on doing a crash course before I leave on the do's and don'ts so that I don't offend anyone. I did read about the alcohol thing... very odd! I would have never guess that about South Korea.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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Hi, I will let you know later what my daughter finds out -- she's in school right now. From what she explained to me, Korean and English are extremely different in sentence structure. For instance, she explained that if you wanted to say something like: "I am going to her house," in Korean it might be worded something like "house going to her." Something weird like that.

Japanese also had a separate structure, but easier. And our Chinese foreign exchange student said that written Chinese is actually the easiest of the Asian languages because it is characters, and the characters can be put together to form sentences easily. When she explained it to us, it was like "Oh, yeah, that is easier!" She couldn't understand why Chinese was considered so difficult compared to English. The catch with Chinese, though, are the inflections in tone, which can change the meaning of the word -- apparently, that is the tricky part.

Here is a site that we followed for quite awhile -- only I can't access it from this computer, so see what you can find. Gaijin Smash (Japanese School Teacher) is what you want to read! It is hilarious and truly eye-opening!! He's a black guy from Denver who taught in Japan for several years, and his stories are really amazing! It might be good to know about before you go!

Outpost Nine :: Editorials

I will keep you posted and let you know as soon as I hear from this boy (I can't spell his name, but phonetically it's something like Ken Shy).
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:42 AM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,361,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisteria View Post
Here is a site that we followed for quite awhile -- only I can't access it from this computer, so see what you can find. Gaijin Smash (Japanese School Teacher) is what you want to read! It is hilarious and truly eye-opening!! He's a black guy from Denver who taught in Japan for several years, and his stories are really amazing! It might be good to know about before you go!

Outpost Nine :: Editorials
That site is hilarious! I've been following Azrael and his exploits for a couple of years now. We have similar tastes Wisteria.
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:53 AM
 
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Boardmanite, I spent two one-year USAF tours in South Korea (Republic of Korea). I was stationed at Kunsan Air Base (on the SW coast) and Kwang Ju (in the South Central area) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Inchon. I don't believe tours to North Korea are available, but you may be able to go to the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom. I went there as a G.I. and I believe that you may also visit there as an American civilian. If you get a chance, do go! I hope you find the Korean people as warm & friendly as I did!
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,240,768 times
Reputation: 2646
Quote:
Dullnboring: That site is hilarious! I've been following Azrael and his exploits for a couple of years now. We have similar tastes Wisteria.
Hi, Dullnboring! Yep, same tastes! How funny. His writings are soooo revealing about life in Japan! I finally got into the site -- it's blocked from my workplace -- and here is the link that takes you to the archives -- which should be read from the bottom (2004) up. As a future English teacher in Asia, Boardmanite, you will find it quite enlightening!

GaijinSmash.net (http://www.gaijinsmash.net/archives.phtml - broken link)

I had my daughter ask her friend in Korea about Incheon, and I didn't get a lot of info -- sorry. As typical teens, he said, "It's a city!" He told my daughter it's a city like the other cities -- with "city stuff." I guess loosely interpreted, that means there are big buildings, lots of stores, and places to go. You'd probably do better to read the above link, though, because as an English teacher in Japan, this guy has stories you will NEVER hear by recruiting companies!!

In fact, when we took our Japanese class, my daughter and I were quite surprised at the video we saw in class. This was a class taught by a native Japanese woman who now lives in the U.S. and is married to an American. So, we're sitting there watching this video and they bring up animated pictures of "mother," "father," .... and the Japanese words for those. Then it continues, and each of these people are lined up together as they introduce the words. It goes on, "child," and then...... "lover!" I'm like "LOVER??" What the heck? Well, apparently, taking a lover for literally decades is not uncommon in Japan -- and I guess they're considered a part of "the family!" Not to mention our teacher talked about how we don't have the same services that they have there --- like in Japan they can order cases of beer to be delivered to their house! Yep, it's really different!!

With our Chinese foreign exchange student and her being a "Little Emperor," (google that one -- meaning EXTREMELY spoiled!), and hanging out with Japanese students from Japan, we were quite amazed to find out things that one just doesn't get in a history or language class.

If you're not into yet, you may also want to check out the K-Pop forum and also download some Korean pop music, which is actually quite good. My daughter loves Shinhwa, Se7en, and Epik High, and many others. We usually order our cds from "YesAsia.com" YesAsia.com: Top 100 Music - Korean Music - Free International Shipping

Well, I'm sorry I didn't get better information for you. I think it's probably more important to learn what the people are like. And look at the fashions and styles there. They are very style-conscious there. My daughter's friend -- a male -- actually sends her photos of clothes he buys! Seriously, because she'll show me. Pink shirts (pink is big there, even for guys), and shoes, and other assorted things. He shows her photos of watches he buys on the Korean version of E-Bay, and stuff like that. It's kind of weird to me, but she's into it.

Good luck to you, and as Dullnboring said, that site above is a riot!! Very interesting! Keep us posted.
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Gulfport, MS
469 posts, read 2,556,352 times
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For information and tips on learning Korean, check out Comparative table of languages and language profiles for the prospective learner and visit the forums there. Compared to Japanese or Chinese, Korean at first looks very easy, because the language has no tones and uses an alphabet. However -- the alphabet is apparently VERY hard to master plus it's used alongside the Chinese-derived Hanjas, the grammar is completely different than English, and Korean has some difficult sounds that one must learn to be able to speak it. In Korean conjugation, for example, every verb has more than 600 possible endings. There are also 2 number systems.

A pictographic writing system, such as Chinese uses, is extremely hard to learn because you have to master several hundred different symbols before you can even pick up the simplest book written in the language. To be able to read a novel or write a business letter, you'll need a knowledge of probably 30,000-50,000 completely different symbols.

Contrast this with English, where you only need to learn 26 letters, and even if you mangle the spelling a bit, you can still be understood. I spel lik this u can stil reed it. You can't do that in Chinese, since the symbols aren't phonetic. Of course, to your Chinese exchange student, this would seem very easy -- she's been learning how to write Chinese since she was four or five years old!
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