The odd things K-Dramas taught me about Korea!


I figured out the duct tape over the badge of some cars thing …notice it is not on ALL cars, but if you think about it…the same car will sell in another market with a different name and badge…so they promote the brand , not the model. I remember in Korean Odyssey the Benzes all had the Three Point Star…which exists on all their models worldwide, the Toyota Camry is sold under about six names…


Yea and specially all the taped and marked shirts and signs and so on. Its funny. I wonder how the conversation goes.

Hey Nike,
we are filming a show. Our character will be wearing one of your shirts. Pay us this much and we will advertise for you… OR else.



Exactly ! Not a bad business model if you think about it, considering how many US acts ( especially rap ) wind up advertising for free, with product mentions…I don’t think Hennessy Cognac has paid a cent for advertising with rappers …even BlackPink gave them a free wave in Boombyah


There are plenty of good dramas without a poor girl being Cinderella to a Chaebol heir, I can think of some where even the woman was an heir ( Crash Landing on You , My Fair Lady, Korean Odyssey …they never identified her as a Chaebol heir, but they did indicate she was filthy rich ) but it is the Cinderella stuff that fangirls/fanboys? go on and on about.


I fully agree with you!! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Hello, I’ve been on Viki since Corona and I’m new to the discussion forum. I read this thread with great pleasure, thank you all.

I’ve learned to love Asian series. Before that, I’ve only seen a few movie pictures from East Asia. But I had to learn to get used to one thing or another first. So here are my two cents:

I’m from a region where most people are lactose tolerant. Nevertheless, I think there are hardly any adults here that are so enthusiastic about dairy products. Maybe a Turkish/Greek yoghurt or a cold cocoa milk, sometimes…
Allegedly we can tolerate more alcohol, too, but after a bottle of soju I usually have enough. Especially since I then have to see how I get home by tram, as the taxis are not so cheap here. For the same reason, we mostly eat and drink up.

The series producers here with us have a hard time. If they’d put so much product placement in front of viewers who are not conditioned for Asian series, most of them would run screaming. So there isn’t that much money.
We also have to get by without long self-talks and if the leads want something, they usually get to the point quickly. So our series aren’t that much long. (Nevertheless, we were able to land one or two successes on Netflix or Sky).

We, too, really, really like beautiful people. But some of us, including myself, adore some of our actors who are anything but pretty and forever young.

For me, a (romance) series stands or falls often with the leading actress. Not because I’m jealous, I’m beyond that point. I really have to wish it for her: success, the guy and so on.Often I can’t really feel with the FL.


Which would really interest me:
Are there pensions and (statutory) health insurance in South Korea? Unemployment and/or social benefits? Alimony, youth welfare offices? That often confuses me.

You can really learn the Korean alphabet - I hope so, still. It is better to practice pronuncation like this than with Romanization, which turns off to Englisch. But while the agglutination will hopefully not be a problem, since it also exists in Hungarian, for example, I’ll probably never be able to speak some sounds properly.


They don’t have unemployment benefits. There is some kind of social benefits for poor people, but not enough to live on and if I remember well you can only get it if there’s no male relative who can take care of you. So people either take any job they can get or they live with a family member or something like that.

Maybe @ajumma2 or @choitrio can tell you more.


@spaufler_89, Yeah, thought about the same questions with South Korea, no they seem to have pretty little in way of a welfare state. Personally, I’m currently learning Korean, still at the beginning, I’ve ignored both Hangul and Romanizations (imo, made for the Anglo-Saxon sound system, which in it self is kinda inflexible) of Korean and I created a phonetic system based on a Swedish alphabet with a Finnish way of pronouncing. Korean seems to lack a few sounds so it works. Eventually I plan to take a formal course and learn hangul. I hate learning in a theoretical way and have found it doesn’t work for me.

So far I’ve gotten between 200-300 words, not a lot, and if I wanted to I could be at 600-800 by now. Some days I just want to watch and enjoy kdrama after work instead of decoding korean, however, learning words and then just watching has thought me other things about the language that I didn’t earlier understand, like the logic, word endings, deeper root meanings of the words that I already know etc. So my advice, just watch and actively try to pick out words and write them down and also say them out-loud after you heard them in a show, this way you’ll learn to pronounce.

My two cents :slight_smile:


@spaufler_89, welcome to the community! I was born in Korea and my family immigrated to the USA when I was 13 years old so I am not that familiar with the Korean welfare system but I am quite positive that there is no unemployment benefits. Instead, the big companies do offer a sizable retirement benefit (lump sum), hence the fierce competition to land a job with the big companies. During a recent trip to Korea, I learned from talking to the taxi drivers that the unemployment among the young people is nation’s number 1 concern. With regard to medicare, I heard that it is superior to that offered in many other countries.
@mattlock, if ever there is a specific word you need help with, you can ask the translators in this community. Also, I think there is a topic called “Korean Language Learners and Speakers” where many community members exchange information on the various online sources for learning.


The thing that would be nice to find is a complete list of word endings and how to pronounce them. Anyways, I think I need to study some more before becoming more involved with the community learning section. I need to prove to myself that my method is viable first :slight_smile:


This is my personal thought but I think part of the reason why Korea does not have well developed welfare system might be due to the pride factor. To receive assistance from the government would perhaps be seen as an admission that you are not capable of taking care of your own family. Before Korea became the hot spot for tourists, I once tried to tip a taxi driver and he was offended because he thought I was treating him as a charity case.


I don’t know Korean welfare system very well, either. But I believe there is some type of basic welfare program which covers a very small percentage of poor people. I’ve never heard of any male relatives taking care of them. That sounds more like an old Jewish culture maybe? Children used to belong to the husband’s side and there was no alimony paid to the mothers if they were divorced or separated. I’m not sure if that has changed now.

Korea has a really good universal healthcare system. So a lot of Korean-Americans (especially elderly ones) go visit Korea to receive various medical treatments and get procedures done. Apparently, it’s a lot more comprehensive and much cheaper to get them done in Korea even without an insurance there, than getting them done in America.

According to Wikipedia, " In 2015, South Korea ranked first in the OECD for healthcare access. Satisfaction of healthcare has been consistently among the highest in the world – South Korea was rated as the second most efficient healthcare system by Bloomberg."

@spaufler_89 Some of the larger corporations provide much coveted “Four Insurance Benefits,” which include Health Insurance, Retirement Benefits, Unemployment Benefits, and Workers Comp.

Also, I found this link for you that explains Korean pensions and welfare systems in more detail.,encourage%20retraining%20or%20job%20search.


Thank you.


:open_mouth: that’s amazing!


Unrelated question…language …when speaking a person’s name I oft hear it appended with an ‘ah’ or ‘shea’ sound , is that an indication of formal speech ?


The ‘ah’ (or ‘yah’ if the name ends in a vowel) sound is informal. ‘Shea’ (-ssi) is formal, but not as “high” as -nim.


Thank you ! Learning new things is fun


I actually noticed this as the sound did not match the subtitle and knew it had something to do with ‘level’ of speech


Not surprised , considering how they handled COVID