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Author Topic: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?  (Read 7604 times)

Offline woman-king

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2011, 08:15:01 PM »
one of the books I'm teaching has a unit about famous people, and 2 pages is an exercise dedicated to rain and how famous he is around the world  :laugh:

in general it's a tough call when a student asks about famous koreans in the west, I mean telling them kim jong il is the only korean most people can name isn't something they would want to hear

I always say Kim Yuna.  A LOT of people watch the Olympics, and generally the female gold medalists from figure-skating become somewhat famous in the U.S. even if they're not American.

Offline VanIslander

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2011, 08:23:17 PM »
I always say Kim Yuna.  A LOT of people watch the Olympics, and generally the female gold medalists from figure-skating become somewhat famous in the U.S. even if they're not American.
Somewhat. In other words: a little and temporarily.

Sonja Henie was a three-time Olympic Champion in Ladies Singles Figure Skating, a ten-time World Champion, and yet most Americans would say Sonja who?

Kim Yuna was one time Olympic champ and one time world champ. She's yesterday's news to most people. Like that guy who beat Tiger in his prime, that Korean guy from Jeju Island, the first to beat Tiger while he was leading on a Sunday, who was it? Yang?

Many Koreans believe the hype of their own press but some of them smell the b.s.. My students exhibit both tendencies.

Offline woman-king

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2011, 09:01:01 PM »
I always say Kim Yuna.  A LOT of people watch the Olympics, and generally the female gold medalists from figure-skating become somewhat famous in the U.S. even if they're not American.
Somewhat. In other words: a little and temporarily.

Sonja Henie was a three-time Olympic Champion in Ladies Singles Figure Skating, a ten-time World Champion, and yet most Americans would say Sonja who?

Kim Yuna was one time Olympic champ and one time world champ. She's yesterday's news to most people. Like that guy who beat Tiger in his prime, that Korean guy from Jeju Island, the first to beat Tiger while he was leading on a Sunday, who was it? Yang?

Many Koreans believe the hype of their own press but some of them smell the b.s.. My students exhibit both tendencies.

Yeah, but 2010 isn't as long ago as Sonja Henie's wins obviously.  You might not say she's the most famous in 5 years, but for now I think it's a reasonable answer.  And in her case that's not "hype," as opposed to the whole "Rain is the most famous Korean!" thing or something.  She actually did win a heavily-televised international sporting event that generally gives its winners a few years of fame and endorsements even outside their own countries.  I think it's a legit answer, at least until the next Olympics.

Offline orangeman

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2011, 10:30:39 AM »
I always say Kim Yuna.  A LOT of people watch the Olympics, and generally the female gold medalists from figure-skating become somewhat famous in the U.S. even if they're not American.
Somewhat. In other words: a little and temporarily.

Sonja Henie was a three-time Olympic Champion in Ladies Singles Figure Skating, a ten-time World Champion, and yet most Americans would say Sonja who?

Kim Yuna was one time Olympic champ and one time world champ. She's yesterday's news to most people. Like that guy who beat Tiger in his prime, that Korean guy from Jeju Island, the first to beat Tiger while he was leading on a Sunday, who was it? Yang?

Many Koreans believe the hype of their own press but some of them smell the b.s.. My students exhibit both tendencies.

Yeah, but 2010 isn't as long ago as Sonja Henie's wins obviously.  You might not say she's the most famous in 5 years, but for now I think it's a reasonable answer.  And in her case that's not "hype," as opposed to the whole "Rain is the most famous Korean!" thing or something.  She actually did win a heavily-televised international sporting event that generally gives its winners a few years of fame and endorsements even outside their own countries.  I think it's a legit answer, at least until the next Olympics.

Exactly.  He's comparing an Olympic champ from the 30s to someone from less than 2 years ago.  You could say the same about anyone from pop culture--Katy Perry isn't famous because no one remembers that singer from 1932.  Plus the Olympics, and sport figures in general, reach a much higher level of fame these days than 80 years ago.  You also can't compare Olympic figure skating to golf.  Very few people actually follow golf outside the US and the upper crust of society in a few other countries.  A billion people watched the Olympics, with women's figure skating viewed as the marquee event.  Fame doesn't last forever, but people are still aware of that Romanian girl who got a perfect 10 in 1976.  They might not know her name off-hand, but they remember she was Romanian and to this day when people think Romania and sport, they likely think of gymnastics.  Now many people associate figure skating (along with short track) to Korea.

Offline langel

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2011, 09:22:36 AM »
How much does anyone know about Birkino Faso? How much does anyone know about Oman? How much does anyone know about Chile? It's a big world. You pretty much gotta start a war or a viral youtube video to get noticed.

I like to know this too?  I am interested in going to Chile to teach english.

Offline adamjay

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #45 on: December 15, 2011, 03:20:45 PM »
Me: "Yeah, I'm going to teach English in South Korea.'"
Uncle: "I hear the Fourth of July is huge over there.  That's where the fireworks come from, you know."

I still laugh about that.  He was dead serious.  American Independance day is huge in South Korea because that's where the fireworks come from.  And he makes more money than any of us ever will. 

Offline UknowsI

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #46 on: December 15, 2011, 08:18:57 PM »
I would say Ban Ki-moon is pretty famous too. The only problem is that it's hard to remember his name, but many people will remember his face when they see him. When it come to entertainers, I still think "that guy from Lost" is more famous than Rain and maybe even "that guy from Walking Dead".

Offline DWAEDGIMORIGUKBAP

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Re: Why do a lot of people know next to nothing about Korea?
« Reply #47 on: December 15, 2011, 08:20:36 PM »
Me: "Yeah, I'm going to teach English in South Korea.'"
Uncle: "I hear the Fourth of July is huge over there.  That's where the fireworks come from, you know."

I still laugh about that.  He was dead serious.  American Independance day is huge in South Korea because that's where the fireworks come from.  And he makes more money than any of us ever will.

Me; Hi sis, how's the weather in blighty?

Sis; Really cold now.  Lucky you, out there in Korea with the white beaches and palm trees, sipping on cockails in the sun etc...

Me; It's colder here in the winter than in England.

Sis.  Oh well, that's okay, so what have you been up to....
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