Sports Chosun in 2008: “Be A Sport!”

December 31st, 2007 · Sports · 2 comments

Original Article.

The Sports Chosun has announced that its 2008 slogan is “Be a sport!”

“Be a sport!”, a short phrase meaning be a good sportsman (스포츠맨답게 해라), summarizes the Sports Chosun’s belief that the “dirty play” seen so often in our country’s sports world should end and everyone should be an honest “fair player”. Under this year-long slogan, the Sports Chosun and its readers will watch for unfair player and practice good sportsmanship.

I seem to have missed the “dirty play” they’re talking about here. I can’t remember any real sports scandal in Korea in the past year actually… can any reader jog my memory?

Will The Real Rain Please Stand Up?

December 31st, 2007 · Korean Wave · 9 comments

While Korean singer Ivy was recently rapped on the knuckles for copying a Japanese video, a Chinese singer seems to have nabbed an entire act from Korean singer Rain, according the Ilgan Sports. What goes around, and all that.

Chinese singer and actor Hwang Shao-ming (黃曉明) has been accused of plagiarizing Rain (real name Jeong Ji-hun; pictured on left).

On December 1st Hwang released his debut album, which became the most popular in China, but it is being criticized for its excessively similarity to “Rain’s World”, the fourth album from Rain.

Hwang wore a military look similar to the one Rain wore in “I’m coming”, and his song “I’m Mining” is similar to Rain’s “It’s Raining”.

Hwang strongly denies the accusations. In an interview with the Chinese press Hwang said, “there’s nothing for me to feel guilty about. For this album we just used a lot of elements from Korean culture that have been popular in China. Most of the tracks were inspired by Korean songs.”

Hwang’s song “It’s Mining”, he revealed, was inspired by Lee Hyo-ri’s track “톡톡톡”, and choreography was taught by Popin Hyeon-joon.

On the suspicions of plagiarism by Hwang, Rain’s representative,  J.Tune Entertainment, announced, “we are still deciding how to respond.”

In other news Rain is in currently in Los Angeles to promote his records.

Lee Seung-yeop on Surgery, Daniel Rios

December 31st, 2007 · Interviews, Sports · 0 comments

Korean slugger-in-Japan Lee Seung-yeop may be rehabbing from offseason surgery but his mouth is obviously in great shape.

“I’m much better now. I can’t wait for spring training.”

Lee Seung-yeop (31, Yomiuri Giants) looks to be in bright spirits. After October 25th, when he had surgery to restore a ligament in his left hand, he focused on his physical rehabilitation, utilizing light weight training and running to get himself in shape.

At 11 am this morning in the Jisan-dong area of Daegu, Lee lightly stretched and devised his weight training program with Oh Chang-hun, director of the Sejin Health Club (세진헬스클럽) After the exercise Lee announced his goal at a press conference. “Next year I’m aiming for my final goal.”

▲How was the surgery and how do you feel now?

The surgery was intended to stretch my ligament. We’re looking at a pretty quick recovery. I go back to Japan every week for a check-up. I haven’t worked out for two months so I’ve lost four or five kilograms and my waist is four inches smaller. I’d like to lose another two or three kilos.

▲How hard are you training now?

I can do weight training and go running. I still can’t bend my fingers completely so I can’t play catch yet. I don’t need any warm-up. I’ll start training on January 4th.

▲Will you be able to join the national team in March?

I’d like to join the team any time but I need to receive a definite answer. I will definitely be in the second preliminary round in March and our goal is to win an Olympic medal.

▲What’s your goal for next season?

I have three years left on my contract but I’m ready. As long as I’m not injured I will represent Korea with a strong bat.

-▲How do you feel about the prospect of facing Lim Chang-yong and Daniel Rios after they’ve joined the Yakult Swallows?

I think they’ll be fun games. Lim was my rival and also my classmate so we will compete as hard as we can and as good sportsmen. As for Rios four years ago I didn’t have much trouble with him but now he’s a 22-game winner. I’m really going to look at the data and research him a lot.

▲Do you still dream of going to the Major Leagues?

After last season I did receive an offer but since Yomiuri owns my rights I can’t just ignore them and go. But I think someday I will get the chance to go.

Lee Beom-su Brings the Beefcake

December 30th, 2007 · Photos · 0 comments

A nice big slab of it for his fans to enjoy. A couple of other photos are at the this Chosun Ilbo gallery.

Ivy: “I Didn’t Want Him Punished”

December 29th, 2007 · Accidents, Crimes and Scandals, Entertainment · 4 comments

As you may remember, singer Ivy was threatened by an ex-boyfriend with the release of a certain videotape of her. He was recently convicted but Ivy seems to somewhat regret turning him in; this according to the Ilgan Sports.

The sentence of one year in prison and two years on probation passed on Mr. Yu (31), the former lover of Ivy, has brought to an end the scandal in which he had threatened to release videotape of her. The sentence had a big impact on Ivy, who reportedly said, “I didn’t want Yu to be punished.”

On the morning of the 26th the court announced, “as the victim does not desire punishment and no money was extorted, the defendant is sentenced to probation.”

According to Phantom Entertainment, the company which represents her, both Ivy and Phantom had asked the court for leniency.

Also, in interviews in print and on the telephone after the trial began, Phantom said, “from the first press conference last month our goal was not punishment. Ivy was overwhelmed and fatigued and just wanted the threats to end. She simply hopes that Mr. Yu reflects on his actions and does not do it again.”

At the hearing on the 26th where his sentence was pronounced Mr. Yu, attended by his parents, answered, “Yes, I understand,” with a relatively bright expression as he faced the judge.

Misuda star in Hite beer ads

December 29th, 2007 · Economy and Worklife, Foreigners · 0 comments

Not Djamilya but rather South African Bronwyn Mullen is appearing in TV commercials with Jang Dong-gun. A previous translation compared beer and soju ads in Korea.

Bronwyn Mullen, the South African star of KBS2’s “Chat With Beauties” popular for her peculiar habit of always saying “~입니다”, is appearing in advertisements for Hite Beer’s Max alongside top star Jang Dong-gun. The TV commercial, the fourth for Hite Max, features her at a company dinner using Korean drinking etiquette and saying “Max please,” (맥스주세요) and “that’s delicious!” (맛있습니다). Jang Dong-gun teaches her Korean manners, such as using two hands when pouring drinks for an adult and respectfully turning one’s head while drinking. She exclaims, “Ah! I understand,” (아! 알겠습니다). The boss is offering drinks and everyone receives and drinks it respectfully, but their expressions are not so serious. They understand, but instead of one glass Bronwyn takes the bottle and drinks it, so much that it would make someone sick. Her co-workers slowly realize what happened and burst out laughing, but Bronwyn is so enamored of the taste of Max that she orders another one without realizing her error. The ad introduces the most important parts of Korean drinking culture with the phrase, “a nice beer makes a nice place,” (맛있는 자리를 만들어주는 맛있는 맥주). During the filming of the commercial Brownwyn, who enjoys beer, drank a bit too much Max and had to apply more makeup to cover her reddening cheeks.

“Misuda” Star in Hite Beer Ads

December 29th, 2007 · Entertainment, Foreigners · 6 comments

Not Djamilya but rather South African Bronwyn Mullen is appearing in TV commercials with Jang Dong-gun. A previous translation compared beer and soju ads in Korea.

Bronwyn Mullen, the South African star of KBS2’s “Chat With Beauties” popular for her peculiar habit of always saying “~입니다”, is appearing in advertisements for Hite Beer’s Max alongside top star Jang Dong-gun.

The TV commercial, the fourth for Hite Max, features her at a company dinner using Korean drinking etiquette and saying “Max please,” (맥스주세요) and “that’s delicious!” (맛있습니다). Jang Dong-gun teaches her Korean manners, such as using two hands when pouring drinks for an adult and respectfully turning one’s head while drinking. She exclaims, “Ah! I understand,” (아! 알겠습니다).

The boss is offering drinks and everyone receives and drinks it respectfully, but their expressions are not so serious. They understand, but instead of one glass Bronwyn takes the bottle and drinks it, so much that it would make someone sick. Her co-workers slowly realize what happened and burst out laughing, but Bronwyn is so enamored of the taste of Max that she orders another one without realizing her error.

The ad introduces the most important parts of Korean drinking culture with the phrase, “a nice beer makes a nice place,” (맛있는 자리를 만들어주는 맛있는 맥주).

During the filming of the commercial Brownwyn, who enjoys beer, drank a bit too much Max and had to apply more makeup to cover her reddening cheeks.

Hangul Abroad, Part 2

December 28th, 2007 · Netizen comments · 1 comment

Media Daum dug up the blog post of one Korean living in the US and what she found at her local Barnes & Noble language section.

What country are the following words from? Try to figure it out.

Here’s the answer.

If you could read both at first sight then you have quick eyes. This page is from a Korean dictionary I happened to find at the American bookstore Barnes & Noble. As I looked through the foreign language section I found plenty of books about Chinese, Spanish, French, and German but could barely come up with six books on Korean.

Happily, I picked out one and looked through it, thinking it was a real Korean dictionary, but had to give it a sideways look. The first 2/3 of the book was a Korean-English dictionary and the last 1/3 was a regular English-Korean dictionary, but the Korean-English section was set up as in the pictures below.

Just how in hell is this dictionary supposed to help foreigners who don’t know Korean? Looking up words in it by pronunciation alone would be difficult even for Koreans for whom Korean is their native tongue, let alone for foreigners.

In 2006 I saw a report that the US State Department selected Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Korean as the most difficult languages.

I think this kind of dictionary, which is the most basic thing for language learning, makes it even more difficult to learn Korean. Of course not every Korean dictionary is like that but there should be a dictionary made that foreigners who want to learn Korean can easily and correctly consult so that our language can spread around the world. If such a dictionary appears then I won’t feel so bad to see Chinese books crammed onto the shelves at the bookstore.

It’s quite true that there are a lot of crappy Korean-English dictionaries out there. Most all seem to be based on the same source, so there must have been some original dictionary at some point. One of the first Korea Beat posts was from a whacked-out Chosun Ilbo reader and his thoughts on hangul’s future.

It’s Mine! No, It’s…

December 28th, 2007 · Photos, Sports · 2 comments

Kwak Ju-yeong (left) of the KB Sabres and Yang Jeong-ok of the Shinsegye Coolcats both go for the loose ball in a game on Christmas. Original photo found here.

Daniel Rios Says, “Annyeong, Korea”

December 27th, 2007 · Foreigners, Japan, Sports · 1 comment

Doosan Bears standout pitcher Daniel Rios is now the former Doosan Bears standout pitcher Daniel Rios as he has signed a 2-year contract with the Yakult Swallows of Japan.

On the 25th the Yakult Swallows of Japanese pro baseball announced that they have signed foreign pitcher Daniel Rios (35) to a large 2-year contract worth $3.8 million (approximately 3.5 billion won).

Japanese sports newspaper the Sports Hozi reported on the 26th that the “1 + 1” contract calls for him to make $950,000 in the first year (approximately 890 million won) and, if he performs well enough to earn certain bonuses, up to $2.75 million in 2009.

In Korea this year Rios went 22-7 with a 2.07 ERA and leading the league in victories, ERA, and winning percentage and now, after leaving Korea, will be the highest-paid foreigner in Japan.

On Christmas. That really has to burn for the Bears and their fans. With Rios gone, the likely trade of Hong Seung-heun, and the still-possible departure to Japan of Kim Dong-ju, the Bears’ prospects in 2009 are not great.

Asian baseball blog The East Windup Chronicle has a list of foreign players entering the Japan leagues this year.