University English: the blog for ESL students

November 2, 2011

Korean Time’s paradox

Filed under: student presentations — richardlstansfield @ 5:02 am

We will present about the Korean time’s paradox. “Korean Time” refers to the way that Koreans are almost always late for their appointments. The phrase “Korean time” orginated from American soldiers during in the Korean War because Koreans were late for appointments with them. So, They named Korean’s continuous lateness “Korean time” [1]

The First example of Korean time is lateness in national security. Last November 23, 2010, There was a North Korean shelling incident in Yeon-pyeongdo. Kim Tae-Yeong, the Minister of National Defense, continued to remain in the National Assembly and ended late, Although an urgent national Security meeting was held to discuss the problem. Eventually he was replaced.[2]

The Second example is entertainer’s lateness. Famous singer IU was one hour late for a special concert of KBS drama ‘Dream High’. Her lateness made many fans unhappy. In this way, We can know that even entertainers also show Korean time.[3]

Because of our such practice, Foreigners dislike having appointments with Koreans.[4]

In contrast to having such practice, Koreans also have a “Quickly, Quickly” culture. Korean “Quickly, Quickly” culture refers to Korean’s impatient personality. If we give a concrete example, we can sympathize with this culture. First, in elevators, Koreans push the close button continuously.

Second, when Koreans are waiting for coffee from a machine, they put their hands on the cup to drink it quickly.

Third, in theaters, they leave before the credits roll. Fourth, if a web-site does not open in 3 seconds, they click the close button quickly. Fifth, in markets, they drink beverage before they pay for it.

Because of this culture, Korea has a high rate of traffic accidents.[5]

But, this impatience allowed Korea to develop quickly into an industrialized nation.
Finally, there is paradox between the two tendencies.

Discussion questions
1. Have you ever been late for you an appointment although even though you say said, “Quickly, Quickly”? If you have, Why?
2. Is it similar in China? Is it similar in Canada? If not, how is it different?
3. What is the best solution to this paradox? Tell me about your opinion?.


1.Paradox [noun] You describe a situation as a paradox when it involves two or more facts or qualities which seem to contradict each other.

2. shell: (verb) to attack a place with bombs

3.assembly [noun] An assembly is a large group of people who meet regularly to make decisions or laws for a particular region or country.

4.concrete [adj] You use concrete to indicate that something is definite and specific.

5.sympathize [verb] If you sympathize with someone who is in a bad situation, you show that you are sorry for them.


Class 125, Group 2


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