So I have started teaching my mini-lessons this week, and I’m focusing on modal verbs, namely should, had better, have to and must. This is a particularly difficult thing to teach, because in Korean textbooks, they are all translated to mean the same thing. This might not seem like a big deal, but as a foreigner in Korea it’s actually a pretty important to know. “Julie, you should go to dinner with us.” Okayyy– is that an actual “should”? Or more like a “have to”? Usually it’s more like a “have to”.
Anyway, just thought I’d point out a seemingly insignificant difference between our two cultures that, as it turns out, is actually pretty important. Another one you ask? By all means. This guy:
“Is that washed-up D-list movie actor Steven Seagal?” you might be asking. Why yes it is. “What does washed-up D-list movie actor Steven Seagal have to do with Korea?” You are now wondering. Let me tell you. Literally 50% of the time if you turn on Korean TV you will find a Steven Seagal movie on. Usually on channel 70– channel 70 loves some Steven Seagal. I bet that there is a Steven Seagal movie on T.V. everyday in Korea . Probably several times a day. I have not yet sat staring at the TV for 24 hours, but I have maternity leave coming up, so maybe I’ll test this theory out.
Joo-Young and I have surmised that he is some sort of Korean favorite as we can see no other reason why on earth he’s on TV so much. Why Steven? Why? Is it your low-budget shoot-em-up movies? Is it your ever-expanding neck? Perhaps it’s your believable tough-guy lines?
The only other reason we could come up with is this: Sometimes American movies or TV shows that are played on Korean TV include small snippets of Korean culture or language– the latest Jim Carrey bomb? “Yes Man”? He takes Korean lessons. The National Geographic special on stigmata? Yup, a Korean stigmatic is featured prominently. So… Steven Seagal? Well, here’s a connection you may not have known about: