Chris: Episode #14: Did you have breakfast?
Vanessa: 안녕하세요, 크리스. 아침 먹었어요?
Chris: 네 먹었어요.
Vanessa: Wow, you are very diligent. It is early in the morning, yet you ate already.
Chris: I heard from somewhere that eating breakfast is good for health.
Vanessa: I heard that too. By the way, do you know how to say “breakfast” in Korean?
Chris: Yes, Of course! It’s easy! Breakfast is called 아침.
Vanessa: Yes! As you said, breakfast means “아침” in Korean. Then do you also know how to say morning in Korean?
Chris: Sure! Morning in Korean is… Oh? That’s weird. Isn’t 아침 also morning?
Vanessa: Yes. Isn’t it interesting? Breakfast and morning are both called “아침” in Korean.
Chris: Whoa! So, how do you tell the difference between the two?
Vanessa: Ah~ Actually, it’s usually not a problem, but it does happen occasionally. In that case, to avoid confusion, say “아침 밥 breakfast rice or breakfast meal” or “아침 식사 breakfast meal” in the sense of breakfast. So you can say, 저는 어제 아침에 아침 밥을 먹었어요(Yesterday morning I had breakfast) or say 아침에 아침 식사 했어요? (Did you have breakfast in the morning?). When we use the phrase아침 밥, we usually use the verb 먹다 “to eat,” and when we use the phrase 아침 식사, we typically use the verb 하다 “to do.”
Chris: Ah, that’s interesting. By stating 밥 or 식사 after 아침, should prevent confusion between the two meaning of 아침.
Vanessa: Yes, However… Besides breakfast, another word has a double meaning.
Chris: What is it?
Vanessa: It is 저녁, evening. The word evening means “저녁” just like morning, and it also means “dinner.” As you can see in these two cases, breakfast is served in the morning, and dinner is served in the evening. Do you see any correlations?
Chris: Yes. So, when I need to use both meanings in one sentence, it would be best to say 저녁 밥or 저녁 식사.
Vanessa: 네 정확해요! Yes, exactly
Chris: Then, does lunch also follow the same rule?
Vanessa: Oh, lunch is a little different. Lunch is called 점심, 점심 밥, or 점심 식사, and in the case of the afternoon, it is expressed as a different word, 오후. However, lunchtime is described as 점심 시간, the time when you have lunch.
Chris: Ah, lunch is a little different.
Vanessa: Yes, in fact, as in all other cultures, we usually organize our days according to work or school schedules. People go to school or work in the morning, and people wrap up their day from school or work by evening. However, since people have lunch at a specific time according to the work or school schedule, it can’t be viewed within any large time frame, so a specific word for lunch was created.
Chris: It’s fascinating to see such a connection between people’s lifestyles and language.
Vanessa: Me too. It’s enjoyable to explain every time.
Chris: 오늘도 유용한 표현 잘 배웠어요. So let’s practice what we learned today.
Vanessa: Yeah! Good!
Chris: 바네사 씨는 보통 아침에 뭐 해요? Vanessa, what do you usually do in the morning?
Vanessa: 별로 특별한 거 없어요. 아침 먹고 출근 준비 해요.Nothing special. I have breakfast and get ready for work.
Chris: 그럼 저녁에는요? Then what about dinner?
Vanessa: 음… 저녁에는 퇴근하고 저녁먹고 TV 보다가 자요. Well… In the evening, I return from work, have dinner, watch TV, and sleep.
Chris: 바네사 씨 점심 식사 하러 같이 가요. Vanessa, let’s go have lunch together
Vanessa: 음.. 아직 점심 시간 아닌데 괜찮아요? Ummm… It’s not lunchtime yet, is it okay?
Chris: 네, 괜찮아요. 우리 회사에서는 10분 정도 일찍 가는 것은 문제가 없어요. Yeah, it’s fine. Our company is okay with taking lunch breaks 10 minutes early.
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