S1 Ep17: Native Korean think the hot broth is cool

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Vanessa: 17화: 이 삼계탕 진짜 시원하다~

Chris: Episode #17: This 삼계탕 is really tasty

Chris: Hey Vanessa. Have you eaten yet?

Vanessa: 아니요. 밥 먹어야 돼요. 너무 배고파요. 밥 먹었어요? No. I have to eat. I’m so hungry. Did you eat?

Chris: Nope, 같이 밥 먹어요. 제가 배달 시킬게요. 뭐 먹을래요? Let’s eat together. I’ll order delivery food. What do you want to eat?

Vanessa: Well… It’s hot, and I’m losing strength, so I think it would be better to have a hot soup.

Chris: What? You want to have hot soup in this hot weather?

Vanessa: Oh my! You don’t know? In Korea, there is a saying “이열치열”.

Chris: What does that mean?

Vanessa: It means to control heat with the heat.  In hot weather try to make your body even hotter to cope with the heat.  The ancestors said people tend to sweat more, especially when having hot soup in hot weather.  When sweat cools down after a while, the body becomes relatively cooler.

Chris: Uh, No.  That may have been a word of wisdom hundreds of years ago when there weren’t air conditioners or fans.  But now we have technologies and tools to control the heat. But do you still want to have hot soup?

Vanessa: 아유~ Chris! I’m not eating random hot soup. I will have 삼계탕, a Korean chicken soup containing a whole chicken with all kinds of herbs like ginseng, which is very good for the body.

It is crucial to replenish the body with various nutrients, especially when the heat outside is out of control and where I ended up losing so much energy just being outside.

Chris: Well, all right. Then I’ll trust you. So, is there a Samgyetang restaurant that you recommend?

Vanessa: Yes, there is a Samgyetang restaurant that I have been going to

for a long time. 그 집 삼계탕 국물이 아주 시원해요~ 저만 믿어요. The 삼계탕soup at the restaurant is very refreshing. Trust me!

Chris: 시원해요, refreshing?  Oh, I thought as you kept talking about hot soup, I expected you to have boiling food; I guess 삼계탕 has a cold version of it.

Vanessa: What? Oh, No, no, no. I can see where you are confused. When I said, “시원하다” does not mean “cool” in this situation.

Chris: Then what is it? Korean say 시원하다 cool when the 날씨가 시원하다 weather is cool or when the 물이 시원하다 water is cool. Am I wrong?

Vanessa: Oh, no. That’s right too.  But when saying “시원하다” referring to a hot soup, Koreans are not referring to the temperature, but the feeling, “refreshing.”

Chris: Oh, you mean that the expression “시원하다” is used to describe not only the temperature but also the mood?

Vanessa: That’s right. Remember when it is scorching hot and when you feel the breeze of cool wind, and you feel great?  That is when to use 시원하다 to express “a refreshing feeling from being hot to cool.”  So it can be used to describe the temperature of cool, you can express 날씨가 시원하다, the weather is cool or 물이 시원하다, the water is cool.  Also, it is used to describe the uplifting or energizing feeling you feel while dealing with having or experiencing heat or hot things.

Chris: Oh, so when you describe this hot samgyetang soup, the 시원하다 is probably focused on the mood?

Vanessa: Yes! Right. Sometimes it is used as an expression when Koreans have hot soup and when visiting the sauna to describe that good, uplifting or energizing feeling in or experiencing heat or hot temperature!

Chris: Oh, I understand. Korean is fascinating to learn as it has a lot of double meanings.

Vanessa: That’s right. That is a unique part of the Korean language.

Chris: Let’s go over some expressions that will help me understand better.

Vanessa: Okay! Then let’s practice what we learned today.


Chris: 점심 뭐 먹을 거예요? What are we going to have for lunch?

Vanessa: 음… 이 동네에 뭐가 맛있는지 한번 찾아볼게요. (…) 아! 여기 정말 맛있는 김치찌개 집이 있어요. Well… Let’s find out what’s delicious in this town. (…) Oh! Here’s a really famous kimchi stew restaurant

Chris: 오, 저 김치찌개 좋아해요. Oh, I like kimchi stew.

Vanessa: 네! 거기 김치찌개 국물이 정말 시원하고 맛있어요. 얼른 가요~ That place is known for tasty and uplifting kimchi stew. Let’s go~


Vanessa: 크리스 씨 찜질방에 가봤어요?  Chris, have you been to the jjimjilbang (Korean Sauna)?

Chris: 아니요. 아직 안 가봤어요No. I haven’t been there yet.

Vanessa: 어머? 정말요? 다음에 기회가 있으면 꼭 가보세요. 찜질방 사우나에 있으면 근육이 확 풀리면서 온 몸이 시원해져요.  Really? If you have a chance next time, please go there. When you are in the sauna, your muscles will be relaxed, and your whole body will be refreshed.

Chris: 그래요? 그럼 다음에 한국가서 한번 가볼게요.  Then I’ll stop by next time in Korea.

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