S1 Ep19: Native speakers say “soaking Kimchi” instead of “making Kimchi”

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Vanessa: 19화: 오늘 우리 엄마는 김치를 담가요

Chris: Episode #19: My mom is making Kimchi today

Vanessa: Hello Chris.  What are you going to do this afternoon? If you are free, would you like to see a movie together?

Chris: Hi  Vanessa, I don’t have time today. 오후에 우리 엄마 김치 만드는 거 도와줘야 해요. I have to help my mom make Kimchi in the afternoon.

Vanessa: 아, 오늘 김장하는 날이에요? Oh, is it a kimchi-making day today? Wow, you must be busy. Then let’s catch a movie next time.  By the way, you don’t use the verb만들다to make” for Kimchi.

Chris: Oh? Then how do you say it?  Can I say ” “김치를 요리하다 I cook kimchi”?

Vanessa: Nope, that’s not it as well.

Chris:  So, how do you say it?

Vanessa: In the case of fermented food like Kimchi that can be eaten for a long time, we use the verb “담그다 to soak/dip.”

Chris:  “담그다to Soak/dip”? How can soaking be a part of cooking or making Kimchi?

Vanessa: Well, technically, the 담그다to Soak/dip is correct.

Chris:  Why? How?

Vanessa: It would be best to understand the process of making Kimchi or other Korean fermented food like soy sauce, soybean paste, and red pepper paste. The first process for all fermented food is to be soaked/dipped into salt water for a long time. That is why when making fermented food like Kimchi, Koreans use “담그다 to soak/dip” rather than 만들다to make.

Chris:  Oh… It was a verb based on a recipe.

Vanessa: Yes, that is correct. And since this verb “soak 담그다” is an irregular verb, in terms of conjugation remove the vowel “ㅡ” and add “아요” to say “담가요.”

Chris:   Got it! So Vanessa, is there another verb like this, a distinct expression only for certain foods?

Vanessa: Yes, there is.  Do you remember when we learned about rice?

Chris:  Oh! Are you talking about “밥을 짓다cooking rice”?

Vanessa: Yes, that is correct. As I said last time when expressing 밥을 짓다cooking rice, We use the verb 짓다 for cooking rice, but the meaning of verb 짓다is to make something with time and effort.

Chris:  Ah, right. I remember.  I have one more follow-up question.  Could you explain why sometimes they say “음식을 만들다make food,” and sometimes they say 요리하다cook it?  Is there any difference in how to use the verbs?

Vanessa: Well. That’s a good question. Yes, there is a slight difference. In general, if you want to express the act of cooking broadly, you can say “요리하다 to cook.”  However, it is natural to use the verb “만들다 to make” when you want to express the making of a particular food. For example, if someone asks, what are you doing? You can reply by saying “지금 요리하고 있어요I’m cooking right now.”  If they ask 그럼 무슨 음식 만들고 있어요? what kind of food are you making?” you can answer back saying, “김치찌개 만들고 있어요 I’m making kimchi stew.”

Chris:  Oh! I understood it perfectly. By the way, I can feel the love Koreans have towards Kimchi, similar to the passion they had for rice as they use different verbs for Kimchi and other fermented foods.

Vanessa: Yes, that is correct. Koreans cannot live without Kimchi and rice. Hahaha

Chris:  I figured. Thanks for explaining the expression today. So, shall we practice today’s expression?

Vanessa: 좋아요!


Vanessa:오늘 오후에 뭐 할 거예요? 같이 영화보러 가요.   What are you going to do this afternoon? Let’s see a movie together.

Chris:  저 오늘 오후에 엄마랑 같이 김치 담가요. 그래서 바빠요. I’m making Kimchi with my mom this afternoon. So I’m busy.

Vanessa: 아? 그래요? 알겠어요. 그럼 다음에 꼭 같이 가요. Oh? All right. Then, let’s go together next time.

Chris:  네, 그래요. 미안해요~ Yes, let’s do that. I’m sorry



Vanessa:이제 밥 짓고 불고기 만들 거예요.  Now I’m going to cook rice and make bulgogi.

Chris: 우와, 정말 배 고팠는데 좋아요! 도와줄게요!  Wow, I love it! I was actually starving.  Let me help you.

Vanessa: 그럼 쌀을 씻어주세요. Then wash the rice.



Chris: 바네사, 지금 뭐 하고 있어요?  Vanessa, what are you doing?

Vanessa: 지금 요리하고 있어요. I’m cooking now.

Chris:  아, 그래요? 뭐 만들고 있어요?  Oh, yeah?  What are you making?

Vanessa: 저녁으로 김치찌개 만들고 있어요 I’m making kimchi stew for dinner

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