Vaccine, Married Idol Case, Tofu Mandu

Your friendly Korean source

Long time no see! I’m Ari. This newsletter used to be called Legit Korean Says and it was sent to you biweekly. From now, it will be The Legit Korean and you’ll receive it every Friday! Just like the old days, you’ll learn about Korean news/trends/culture. Plus, you’ll learn some Korean sentences with K-Drama or K-Pop and an easy Korean food recipe. I hope my newsletter becomes your mini trip to South Korea during the times that it’s hard to travel. You can listen to this newsletter with my podcast, The Legit Korean. It’ll help you practice speaking the Korean sentences. Without further ado, let’s start the trip 🛫

👋 What Up Korea?

Which Vaccine K-Pop Idols Are Getting?

Finally, vaccination for 18-to-49-year-old Koreans has officially1 started! From August 26th, every adult under 50 can get their shots. It means your favorite Korean stars will probably join either Pfizer or Moderna club soon. (If your star finished military service, it’s possible he already joined Johnson & Johnson club) We don’t get to choose vaccines, but the app (we have an app for booking and vaccination proof/pass) lets us know which vaccine we’ll get after booking. (Mine was Pfizer)

By August 24th, 25.1% of total population is fully vaccinated. It’s going up quickly so the country is on track of hitting 70% rate by October. The government’s original plan was to hit the 70% rate by November but Koreans are impatient. The vaccine reservation app and website went down multiple times because of too many people trying to book. By August 22nd, 79% of adult under 50 are either fully vaccinated or booked for their shots. Vaccination plan for children and teens (under senior high school students) has not been announced yet.

A Married Idol’s Case

We’re about to have another married K-Pop idol. iKON’s Bobby announced his upcoming marriage and his fiancée’s pregnancy last week🎉 Marriage and pregnancy under age 30 are becoming rare in the country so it was pretty refreshing. In fact, Korean celebrities are more and more getting married late. A lot of them marry after mid-30s. Most of top celebrities are over 40 and majority of them are single.

And it’s not just for celebrities. Ordinary Koreans are getting married late as well. According to a statistics in 2021, Koreans’ average age at first marriage is 36.7 for men and 33.6 for women. Many young Koreans don’t think marriage is necessary so they tend to either stay single or end up getting married later in life.

Climate Change is Being Felt Here Too

I hear that a lot of countries are suffering extreme weather and natural disasters. (Stay safe🙏) Climate change is being felt here in South Korea, too. Rainy days were used to be short and rains were not heavy in the past. But recently it dramatically changed and we are having many heavy rains with strong wind and loud thunders. A lot of Koreans are posting online about how scary thunders sound. This summer has been either boiling hot or thunder-rainy.

Not just the sky but also coffee shops & fast-food chains are changing. In order to fight for climate change, Starbucks Korea replaced plastic straws with paper straws. In many coffee shops, using reusable cups for for-here orders became mandatory. Many fast-food chains like Mom’s Touch (The biggest fast-food chain in the country & my favorite hamburger place) banned plastic lids for beverage cups. These are small steps but I hope they help heal the earth.


📺 Learn Korean with Love Alarm

Love Alarm (2019) is a teen-romance series based in a world in which an app alerts people if someone in the vicinity likes them. It’s not all bright and happy like usual teen series, it’s rather dark and emotional. I don’t want to spoil you so I won’t talk much🤫 It’s a good series that makes you think about what it is to like someone and what it is to be liked.

Let’s look at a quote from the series. (Spoiler-free) This quote is a part of a confession from a male character to a female character. It’s a very romantic quote and you can learn a lot of useful Korean expressions from it.

Today’s Quote

네가 내 문자 씹으면, 난 씹히고, 네가 나 바람 맞히면, 난 바람을 맞고, 네가 날 차면, 난 차이면 돼.

The quote means: “If you ignore my texts, I'll let myself be ignored. If you stand me up, I'll let myself be stood up. And if you dump me, I'll let myself be dumped.” It’s an irony that there are a lot of anti-romantic expressions in a confession quote. (If you read the whole confession2, it’ll make sense) I made three Korean sentences using the expressions in this quote. Learn and memorize them 👇

💔(남친)이 내 문자 씹었어, 짜증나!

(My boyfriend) ignored my text, so annoying!

💔(첫) 데이트에 바람 맞았어

I was stood up on the (first) date.

💔(여친)한테 차였어

I was dumped by (my girlfriend).

You can replace the bracketed word with other words to make a different sentence. Practice speaking the quote and the sentences with my podcast.

Listen to my podcast on Spotify

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👂 I Have Voicemail

Send me your Korean voice message! If you’re a beginner Korean learner, speak the three sentences you learned today. You can change the bracketed word in the sentences if you want. If you’re a more advanced learner or adventurous, send me your voice message about today’s newsletter (your opinion about WUK articles, etc.).

Submit your voice here. If you send it by August 30th, Monday, 9 pm ET, your voice could be on the next week’s podcast episode. If you want my feedback for your Korean speaking, leave a comment after submission. Deadline is by next Thursday and I’m all ears!

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🍳 Tofu Mandu

One last thing before I let you go! I got tired of delivery food so I recently started cooking with Korean cooking YouTube videos. I’ll share one recipe per newsletter that you can try at home. Today’s food is tofu mandu. You can watch the cooking video here. The video is in Korean but I share the list of ingredients in English below so it’ll be easy to follow the directions. It’s safe for vegetarians and people who are on a diet. Give it a try!

Time: 15-20 min


  • 300g tofu

  • 2 cups garlic chives (can be replaced with chives)

  • 1/2 spoon minced garlic

  • 1 spoon soy sauce

  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper

  • 7-8 rice paper

  • 1 spoon oil

Thanks for your time. Share this newsletter and leave a comment (in Eng or Kor). Your share and comments mean the world to me! 다음 주 금요일에 봐요, 안녕👋


Essential workers of this population are already vaccinated months ago.


“All that matters to me is that you act on how you truly feel. If you ignore my texts, I'll let myself be ignored. If you stand me up, I'll let myself be stood up. And if you dump me, I'll let myself be dumped. All of that is romance to me because we'd be doing things together that I can't do on my own.” (ep. 8)