Korean language show to air on Chinese TV
The beginner-level learning program, whose title translates as “Travel Korean,” will start airing in China from October, offering five-minute lessons on everyday Korean expressions and useful tips to get around in Seoul and Gangwon, the two main tourist destinations for Chinese tourists.
The joint project between China and Korea is led, on the Korean side, by the Korean Culture and Information Service, an organization affiliated with the Culture Ministry, the King Sejong Institute Foundation and Arirang TV. Joining from China’s side are China Education Television and the Seoul bureau of People’s Daily Online.
Among the five channels that China Education Television runs - CETV1, CETV2, CETV3, CETV4 and CETV5 - “Travel Korean” will air on CETV4. The broadcaster, which was established in 1987 with the purpose of promoting Chinese culture and ideology across the globe, is watched by some 970 million people, the ministry highlighted in its press release.
A Chinese woman who knows “absolutely no Korean” will be shown traveling around Seoul and Gangwon, teaching viewers how to use the right Korean phrases in various situations that most Chinese tourists here actually deal with, said the ministry.
“We expect the program to ‘scratch an itch’ for many foreigners who are trying to learn Korean,” said Song Hyang-keun, president of the King Sejong Institute Foundation, referring to a Korean idiom that means to “provide the answer to a perennial problem.”
To give the series a more realistic vibe, Song pledged to film the episodes at actual spots in Korea, instead of relying on indoor studios. That way, he stressed, Chinese viewers can feel like they are physically in Korea.
“It’ll be a chance to genuinely understand Korea and Korean culture,” said Kim Kab-soo, director of the Korean Culture and Information Service.
“We’ve been told that Chinese tourists in Korea mostly suffer with communication problems,” he continued, further vowing to expand the project so that more episodes could be aired in the future.
Filming will run through September. After editing, “Travel Korean” will start airing in October. The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Gangwon Provincial Office will sponsor the productions.
The latest initiative between Korea and China dates back to March, when the Korean Culture and Information Service signed an MOU with the Seoul bureau of the People’s Daily Online. Both sides agreed to boost cultural and language exchange, which includes running a program in China that generally promotes Korea.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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