Learn Korean through telephone numbers with a meaning!

The temperature isn’t that hot at the moment, but it feels hot. It must be because of the humidity. I use the air conditioner a bit every day but recently it’s been making some strange gurgling noises. I just ignored them at first but they started getting louder and weirder. It seems like water is leaking from somewhere. So we have to call the service centre and get someone to come and fix it. And that’s when I noticed their telephone number…

The last 4 digits for the telephone number for the service centre have been specially chosen – 8282. Because in Korean 8 is 팔 (pal) and 2 is 이  (ii). So that’s pal-ii-pal-ii. This sounds like that really common Korean expression 빨리 빨리 balli-balli  meaning something like ‘hurry-hurry’, ‘chop-chop’, ‘get a move on’ etc. So when we call this number I guess we should expect the service to be balli-balli – fast and efficient? They say Korea has a balli-balli culture – everything has to be done right away – and that’s one of the reasons the economy here has developed so quickly. This article in the Korea Times looks at the balli-balli way of thinking and how it effects business in Korea.

Here’s another sought after telephone number – 2424. So that’s 이사 이사 (ii-sa-ii-sa). Ii-sa means to move house. This number is very easy to remember, so all the removal companies want this number! This company we used when we moved the first time in Seoul managed to get the first two numbers to read ii-sa = 2433. I’ll keep a look out for more telephone numbers with a meaning!


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