Korean names 2 : Are all Koreans have big family?
Hello, this is Rachel Kang. I am a native Korean and live in Korea.
I wrote an article a month ago about Korean name.
This is also about name, but its content is different.
When foreigners start to learn Korean at first in Korea, they are surprised by name.
They might think all Koreans have huge family.
Imagine that you are in the restaurant.
After entering the restaurant, you will sit at the table and order something to eat.
When you order, you have to call waiter or waitress.
Koreans say, 이모 (to the woman who looks old), 언니(to a young woman), 삼촌 (to the man) to call server like they are family.
This happens at schools, too.
At school, there are lots of students who are in different grades.
They call senior 언니(to girls who are older than the speaker), 오빠 (to boys who are older than the speaker)
You are also told that people call a cashier 언니 or cashiers call customers 언니.
But remember that you should not say 오빠 to unknown people like taxi drivers if you are a young and pretty woman. He might think you are tempting him.
Korean men like to be told as 오빠.
In my point of view, that's why many younger girls use this word for their boyfriends instead of honey or dear.
I guess all Korean men like this word regardless of their age or position.
Even old men over 60 like this word, too.
I think it has a magical power for Korean men to do everything for young and pretty women.
To call people like that makes listeners feel friendly from the speaker.
That is why people prefer to use those words instead of 저기요(to the waiter or cashier) or 손님(to the customer) when they are in the restaurant or shopping mall.