Iyagi #20 – 군대 (= Military service) / Natural talk in 100% Korean

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안녕하세요! Welcome back to another Iyagi episode! In today’s Iyagi, 현우 and 석진 talked about a topic that was requested many times by our listeners – military service!!! If you were given the chance, would you want to try serving in the army for a couple of years? What do you think would be good sides and some bad sides of it? If you are serving your country’s armed forces now, we would love to have you share some of your stories with us and fellow listeners, too.

You can view the PDF here or download it here. And you can get the translation package for this Iyagi episode here. Every purchase goes to the support of creating more free learning material. Thank you! 감사합니다.


  • Anthony Lee

    ahh the topic came! i thought this would be at least 20mins long ^^

    • Haha. We COULD make it long but we decided to keep it short so that we don’t make it too boring XD

  • wow, yeah. My husband had to do the random military things that you have to do every couple of times…
    just hanging out and doing nothing basically.
    but not at a base or anything.

    He hates it and he hated going to the army (this was…10 years before i met him…)


    • Everyone in the world seems to hate to go to take the training after military service. lol

  • H.

    I wish I WENT to army 16 years ago when I was 19 y.o. They would kick my a** a lot and gimme good school of life so I would be tough guy now:) Instead of this I had a chance to skip army service (in my country all who studied at university were released from duty) so I skipped it. I regret, 1 year here in the army would make me good. Now I am 35 y.o and I am lazy tooooo much etc.

    • I agree with you. Although I don’t like military service a lot, I can say it was the place which made me much more stronger.

      Now I am 29 y.o. Every morning, I do the streching, which I did during military, on the top floor of my home. It makes me feel really refresh.

  • Joel Seah

    I just came out of military service. We always have this saying, rush to wait and wait to rush. Cause at certain times, we rush to get prepared on whatever little time is given and when the appointed time comes, we end up waiting instead. And when the go is given, we kinda.. rush off to get it done. Hence rush to wait, wait to rush.

  • Regina

    현우 씨, 석진 씨,

    이갸기가 아주 아주 재미있었어요. 정말 특별한 경험인 것 같아요.

    현우 씨의 두 번쨋 audio book을 기대해요!

  • ingrid

    I have been wondering about this subject!! i listened this time like every time but it was too fast for me .S this time, i know is for intermediate but i always try. It a shame the subjects are always really interesting and i can’t understand everything… but i would like to know more about the south Korean army, i know that you have to do 2 years of service (too long for me) but i don’t understand why and how many times do you have to go back and for how long?

  • 하 하 석진의 노래 너무 웃교!! 멋있고 재미있었어요. 고마워요 현우 랑 석진 ^^

    • ㅋㅋㅋㅋ 실제로 군대에서는 달리면서 그 노래를 불러야 돼요.

  • eden

    I wouldn’t last 1 minute in the military. I’m too weak. But I’m sure they’d toughen me up. My fiance is korean, and he actually just got back from his annual military training today. He hates it. but he is also grateful for the discipline it taught him. He is a very tidy, strong guy, and because of that he’s been whipping me into shape. I’ve always bee a lazy procrastinator, but he’s been teaching me to get things done and out of the way. He’s my own drill sergeant, hehe.

    • Everybody hate the training. lol However sometimes it reminds me the good day I had during the military service.

      Whenever I think I become lazy, fat and so on, I used do the exercise I did that day. Even this morning, I did it.

  • xaghce

    이번도 재미있었어요!

    한국 남자 모이면, 군대의 이야기를 언제나 하죠? 아니면, 축구 이야기?
    이 얘기 듣고 있었을 때, 월드컵의 곳에 “아이구, 왔다.”라고 생각했는데, 축구 얘기 그냥 끝났네요. 아마 시간 있으면 쭉 계속하고 싶어하시네요?

    전, 여성이니까, 군대를 다 이해할 수 없다고 아는데, 이 이야기를 들어서 군대에 대하는 단어를 배울 수 있었서어요. 아마 다른 사람도, 더 들고 싶어하시다고 생각해요.
    다음은 무슨 주제예요? 혹시, 군대에서 축구 하고 있던 때의 이야기?^^

  • Sae Park

    This was very fun to listen too. I think this would be a good way to learn Korean :DD

  • 미소

    두분의 군대 이야기를 재밌게 들었습니다.
    계속으로 여러 가지 이야기가 기대가 됩니다.^^

  • taey

    I’m not in the military (Air Force) yet, but I’m starting to second guess if I should join after college. The physical part doesn’t scare me because I exercise often and I’m in the ROTC; it’s the officer job I’m not so sure about.

  • 우아, 석진은 노래를 노래할 수 있어요. 뭐 그 노래이에요?

    • “진짜 사나이” 입니다. The real man.

    • 아…

  • It’s always interesting to see the military requirements for every country. In Thailand the military conscription is determined by color coded cards. Like most countries it only applies to men and if you a man picks a red card they are drafted and if they pick a black card they are exempted (it could be the other way around, I’m not exactly sure on the colors lol). So its not mandatory like in Korea, yet not voluntary like in the U.S., but all just based on luck. It sounds a bit far-fetched to me, but that’s the way it is lol.

    I was wondering though, are women allowed to voluntarily serve the military in Korea? Like if a woman truly wanted to go through training and become a soldier, would the government allow it?

    • Thank you for letting me know the info I didn’t know.

      >I was wondering though, are women allowed to voluntarily serve the military in Korea? Like if a woman truly wanted to go through training and become a soldier, would the government allow it?

      Yes, they can apply for the military voluntarily and they truly want to go there. I also met several woman soldier during my military days.

  • Cami

    I’ve always been curious about Korean Military Service. It’s really interesting! 😀

    I have a question: I know all men are obligated to do Military Service but what do women do to serve the country?

    In the Philippines, men and women, when they’re in college, have a choice from two National Service Training Programs (NSTP) – Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) or Civil Welfare Training Service (CWTS). Neither men or women are forced to Military here… so when I heard that in S. Korea it’s a requirement it really boosted my interest in S. Korea~ 😀

    • Well, it depends on the position the women will take. I know most of them had a same training, sometimes harder than the general training, to do military service.

      Regarding the women, when they do their military service, they become an officer, but not soldier. Therefore, their position were higher than me.

  • 피롬

    비슷한 경험 있기 때문에 선생님들 한 말은 다 이해 돼요.훈련 많이 받고
    외박은 한 달에 딱 두 번만 할 수있어요.( 해양대학교 학생). …한국 남자들이 욕을 많이 하죠 ? ( 제 친구들 다 그래요)……

    • 하하 욕 안 하는 남자들도 많아요. ^^

      그런데 남자들끼리 있으면 더 욕을 많이 하는 것 같아요.

  • Diana

    I was just wondering, so men go into military training for 2 years right? then after that they go back for the yearly military training? How long do they stay away for that? I mean do they have to go back into camps or something? thanks for the info! 🙂

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  • 이야기해줘서 감사해요!
    나는 미국인 남자 때문에 군대에 안 가도되요. 하지만 군대 대해서 너무 궁금해요.
    미국의 정부는 가끔씩 미친 전쟁 하니까 군대가기 좀 무서워요. 하지만 미국에서 군대가기 의무되면 혹시 나쁜 전쟁을 그만할께요. 그냥 생각해요.

  • lyly

    사실 제가 한국남성들은 군대가서 뭘 할까 너무 긍굼했어요. 그래서 이 대화가 넘넘 좋았어요 ㅎ ㅎ 현우 씨, 석진 씨, 고마워용

  • Nora

    여기도 비슷한 것 같은데, 남자들이 군대 이야기를 시작하면 끝이 없을 거야요 >< 잘못된 문장이 많이 있을까봐요 🙁

  • Pingback: [Ask Hyojin] Military Service in Korea | Talk To Me In Korean()

  • Blanka

    First of all thank you for your topic choice! I would like to ask you if there is still the translation of this talk available… Thank you.

    • Seokjin Jin

      We are going to make 이야기 products including English translation in MyKoreanStore. You will see it in the near future.

  • Bahti Tashpaev

    저는 한국에 있을 때 TV로 대한민국 군대 생활을 봤는데, 어우 남자들이 가스 방에서 앉아고 눈에서 눈물이 나서 울고 너무 힘들 거 보였어요.