If you are someone who has been on YouTube looking for videos on South Korea, you have at some point heard of Eat Your Kimchi. But can you learn about Korean language and culture from this popular channel? How accurate are their videos? Here’s my review of Eat Your Kimchi.
Eat Your Kimchi is the story of Simon and Martina, a married couple from Canada who came to Korea years ago to teach English. At the time, South Korea received a military threat from North Korea. To ease their concerns of their families, they started posting videos on YouTube to show that they were alright. As they posted more videos about Korean life, more people started watching. Eventually, they stopped teaching English and started doing YouTube full time. They are now closing in on reaching 1.1 million subscribers to their main channel. Currently, Simon and Martina live in Japan and do videos from there about Japanese life. This review will focus on their time in Korea and the videos made there.
If you are looking to learn strictly about Korean language, this would not be the channel for you. While their videos have had some Korean lessons in them, this is not the focus of what they have done. Their videos have more to do with their lives and learning about the dos and don’ts of Korean living.
If you want to learn about Korean life and culture from a non Korean perspective, this channel is exactly what you are looking for. On their channel, you can learn everything from how to get a driver’s licence in Korea, to what things are like on Jeju island. Some of their most informative videos include places to eat in Seoul, how to pay for transportation using a T-Money card, what it’s like moving from one apartment to another, how to use a Korean washing machine, how to order delivery food in Korea and the difference between western versions of food and the Korean version of the same thing. How accurate is the information in their videos? Very accurate. Even down to corn being put on a Korean pizza. (Yes, I’ve at corn on my pizza in Seoul as well.)
Eat Your Kimchi has had their fair share of controversy over time. Some have felt that Simon and Martina didn’t know any Korean, although you can see them ordering food for delivery on the phone in Korean in an early video. Others have complained about their belief that Simon and Martina were making a mockery of Korean culture, with some netizens going as far as to suggest that the Simon and Martina needed to be deported from Korea. Others complained about suggestive language in their videos, with segments being named after, what some feel, are perverted and profane slang terms. If this is a concern to you as a parent, you may want to watch some of their videos first before allowing your children to watch them.
Overall, if you are looking for a channel to help you improve your language skills, you may want to keep searching. However, if you are wanting to learn about Korean life and culture, wanting to find a good place to eat while in Seoul or just want to hear about life in Korea from the perspective of a couple of non Koreans, than Eat Your Kimchi will be a great place to look. If you want to see more about Eat Your Kimchi, you can visit their main YouTube channel here, or you can visit their website here.