Monday, October 22, 2012

훌륭한 디자인 크로니클스: 티웨이항공

지난 블로그 포스트의 번역이다! 틀린 한국어 죄송합니다!
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나는 엔지니어와 디자이너이기 때문에 좋은 디자인이나 즐거운 경험을 우연히 발견할 때마다 기분이 꼭 좋다. 그래서 작은 지역 항공사의 비행기에서 굉장히 매력적인 비행을 보내니까 진짜 놀랐다.

티웨이항공은 서울에서 여러 가까이 있는 도시까지 (타이베이, 방콕, 후쿠오카, 제주도) 가는 작은 항공사이다. 주말엔 티웨이항공으로 계획하지 않게 제주도에 다녀왔다. 비행은 55분쯤이라서 불편한 한 시간일 줄 알았는데 정말 귀엽고 편했다.

우선, 승무원들이 매우 친절하다. 한국의 항공사라서 놀라지 않았는데 보통 짧은 비행에선 기내서비스가 별로 좋지 않다. 하지만 티웨이의 승무원들은 내 평생 모두 비행 중에서 가장 친절하고 매력적인 승무원이였다!

그리고, 제주도에서 돌아오는 길에 안전벨트 착용등이 끈후에는, 안내봉송이 들렸다. 승무원이 플릇을 불려고 한다고 했다. 정말로 굉장히 귀여웠다. 플릇 연주자가 아닌데 자신감 있게 충실도가 높지 않는 비행기 스피커로 노래를 2개 연주했다.  좀 긴장이 되게 보였는데 연주가 끝나고 나서 손님들 다 박수를 쳤고 승무원님은 수줍게 미소 지고 비행기 뒤에 가서 다른 승무원들에게 칭찬을 받았다. 안아 주고 싶었다.

좀 후에, 승무원들이 통로에 걸어가면서 손님들하고 얘기했고 사진을 찍고 손님에게 이메일로 보낼 수 있다고 제시했다.

이런 행동이 있었는데도 음료 서비스를 능숙하게 주었다!

티웨이항공은 분명히 잘 한다. 이륙한 후에 기장님이 소개할 때는 “감사합니다. 사랑합니다. 티웨이!”하고 소개 방송을 끝낸다. 우리도 사랑합니다. 또 티웨이로 여행갈 거다.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Great Design Chronicles: T'way Air

Update: 한국어 번역: http://thedarren.blogspot.kr/2012/10/blog-post.html

As an engineer and designer, I'm always delighted when I come across great design or delightful user experiences. So when I happened upon a wonderfully charming experience on a budget regional airline, I was a bit taken aback.

T'way Air is a small airline that flies between Seoul and a few other nearby cities (Taipei, Bangkok, Fukuoka, and Jeju). I took it roundtrip to Jeju on a last-minute trip over the weekend. The flight is only about 55 minutes in the air, so you would expect it to be an hour of suffering and then over. But instead, T'way has the cutest hour of flight possible.

First off, the flight attendants are amazingly friendly. This is not a big surprise for a Korean airline, but as a general rule, service and friendliness are compromised on short flights. Yet instead, I can honestly say that the flight attendants on T'way were among the most friendly and personable from any flight I've taken in my life.

Next, on the way back from Jeju, after the seat belt sign had been turned off, an announcement came over the loud speaker. They said that one of the flight attendants was going to play the flute for us. It was seriously the cutest thing ever. She was clearly not a professional flautist just moonlighting as a flight attendant, but she stood confidently by the intercom and performed two songs over the incredibly low-fidelity airplane PA system. She looked a little nervous, but when she finished, the entire plane applauded for her, and she shyly smiled and headed to the back of the plane to receive pats on the back from her fellow crew members. I wanted to give her a hug.

Finally, the flight attendants went down the aisle and stopped to chat with all the people they remembered from an earlier outbound flight, and offered to take photos with a digital SLR and email them to the customers.

And somewhere, amongst all of this, they managed to efficiently serve drinks and pick up the cups at exactly the right time!

Seriously, something is going right at that airline. When the captain introduces himself after takeoff, he signs off with, "감사합니다. 사랑합니다. 티웨이!", which means, "Thank you. We love you. T'way!"

We love you, too. And we'll be flying with you again.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Don't Take Korean Language Advice From Kyopos

I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure this out, but the last people you should take Korean language advice from are kyopos (foreign-born or raised Koreans). That being said, if you do follow their advice, you will get many laughs from Koreans. Some of my personal favorites, all of which actually happened to me:

- When I first got to Korea, I was at some open-air event, and during a break I started talking to one of the hosts. He said he was only a part-time host, so I asked him what his full-time job was, and he said "백수" (which is slang for "unemployed guy"). I asked him what that was, and he replied, "Comedian". So then the next few people I met, I proudly told I was a baeksu. (Edit: Actually, this guy was Korean Korean, not kyopo.)

- Next, a kyopo who lived in the apartment I moved into back in 2010 asked me what I was doing in Korea, and I told him I was starting a company, and asked how to say that in Korean in case people ask. He told me the way to say "starting a company" is "싸우다", which literally means "to fight", but apparently is a slang way of saying "to do business". I bought it, and the next day on the subway, a random stranger asked me what I was doing in Korea, and sure enough, I said, "싸우다". Thinking they misheard, they asked again, and again I replied that I was in Korea to fight. They quickly moved away.

- My favorite might be a recent occurrence. While eating "흑돼지", my kyopo friend asked me if I knew what "흑" meant, and I said, "Yeah, it means 'black', right?" No no, came the reply. "흑" means "dirt", so it's just slang for "black". Knowing that "흑인" is what Koreans call black people, I was like, "Uh, does that mean all this time Koreans have been calling black people "dirt people"? That's fucked up!" Kyopo friend says, "Yeah, isn't that fucked up?"

Yes! That is fucked up! Especially if it were true, which it isn't. "흑" means "black", so "흑인" literally means "black person". The word for "dirt" is "흙", which in most parts of Korea is pronounced exactly the same as "흑". Korea might be a racist country, but in this instance the reality is far more benign than the kyopo imagination.

Lesson learned - whatever you do, don't learn Korean from kyopos!