Most Korean airports have English signs. This one's in Kimpo. {Sept 2000]

Even if you don't speak Korean, you shouldn't have much trouble in the large Korean airports - not even in the medium-sized ones. Same story with bus and train stations in large cities. But If you're going on a trip and you'll be passing through tiny towns and leeetle train or bus stations, you might want to have a Korean friend write out a cheat sheet for you.

Get your friend to write down the names of places you'll need to know. Next to what he wrote, write them in your own alphabet. That way you can read them. That way you can match up the Hangul characters with the Korean signs you're going to see along the way. And when it's time to buy a ticket, or tell the bus driver where you're going, at least you'll have something they can understand - just point to the city name.

Make sure your friend prints clearly, or you might end up halfway across Korea. There are dangers when you don't know what characters mean and you have match them up by their shape, as the Chinese printer who made those infamous glonous history chopsticks can tell you.

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