바다 – The Sea – 海

바다 (bada) is a lovely native Korean word which means the sea. As a small peninsula country, the sea is obviously important to Koreans. Its coast touch three seas, which Koreans refer to respectively as 서해 (West Sea, internationally known as Yellow Sea), 남해 (South Sea, internationally known as East China Sea), and 동해  (East Sea, controversially known as the Sea of Japan internationally). Each coast has seafood restaurants and markets stacked one on top of the other. The shallow West Sea is best known for its shellfish, while the deeper East Sea is known for its tuna.

Here’s a selection of signs from seafood restaurants and areas near the sea.

1. This is a 횟 (hoi – raw fish) restaurant on the West Coast. If you at the signs you should see the word 강화 (Ganghwa), an island off the west coast. Almost every 횟 restaurant I have seen in Korea has blue tanks and blue plastic chairs outside the front. Many of the fish are kept alive until moments before being eaten.

횟짙 - Raw Fish Restaurant

2.This weathered sign says 바다의 마음, which I would translate as ‘Heart of the Sea.’

The Heart of the Sea

3.남해 (Namhae) means South Sea.낚시 (nakkshi) means fishing. This is the sign of a fishing supply store.

South Sea Fishing Store