The Voice of Korea in English: Jennifer Clyde

      August 28, 2007 09:09

      Jennifer Clyde
      Seoulites will find it hard to escape Jennifer Clyde's voice, making the English-language announcements on subway lines 1 to 4, as well as SK Telecom, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines commercials. Millions of people listen to her every day.

      She is also hosting the Arirang radio program "Travel Bug," Korea's only English-language travel program. Since September 2003, Clyde has been talking about tourist attractions, the daily life and culture of Korea. So what is it like being the voice of Korea all across the world?

      "My friends often tell me, 'You look like an American, but your character is genuine Korean,'" she says. "I like Korean food -- everything except dog meat and boiled silk worm. I love ddeokbokki" -- a hot broiled dish of sliced rice cakes with assorted vegetables -- "and panbroiled octopus with hot pepper. I make Korean food better than Western food."

      She also likes soju, Korean distilled liquor, and Korean-style boilermaker better than wine and Western spirits. Just like other Korean girls do, she loves a bowl of hot and spicy instant noodles late at night.

      Clyde was born in California, but she came to Korea at the age of four with her American father and Korean mother. After graduating from Sungnam International School, she went back to the U.S. and graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York. She has been back in Korea since she was admitted into the second year class in the department of industrial design of Hongik University.

      It's been 10 years since she first appeared in an English-language program for children as a part-time job when she was a student, and she has been in broadcasting ever since. She has also written seven books from textbook for Korean SAT to English learning material for adults "I've never experienced any problems living in Korea. If you ask me about identity confusion as a half-Korean and half-American, I have nothing to tell you."

      Jennifer has spent at most six to seven years in the U.S. during her 30-something years on earth. Although she has a distinctive exotic appearance that may draw attention, her thoughts and words are just like those of Koreans.

      She says she is likely to marry a Korean. "My dream is to live in Korea, making a happy family with my children and my Korean husband."

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