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No more spawn soup - eateries get English guide

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As the number of foreign visitors continues to increase with the rising popularity of Korean food, a booklet has been published for restaurant owners to communicate better with their customers.
The Korea Tourism Organization said it has released the booklet to help local restaurant owners appropriately explain what their dishes are, as well as be more prepared to greet and serve foreign customers.
Despite the economic downturn and the spread of the H1N1 virus, the number of incoming visitors to Korea has been increasing this year. The number for July surged by 13.4 percent from the same period last year, according to the KTO.
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Korean food has also remained a constant favorite reason among visitors for coming to Korea. "Food" was rated as one of the top two motivations that drove foreign nationals to visit the country for the past three years in the KTO`s survey.
In order to create the booklet, the organization received some 1,700 example menus and conversation scenarios from municipalities, travel-related organizations and restaurants.
The phrases and words were then listed down, translated and proofread.
The booklet includes English, Japanese and Chinese translations of dishes, as well as 120 examples of conversation situations with foreign guests.
"Utilizing this booklet that will be distributed nationwide through municipalities and other organizations, restaurants will have a much easier task of creating menus in other languages," said Jeong Yeon-su, head of the KTO`s Tourism Quality Improvement Department.
The KTO said it also hoped the booklet would contribute to further globalizing Korean food, and improving the overall system of accommodating foreign visitors.
The KTO has been operating a center dedicated to improving foreign language signs and information across the country, for a more uniform and correct use of foreign languages. The center also provides free translation and proofreading services to municipalities, public organizations and restaurants.
In order to contact the center, one can join the KTO`s website www.visitkorea.or.kr and apply for services in the "business" section.
The contents of the booklet can also be searched online at the KTO website`s database section.
(angiely@heraldcorp.com)

By Lee Joo-hee

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