맛, 시식, 맛보기, 취향, 기호 – Words vs. Words S2 #22

We will learn the taste words today. It's not about the words like 짜다(salty), 맵다(hot), 시다(sour), 달다(sweet), 쓰다(bitter), 떫다([떨따], bitter or astringent). It's about the words that can be translated into taste like 맛, 시식, 맛보기, 취향 and 기호.

The basic word for taste is 맛. This is used for the taste you can feel with your tongue. When some food is tasty, it is called 맛이 있다. When some food is bad, it is 맛이 없다.

와, 이 음식 맛있는데. 어떻게 만든 거야?
Wow, this dish is good. How did you make it?

미안해. 너무 맛이 없어.
I am sorry to say this, but it is too bad.

맛 is not only for the taste in your mouth. 맛 is sometimes used to the feeling or emotion you got from an experience.

따끔한 맛 좀 보여 주세요.
Please let him experience something harsh.

It implies that the speaker want him to experience something harsh and realize that he lived wrong or lazily in the past and live a better life after that.

지금 하는 프로젝트는 새로운 맛이 없어서 재미가 없다.
The project I am doing now doesn't have something new, so it's not interesting.

고통 끝에 작성한 멋진 문장 보는 맛에 작가를 한다.
I am a writer because I like reading the fabulous sentences I wrote after the painful works.

시식

When you visit 마트 or 백화점(department store) in Korea, you can see many 시식 코너 where you can eat the bite of some tasty food. They try that to sell more. This is called 시식.

여기 와서 이 고기 좀 시식해 보세요.
Please come and have a taste of this meat.

마트 시식 코너에서 먹어 본 요리를 똑같이 따라 해 봤어. 괜찮아?
I imitated the dish I ate in the free-sample stand of the shop. Is it good?

맛보기

When you check the taste of food, it is called 맛을 본다 in Korean. From this expression, the sample or preview is sometimes called 맛보기. Although we don't eat samples or previews of movies or lectures, etc., we can check whether they are good for me by watching or using them. So, 맛보기 is the figurative usage of testing whether some product is good or not.

그 회사에서는 24편짜리 강의의 맛보기로 첫 3강을 무료로 공개했다.
The company revealed the first 3 lectures of the 24-lecture course for free as a sample.

다음 달 개봉할 영화에 대한 3분짜리 맛보기 영상이 공개되었다.
The 3-minute preview of the movie to be released next month is revealed.

취향

We all have our own likes and dislikes. This is called 취향 in Korean.

고객의 취향을 연구해서 제품에 반영했다.
They researched the taste of the customers and reflected it on the product.

우리 둘은 취향이 많이 달라서 방을 꾸밀 때 많이 싸웠다.
As we have much different taste, we argued a lot when we decorated our room.

기호

기호 also means taste. It is the most-rarely-used word. It is usually used in some specific context like 소비자의 기호(the taste of customer) or 기호에 따라(according to your taste for the foods), etc. It isn't used a lot in other contexts.

Even many native speakers don't know this word. When they heard the word, 기호, most of them first think the meaning, symbol, not taste. If you search Naver for 기호, almost every word in the result means symbol, not taste. Only prevalent usage of 기호 is in the phrase 기호 식품(favorite food). It is used for the foods like coffee, tobacco, tea, chocolate, cola, etc. They are the foods that we eat for taste, and they are not necessary for survival.

경기 침체로 인해서 기호 식품의 소비가 줄고 있습니다.
Because of the downturn in economy, the consume of favorite food is decreasing.

기호에 따라서 파, 당근 등을 넣어 드시면 더 맛있습니다.
According to your taste, it can be better if you put spring onion or carrot.

You can see this sentence in the back of 라면 cover. It is written at the end of the how-to make 라면 section.

In every 기호 meaning taste except in the case of 기호 식품, you can replace it with 취향. However, in cases other than 소비자의 기호 and 기호에 따라 for foods, it can be really awkward if you replace 취향 with 기호. So, if you don't know which one to use, just use 취향. It's much safer.