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The underlined is said by a Korean mother to mean that when she was a student, there were neither "private academies" nor "private lessons".

Is the underlined correct to have such meaning?

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  • 3 months later...

Yes, the general meaning is correct. If it is relevant for you, you can read up a bit on the 补习班 phenomenon. It's a very big deal in South Korea, China and Taiwan. Usually translated as 'cram school', as 889 already says.

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I've always felt uncomfortable with the "cram school" translation.  I realise that it is the generally used term, but it doesn't seem to fit right.


Firstly, 补习 has more of a "supplement learning" meaning.  So I feel that "extra tuition" would be more appropriate.  That's what we call it in the UK (or "private tuition").  


Secondly, most of the educational approach in schools in places like China is already of the "cramming" type.  So while "to do well on the exam" might be the reason for going to a 补习班, it's probably also the reason for going to school in the first place.


Finally, doesn't "cram" have more of a last-minute, put as much stuff in short-term memory, kind of implication?


Just thinking out loud.

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If we were to start over with the language, sure we could call a "cram school" and a great many other things by more appropriately descriptive names. But the names are what they are.


(Of course the schools themselves would never use the term, would they.)

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