Temperamental Rice Cooker Forces Woman to Learn Korean

The voice-activated rice cooker only speaks Korean
Commons/Eric Hunt

A woman's fancy, voice-activated rice cooker is forcing her to learn Korean.

A device meant to make a woman’s mornings more convenient and delicious has actually backfired and made things much more difficult for one woman whose expensive rice cooker will only take orders in Korean, but on the plus side it is making her more multicultural.

According to Shanghaiist, a Chinese woman visiting South Korea for the Chinese New Year was talked into buying a very expensive, top-of-the-line rice cooker that promised to operate via voice command. The machine cost 5000 yuan, or about $805, but when the woman got it home she discovered that it was not nearly as easy to operate as the salesperson had promised. For starters, it would only listen to her when she shouted, “Cook the rice!” in Korean.

"The salesperson told me that it's a voice-controlled cooker. It would start working automatically as long as I shouted 'cook the rice'. He said that it was very easy to operate and that the cooked rice would smell better than normal," she said.

Rather than get a new rice cooker and be out thousands of yuan, the woman says she’s started taking Korean lessons. She says she now knows enough basic phrases to communicate with the appliance on a basic level.

She was disappointed, however, to learn that many rice cooker models in China are equipped to understand voice commands in Mandarin. She could have saved money by buying one at home, but she would not now speak Korean if she did that. 

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