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  • yirj17
  • The Legend

    • 2782

    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2017, 10:05:42 am »
Yeah thats why i always take the "I speak perfect Korean, but they pretend not to understand me on purpose! I know my pronunciation is great becuase i can hear it myself" with a grain of salt. It turns out many of those same people are demanding Bootongs then getting angry when staff have no idea what they are on about.


Basically.  I'll believe you speak perfectly when I hear it. 

Make an effort, Jesus. I understand it's not your first language, by any measure, but effort goes a long way. You're not going to convince anyone with an Omaha accent.

I agree that foreigners ought to make an effort, but I honestly think that many believe what's coming out of their mouths sounds different than what is actually heard.  Sometimes people just don't have good listening skills which contributes to unfortunate pronunciation


Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2017, 10:20:11 am »
Yeah thats why i always take the "I speak perfect Korean, but they pretend not to understand me on purpose! I know my pronunciation is great becuase i can hear it myself" with a grain of salt. It turns out many of those same people are demanding Bootongs then getting angry when staff have no idea what they are on about.

Biltong? I could go for some biltong right now...

But yeah, the number of people I see claim that their Korean pronunciation is great from those that take Korean at least somewhat seriously is like 70% The actual number is like 5%. Unless a stranger can close their eyes and can't tell if you're Korean or foreign or you say stuff and people are shocked when they look up and see your face (not because you spoke Korean at all, but because you sounded native), you aren't pronouncing perfectly.


  • HyooMyron
  • Super Waygook

    • 493

    • October 14, 2013, 11:36:39 pm
    • Jinju, S. Korea
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2017, 02:03:44 pm »
Yeah thats why i always take the "I speak perfect Korean, but they pretend not to understand me on purpose! I know my pronunciation is great becuase i can hear it myself" with a grain of salt. It turns out many of those same people are demanding Bootongs then getting angry when staff have no idea what they are on about.

LMAO! But seriously it is one complaint that will always make my eyes roll. As sure as hell's hot, your Korean ability isn't nearly as good as you think  :laugh: :laugh:

Someone else mentioned "MAK JEW JEW SAY YO" hahaha

It's one thing to be a poor at the language. It's actually GEN CHAN AH :evil: there isn't any shame in it. But don't sit on a high horse and demand that Koreans indulge your non-sensical butchering of their language


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3179

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2017, 02:12:37 pm »
This is true. Korean is an extremely difficult language to pronounce accurately. There are subtle differences which escape the Westerner's ear.

If Japanese or Korean people didn't learn how to disguish between the r and l sound before age 18, will they ever be able to do so? (Not sure honestly, but the odds are against them.)


  • CO2
  • The Legend

    • 4305

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Gunpo
    more
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #64 on: March 27, 2017, 02:12:37 pm »
well, "ssi" is my way of writing the Korean "쓰".  Not sure even the standard romanized version of the korean character "으" is palatable.  Considering there's no direct translated pronunciation from Korean to English for that vowel, it's no wonder you get a mixed bag whenever people are forced to write it.

And that makes no sense. There's a reason for standardization. When I was 6 I decided I would write "of" like "ov" because, WTF, f akes a ffffff sound, not a vvvvvv sound.

It only took a few marks off my dictation tests to turn me around.

Allah saw yo?
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • Loki88
  • Expert Waygook

    • 722

    • July 25, 2014, 08:41:07 am
    • Seoul
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #65 on: March 27, 2017, 02:15:30 pm »
Yeah thats why i always take the "I speak perfect Korean, but they pretend not to understand me on purpose! I know my pronunciation is great becuase i can hear it myself" with a grain of salt. It turns out many of those same people are demanding Bootongs then getting angry when staff have no idea what they are on about.

LMAO! But seriously it is one complaint that will always make my eyes roll. As sure as hell's hot, your Korean ability isn't nearly as good as you think  :laugh: :laugh:

Someone else mentioned "MAK JEW JEW SAY YO" hahaha

It's one thing to be a poor at the language. It's actually GEN CHAN AH :evil: there isn't any shame in it. But don't sit on a high horse and demand that Koreans indulge your non-sensical butchering of their language

Yeah. Exactly. Some people have the most cringe-worthy pronunciation ever. And even people who are passable at Korean still suck at pronouncing things sometimes. Point in case - I literally am incapable of pronouncing ㄸ as in 떡. I just can't do it.

I suck at pretty much all the double consonants except for jj. I have to pretend I\m angry and kind of shout to make them understandable a lot of the time...


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3179

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #66 on: March 27, 2017, 02:19:13 pm »
When compared to Chinese, Korean seems at first an easy language to pronounce, as there are no tones in Korean. However, as the student progresses he discovers that there are many, many unique sounds in Korean, and that they escape our ear. You can listen and listen for hours to pairs of contrasting consonants and hardly get the difference - not speaking of reproducing it.

http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/e/languages/korean/index.html


  • kriztee
  • Expert Waygook

    • 764

    • December 18, 2015, 01:33:06 am
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #67 on: March 27, 2017, 02:30:24 pm »
well, "ssi" is my way of writing the Korean "쓰".  Not sure even the standard romanized version of the korean character "으" is palatable.  Considering there's no direct translated pronunciation from Korean to English for that vowel, it's no wonder you get a mixed bag whenever people are forced to write it.

And that makes no sense. There's a reason for standardization. When I was 6 I decided I would write "of" like "ov" because, WTF, f akes a ffffff sound, not a vvvvvv sound.

It only took a few marks off my dictation tests to turn me around.

Allah saw yo?
There's a reason for standardization but it's only followed here half the time here, if that. Why is 김치 spelled kimchi but 김포 spelled Gimpo.


Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #68 on: March 27, 2017, 02:34:28 pm »
For awhile I thought my pronunciation was decent in Korean (after all, every Korean had always told me so  :laugh:) until I started recording my speech and playing it back.

Part of me died that day. I could finally hear what I was actually saying, not what I thought I was saying, and it wasn't pretty. But I could at least then focus on my weak points (i.e. everything). After a lot of work I'm still not perfect, and no one's gonna mistake me for a native speaker, but misunderstandings caused by bad pronunciation have gone down to almost zero.

I'm sure most people here know this but if you want to improve your pronunciation-

1) Listening practice every day.
2) Record and listen to your speech.
3) Kill your ego.
4) Repeat.


  • CO2
  • The Legend

    • 4305

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Gunpo
    more
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #69 on: March 27, 2017, 02:50:52 pm »
There's a reason for standardization but it's only followed here half the time here, if that. Why is 김치 spelled kimchi but 김포 spelled Gimpo.

Fair, but the word for kimchi was established long ago and that's what it is. That's the way it's been spelled in English forever and it's stuck.

Sseuregi bongtu is not going to cause massive confusion in restaurant menus in K-Town, LA.

Same with family names. You're not going to have all the Parks in America changing their name at city hall next week. Kimchi and Park are established proper names.

쓰레기 봉투 will not be toppling any regimes.
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • kriztee
  • Expert Waygook

    • 764

    • December 18, 2015, 01:33:06 am
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #70 on: March 27, 2017, 02:57:45 pm »
Ahaha yeah I know it's to do with when it was translated, just pointing out that it's not 100% followed. I know they're trying to standardize it even more because one of my CTs is writing up some proposal for teaching it in elementary schools. I get snacks for editing it, it's actually an interesting read or I'd have her find a new proof-reader.


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2606

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #71 on: March 27, 2017, 02:58:34 pm »
For awhile I thought my pronunciation was decent in Korean (after all, every Korean had always told me so  :laugh:) until I started recording my speech and playing it back.

Part of me died that day. I could finally hear what I was actually saying, not what I thought I was saying, and it wasn't pretty
Good God. I know that feeling. My wife was the one saying I sounded "fine" or "cute". Little did I know that fine and cute actually mean eye wateringly bad. Still, it's good to know these things.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #72 on: March 27, 2017, 03:18:22 pm »
For awhile I thought my pronunciation was decent in Korean (after all, every Korean had always told me so  :laugh:) until I started recording my speech and playing it back.

Part of me died that day. I could finally hear what I was actually saying, not what I thought I was saying, and it wasn't pretty
Good God. I know that feeling. My wife was the one saying I sounded "fine" or "cute". Little did I know that fine and cute actually mean eye wateringly bad. Still, it's good to know these things.

For sure. I mean I understand and appreciate that every rando I run into doesn't correct me at every turn, but someone close like a spouse or SO should feel free to offer some constructive criticism! Actually PLEASE criticze if I ask, don't just say it's "fine" when it's clearly not haha

Also all those folks with the "hurr, durr, Koreans laugh when I speak Korean! How rude! I don't wanna study anymore" yeah, well we sound pretty silly most of the time. It's funny. Get over it!  :laugh:


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 3825

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #73 on: March 27, 2017, 06:06:37 pm »
For awhile I thought my pronunciation was decent in Korean (after all, every Korean had always told me so  :laugh:) until I started recording my speech and playing it back.

Part of me died that day. I could finally hear what I was actually saying, not what I thought I was saying, and it wasn't pretty
Good God. I know that feeling. My wife was the one saying I sounded "fine" or "cute". Little did I know that fine and cute actually mean eye wateringly bad. Still, it's good to know these things.

For sure. I mean I understand and appreciate that every rando I run into doesn't correct me at every turn, but someone close like a spouse or SO should feel free to offer some constructive criticism! Actually PLEASE criticze if I ask, don't just say it's "fine" when it's clearly not haha

Also all those folks with the "hurr, durr, Koreans laugh when I speak Korean! How rude! I don't wanna study anymore" yeah, well we sound pretty silly most of the time. It's funny. Get over it!  :laugh:

"Fine" is actually one of the few gendered words left in English.

In the male version, it means "high grade", and often proceeds nouns such as "gold", "wine" , and "silk."

The female version means, "terrible" or " I don't give a dam."


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1474

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #74 on: March 27, 2017, 06:18:12 pm »
Quote from: DMZabductee
Also all those folks with the "hurr, durr, Koreans laugh when I speak Korean! How rude! I don't wanna study anymore" yeah, well we sound pretty silly most of the time. It's funny. Get over it!  :laugh:

Hurr durr, I legitimately care about how well I can speak a language and have a hard enough time finding motivation to study Korean, so it's demoralizing having my efforts laughed at. What a doofus I am, amirite.  :rolleyes:


  • Loki88
  • Expert Waygook

    • 722

    • July 25, 2014, 08:41:07 am
    • Seoul
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2017, 07:55:27 pm »
For awhile I thought my pronunciation was decent in Korean (after all, every Korean had always told me so  :laugh:) until I started recording my speech and playing it back.

Part of me died that day. I could finally hear what I was actually saying, not what I thought I was saying, and it wasn't pretty
Good God. I know that feeling. My wife was the one saying I sounded "fine" or "cute". Little did I know that fine and cute actually mean eye wateringly bad. Still, it's good to know these things.

For sure. I mean I understand and appreciate that every rando I run into doesn't correct me at every turn, but someone close like a spouse or SO should feel free to offer some constructive criticism! Actually PLEASE criticze if I ask, don't just say it's "fine" when it's clearly not haha

Also all those folks with the "hurr, durr, Koreans laugh when I speak Korean! How rude! I don't wanna study anymore" yeah, well we sound pretty silly most of the time. It's funny. Get over it!  :laugh:

I don't personally care when someone laughs at my accent. Cause, well, I just don't care. However, given the Korean tendency to laugh when nervous it can probably be safely written off as that.

Otoh, it'd be a dick move to laugh at someone's when speaking English back home. That's like low class, trailer trash while drinking moonshine levels of rude.

The people who are truly f'd in the head (imho) are the gyopos who sit back and mock someone's accent here while it was likely only them, their parents or grandparents who had the same thing happening to them. (But as always, small minority with a vocal online contingent.)


Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #76 on: March 28, 2017, 07:39:01 am »
Quote from: DMZabductee
Also all those folks with the "hurr, durr, Koreans laugh when I speak Korean! How rude! I don't wanna study anymore" yeah, well we sound pretty silly most of the time. It's funny. Get over it!  :laugh:

Hurr durr, I legitimately care about how well I can speak a language and have a hard enough time finding motivation to study Korean, so it's demoralizing having my efforts laughed at. What a doofus I am, amirite.  :rolleyes:

Yeah, well maybe I was a bit glib there, and it's great to "care" when you're studying, but the minute those words leave your mouth in the real word you just gotta let go. People are gonna do what they're gonna do.

We sound funny sometimes and yeah people are gonna laugh. Is it rude? Maybe, but we can't really do much about that, can we? Getting angry or letting it demoralize us only gets in our own way. Honestly one of the best pieces of advice I received was to recognize my limitations and then laugh along with them. Kill your ego. Then do it all over again, better.

None of this means you can't work to improve your accent or shouldn't take pride in doing something well, it just means don't take yourself too seriously when you do it.  :smiley:

Also, this:

I don't personally care when someone laughs at my accent. Cause, well, I just don't care. However, given the Korean tendency to laugh when nervous it can probably be safely written off as that.


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1474

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #77 on: March 28, 2017, 08:09:11 am »
Yeah, well maybe I was a bit glib there, and it's great to "care" when you're studying, but the minute those words leave your mouth in the real word you just gotta let go. People are gonna do what they're gonna do.

We sound funny sometimes and yeah people are gonna laugh. Is it rude? Maybe, but we can't really do much about that, can we? Getting angry or letting it demoralize us only gets in our own way. Honestly one of the best pieces of advice I received was to recognize my limitations and then laugh along with them. Kill your ego. Then do it all over again, better.


I don't know, man. Laughing at someone when they're making a sincere effort is a sh!tty thing to do, and it's cool that you can just shrug it off, but I really can't. I'm not just some schlub belching out phrases from a romanized list in a travel guide. I buy stacks of course books with listening CDs, make flashcards, study at home, at work, and on the bus, and generally put real effort into trying to learn a language.

If the results of my efforts are mockery, there is another option besides shrugging it off: Not trying. I still pick stuff up here and there and use it in situations where it's necessary, but the effort I put in to learning it decreased significantly after my first year here (I'm on my sixth now), and that's due in large part to the reception I often get when I try to speak it.

Boy, that sounds really whiny, doesn't it  :laugh:. I think essentially being told "So you get mocked for your sincere efforts in something you're passionate about. Suck it up, Buttercup!" just struck a nerve, haha.


  • The Arm
  • Expert Waygook

    • 682

    • March 09, 2015, 09:15:02 am
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #78 on: March 28, 2017, 08:59:18 am »
I agree with Mister Tim about the laughing.  I can't get past that.  It's belittling, no two ways about it.

I've found that you can't win. 

Don't speak Korean = "Why can't you speak Korean yet?"
Speak Korean = "Hahahahahaha"

Not all Koreans react like this (obviously) but sadly it's happened more often than not to me.


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1195

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: I just can't comprehend the mentality
« Reply #79 on: March 28, 2017, 09:32:26 am »
For me, instead of laughing, they got really angry and insulted for trying to learn Korean.
I got lots of: You should try to learn Korean, we'll help you!
First few minutes of trying: *goes super red in the face and yells* OMG IT'S SO EASY! WHY CAN'T YOU DO THIS CORRECTLY!!!

Needless to say, after that, my stance has been #$%^ learning Korean. :P
If I come back to teach in Korea in the future, I'm still not going to bother learning it. If I end up with a Korean partner, I might try learn it then (depending on how they are about mistakes).