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  • Sagi Keun
  • Adventurer

    • 27

    • May 10, 2018, 11:47:23 am
    • Los Angeles
Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« on: May 24, 2019, 10:15:19 pm »
The voice tone, the abruptness, the brashness comes across as rude or arrogant to many western sensibilities.

But are they being deliberately rude, or is it just perception?

I mean lets face it, Koreans have never been taught western manners or polite ways of saying things, so they just say the most basic thing that comes to hand. For example, instead of saying "Excuse, me, could you please come over here?" in a gentle tone, you will hear "Ya! Come on!".  Its hard to know how to take some Korean behavior. The voice tone sounds like they are talking down to a dog half the time, but the blank expressionless face is also cryptic. Seems to me a lot of their actions would be taken as invasive or aggressive in the west and invite a violent response. But.. how do you judge if something is normal and acceptable here or not?


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 3977

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 10:26:59 pm »
Manners are highly cultural.

Even in Europe, French people are annoyed by English not saying what they actually mean; English people think the French are direct to the point of rudeness.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 441

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Burning Oil Be Best
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2019, 04:59:20 am »
I believe much of the ''Ya come on, maaaan'' role play is owed to two American actors who forever have imprinted the younger Korean millennials with their clownesque depiction of the quintessential white miguk saram making a fool of himself while blurting out one-liners into the camera. I don't know their names but they were an indomitable success and an embarrassment to many.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 05:03:52 am by SanderB »
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed


  • leaponover
  • Super Waygook

    • 466

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2019, 05:03:12 pm »
For every rude Korean I've found an equally polite one.  No idea why people think Korea is any different from any other country that has its fair share of rude people and polite people.


Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 03:25:03 am »
Well, I can think of the following examples of rudeness. An older Korean ajossi bumps into someone or pushes past them without any apology, even in Korean. A girl rides her bike on the pavement expecting everyone else to move out of her way without warning.
Further example:
Foreigner goes up to nightclub in Itaewon. He reaches the entrance. Three Koorean men jump out.
Foreigner: Hi guys.
Korean bouncer (putting his arms together to make a cross): "You NO! YOU NO! YOU NO!"
Foreigner:  I beg your pardon? Have you got conniptions, sir?
Club Employee (smiling): You can't come here, you foreigner! This bar is for Koreans only! Get out!
Foreigner: But we're iin Itaewon. Foreigners are supposed to be here!
Foreigner gives up on the racist bar, convinced the place is boring anyway, and racism is incredibly rude!!!!!!!

Here's another example of rudeness. Foreigner applies for hagwon job, using a recruiter based in the west. A Skype interview takes place.
Korean teacher: We can't hire you.
Foreign Teacher: Why not?
Korean Teacher: Your accent is too strong for my thick boss. He wants  an American accent for our classroom.
Foreigner: But you sounded so keen-you wanted my experience!
Korean Teacher: We have a new American native teacher. He sounds just like Brian Mulroney. Go away!"
Korean teacher hangs up. Recruiter tells teacher to change accent to cookie-cutter American.

Similar conversations happen with recruiters all the time. We can change some of the details, for example, we could have the case of the Irish girl who was rejected because "we do not want the alcoholism of your kind," or the black guy who was rejected for racist reasons. Korean rudeness gets pretty mean and ugly in fact.
When Korean bosses and recruiters are being total idiots like this, it can get incredibly rude.


That's a shame because I also met many kind decent people in South Korea.





Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 07:59:30 am »
Why would you want to work for a racist Korean boss? At least they are warning you. Even if they give you the job they'll just be obnoxious and racist towards you about something else.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM
    Trump is a liar and a con man.
Quote
Quote from Mr.DeMartino on June 14, 2019 at 02:28:07 pm
Donald Trump is a lying sack of shit


  • NorthStar
  • Super Waygook

    • 441

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2019, 08:12:35 am »
Well, I can think of the following examples of rudeness. An older Korean ajossi bumps into someone or pushes past them without any apology, even in Korean. A girl rides her bike on the pavement expecting everyone else to move out of her way without warning.
Further example:
Foreigner goes up to nightclub in Itaewon. He reaches the entrance. Three Koorean men jump out.
Foreigner: Hi guys.
Korean bouncer (putting his arms together to make a cross): "You NO! YOU NO! YOU NO!"
Foreigner:  I beg your pardon? Have you got conniptions, sir?
Club Employee (smiling): You can't come here, you foreigner! This bar is for Koreans only! Get out!
Foreigner: But we're iin Itaewon. Foreigners are supposed to be here!
Foreigner gives up on the racist bar, convinced the place is boring anyway, and racism is incredibly rude!!!!!!!

Here's another example of rudeness. Foreigner applies for hagwon job, using a recruiter based in the west. A Skype interview takes place.
Korean teacher: We can't hire you.
Foreign Teacher: Why not?
Korean Teacher: Your accent is too strong for my thick boss. He wants  an American accent for our classroom.
Foreigner: But you sounded so keen-you wanted my experience!
Korean Teacher: We have a new American native teacher. He sounds just like Brian Mulroney. Go away!"
Korean teacher hangs up. Recruiter tells teacher to change accent to cookie-cutter American.

Similar conversations happen with recruiters all the time. We can change some of the details, for example, we could have the case of the Irish girl who was rejected because "we do not want the alcoholism of your kind," or the black guy who was rejected for racist reasons. Korean rudeness gets pretty mean and ugly in fact.
When Korean bosses and recruiters are being total idiots like this, it can get incredibly rude.


That's a shame because I also met many kind decent people in South Korea.

Paging SR...er, I mean, Dr. D....time for you to swoop in.


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1693

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2019, 09:26:03 am »
Well, I can think of the following examples of rudeness. An older Korean ajossi bumps into someone or pushes past them without any apology, even in Korean. A girl rides her bike on the pavement expecting everyone else to move out of her way without warning.
Further example:
Foreigner goes up to nightclub in Itaewon. He reaches the entrance. Three Koorean men jump out.
Foreigner: Hi guys.
Korean bouncer (putting his arms together to make a cross): "You NO! YOU NO! YOU NO!"
Foreigner:  I beg your pardon? Have you got conniptions, sir?
Club Employee (smiling): You can't come here, you foreigner! This bar is for Koreans only! Get out!
Foreigner: But we're iin Itaewon. Foreigners are supposed to be here!
Foreigner gives up on the racist bar, convinced the place is boring anyway, and racism is incredibly rude!!!!!!!

Here's another example of rudeness. Foreigner applies for hagwon job, using a recruiter based in the west. A Skype interview takes place.
Korean teacher: We can't hire you.
Foreign Teacher: Why not?
Korean Teacher: Your accent is too strong for my thick boss. He wants  an American accent for our classroom.
Foreigner: But you sounded so keen-you wanted my experience!
Korean Teacher: We have a new American native teacher. He sounds just like Brian Mulroney. Go away!"
Korean teacher hangs up. Recruiter tells teacher to change accent to cookie-cutter American.

Similar conversations happen with recruiters all the time. We can change some of the details, for example, we could have the case of the Irish girl who was rejected because "we do not want the alcoholism of your kind," or the black guy who was rejected for racist reasons. Korean rudeness gets pretty mean and ugly in fact.
When Korean bosses and recruiters are being total idiots like this, it can get incredibly rude.


That's a shame because I also met many kind decent people in South Korea.





This isn't rudeness, in the case of the old Korean man, I'd pin it on insecurity driving the need to assert dominance. Confident men really don't feel the need to be aggressive unnecessarily or for petty reasons, as they already know they're enough. That, and taking advantage of the Confucian age hierarchy. These old men spent their younger years being bullied by their superiors, now that they're old, it's their time to act like an assh*le.

In the case of the girl, pure entitlement. Bad parenting leads to spoilt kids.

For the nightclub, it's business, plain and simple. Korean guys go to these places to get laid and they make up the majority of the clientele/patrons. Not unlike the ajjushi you mentioned, these young guys are insecure and HATE competition and a burly, blue-eyed, six-footer is competition. In the manner they've been taught to deal with all their problems since childhood, these guys run to the club manager and squeal that they'll take their money elsewhere unless they stop foreigners from coming in... unless they're attractive, white women.

For the hagwon, business too, not rudeness. Hagwons make their money by keeping parents happy. Parent's knowledge of English is usually restricted crappy Michael Bay movies and goofy foreigners in flavour of the month Korean "comedy" shows.
These parents can't speak English and therefore, rely on superficial ignorance and stereotypes to appraise a good English teacher from a bad one, so, blonde, blue-eyed and American, that's all that fits into their understanding of English speakers.
Hagwons either play into this stereotype to make money or rely on the quality of their teacher's actual skills to speak for itself. As previously mentioned, these mothers simply lack the knowledge or understanding to tell the difference. If there kid spent a year learning Klingon, many simply wouldn't pick it up.

It's money and ignorance.


  • leaponover
  • Super Waygook

    • 466

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 01:50:52 pm »
Well, I can think of the following examples of rudeness. An older Korean ajossi bumps into someone or pushes past them without any apology, even in Korean. A girl rides her bike on the pavement expecting everyone else to move out of her way without warning.
Further example:
Foreigner goes up to nightclub in Itaewon. He reaches the entrance. Three Koorean men jump out.
Foreigner: Hi guys.
Korean bouncer (putting his arms together to make a cross): "You NO! YOU NO! YOU NO!"
Foreigner:  I beg your pardon? Have you got conniptions, sir?
Club Employee (smiling): You can't come here, you foreigner! This bar is for Koreans only! Get out!
Foreigner: But we're iin Itaewon. Foreigners are supposed to be here!
Foreigner gives up on the racist bar, convinced the place is boring anyway, and racism is incredibly rude!!!!!!!

Here's another example of rudeness. Foreigner applies for hagwon job, using a recruiter based in the west. A Skype interview takes place.
Korean teacher: We can't hire you.
Foreign Teacher: Why not?
Korean Teacher: Your accent is too strong for my thick boss. He wants  an American accent for our classroom.
Foreigner: But you sounded so keen-you wanted my experience!
Korean Teacher: We have a new American native teacher. He sounds just like Brian Mulroney. Go away!"
Korean teacher hangs up. Recruiter tells teacher to change accent to cookie-cutter American.

Similar conversations happen with recruiters all the time. We can change some of the details, for example, we could have the case of the Irish girl who was rejected because "we do not want the alcoholism of your kind," or the black guy who was rejected for racist reasons. Korean rudeness gets pretty mean and ugly in fact.
When Korean bosses and recruiters are being total idiots like this, it can get incredibly rude.


That's a shame because I also met many kind decent people in South Korea.





Your first example happens 1,622,487 times per second in NYC.
Your second example is kind of silly because bars are one of the few places that can refuse to serve people or let them enter the establishment for no possible reason.
Your last example is iffy at best.  People are turned down all the time because of accents.  There's a CELTA course with placement in S. America that doesn't allow anybody without a British Accent.  That's just job preference and I know plenty of schools that turn down non-British accents.  They are serving their customers, and if that's what the customer wants, that's what they will find.

Lastly, trying to point out things that you think are racist has nothing to do with rudeness.  Being racist is a much more complex and concerning issue than simple rudeness.


  • paxxie
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • May 06, 2019, 08:03:59 am
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2019, 03:16:55 pm »
For every rude Korean I've found an equally polite one.  No idea why people think Korea is any different from any other country that has its fair share of rude people and polite people.
I agree. In the short 9 months I've been here I've seen and experienced both ends of the spectrum. Honestly, I don't take any cultural gestures/differences/norms (call it what you may) here personally --just brush it off and move on. 


Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2019, 03:35:23 pm »
Quote
There's a CELTA course with placement in S. America that doesn't allow anybody without a British Accent.

That wouldn't have anything to do with Cambridge, it'd be the school's decision alone. The requirements for CELTA are. 

You must be at least 18 years of age.
You should have a near-native level of English equivalent to IELTS 7.5 or a high C1 level. ...
Your education should be sufficient to apply for university otherwise, life experience can be taken into account.
You do not need a degree.



  • leaponover
  • Super Waygook

    • 466

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2019, 03:49:38 pm »
Quote
There's a CELTA course with placement in S. America that doesn't allow anybody without a British Accent.

That wouldn't have anything to do with Cambridge, it'd be the school's decision alone. The requirements for CELTA are. 

You must be at least 18 years of age.
You should have a near-native level of English equivalent to IELTS 7.5 or a high C1 level. ...
Your education should be sufficient to apply for university otherwise, life experience can be taken into account.
You do not need a degree.



No, it's a particular institution offering a Celta course, along with other things.  It would be like EPIK plus you taking a TEFL course.  You live there and take the Celta course along with some language classes and they guarantee to place you in a school in the area.  It's their own in house program.  Back (probably ten years ago) when I first thought about teaching abroad I wanted to go to S. America and I was interested in that course, but was turned down due to them only accepting those with British accents as that is what the parents of that particular region wanted.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3634

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2019, 09:55:51 pm »
Well, I can think of the following examples of rudeness. An older Korean ajossi bumps into someone or pushes past them without any apology, even in Korean. A girl rides her bike on the pavement expecting everyone else to move out of her way without warning.
Further example:
Foreigner goes up to nightclub in Itaewon. He reaches the entrance. Three Koorean men jump out.
Foreigner: Hi guys.
Korean bouncer (putting his arms together to make a cross): "You NO! YOU NO! YOU NO!"
Foreigner:  I beg your pardon? Have you got conniptions, sir?
Club Employee (smiling): You can't come here, you foreigner! This bar is for Koreans only! Get out!
Foreigner: But we're iin Itaewon. Foreigners are supposed to be here!
Foreigner gives up on the racist bar, convinced the place is boring anyway, and racism is incredibly rude!!!!!!!

Here's another example of rudeness. Foreigner applies for hagwon job, using a recruiter based in the west. A Skype interview takes place.
Korean teacher: We can't hire you.
Foreign Teacher: Why not?
Korean Teacher: Your accent is too strong for my thick boss. He wants  an American accent for our classroom.
Foreigner: But you sounded so keen-you wanted my experience!
Korean Teacher: We have a new American native teacher. He sounds just like Brian Mulroney. Go away!"
Korean teacher hangs up. Recruiter tells teacher to change accent to cookie-cutter American.

Similar conversations happen with recruiters all the time. We can change some of the details, for example, we could have the case of the Irish girl who was rejected because "we do not want the alcoholism of your kind," or the black guy who was rejected for racist reasons. Korean rudeness gets pretty mean and ugly in fact.
When Korean bosses and recruiters are being total idiots like this, it can get incredibly rude.


That's a shame because I also met many kind decent people in South Korea.





Your first example happens 1,622,487 times per second in NYC.
Your second example is kind of silly because bars are one of the few places that can refuse to serve people or let them enter the establishment for no possible reason.
Your last example is iffy at best.  People are turned down all the time because of accents.  There's a CELTA course with placement in S. America that doesn't allow anybody without a British Accent.  That's just job preference and I know plenty of schools that turn down non-British accents.  They are serving their customers, and if that's what the customer wants, that's what they will find.

Lastly, trying to point out things that you think are racist has nothing to do with rudeness.  Being racist is a much more complex and concerning issue than simple rudeness.
Call BS on NYC unless you;re talking about Koreans there.  I even read a novel set In Manhattan and the main character gets bumped on the street and wonders to herself why Koreans  are always doing that.


  • OnNut81
  • Expert Waygook

    • 781

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2019, 07:47:28 am »
Yeah, Leaponover definitely can't have spent much time in NYC.  I've spent a lot of time there over the years due to living in NJ for awhile and parents living there for over a decade.  I always use 5th Ave. as an example when Koreans try to use the cop out of saying it's just too crowded to avoid bumping into people on the streets.  Fifth Ave. is packed yet you can stroll from 42nd up to the park (keeping a brisk pace, mind you) and not get bumped at all.  I think Leaponover learned his NYC walking etiquette from the movies. 


Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2019, 08:25:57 am »
Yeah, Leaponover definitely can't have spent much time in NYC.  I've spent a lot of time there over the years due to living in NJ for awhile and parents living there for over a decade.  I always use 5th Ave. as an example when Koreans try to use the cop out of saying it's just too crowded to avoid bumping into people on the streets.  Fifth Ave. is packed yet you can stroll from 42nd up to the park (keeping a brisk pace, mind you) and not get bumped at all.  I think Leaponover learned his NYC walking etiquette from the movies. 

While that may be true, I'd take the 'rudeness' of Express Bus Station compared to the average bus terminal in a big city. And bump all you want if I could have Seoul's subways over those of Chicago. And there's no costumed characters trying to aggressively panhandle tourists in Hongdae or Gangnam. Like I said, everything has its tradeoffs and you tug at one thread...


  • OnNut81
  • Expert Waygook

    • 781

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2019, 08:55:31 am »
Yeah, Leaponover definitely can't have spent much time in NYC.  I've spent a lot of time there over the years due to living in NJ for awhile and parents living there for over a decade.  I always use 5th Ave. as an example when Koreans try to use the cop out of saying it's just too crowded to avoid bumping into people on the streets.  Fifth Ave. is packed yet you can stroll from 42nd up to the park (keeping a brisk pace, mind you) and not get bumped at all.  I think Leaponover learned his NYC walking etiquette from the movies. 

While that may be true, I'd take the 'rudeness' of Express Bus Station compared to the average bus terminal in a big city. And bump all you want if I could have Seoul's subways over those of Chicago. And there's no costumed characters trying to aggressively panhandle tourists in Hongdae or Gangnam. Like I said, everything has its tradeoffs and you tug at one thread...

No one is arguing against Seoul being the best city in the world.  That's a given.  When you compare and contrast all the relevant factors of living quality Seoul is always the top of the list.  You don't need to keep reminding us.  Preaching to the choir and all.  However, NYC has enough problems without Leaponover dishonestly describing walking conditions.  That's just kicking a city when it's down. 


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5111

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2019, 09:03:14 am »
NYC has enough problems without Leaponover dishonestly describing walking conditions.  That's just kicking a city when it's down. 
Poor New York city. It's a down town.  :sad:


  • NorthStar
  • Super Waygook

    • 441

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2019, 09:08:13 am »
Quote
No one is arguing against Seoul being the best city in the world.  That's a given.  When you compare and contrast all the relevant factors of living quality Seoul is always the top of the list.




Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2019, 09:38:37 am »
No one is arguing against Seoul being the best city in the world.
No one is arguing it is. Just have a sense of perspective. Considering various metros in terms of being on time, cleanliness, safety, criminal behavior, passenger etiquette, etc. Seoul's does pretty well all things considered. That same drive that makes Koreans want to have a subway system of that level of quality might also be what leads to bumping. If you try to stop one, you might stop the other. Usually with positive qualities you get tradeoffs in others. And "negative" qualities can cause positives in other areas.


  • leaponover
  • Super Waygook

    • 466

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Are Koreans intentionally rude, or is it just culture?
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2019, 09:43:06 am »
Yeah, Leaponover definitely can't have spent much time in NYC.  I've spent a lot of time there over the years due to living in NJ for awhile and parents living there for over a decade.  I always use 5th Ave. as an example when Koreans try to use the cop out of saying it's just too crowded to avoid bumping into people on the streets.  Fifth Ave. is packed yet you can stroll from 42nd up to the park (keeping a brisk pace, mind you) and not get bumped at all.  I think Leaponover learned his NYC walking etiquette from the movies. 
Yeah, Leaponover definitely can't have spent much time in NYC.  I've spent a lot of time there over the years due to living in NJ for awhile and parents living there for over a decade.  I always use 5th Ave. as an example when Koreans try to use the cop out of saying it's just too crowded to avoid bumping into people on the streets.  Fifth Ave. is packed yet you can stroll from 42nd up to the park (keeping a brisk pace, mind you) and not get bumped at all.  I think Leaponover learned his NYC walking etiquette from the movies. 

Nice try, I'm a Long Islander (Lawnguylander) and have been to the city enough to know that during peak times you get bumped enough.  Especially now that peeps have their heads buried in cell phones.  You get used to it, which is probably why you don't think about it.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 09:46:01 am by leaponover »