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Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #100 on: May 16, 2011, 09:47:49 pm »
As the OP of this thread, and inspired by the replies (there was a lot here that I agreed with) I have decided to make a full out blog post about "How to speak to foreigners" for the Korean audience... I have already written the Korean version and will post the link on waygook once I finish the translation into English.

That said, I do want to list the people I quoted in the piece so if you are feeling uncomfortable with having your ID connected with what you said here, I will accommodate you and take out your name.  Here are the people I quoted directly along with what he/she said:

truongt:
Considering Korea has only had its borders open to foreigners (westerners) for not even a century, the amount of racism and ignorance here isn't that bad. It's still wrong and infuriating, but it could be SO much worse.

Damien:
1) Hair Natural? Perm? Colored?
2) Eyes big.
3) Head small.
4) Skin shiny!
5) Big Hands.
6) Big feet.
7) Eyes changy?

wipis:
If I ask you where you are from, don't say 'Korea'.  That is pretty obvious.
Say good bye on the phone. Please and thank you.

SpaceRook:
Don't talk to other people about us right in front of us.

oatmealkooky:
I can deal with the rest of the little things I have to do to bridge the gap between my culture and theirs -- that's actually half the fun of being here -- but this is just too disrespectful. I can't tell you how many times I've just stood there while two Koreans are having a chuckle-fest about something I did or am, and it makes me want to pick a fight or just make a midnight run each and every time. I'm sure someone can rationalize it away, but it infuriates me everytime.

portlandzach:
So, when I first came here, i met all these corrosive teachers who were very negative about their lives here...I told myself...I am not going to turn into that...well, ten months here and things have changed. Not big things...for example, when i first came here, i thought it was great how kids of different age groups would come and say hello. Now, I just see it as a form of being mocked...its funny because they seem to be mocking their own English education too...the whole..."how are, I'm fine thank you, where are you from" all done in a hyper sarcastic tone makes me wanna snap sometimes...

Please send me a message or an email (albertshahn@gmail.com) if I misquoted you or you wish to stay completely anonymous in the blog post. 

Cheers!


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Albert S. Hahn
Co-founder and Partner, Tuck & Company, Inc.

blog: http://tuckandcompany.com


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #101 on: May 17, 2011, 11:55:37 am »
They can't understand my British accent  :(


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #102 on: May 19, 2011, 12:52:13 pm »
"My country is the center of the known universe".
I would have to say this unintentional impression the average korean gives off is what annoys me.
"You know baseball?!?"
"You can use chopsticks?!?"
"There is spicy food in your country?!?"
Most recently, "Do you know how to turn the computer off?" No, I've been making powerpoints for the last 14 months with my harry potter wand.
But alas, I just laugh through it all and take it as honest innocence.
I Like Korea a lot. I love being so interesting to everyone.


  • woneomin
  • Explorer

    • 6

    • December 09, 2010, 04:00:42 pm
    • Chungnam
Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #103 on: May 19, 2011, 01:21:22 pm »
For me, comments about my weight or my acne. Why state the obvious, especially if the peron you're talking to is self-conscious about it.


  • wtg
  • Waygookin

    • 19

    • September 16, 2010, 11:06:16 am
    • Incheon, South Korea
Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #104 on: May 19, 2011, 01:25:25 pm »
I hate it when they ask what ethnicity I am and won't stop until they get an answer.


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #105 on: May 19, 2011, 01:33:07 pm »
My main bugbear right now is that a lot of Koreans and especially my current head co-teacher fail to give any respect for Professional Qualifications.

I was told to bring the list of my qualifications so that my POE could update their records.  I was told that my registration and being a member of a Professional Association (social work) back home were irrelevant. My co-teacher dismissed them outright as being nothing important.

Then she said that having a Masters in teaching and a registered teacher were much higher qualifications.

I made matters worse by explaining that anyone with a brain could get a masters but that being a member of a Professional Association actually meant that you were considered a competent Professional by your more experienced peers.    :)   

She then took me to the VP and explained that I didn't want to give my qualifications and could the VP please explain the importance of doing so because westerners don't like giving their qualifications    >:(


  • leo fuchigami
  • Veteran

    • 157

    • October 27, 2010, 09:17:20 am
    • Sanggal-dong, Yongin-si
Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #106 on: May 19, 2011, 01:55:33 pm »
The thing that irritates me the most is all the slurs I hear against Japanese, Chinese and foreigners in general. I think I pick up on this more than other people because everyone thinks I'm Korean (I'm Japanese) and I have an intermediate grasp of Korean - at least enough to pick up on slurs and general bad mouthing of foreigners either directly or indirectly. I mean, I've even heard students sarcastically yell out "yellow monkey" (a slur directed at my Japanese ethnicity) on occasion.

But really, even that isn't a big deal to me. I'm not the type of guy who gets offended very easily and I try to understand the cultural and historical reasons for things. Being of Japanese decent, I recognize that most things Koreans do wrong (from a Western perspective) Japanese do as well.

The other thing I is seeing how Chinese/Filipinos/Malaysians are treated as lower class. I have made quite a few Chinese friends here (mostly cooks at cheap Korean restaurants) and when we speak about their lifestyle, it makes me pity them. Many work here with few to no friends making a fraction of their Korean counterparts working 12 to 16 hours, 7 days a week. Actually, they usually don't complain because they're making considerably more than they would have back home and their lifestyle is still an improvement.

But again, these are not issues unique to Korea. They exist, to vary degrees, in every country in the world. I just haven't been exposed to it to this extent before.


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #107 on: May 19, 2011, 04:54:29 pm »
It does bother me when they ask if I need help with something entirely pedestrian or, worse, when they interject themselves into what I'm doing because I'm not doing it quickly enough or in the same manner they accustomed to. I'm still trying to square that circle, but it bothers me because nobody I've ever met in the US would treat a grown man that way.

It doesn't super-duper send me into a paroxysm of indignity, but it does get under my skin. Some days are better than others, but mostly I just don't know how to communicate that I'm being offended or, more commonly, that I appreciate a little breathing space. I'm not sure if it's coming from my end. I mean, I'm deliberate and do things just as I should, but maybe sometimes I seem oafish or dim-witted, who knows.

But if that's the worst case scenario -- people wanting to help me, even if it is unsolicited or stepping on my toes -- I can live with it.


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #108 on: May 19, 2011, 05:08:13 pm »
I think that might be a Korean thing.  I was at an open class and there was one Korean teacher being evaluated, along with us various whiteys.  She would ask a question, wait about 3/4 of a second, and if no one answered she'd give them the answer.  I've also had random Korean teachers who were in my class for some reason go around giving kids all the answers, which obviously undermines the whole "learning things" idea.

They do seem especially patronizing to us but I don't think they're trying to be.  Like you say, people being overly helpful isn't the worst thing in the world.  Though I do kind of wish they'd leave me alone.


  • Jozigirl
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1045

    • May 03, 2011, 07:37:47 am
Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #109 on: May 19, 2011, 05:12:46 pm »
They can't understand my British accent  :(

One of the teachers at my school seems to love telling me that my accent is so sharp and difficult to understand because I'm British (and the other two GETS at my school are Kiwis).  It doesn't stop him from chatting to me more than my colleagues though and I joke about it in all of my classes so my kids don't feel uncomfortable telling me when they can't understand what I've just said :)


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #110 on: May 19, 2011, 05:47:31 pm »
  I've also had random Korean teachers who were in my class for some reason go around giving kids all the answers, which obviously undermines the whole "learning things" idea.

SWEET CHRIST on a triscut, THIS. What is with telling kids the answers, especially when there's points involved! I got a new CT about a month ago, and she's mostly fine, but she does this semi-frequently and it makes me CRAZY. Especially because I try not to put people on the spot unless it's material that they really should have a handle on (she's even given kids the answers to questions that are actually written on the board before).


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #111 on: May 19, 2011, 06:35:14 pm »
you've obviously never seen the way americans treat mexicans. in fact, you must have never worked customer service. americans often treat other americans like idiots, depending on the color of your skin, your ethnicity, or the type of job you hold.

Nice sweet talk, Mister Sunshine. Please, tell me more. Thirty years in America -- born and raised -- and only now have my eyes opened.

Get off that cross; we can use the wood.


  • ADB123
  • Veteran

    • 118

    • March 08, 2011, 09:51:29 am
    • South Korea
Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #112 on: May 19, 2011, 08:04:40 pm »
It drives me crazy when I am sitting at lunch and a faculty member will stop eating and stare at me in shock when I am eating the same food as them.. this is followed by.. "Oh... isn't Korean food too spicy for you? and "I think Korean food is too spicy for foreigners". OMG.

When talking to Koreans it gets under my skin when they say "something like that" in a sentence.

Answering with "maybe" and "I'm not sure but, I think.........." "I'm not 100% sure but............" is annoying.

The staring is really annoying. I stare back.

Co teachers complaining about EVERYTHING. All of the huffing and pufifng they do when they are stressed in the office at school.


  • astericks
  • Adventurer

    • 73

    • March 01, 2011, 09:25:06 am
    • Cheongju
Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #113 on: May 19, 2011, 08:10:05 pm »
Quote
you've obviously never seen the way americans treat mexicans. in fact, you must have never worked customer service. americans often treat other americans like idiots, depending on the color of your skin, your ethnicity, or the type of job you hold.

I'm not sure where you live, but not in my neighborhood.

Getting back on topic:
As stated earlier, Co-teachers need to cease telling students the answers. It takes time for students to process what is being said to them in a language they often do not hear but once a week.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 08:11:49 pm by astericks »


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #114 on: May 19, 2011, 08:10:51 pm »
It drives me crazy when I am sitting at lunch and a faculty member will stop eating and stare at me in shock when I am eating the same food as them.. this is followed by.. "Oh... isn't Korean food too spicy for you? and "I think Korean food is too spicy for foreigners". OMG.

To the guy writing the "how to talk to foreigners" articles, pleeeeeeeeease include this.  Korean food is not spicy.  The Indian restaurant here in my city that I see Koreans eating at all the time serves far spicier food than anything I've gotten from a Korean restaurant.  It's not like they can't find evidence of this.

I did manage to end this at my school though.  We had a day with no students, so all the teachers gathered for samgeopsal and beer in the teacher's office.  I roasted some of those Korean peppers that taste exactly like jalapenos on the grill for myself, and after I ate a few one of the other teachers asked to try one.  I obliged, she took one bite and got the "oh god my mouth is on fire" look, demanded to know how I could possibly eat something that hot.  I just shrugged, told them I eat these all the time back in the US.

All the "Isn't this too spicy for you?" talk stopped.  Victory!


Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #115 on: May 19, 2011, 08:22:47 pm »
Ha ha! I had to do the same thing. Those peppers aren't terribly spicy, but they aren't tofu, that's for sure. I ate a handful and got at least one acquaintance to stop "warning" me about spicy food. Now, if they'd like to come to America for atomic chicken wings... ;)

Good point, though. That's really worth mentioning.


  • Ectofuego
  • Featured Contributor

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    • November 02, 2010, 09:21:10 am
    • Mars
Re: What annoys you when talking to Koreans?
« Reply #116 on: May 19, 2011, 08:35:43 pm »
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