Read 4860 times

  • KF Panda
  • Veteran

    • 84

    • December 24, 2010, 02:06:40 pm
    • South Korea
Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« on: January 12, 2016, 12:18:56 pm »
if you can't speak Korean.

I had a non-life threatening emergency on Sunday and the response I got: "No speak a Eenglish"


Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, 12:48:19 pm »
I've had to call twice and both times they could speak English. The first time, I was put through to somebody who spoke good English. The second time, my Korean was much better by then and they actually chipped in with English once they realised I was not a native speaker. I'd still call 119 in an emergency, you could get unlucky but what have you got to lose by trying?


  • Hot6^
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1759

    • March 14, 2014, 02:46:01 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 01:38:54 pm »
if you can't speak Korean.

I had a non-life threatening emergency on Sunday and the response I got: "No speak a Eenglish"

This is absolutely TERRIBLE ADVICE!

I have had to dial 119 twice, and I was immediately transferred to an English speaker.
What you put into Korea, is what you will get out of Korea; it will not spoon feed you.


  • KF Panda
  • Veteran

    • 84

    • December 24, 2010, 02:06:40 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 03:07:23 pm »
if you can't speak Korean.

I had a non-life threatening emergency on Sunday and the response I got: "No speak a Eenglish"

This is absolutely TERRIBLE ADVICE!

I have had to dial 119 twice, and I was immediately transferred to an English speaker.

Lucky you - unlucky me.

Never was intended as advice but merely to HIGHLIGHT A MAJOR PROBLEM. Maybe somebody somewhere with some clout is spurred into action.


  • Hot6^
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1759

    • March 14, 2014, 02:46:01 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 03:19:59 pm »
if you can't speak Korean.

I had a non-life threatening emergency on Sunday and the response I got: "No speak a Eenglish"

This is absolutely TERRIBLE ADVICE!

I have had to dial 119 twice, and I was immediately transferred to an English speaker.

Lucky you - unlucky me.

Never was intended as advice but merely to HIGHLIGHT A MAJOR PROBLEM. Maybe somebody somewhere with some clout is spurred into action.

How is that not intended as advice? You titled the thread, "DON"T PHONE 119 IN AN EMERGENCY!"

You are literally telling people not to do it.

That would be like me saying... "Don't dial the fire department if your house is on fire!"
That's just idiotic.

I almost have a hard time believing this is true, or we aren't getting all of the story... which most threads like this.


Your phrasing needs major work. If you wanted to Highlight a problem, you could have said,
"I dialed 119, I didn't receive help, because they said 'no English.'"


What you put into Korea, is what you will get out of Korea; it will not spoon feed you.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4783

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Cairo, Egypt (formerly Seoul)
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2016, 03:26:30 pm »
Did you hang up before they said, "one moment please"?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 06:42:37 am by JNM »


Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2016, 03:57:55 pm »
if you can't speak Korean.

I had a non-life threatening emergency on Sunday and the response I got: "No speak a Eenglish"

This is absolutely TERRIBLE ADVICE!

I have had to dial 119 twice, and I was immediately transferred to an English speaker.

Lucky you - unlucky me.

Never was intended as advice but merely to HIGHLIGHT A MAJOR PROBLEM. Maybe somebody somewhere with some clout is spurred into action.

Rest assured that person with clout within emergency response won't be reading an English teacher forum. If you want any chance of action, contact them directly.


Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2016, 04:03:31 pm »
If you want any chance of action, contact them directly.

You know the number already


  • bjinglee
  • Expert Waygook

    • 545

    • March 10, 2011, 10:29:48 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2016, 11:40:49 pm »
if you can't speak Korean.

I had a non-life threatening emergency on Sunday and the response I got: "No speak a Eenglish"

This is absolutely TERRIBLE ADVICE!

I have had to dial 119 twice, and I was immediately transferred to an English speaker.

Lucky you - unlucky me.

Never was intended as advice but merely to HIGHLIGHT A MAJOR PROBLEM. Maybe somebody somewhere with some clout is spurred into action.

How is that not intended as advice? You titled the thread, "DON"T PHONE 119 IN AN EMERGENCY!"

You are literally telling people not to do it.

That would be like me saying... "Don't dial the fire department if your house is on fire!"
That's just idiotic.

I almost have a hard time believing this is true, or we aren't getting all of the story... which most threads like this.


Your phrasing needs major work. If you wanted to Highlight a problem, you could have said,
"I dialed 119, I didn't receive help, because they said 'no English.'"
+1


  • solveit
  • Super Waygook

    • 368

    • December 09, 2014, 03:52:02 pm
    • Korea
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 11:40:19 pm »
So what would you advise someone who doesn't speak Korean should do in the case of an emergency? Do you have an alternative number, or any suggestion of what to do?


  • Somebody
  • Super Waygook

    • 349

    • May 04, 2012, 01:55:20 pm
    • Suwon
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 12:03:17 am »
119 is like hagwons. You never know what you're gonna get. I would get into contact with foreigners who have called certain 119 operators and get their opinion.


Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 04:39:18 pm »
So what would you advise someone who doesn't speak Korean should do in the case of an emergency? Do you have an alternative number, or any suggestion of what to do?

Call anyway. There is usually an English speaking operator that can help.

If that fails and there is nobody around that can help, try calling a friend or acquaintance such as a co-teacher who you know can speak Korean.


Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2016, 06:37:02 pm »
119 is for fire.  112 is for police or is it 114?  I need to check into it.  But I know 119 is not police. 


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4783

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Cairo, Egypt (formerly Seoul)
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2016, 07:02:52 pm »
119 is for fire.  112 is for police or is it 114?  I need to check into it.  But I know 119 is not police.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=korea+emergency+numbers


119 - fire and medical emergencies
112 - police


  • saram_
  • Veteran

    • 140

    • March 14, 2012, 09:44:43 am
    • Seoul
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2016, 09:48:44 pm »
Also something to keep in mind here if anybody gets in a serious enough situation..

Ambulances are free here, arrive quickly and the paramedics their job very well.
Dont be afraid to call an ambulance if you are not feeling too good for some reason.


Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2016, 08:26:32 am »
Also something to keep in mind here if anybody gets in a serious enough situation..

Ambulances are free here, arrive quickly and the paramedics their job very well.
Dont be afraid to call an ambulance if you are not feeling too good for some reason.

Free if you have your medical card.  If not you got to pay and get reimbursed.


  • ceecee84
  • Newgookin

    • 2

    • February 17, 2015, 08:11:38 am
    • Gyeonggi, Suwon
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2016, 10:17:21 am »
Sorry, but I second this. I'd called twice. The first time, I was lucky enough to be transferred to an English speaking operator who helped me a great deal. Recently, I called again, and thought they'd transfer me to an operator who could speak English. Instead...she hung up on me.  :huh:


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: Don't phone 119 in case of an emergency ...
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2016, 10:26:46 am »
Same here.

The woman actually said, "No English!" and hung up.

To be clear, I have come to accept Koreans hanging up, since 9 times out of 10, they either hang up immediately or repeat "Yo-boo-say-yo" a few times and then hang up.

However, this is a problem with119/112, as they are emergency numbers.