Conversations With Koreans: Wait, we aren’t friends?

“Thank you”, “Hello”, “Give me… please” and some other phrases and words are among a small number of words that foreigners simply in Korea learn and included in this is actually your message chingu , translated loosely as “friend”. Foreigners splice this term in their English sentences without hesitation and employ it seemingly without understanding what it really means. That is probably certainly one of my least favorite words in Korean and I’ll explain why.

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Some years back, I became using lessons that are korean days per week for four hours every day. I happened to be devouring just as much because I was dating a Korean man, most of my friends were Korean and of course I was living in Korea and I wanted to make life just a bit easier as I could of the language. Before you take the classes, I happened to be hesitant and weary of the thing I regarded as forced respect inside the rules of this language, elements of the language that force us to show a respect that we might n’t have for someone. Just because individuals are older doesn’t suggest they always deserve respect as well as that point I’d been in sufficient situations to understand that a number of, frequently, men simply assumed in numerous ways that I should be respectful of them even though they disrespected me. Through the classes, we learned how exactly to show my disapproval whenever being disrespected without being downright rude and I also learned just how to be much more assertive in Korean. One of the greatest classes we discovered, however, was that i’ve almost no “friends” in Korea. (From here in out “friend” in parenthesis is the Korean type of friend while a freestanding friend will function as English version.)

My husband, boyfriend at the time, and I also chose to have a get together at the house and invited our close Korean friends. There were about 10 of us all over dining table and I also was the only foreigner in the place. Only at that point, I’d known my boyfriend and all sorts of of their buddies for an excellent four to five years plus in my native tongue, I would phone them my buddies. Following the meals ended up being finished plus the plates found, I was thinking a casino game could be fun. Taking what I’d learned from course about how to call someone by name, I stated, “So-yung-a, do you wish to play a casino game?” with the reduced kind of the language. I’d been confidence that is gaining the language and utilizing it whenever I could. There is an audible gasp and after a matter of seconds of silence, So-yung said, “yes,” but two of this more aggressively conservative people of the team said i really couldn’t say “So-yung-a” to So-yung.

Friend 1: So-yung is avove the age of you may be.

Buddy 2: You can’t state “So-yung-a” because you’re younger than she actually is ebonyflirt.

Me personally: We’re friends though.

Friend 1: No, you’re not friends with So-yung.

Me: What would you suggest? I’ve known her for a long time. She is had by me contact number within my phone. I see her a whole lot. We have been buddies and my guide says this is certainly an ending that is appropriate a friend.

Buddy 2: No, you can’t be friends than you are because she is older.

Me personally: I don’t determine what you’re saying.

Friend 1: you are able to simply be buddies with some one that’s the exact same age as your self.

Me: Well, that doesn’t make any feeling. You will be all my buddies and you are clearly all more than I am.

Buddy 1: We aren’t your pals.

After that I decided to go to my space for just a little cry mostly because I became simply told I had no friends as well as since the language they certainly were using to state their viewpoint was very aggressive and I also don’t handle aggressive situations perfectly. Originating from a teaching viewpoint, aggressively attacking a student for using a word or a term inappropriately hardly ever helps make the student respond in a positive way. Usually, the learning student can be more timid to utilize the language or attempt to make use of terms later on unless they’re completely clear on their meaning. In addition reminded my “friends” later that I don’t assault them if they misuse a word, if it is excessively rude, We remind myself so it’s not their first language and I also you will need to assist them to understand just why it can be taken the wrong manner. My “friends” nevertheless, are not so patient with my language purchase. I had taken some things and words in the book for granted not realizing they didn’t mean what it appeared they meant though I had excitingly read through my lesson books and went through discussions in my class. Two associated with more tolerant members of our group came in to calm me and explain in nicer terms just what everybody had gotten so upset about.