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 just in Korea learn and included in this can be the phrase chingu , translated loosely as “friend”. Foreigners splice this word within their English sentences without hesitation and employ it seemingly without understanding what it really means. This really is probably certainly one of my minimum words that are favorite Korean and I’ll explain why.

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Some years ago, I happened to be taking Korean lessons four times a week for four hours every day. I happened to be devouring the maximum amount of 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. Prior to taking the classes, I became hesitant and weary of the things I regarded as forced respect inside the guidelines associated with the language, elements of the language that force us to show a respect that I may not need for somebody. Simply because folks are older doesn’t mean they always deserve respect as well as that point I’d held it’s place in sufficient circumstances to learn that quite a few, frequently, males just assumed in numerous ways that I should be respectful of them even though they disrespected me. Through the classes, I discovered how exactly to show my disapproval whenever being disrespected without being downright rude and I also learned simple tips to be much more assertive in Korean. One of the greatest lessons we discovered, but, was that i’ve nearly no “friends” in Korea. (From here in out “friend” in parenthesis would be the Korean as a type of friend while a freestanding friend will end up being the English version.)

My hubby, boyfriend during the time, and I also chose to have a meet up at our home and invited our close Korean friends. There were about 10 of us round the table and I also had been the only foreigner in the area. As of this point, I’d known my boyfriend and all sorts of of their buddies for a great 4 or 5 years and in my tongue that is native would call them my buddies. After the food ended up being finished therefore the plates found, a game was thought by me will be fun. Using just what I’d discovered from course about how to phone someone by name, I said, “So-yung-a, do you wish to play a casino game?” with the reduced as a type of the language. I’d been gaining confidence with the language and utilizing it whenever i really could. There was Fruzo dating clearly an audible gasp and after a couple of seconds of silence, So-yung said, “yes,” but two for the more aggressively conservative people in the group said i really couldn’t say “So-yung-a” to So-yung.

Buddy 1: So-yung is more than you will be.

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

Me personally: We’re friends though.

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

Me personally: just What can you mean? I’ve known her for decades. She is had by me contact number during my phone. She is seen by me a great deal. We have been buddies and my book says this is certainly an appropriate ending for a friend.

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

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

Friend 1: you are able to simply be buddies with somebody this is the age that is same yourself.

Me personally: Well, that doesn’t make any sense. You might be all my buddies and you are all avove the age of i will be.

Friend 1: We aren’t your pals.

After that we went along to my room for only a little cry mostly because I happened to be simply told I experienced no friends as well as as the language they certainly were making use of to state their standpoint was extremely aggressive and I also don’t handle aggressive situations perfectly. Originating from a training standpoint, aggressively attacking students for using a term or a phrase inappropriately hardly ever helps make the student respond in a good method. Usually, the student will end up more fearful to utilize the language or you will need to use terms as time goes on unless they’re completely clear on their meaning. In addition reminded my “friends” later on that We don’t attack them if they misuse a word, if it is exceedingly rude, I remind myself so it’s not their first language and I also you will need to assist them to realize why it may be taken the wrong manner. My “friends” nevertheless, are not so patient with my language purchase. Though I experienced excitingly go through my tutorial publications and had talks in my own course, I experienced taken several things and words into the book for awarded maybe not realizing they didn’t suggest exactly what it showed up they designed. Two for the more tolerant people in our group arrived in to relax me personally and explain in nicer terms what everyone else had gotten so upset about.