Archive | September, 2011

Don’t be Afraid of the Foreigner

20 Sep

Koreans are generally humble people, and almost to a fault in regard to their English speaking abilities. Their lack of confidence in their linguistic aptitude tends to manifest as an uber-shyness around foreigners, which presents quite the challenge  both as an English teacher and wandering nomad currently situated in Korea.

And so this video caught my eye as it came through my facebook feed earlier today. Seemly as part of its continuing efforts to become a global, foreigner-friendly nation, the following commercial is being broadcasted in attempts to diminish language barriers. Said commercial can be viewed below.  A bit of foreshadowing: hilarity ensues.

To dispel any confusion, essentially the concept is that multiple foreigners attempt to speak to the Koreans in their mother tongue, while the locals go to ridiculous lengths to avoid confrontation in fear of being misunderstood or making a blunder. And so the message is to, as the little girl does at the end of the video, say annyeonghaseyo (hello in Korean), instead of being fearful of speaking to foreigners.

Could you even imagine an equivalent campaign happening in North America? Oh Korea!