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Even though my husband understands the correct pronunciation of English words, some words will still come out in Korean English. And sometimes it’s quite funny. My siblings like to set him up so he says certain words. “Beach” and “Beaches” is one that he just can’t get right. If I get him to repeat after me, he may get it on the 5th try. For other words like “fork”, which in Korean English is “pork”, if he says it without thinking he’ll say “pork” but very easily he can change to the correct pronunciation of “fork”. “Beaches” though… it always sounds like something else.

My Korean teacher (who is Korean) often made fun of the Korean way of saying “beach” and “beaches”. He said too many Koreans who come to Australia say things like this, “I love Australian bitches!” when of course they mean “beaches”. Or they ask someone, “Excuse me, which way to the bitch?” Hehe. I know what they mean but others who are not used to the Korean accent may not.

“Sit” is another one that can be funny because they may change it to a “sh” sound, which completely changes the meaning of the word! Even my teacher who has been in Australia for years and has good English still accidentally said to a student, “Please shit anywhere.” He realised immediately after and laughed pretty hard.

Another problem Koreans learning English have, is differentiating between the F and P sound. English F (also PH) words are said with a P sound in Korean so Koreans have to practice their F sounds a lot when learning English. Sometimes they practice so much that they begin to even say English P words with an F. When saying something like “park” and changing it to “fark” it can sound pretty close to a bad word! Learning another language can be so stressful but there can be some really funny moments. I’m sure once I know more Korean I’ll be accidentally saying some bad things.

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