We lived in the Korean countryside for over 2 years and not that many people are fluent English speakers there, so Hugh and I got into the habit of not really moderating what we said in public. In Seoul we still sometimes say things loudly in English that maybe isn’t the most appropriate thing to say.
We were in a department store when I was asking Hugh to comment on the size of my butt (I wasn’t sure about Korean sizes). A guy walked past and obviously heard and burst into laughter. Like that sudden snorting laughter. His laughter made me laugh as well, but reminded me that many people can understand me here.
Hugh runs into this problem sometimes where he says something in English and is not understood because he hasn’t used the Konglish version of what he is trying to say. It doesn’t matter if his English was correct if they can’t actually understand him. My problem is going back to Australia and using Konglish words like English.
He also sometimes uses Australian English which can further confuse people. Instead of using the American English of “take out” he will say “take awayyyyyy” in Aussie English. Some people understand it, but some don’t.
So obviously that is not a very serious video! Hugh channeled his inner Korean middle school student for this. We made it because the first time Hugh watched the ‘Hello’ music video he said “I’m fine thank you and you?” to that part of the song. Although it was a joke, it was almost an automatic reaction because of the way this English dialogue is drilled into the heads of students learning English in Korea. In Korean there are set phrases that everyone says, however English is more flexible with those initial greetings and I’ve seen many Koreans quickly falter when faced with native English speakers who vary from the ‘script’. We don’t all say “I’m fine thank you and you?” like that. So this video was a little dig at the way English is taught in Korea and I hope it makes people, especially English teachers here, laugh.