[ABOUT KOREA ]Difference in Men&Women's Way of Speaking

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[ABOUT KOREA ]Difference in Men&Women's Way of Speaking

The following tip on Korean language is in response to Mr. Lee, who wrote to us with a question from Los Angeles:

Mr. Lee: Although I was born in Korea, I spent most of my life in the U.S. and my Korean speaking ability is not very good. Having spent a year studying the Korean language, I think I have improved a little bit, but whenever I say something, Koreans laugh. They tell me I speak like a girl. They even ask me if I'm gay. Are there any speech pattern differences in the way Korean men and women speak?

IHT-JAI: We noticed that some foreign men speaking Korean sound quite feminine, and we conducted an impromptu and rather unscientific investigation into the speaking characteristics of our non-native colleagues. We concluded that foreign men who worked with or dated Korean women picked up the female speech pattern.

If you want to speak in a masculine style, maybe it is a good idea to learn the language from your male friends.

Korean men tend to use expressions that are more terse and imperative than their female counterparts use. To tell the taxi driver to go straight, men normally say, "Ttokbaro kajushipshiyo!" (Please go straight!), while women tend to say "Ttokbaro kashimyonteyo" (You can go straight).

If you have any questions or tips on Korean language or customs, please write to estyle@joongang.co.kr
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