Foreign Language Tip #15 | You Will Be Misunderstood…

There will be times during this journey where you won’t be understood and where you won’t understand.

What?

There will be a language barrier, unlike the language barrier you experience when you don’t speak the language at all. This barrier consists of, not understanding the dialect and/or not understanding the accent.

Dialect

There are different types of dialects in the Korean language. These dialects are purely regional. It’s similar to being in the U.S., in different parts of the country people have a different way of saying things and even slang that may or may not be familiar to people anywhere outside of that region. And in Korea, it’s actually a lot like that.

Now, for the purpose of this part, I’ll break it down using a textbook. I’m not from Korea so I’m not 100% familiar with names of the dialects without textbook aide.

  • Northwest Dialect
  • Central Dialect

Both of these have a list of places that apply, for example, the Central Dialect includes Seoul, Korea. But within each of these regions, they have their own way of saying things and different ways to pronounce things. (Think: *potato | poh-tay-toe vs pa-tah-ta) 

So with all of that, imagine trying to have a conversation with a Native Korean speaker in Korea with a Jeolla dialect, and you’re speaking with them with your own native accent attempting to talk in Korean, you’re likely going to be misunderstood a bit if you’ve been watching a lot of k-dramas and attempting to mimic what you hear.

Now that’s not to say it’ll happen all the time. It may not happen as often as you think it would, but what about other times…?

Accent

You don’t know this, but right now, you have a very thick accent in your native tongue. To learn a new language means adopting a new accent as well to be understood. But, on the flip side of that, you have to train your ear to understand a Korean accent.

So I’m going to end this here. I could talk about this for a long time but I think at this point, you get the picture.

Hopefully, this post wasn’t too confusing. I tried to write it in a way that would make sense but I didn’t know if I accomplished that.

Next week, a new Grammar of the Week and Word of the Day!

 

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