27 In Korean learning journey (:

HEY! Say something in Korean!

Hands up if you have encountered this phrase before, from friends, relatives, random people etc. I myself have heard this request countless times. Usually followed by the following comment(s).

‘I want to hear how Korean sounds like.’ – go listen to a kpop song. They are playing everywhere

‘Are you really that good?’ – Can you judge? With a single phrase?

When I first started learning Korean, I used to oblige these requests. If I happen to have something in Korean with me (I usually carry some kind of reading/book around). It’s so awkward if you ask me to say something out of the blue. ermm. 안녕하세요….? -.-

But some people are just.. amusing. I have had friends who point to a Korean passage that I happen to be reading, and demanded ‘wow. You can read all this? Realllyyy? read this out for me!’ – Hello, I’m not a performing monkey.

And people who point at a book title and go ‘say this out leh’. Sure…. 한국어? LOL

Not like they can judge how terrible or good I am.

And the responses I get when I oblige them sometimes?

‘mmm I also cannot judge whether you are good or not. But you seem good’ – urmm. okay?

‘WOW. LEGIT. You speak like a boss!’ – hahaha. ermm so do you ^^

Over the years, I’ve learnt not to entertain any more requests. Unless the person is really and sincerely interested and genuinely curious. You usually can tell from their attitudes and tone of voice. Usually, I don’t mind when fellow learners want to hear how I sound like. Personally, I also like to hear how people sound like in Korean. 😀 But no random requests from random people. I’ve had enough.

It takes personal experience to be able to understand how I feel xD There’s nothing inherently offensive about such requests, but you will learn how to judge~

Have you heard such requests before? How do you respond?

p.s. Maybe I should start a series like ‘Annoying people you meet in language learning’ LOL. Any contributions?

You Might Also Like

27 Comments

  • Reply
    123muscles
    28 April, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    I understand what you mean. I get the same kind of requests for things in french, and occasionally for Japanese too but that is still limited for me.
    I find I am the same way as you are, only obliging if the asking person is genuinely interested.
    People are very entertaining eh?! LOL

    PS That would certainly be an entertaining series. Do it!

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Any ideas to contribute? 😀 I have a few in mind already~

      • Reply
        123muscles
        29 April, 2012 at 3:57 AM

        Hmmmm well the ones that purposely butcher what you’ve just said at an attempt to make a ‘joke’. That is irritating…

  • Reply
    weixin
    28 April, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    “It’s so awkward if you ask me to say something out of the blue. ermm. 안녕하세요….? -.-”
    totally agree! and every time i say this (because there really isn’t anything else), it looks as if all i’ve learnt these 2 years is something they can get in a minute >.<

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      hahah! yeah then they will tell you ‘i also know this lor’ hahaha.

  • Reply
    gamcho
    28 April, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Haha! I always get this question ^^ But I don’t mind – most people are curious to see how a language sounds. Where I live, there isn’t much diversity in terms of language, so people always find it interesting. When they ask me to say something in Korean, I just introduce themselves and they’re eyes glaze and they get really amazed haha. I think it is great when people ask questions because it inspires and motivates them to learn a language after hearing something foreign.

    Also, no one has really asked me any other questions other than “Say something”, “Why did you learn Korean”, or something among those lines.

    So far, I haven’t met anyone that was really bothersome or annoying 😀 But I can totally understand where you’re coming from – I would be totally annoyed if people were totally being obnoxious 😛

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      yeahh it’s nice when people are really interested in a language. Korean’s pretty popular here and it’s getting even more popular because of Hallyu wave

  • Reply
    GKW001
    28 April, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    I usually get this a lot from people who actually know Korean though XD
    My set phrase is just “어떤 말 할까요?” [What should I say?] Haha

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ i should find a set phrase soon.

  • Reply
    jeannie
    28 April, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    When I went back to the Philippines I always get those kind of requests from relatives, friends and classmates. Like you I always have something Korean with me. It’s kind of annoying but sometimes I find it entertaining by how they get amused easily.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      at least you wont get any in korea 😛

  • Reply
    blacktortoise2x
    28 April, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    For the people around me, they could ask me to speak in Chinese, I could speak in Japanese and they never know the difference.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      ㅋㅋㅋㅋ i dun think i can smoke my way through here 😛

  • Reply
    koreally
    28 April, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Usually I get ‘Are you good?’
    Erm, please define ‘good’.
    I can watch talk shows just fine, dramas – depending on what kind of drama, news – forget it.

    I don’t entertain those who are ask me to ‘say something in korean’, because you could just add ‘yo’ to anything you say and they’d believe you’re speaking korean. XD

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      YES. i get the question a lot. nowadays, I’ll just say ‘yeah im good’ hahahaha. heh. the whatsup YO. lol

  • Reply
    seoullovee
    28 April, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I get the same request too… They ask me to read 한글 and they get amused expression. I’m happy about it, but some of them, they will laugh at me. -.- It’s annoying sometimes…

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      yeahh~ just ignore the annoying people

  • Reply
    Lauren.
    28 April, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    actually for me I keep my language learning a secret so there’s none of this lol. Well I’m learning japanese and i’m very good at reading/understanding/writing but I’m so glad i kept it a secret so I don’t have to deal with annoying people.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      28 April, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      hahaha!! I did think of doing the same also (after i met all the annoying people) but for me, language learning is also about interacting and sharing so I have this blog 😛 I’m torn between having it as part of my identity (in real life) or keeping quiet about it. hahaha. I’ve been having loads of fun with Japanese these days 😀

  • Reply
    Lauren.
    29 April, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    I wanted to share this hilarious video….

    there’s korean subs if you don’t get what he says then they should help figure it out.

    I saw it a while ago and irewatched just today and it’s still hilarious~ let me know what you think of it.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      29 April, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      HAHAHA!!! omg. thanks for sharing 😛 I couldn’t catch all the Japanese, but it was still awesome to watch hehe!!

    • Reply
      Xing Wei Poh
      1 May, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      That was awesome!

  • Reply
    metafictionally
    29 April, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    People ask me this a lot with Chinese… and even though I don’t mind saying something in Chinese, it really puts me on the spot to think of something to say haha.

  • Reply
    Always Smile
    10 May, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I get that question all the time! I know thousands of words but I can’t ever think of one in such situations. It’s so weird. But, I know she’s honest because when I tell her something she quickly hands me a paper and saves it. LOL. she’s so in love with kpop and kdrama~ so funny

  • Reply
    alodia
    5 November, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    I’ve been asked to translate dramas or videos or songs or some entertainment news a number of times and when I say I can’t because I really can’t (or when I translate just parts of it) they’ll say, “I thought you are studying Korean!” Well, yes I am! That’s why I don’t know everything because I am still studying! >.<

    I kinda hate also some old relatives introducing me to their old Korean friends and telling them I can speak Korean. Well yes it's fun being able to speak Korean with Koreans, but it's just so awkward! Especially when I'm not really very eager to meet strangers.

    *This anti-spam thingy is challenging my math skills (or lack thereof!) ㅎㅎㅎ!

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      5 November, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      YAAAA i hate it when people give me the ‘ohh so you aren’t that good after all’ if i get stumped at some of the questions. -.- one of the question was when to use 이/가 and 은/는 and to them it’s a basic question. which is SO NOT. ><;; HAHAHA everyone has been telling me about the math equation 😛 😛 I'm so glad I don't have to do it everytime i reply to a comment XD i've become mathematically challenged. even though last time i wasnt ㅠㅠㅠㅠ

    Leave a Reply