Have I written about this? After 600 entries on the blog I can’t really remember. ):
It’s not often that we get the chance to talk to Koreans and more often than not, we practice our Korean with other learners, particularly if you are attending Korean classes.
So… Is this a good thing or not?
Some practice is better than no practice, some say.
Personally, I don’t have much experience in that, especially in Singapore. When I was in Korea, some of my close foreigner friends will sometimes speak to me in Korean, but it was more for fun than really getting any practice. They don’t mind that I’ll correct some of their pronunciation and they sometimes ask me ‘how do you say ____ in Korean’.
But I’ve never tried that in Singapore. I feel like I’m going to offend people if I try to correct every other thing they say. So usually I just smile and say nothing on the occasion that random people try to practice their Korean on me – more often than not they are just trying out a few phrases they learn in dramas, not serious learners.
In any case, let me share some true stories (personal / from friends)
I was talking to an Amercian friend and he tried to speak to me in Korean. His Korean was so accented that I had a hard time understanding what he wants to say. But he seemed unaware of it and continue on. So finally I told him I can’t understand. And he told me … HEY YOUR KOREAN IS NOT THAT GREAT HUH. OTL. I have no heart to tell him otherwise so I just laughed.
A Canadian friend told me that his friend wanted to practice with him (even though they are both in Seoul) but their standard was so different it was difficult to do it.
I’ve also seen people around talking in Korean to each other. But there are so many grammatical errors and they end up substituting a lot of English in it that I’m so afraid they will have their own Korean inter language soon >< I've also seen people who insist that they are right and try to change their partner's speech when it's probably incorrect. Hahaha bad experiences so far. When I was learning, I didn't practice with anyone at all. I think it's a different thing to practice with someone of a much higher standard than you and to practice among two new learners. I think somehow your friend's way of speaking will rub off you after awhile and you tend to accommodate to his or her speech. Great if you are improving and accommodating to the right thing, but otherwise... So far I haven't seen anyone who improved their speaking skills this way >< Anyone wants to offer a different view?
Overall I think it’s alright to practice with your friend once in awhile and have fun learning, but take it with a pinch of salt and continue to expose yourself to native Korean ^^