Episode with language learners #1

Honorifics, informal words and polite words of Korean language.

It is well known that a lot of foreign students suffer difficulties for understanding the honorifics and casual words of Korean language. There are honorifics, or polite form of the language, in other languages as well, but they are not as complex as in the Korean language. I have seen some friends who talks either only in informal form or only in honorifics. I have a Spanish friend who still uses only respectful words, so I even begged him to behave more casual.
He uses such polite greetings and farewells, which in English is simliar to saying ‘Hello, my dear friend’ and ‘Farewell and take care’. So I used to tell him to speak more casually, but it seems he can’t get accustomed to casual words. He even leaves comment on Facebook with formal and polite words, like ‘I am truly grateful’, instead of ‘Thanks’ or ‘Cheers’. Well, being polite is much better than being rude, but it feels a little weird, when a close friends talks with me like that.
One day, he playfully said to me ‘good night and take care, dear’, so I told him that I would use equally polite words in his language and said “Que tenga un buen sueño”. He laughed and said that it was a nice revenge. We used make some jokes about our differences of age and language form that should be used, and one day we just talked for awhile in Spanish using the ‘Usted form’(Spanish honorifics).
You may have some difficult and hard moments while studying a foreign language, but I learn from my friends that by making a slight change in thoughts you can always have fun from learning language.
I believe that the language should be learnt for the communication with people, so the communication with people is the best way to enjoy learning language!

Author : Hye-Jin Kim, Ziktalk Korean tutor