|The spelling of "Hangeul" in Korean|
- Koreans are super whiny when they talk. They always seem to be elongating the last syllable of at the end of their sentences. Females are especially guilty of this. Males do it as well, but it’s not quite as annoying/noticeable as females. Of course, I realize that many Americans are whiners. But it’s one thing that many of my friends and I have picked up on and notice when we are out and about with our Korean friends.
- When talking on the phone, there is no formal goodbye; just a dial tone. I’ll be at school, in the office, and the teachers around me will be having a phone conversation. At the end, instead of saying goodbye or terminating the conversation with some sort of salutation, they hang up. End of story. I remember the first time that happened to me with one of my Korean friends. I was a bit taken back, but soon learned that a dial tone signaled the end of the conversation – in a polite and non-offensive way of course.
- The grammatical structure of Korean is a bit different than that of English. The word “is” is inserted at the end of their sentences (signified by the phrase “ib ni da”). Many times, all that I’ll pick up from a conversation between my co-teachers at lunch is “blah blah blah blah ib ni da.” This leads to excessive amounts of chuckling and self-amusement on my part. Gotta do something to entertain myself at the lunch table.
- Koreans are not afraid to talk about you when they know that you are in earshot. When I first started at Seoul High School, my teachers would be talking in Korean and all of the sudden, I’d hear them say my name. My ears would perk up, I would peer over my cubicle wall, and try to find the culprit. Most of the time, they didn’t actually want to talk TO me, just ABOUT me. It took me a good couple of months to finally just learn to ignore them. If they really wanted to tell me something, they come and tap me on the shoulder. So if when I get back to the states and I ignore you the first couple of times that you say my name, forgive me. I’ve been Korea-fied and mean no offense.