4 Comments

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  1. Junsok Yang
    Junsok Yang November 18, 2010 at 9:48 am . Reply

    I’d like to see the effect of language along the same lines. As you know, Korea has the “respectful” form of conversation used for conversations with people generally above their station, and “normal” form. (One may argue that there is a “dismissive” form as well, and historically, there has been several more levels of respective form).

    What I find is that when I use the Korean “respective” form, I feel that I am putting some distance between myself and the person who I am speaking to. When I use the Korean “normal” form, I am perhaps putting myself too close to the person who I am speaking to.

    On the other hand, when I use English which do not distinguish “respectful” and “normal” (except perhaps in some vocabulary), I tend to place myself in between the above two forms. I also feel much freer to criticize and express my cynicism than when I am using the repectful form in Korean.

    I would love to see how this observation compares with, say, the French which has the “vous” form for respect. Whether it’s hardwired to the language center and the brain, or whether it’s just me or the Korean culture.

  2. Jens-Olaf
    Jens-Olaf November 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm . Reply

    One of my korean friends I would like to call a yangban. He behaves like a british gentleman. He is proud of his century old descent . He would never, never! behave like this elder women.

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