International Marriage: It’s Mostly Korean Men With Foreign Women

The other day, when I caught a cab, the taxi driver gave me the same rigamarole about how good my Korean is—it really isn’t, though. Anyway, I asked him if he meets many foreigners, and whether they can speak Korean well. He said that he meets a lot of Japanese and Filipina women, who are married to Korean men. The Japanese apparently don’t speak Korean well, usually, while the Filipinas do.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. As I see from The Marmot’s page, The Chosun Ilbo has an article up about The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s release of the 2003 International Marriage Stats, and it shows that far more than the stereotype we see in English teaching circles, most such marriages involve Korean men and foreign women.

The ministry said that of 160,000 Korean people who married foreigners since 1990, 50,000 were women, and they married 26,162 Japanese husbands, 13,174 Americans and 1,471 Chinese.

Korean men, for their part, married 13,373 Chinese, 1,403 Vietnamese, 1,242 Japanese and 944 Filipino women, with Western women barely getting a look in.

Isn’t it funny, though, how the title (Japanese Top List of Korean Women’s Foreign Spouses) still focused on which men Korean women are marrying? I don’t get it.

Well, actually I do, and even Marmot had a poke at it, but still… it’s plain silly. Whereas, this article linked to in the comments following the post on Marmot’s site is less silly, and more sobering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *