Monday, June 16, 2008

Culture Shock

So lately I have been getting a lot of questions about culture shock-- and I don't feel like there has been any defining moments where I have been able to say: "wow! that was an episode of culture sock"-- In talking to other foriegners it is felt that its a lot of small occurances that can eventually turn into big issues for the individuals...

My issue that I have come across is when I am trying to express what I need to people- when they discover that I don't speak Korean they will either try to speak English, or they will call someone on the telephone who does speak English to act as a translator. The third possibility is what makes me the most angry is when they start yelling in Korean or they start yelling and acting frantic. I just don't see how that is beneficial. I know that there is a tendency for people to do this when speaking with "foriegners" all over the world. But I don't see how this makes anything better. Perhaps it has to do with my education and I have studied such things as languge and beneficial communication strategies...

My biggest issue was when I needed to charge my phone (put minutes on it) so that I would be able to make calls, I could still recieve them but I could not make them. One guy tried to be helpful by drawing a picture of the sign that I should be looking for and then walked out the door and pointed which way I should be going.

I do realize that I should try to speak the language of the country that you are living in, and I am trying to learn the language... and I am trying right now I am working on picking up survival Korean, and am hoping to be able to start Korean lessons soon. But that will probably be after Intensives start, and I am not working on Saturdays anymore.

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