One of our curriculum goals this year is to learn about how English is used outside the Angelo-American heartland. We are also supposed to learn about how English is used as a communication method even though the people who communicate are not fluent or very good English speakers.
This Christmas I had the opportunity to study this very closely when I went to visit my family in South Korea. Honestly, I had not thought a lot about the language before I actually got there.
In South Korea it lives almost 49 million people, and of them knows little or no English at all. I experienced that every time I went to a store, or tried to talk to some of the native inhabitants. On the other hand, the little amount of people who knew a little English almost ran up to us on the street just to ask us what we thought about the weather or how we were. In other words, when they saw that we were foreign, they assumed that we spoke English, and they really wanted to try what they had learned in real life.
A lot of Korean stores, cafes and brands have their name in English, and some of them were actually quite funny to read. One of them said “Angel-in-us Coffee- the world best coffee”. Several places had signs or slogans like this. What I find interesting with it, is that even though grammar and spelling might be wrong, there are no doubt about what they want to say.