Occidentalism
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Korean Superiority

August 4th, 2005 . by Matt

Truly we inferior foreigners should bow down to Korean Cultural, Linguistic and Racial Superiority, according to this Korean language book.

book
Eloquently put! I shall cease my obstinacy and admit Korean superiority poste haste!

book

Funny that the authors couldnt resist putting in an URINARA MANSE in there.


23 Responses to “Korean Superiority”

  1. comment number 1 by: dogbert

    How can the Korean language be perfect when it has no word meaning “humility”?

  2. comment number 2 by: Bob Reemus

    I think the author makes a great compliment to the INDIAN scholars the Korean king brought in to develop hangul, for his illiterate masses. Like kung fu (also from India; and devleoped by an Indian monk referred to as “Da Moh,” or “Tak Mor”), curry, and buddhism: India (with over 10,000 years of recorded history) has given a lot of wonderful things to the world!

  3. comment number 3 by: eli

    Dunno, I don’t think this is too much different than “Japan is special because it has four seasons”.

  4. comment number 4 by: Mika

    Dunno, I don’t think this is too much different than “Japan is special because it has four seasons”.

    Which Japanese language book say “Japan is special because it has four seasons” ??

  5. comment number 5 by: Halifa

    I’m sure several do. My aunt (Japanese, not by blood) tells me it’s special, because it has FIVE seasons. =O

  6. comment number 6 by: Halifa

    How can the Korean language be perfect when it has no word meaning “humility”?

    Just for the heck of it, I put “humility” into a KR/EN dictionary and 4 matches came up:
    겸손
    겸양
    스스로 낮추기
    겸비

  7. comment number 7 by: eli

    Which Japanese language book say “Japan is special because it has four seasons” ??

    Not sure about language books, but about half the nihonjin I met while living there told me that.

  8. comment number 8 by: Mika

    Not sure about language books, but about half the nihonjin I met while living there told me that.

    I live in Japan and I never hear people bragging about it. What does it have to do with this topic anyway? It’s about Korea, not another country.

  9. comment number 9 by: Malaclypse

    Heh. Writing about how Korean is the best language in really shitty English kind of reminds me of people here n the USA who talk about how America is the best country in the world but who have never even left their home state. It’s like, hey, I’m not saying it is or isn’t, but how the fuck would you know?

    Anyway, I think a sizable number of people in almost every culture / nation would like to say things like that about their culture / nation, and definitely believe that about their culture / nation. The main difference is that most of those people realize that stating it so blatantly and loudly with such floral superlatives makes them come off as pompous to the point of being unintentionally humourous.

    It is interesting to contrast this piece to your other entries about the negative effects of political correctness on Western society. While I agree that political correctness has gone much too far in many cases (and thereby has earned a sizable backlash; the Tar Baby principle in full effect there) I think that Korea could probably benefit from being infected by the whole “politically correct” meme. If nothing else, it would help people fully realize that writing things like the page you scanned above makes them come off like a complete ass, without even having to engage in any kind of thought to realize it.

  10. comment number 10 by: YoshoMasaki

    That conversation book sounds insane. Language is an “intangible cultural property”? Other languages are incapable of representing ideas or sounds which are possible in a certain language? Any given language is superior/inferior to any other? This type of rhetoric flies in the face of the basic foundations of linguistics.

    The fact is that such statements are all generally shaped by the speaker’s social, cultural, economic, racial, class and like biases.

  11. comment number 11 by: eli

    I live in Japan and I never hear people bragging about it. What does it have to do with this topic anyway? It’s about Korea, not another country.

    Are you Japanese? That might be the reason. I heard people saying it all the time, it’s one of the idiotic things that foreigners hear from nihonjin all the time.

    Ok, we’ll stay on topic. Korea sucks. Happy now, boke?

  12. comment number 12 by: dogbert

    Just for the heck of it, I put “humility” into a KR/EN dictionary and 4 matches came up:
    겸손
    겸양
    스스로 낮추기
    겸비

    I was not being literal. Of course, there is a Korean word that can be translated as humility. It was a joke, given the aw…never mind.

  13. comment number 13 by: mae

    seriously, eli, how many japanese have you met?
    or are you from saudi arabia or some part of africa where there is only on season? (oh, dont accuse me bringing up saudi arabia or africa, i have no racial connotation for those who live in area with one season)
    you must be misunderstand something. or are you implying stupidity of japanese telling you this story?
    to be honest, i think some koreans really sucks. korean meadia in particular sucks. you may find it out after checking english version of korean papers on the web for a week.

  14. comment number 14 by: Mika

    Ok, we’ll stay on topic. Korea sucks. Happy now, boke?

    You called me boke? That’s immature. Why do people who defend Korea act like this?

  15. comment number 15 by: RGM-79

    Ok, we’ll stay on topic. Korea sucks. Happy now, boke?

    You called me boke? That’s immature. Why do people who defend Korea act like this?

    And they will start singing dokdo song in the end.

  16. comment number 16 by: randomcow

    I can’t watch this thread any more. I’ve cringed so much I’m about to turn inside-out.

    Ok, to all the Japanese people here who didn’t understand Eli’s comment, I have also heard “Japan has four distinct seasons” from many Japanese people, usually just after they have expressed surprise at my ability to use chopsticks. The conversation about Japanese snow/rice/intestines being different is soon to follow.

    I have also read the “Japan has four distinct seasons” in more than one Japanese textbook. It is always used to demonstrate how to use the word “HAKKIRI.”

    (and Eli and I aren’t korean, african or anything like that).

    In defence of the book, I could definitely see something like that being written in a French or English book back a couple of hundred years ago. Don’t forget that Korea is still developing. Also, the writing system has been praised as being one of the easiest to learn. Dunno about the language as a whole, and all that “superiority” stuff though.

    RC

  17. comment number 17 by: RGM-79

    I have also read the “Japan has four distinct seasons” in more than one Japanese

    Korea has four distinct seasons too.
    America, China, Australia, Europe, etc.. many countries have four distinct seasons.
    What is the problem?

  18. comment number 18 by: Bob Reemus

    I recall countless Koreans telling me “Korea has four distinct seasons.” Did they rip that off from Japan, too?

  19. comment number 19 by: RGM-79

    If you guys read Korean, check NAVER sometimes.
    Young Koreans constantly post how great Hangeul is.
    They believe that Korean language is registered in Unesco “World Treasure”.

  20. comment number 20 by: Matt

    If you guys read Korean, check NAVER sometimes.
    Young Koreans constantly post how great Hangeul is.
    They believe that Korean language is registered in Unesco “World Treasure”.

    I heard this before!

  21. comment number 21 by: DLR

    Some people say that the Korean language is “the most efficient” language in the world, although I have no idea what that means or how to measure its “efficiency”.

  22. comment number 22 by: ji

    I recall countless Koreans telling me “Korea has four distinct seasons.” Did they rip that off from Japan, too?

    The Chinese say that too, actually.
    It could be a northeast asia thing.

    I must admit that book makes no sense and written by someone who cannot speak proper English,but anyone who knows hangeul probably would agree with me when i say that it IS one of the easiest languages to learn to read.
    That said, Korean is a friggin hard language to learn to speak fluently.

    On a different note, what kind of nation would say to their “we’re second best!!”


  23. […] Perhaps when she says that overseas Koreans are the Korean races most import future asset that she is talking about people like Korean American spy Robert Kim. This speech also reminds me of the Korean language book for Korean language learners that kindly lets the foreign reader know that their native language is an inferior to the Korean one, because Korean is the only one that can perfectly express all thoughts and feelings. […]