What Defines a Korean Drama?

Posted on  thegrandnarrative

Even as late as 2009, Koreans’ relative unfamiliarity with foreigners produces many challenges in speaking with them that are rarely faced by students of other languages, and it can be trying for even the most earnest of Koreaphiles when their simply being Caucasian somehow renders their spoken Korean incomprehensible to natives. An exaggeration? Certainly, but while things have definitely been improving in recent years, it still happens often enough to be annoying, and never encountering the problem is arguably the real reason that East Asians tend to learn Korean much faster than Westerners. For no matter what you’ve heard, Korean is not a difficult language.



To compensate, long-suffering Korean partners and friends, with whom it’s extremely difficult to get out of the habit of speaking English with once started(!), will invariably recommend watching Korean dramas to get exposure to everyday language instead. And why not? It’s a logical idea, and it certainly seems to work for East Asians based overseas too. But the problem with that solution is that Korean dramas are…well, on the one hand having only ever seen one series in its entirety, and just bits and pieces of others here and there, then I must resist the urge to generalize them, but on the other there’s definitely some commonalities between that quickly put myself and the vast majority of Western viewers off ever watching them. But what exactly?

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One comment on “What Defines a Korean Drama?

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