Category Archives: Language


E.S.L.: English as a second language, meaning students will be speaking English outside of the classroom.  Think of exchange students as the most obvious examples. E.F.L.: English as a foreign language, meaning students only speak English in the classroom, and … Continue reading

Posted in English, ESL, Language, Teaching | 1 Comment

Music and Memory

“March for the Beloved” Controversy has erupted over plans to commemorate the Gwangju Massacre.  In particular, people are angry that the singing of the song above will no longer be mandatory: “The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs issued a … Continue reading

Posted in Advanced Conversation, Korea, Kultur, Language, Music, North Korea, Politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

The (Future) (Potential) Smartphone App of Babel

David Arbesu on how computers are making great strides as language translators, but how they will never really be able to replace the wetware of bilingual humans: “But translating is an altogether different task than finding the nearest Starbucks, because … Continue reading

Posted in Advanced Conversation, English, ESL, Language, Science, Tech | Leave a comment

Liver Strong

Today I learned some interesting Korean.  I was talking to a student about “guts,” and how when you’re talking about food (we are almost always talking about food) guts are the disgusting bits of the animal that you throw away, but … Continue reading

Posted in English, ESL, Korea, Language, Teaching | Leave a comment

“kingly royal regal”

Linguist John McWhorter on why English is (objectively!) so damn weird: “Finally, as if all this wasn’t enough, English got hit by a firehose spray of words from yet more languages. After the Norse came the French. The Normans – … Continue reading

Posted in English, ESL, History, Language | Leave a comment

That’s Why I Earn The Big Bucks

Something strange about English: on a Monday or a Tuesday “this weekend” can refer to either last weekend or next weekend.  (E.g., on a Monday morning at the office — “What did you do this weekend?”, never “What did you do … Continue reading

Posted in English, ESL, Korea, Language, Nerdery, Teaching | Leave a comment

“sozzled nature of our colonial beginnings”

A mini-scandal was kicked off when an Australian “public speaking expert” claimed that the Aussie accent came about because the founders of that great nation were a pack of constantly soused alcoholics.  Not true!  In fact: “This ‘theory’ about the … Continue reading

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What’s In A Word?

Kate Iselin on the problem with ‘male feminists’: “It’s not that I don’t think men can be feminists. There are several men in my life who have approached feminism with respect and considerate thought, who have used feminism to examine … Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, GamerGate, Language, Politics | 1 Comment

Dirty Rats

I had an adult student tell me she was caught by “paparazzi” last week.  Upon further inspection, it seems that some Koreans will take pictures of other Koreans when they make a turn without signaling or park illegally.  The cops … Continue reading

Posted in English, ESL, Korea, Kultur, Language, South Korea | Leave a comment


I continue to make slow, laborious progress with my Korean.  I take a class every Saturday morning at the Daegu YMCA but alas, my next “level” (which honestly isn’t that high) isn’t being taught. I’m surprised at how few options … Continue reading

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