08 October 2010

The Korean Invasion…


We had scrimmage today against a group of Koreans who had come over to… study English…!!!

A former player – who had taken up Nursing, still has to pass the licensure exams and is, meanwhile, trying to earn a few bucks teaching English – apparently was the conduit who asked for the game at the Athletics Office.

Those of you who sleep through your English classes… well… DON’T!!!

You see the Koreans everywhere here… and they’re not here just to get away from the torrid Korean winter. They – along with the Chinese and the Japanese – are learning something we Pinoys have always known and taken for granted: that the ability to speak the Queen’s language is an advantage in this era of globalization.

The Koreans have, in a manner of speaking, grabbed the bull by the horns… So while the Chinese and the Japanese are still to realize that, hey, four hours by air due south is an English-speaking country – well, at least, we like to think so – the entrepreneurial Koreans have launched full-scale what amounts to, uhm, English-learning tourism…

If you get my drift…



You can see them everywhere. In the malls, inside restaurants, walking the streets, and brazenly, if I may add... So, so at home, our sallow-skinned, almond-eyed visitors, so comfortable and so numerous they are almost like an invading army. But of course, they are just here to learn English…

On the evidence of our visitors this afternoon, however… uhm… and I don’t mean this in a derogatory manner, it just seems like they will have their work cut out for them. I gave up talking to one Korean after just a few exchanges. Nothing in what this guy said to me was even vaguely recognizable as English!

“How many are you in all?” “Eihkh!” And that’s just the closest I can spell it using the letters of the English alphabet…



See what I mean???

It is not so much that they do not have the ear for English… My theory is that the sounds they make when speaking their own native tongue are so different from those you gotta make when speaking English that they will inevitably struggle.

Now we Pinoys, well… ahem… it’s a totally different story. And not just with English! Put anyone of us in a foreign country and in six months he or she will be speaking like a native.

So, you guys who sleep through your English classes, well, just think of the financial equivalent of what you are throwing away. And I do not refer to matriculation…





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