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E-2 regulations draw fierce debate

Say what you want about the new E-2 too, would go up — a stern threat, actually, young foreign women in ever-growing
visa regulations for foreign English Robert Koehler given how the cost of education in Korea numbers, local media now regularly
teachers looking to teach in Korea; at on Talking Points (the growth rate of which has hit a 10-year trumpet Korea’s development into a mul-
least they’ve got people talking. high) has already become a major house- ticultural society.
From online forums to personal blogs cial order. hold talking point. Just how multicultural Korea is, is
to an unending stream of commentary in In one particularly interesting report While it’s unclear yet where all this open to debate; even now, foreigners
the editorial pages of Korea’s English- on the aforementioned drug bust, for in- discussion will lead, it doesn’t seem that and the foreign-born make up only 2
language newspapers, the Ministry of stance, Korean broadcaster MBC even the talk will end anytime soon. percent of Korea’s population (compared
Justice’s new regulations — which re- warned that teachers had allegedly with, say, 11.8 percent in the United
quire prospective teachers to submit taught their classes in a state of chemi- The changing face of Korea States as of 2002) — but still, a trip to
their criminal background checks and cal impairment, speaking in voices the countryside or industrial suburbs
Expat living is a page dedicated medical exams — have had that segment “louder than necessary” and using “ex- E-2 visa regulations aside, a look at like Ansan reveals that important
of Korea’s expatriate population other- aggerated body movements.” the papers these days suggests that the changes to Korea’s ethnic and cultural
to the issues that affect foreigners'
wise known as woneomin gangsa (na- Well, at least we know what to look out times really are a-changin’. Take, for in- landscape are taking place.
daily lives. It is your page,
tive-speaker teachers) up in arms about for. stance, the appointment of British In an interview in December, the head
where you can share stories about what they see as racism and xenophobia. Coincidentally, it’s not just the foreign banker David Eldon as co-chair of of the Ministry of Justice’s Immigration
your life in Korea. Send story On the other side, the vernacular press teachers, Korean press and Ministry of President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transi- Bureau went as far as suggesting that
ideas to Matthew Lamers has for some time been running (ar- Justice who have an opinion on the mat- tion team. Just a few years ago, this the government needs to “educate
at guably sensationalist) reports of “foreign ter. Local colleges and, as one might ex- would have been next to unthinkable. Koreans to accept that foreigners are po-
teachers acting badly,” including a recent pect, private language institutes (or hag- Now, we have the Ministry of Justice tential life-long participants in Korean
report of a massive drug bust involving won) have been none too pleased with talking about loosening regulations on society, and, as such, should be seen as
an apparently industrious group of for- the added red tape they must deal with foreign professionals willing to work in belonging here.”
eigners (including English teachers) to recruit teachers in Korea’s overheated Korea, including the granting of perma- In a society that has long taken pride
growing and selling their own marijuana. English-learning market. nent residency rights. in its ethnic homogeneity, that’s a mean-
These reports have fueled public In a Jan. 4 report, the Korean-language Perhaps these changes should come as ingful statement.
sentiment that the Ministry of internet newspaper NoCutNews warned no surprise. Korea’s foreign population
Justice should do something to pre- that, with the winter vacation approach- has tripled in the last decade, going from
vent drunkards, child molesters, doc- ing, cram schools were heading for a state 330,000 in 1997 to over 1 million last Robert is the editor-in-chief of SEOUL
ument forgers and potheads from of emergency due to the difficulties in find- year. With foreign laborers coming to magazine, and the administrator of The
coming to Korea to commit crimes ing qualified teachers. With finders’ fees Korea in pursuit of the “Korean dream,” Marmot’s Hole blog. (
and otherwise upset the nation’s so- skyrocketing, schools warned that tuition, and single Korean farmers marrying — Ed.

This week’s PHOTO CHALLENGE was open to any category

I’s and
Jeffery Hodges
on Language
If language really is a virus

Time to clean up from outer space, as William S.

Burroughs claims, then my words
could prove contagious. Despite
that risk, I write the Language

cunning Konglish column for Expat Living.

I interpret this to mean that I
can write about anything I
please, so long as I use lan-
What exactly is Konglish guage. That sounds straightfor-
and what is it not? Sean Smith ward enough, but there is one
First, it is necessary to de- on EFL restriction. I am told to avoid
fine more clearly what overusing the word “eye.”
Konglish is. I have broken it In Korea, when speaking Apparently, well-written
down into four categories. Korean, none of the above ex- journalism shuns this word,
Konglish is really the use of amples are wrong or Konglish. which is news to me. Whatever
English lexical items that have They are just imported or bor- happened to eyewitness re-
been borrowed into Korean rowed words that have under- ports? I do not mean to imply
and changed somehow, becom- gone change during their that eyewitnesses are entirely
ing Koreanized. move into the Korean lexicon. dependable, for the eyes often
The first often happens This is a natural process that fool us. Think of a magician’s
when an English word is used happens in all languages sleight-of-hand tricks in mak-
in Korean but the meaning which borrow words from oth- ing things disappear before our
changes to something different er languages. very eyes!
from the original. There is a tendency among That happens even when we
A Korean speaker, knowing foreigners and Koreans alike to are striving to perceive the truth.
that the word is English, uses think that any misuse of More disturbing, if religious
that word when speaking Korean — grammar mistakes, thinkers are right, our eyes ac-
English but uses the Korean bad pronunciation or lexis tively deceive and mislead us.
meaning of the word rather choice are Konglish. This sim- The Bible’s “First Letter of John”
than the English meaning. A ply is not true. Mistakes are warns against “the lust of the
perfect example of this would simply mistakes. The English eyes,” for our lustful desires turn
be the word cunning. In learner has not yet mastered us toward worldly things.
English, this word means sly, the point in question. Saint Augustine, commenting
smart, or devious but in Is any of the above really im- on this very letter, cites that
Korean, it means cheating. portant? The answer is Yes. same scriptural expression to
When a Korean uses cunning As teachers, we should, disparage ocular curiosity,
with the Korean meaning in an when the opportunity arises, which distracts one from proper,
English sentence, it then be- teach students the correct spiritual pursuits, and focuses
comes a Konglish word. English forms. Additionally, it one’s attention upon worldly af-
The second type of Konglish is important for students to fairs. In his infamous
is when Koreans again import learn that Konglish, when “Confessions,” he even provides
English words into Korean and used in Korean, is actually an example of curiosity gone
combine them to make new Korean and is not wrong. disturbingly wrong, describing
compound words, and then One fun activity that I do to how it draws his fascinated gaze
once again use these new build awareness of Konglish The hustle and bustle of Seoul’s busy subway. A man and a woman to the sight of a spider entan-
“Korean” compound words in terms is to play a game called head off in different directions in early January at Yongsan Station. gling flies that have rushed into
Paul Walker/
English. Two examples that I Konglish Auction. its web.
found perplexing upon first en- In the Konglish Auction, Lest one imagine distrust of
counter include back mirror — groups are provided with a list the eyes to be a purely religious
rear view mirror — and handle of sentences, half with correct concern, the historian Martin
— steering wheel.
The third type of Konglish is
the appropriation of brand
English and half with Konglish
phrases. Each group looks
through the sentences and
Ask the photographer: Jay has shown in “Downcast
Eyes” that even many secular
thinkers denigrate vision. The
names to be used for generic chooses the correct ones to buy atheist existentialist Jean-Paul
nouns. Well-known examples
by native speakers include
Kleenex and Xerox. However,
during the auction. Correct
sentences are worth five
points, and Konglish is worth 1
The benefits of RAW Sartre, for example, coined the
expression “the gaze” in “Being
and Nothingness” to describe
when Korean speakers talk point. The team with the most Q) I’m not very familiar with RAW files. when the image is heavily edited. obvious downside is that you’re making how the observing eyes of
about a burberry to a non- points at the end of the auction What’s the difference between RAW and Artifacts are portions of the photo that are two copies of every image, further reduc- strangers transform us into mere
Korean speaker, their inter- wins. JPG? What’s the best way to handle and missing because the image is compressed. ing the number of images on your memo- objects in their field of sight.
locutor will be bewildered and Konglish happens when edit RAW files? — Billy, Seoul This problem is much less common in ry card. So great a cloud of witnesses
not know that a burberry is a these words are then exported RAW file types. These days, since portable hard drives would darken anyone’s view of
trench coat. back into English by Koreans. A) RAW files are becoming a very popu- RAW currently has a few disadvan- are prevalent, and memory cards are vision. Perhaps Expat Living’s
Finally, longer English The result, for the uninitiat- lar format, as more and more cameras of- tages. RAW images are much bigger in growing in capacity, all serious photogra- censure of the word “eye” has
words or phrases are often con- ed, is often humor, confusion fer to handle this useful file type. RAW is size, meaning that you’ll get fewer shots phers should be shooting in RAW. The re- merit: “eye” as eyesore!
tracted in Korean and then re- and general miscommunica- the equivalent of a digital negative, and on your memory card. You can compress sult means much higher-quality images Yet the word also has a vener-
exported in their new short- tion. was developed for DSLR cameras. your RAW files to reduce their size. Some and greater flexibility when editing pho- able history and is beloved by
ened form. Sometimes these As teachers, we can help our RAW is clearly superior to JPG. RAW is people say that this reduces the quality, tos. However, don’t switch to RAW be- poets. Consider W.B. Yeats’ eye-
words are easy to decipher, students to avoid these mis- lossless, which means that image quality but there’s no definitive evidence yet. I cause someone said so. If you’re a casual able poem “A Drinking Song:”
such as air-con or remo-con, takes by building awareness of is not lost due to compression. RAW files compress my RAW files, and have never photographer and don’t do much editing, Wine comes in at the mouth
but other times it will be diffi- the correct English forms and also retain all of the shooting data from noticed any problems as a result. then JPG may be for you. And love comes in at the eye;
cult to guess the correct mean- usage. Learners will need mul- when you took the photo. This informa- Also, RAW is a specialized file type. Happy shooting. That’s all we shall know for
ing — pine juice pineapple. tiple exposures to the proper tion is called EXIF data. It includes focal Windows XP doesn’t natively handle truth
There are Konglish exam- form before using it correctly in length, aperture, white balance, focal RAW files. So, to view these files, you Before we grow old and die.
ples that do not really fit into natural speech, so do not give point, a full histogram of your image, and need to download a RAW viewer, or use Send David a message at david- I lift the glass to my mouth,
any of these categories. The up when they continue to make other useful statistics. photographic workflow programs that or visit his website at I look at you, and I sigh.
most common type of these are the same mistakes. One of the biggest advantages is that have RAW codecs, such as Adobe Bridge, If you want to be Continued on Page 19
the combination of new words many settings, such as white balance, can Lightroom, Gimp or other specialized a part of the weekly Photo Challenge, join
with English words incorrectly. actually be changed in post-processing. photo-handling software. One way the “Seoul Photo Club” group at flickr
For example, a Macgyver knife Sean Smith teaches English RAW also has advantages during editing, around this is to shoot RAW and JPG to- ( and Jeffery can be reached through
is actually a Swiss Army Knife; at Hanyang University and since the file quality is much higher. Lossy gether. You can review the JPG images, for more information see Seoul Photo Club his blog Gypsy Scholar at
a sharp is a mechanical pencil; may be contacted via his web- file types, like JPG, suffer from artifacts then use the RAW files for editing. The on Facebook. — Ed.
and a one-piece is a dress. site — Ed. — Ed.