Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lost in Korea and Need an English Speaker? 

If you need to ask help from a stranger, ask a young adult.

The English boom in Korea is relatively new. While a very small percentage of the older generation can speak some English, the vast majority can’t speak a word.  They will often smile and laugh while trying to help and mime their sentences to you.  However, if you are in more of a rush, or really need assistance now, it is better to go younger.   A lot of University students or young adults can speak at least basic English and will usually be more than willing to help you.  Actually even if you look lost, a younger Korean will probably ask you if you need help.  A lot of Koreans will take the opportunity to help you in order just to practice their English skills, a win-win situation.  Everyone in Korea takes English classes these days starting from elementary school normally.  Many also attend after school programs for more extensive English studies (the hakwons where many of you will end up teaching at if you go to Korea).

I was in my friend’s city, about 4 hours from mine when I was attempting to take the bus home. In my city they have the schedule in English as well as Korean, but that wasn’t the case here. I could not read Korean at this time, and therefore could not find when my bus was scheduled to leave, and did not know how to ask. Luckily for me, as I was staring at the schedule (probably with a confused, or perplexed look on my face), a random Korean guy asked me if I needed help. I told him where I was going and he showed me the schedule and even helped me buy my ticket!  Again, “thanks man! Appreciated.”

Post Credit: Mitch Benvie