English for international communication

After watching many amateur travel videos, mainly of South Korea but some of other countries, I found a series of hiking videos by a South Korean tv station. The difference in production values is immediately apparent: the amateur videos range from almost unwatchable to almost professional, but the professional videos are just in another league.

Most of them are of destinations in South Korea, and all of the talking is in Korean (which I don’t understand enough of). But one is of the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne. The South Korean tourist/hiker met a local guide and they spoke together in English. And another is of Croatia. Two other South Korean tourists/hikers met a local guide and they spoke together in Croatian.

Um, no. They spoke English. I guess that the number of Koreans who speak Croatian and the number of Croatians who speak Korean is very close to not many.


5 thoughts on “English for international communication

  1. Yes, lingua franca. One time this didn’t happen to me was in Hungary in the 90s, when/where many shopkeepers spoke German and not English. I suspect things have changed since then.


  2. My best effort in German was saying Danke schön to the woman taking donations outside the restrooms in a motorway roadhouse. She replied in full German. I said “Sorry, I don’t speak German”. She said “Oh, your German in so good I think you speak German”. I don’t think saying “Thank you” in any language is a fair test of one’s ability in that language.


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