Well the Korea Times decided to publish my editorial, but changed the title to “Long-Term Need for English”

So, the original editorial I wrote in the post https://therealsouthkorea.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/a-better-solution-to-the-long-term-need-for-english/ is now published and public. It’s at this address: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2007/09/137_9355.html

**warning: this url appears to change constantly & so you may need to just google “Long-Term Need for English” to find this, if interested. Also, it’s a little long winded…so not sure if you really want to find this. 😉

Funny thing…I already have two responses to the editorial. The first is as follows from Gerard Light who appears to be a lover of the Japanese diaspora. He writes….

“Dear Mr. Brandon,

having read your article with a big smile, I just have to inform you that Rep of Korea is (now 13th) largest economy in the World. Furthermore the size of an economy has nothing to do with the area (size) of the country.
With regard to the population, Rep of Korea is a relatively developed nation whereas many countries with larger populations
are still in their infancy regarding economic development. ie. Pakistan, Nigeria to name a couple.

Your notion that South Korea will somehow pass Japan, economically or in any other way in the next ten years or at any time in the future is absolutely absurd, and shows naivety of the highest level. South Korea will never beat the standard of living Japan enjoys!

South korea is at the end of the day an unattractive country to visit. There is very little to see, English is not widely spoken
and why would I want to come to korea? When I could visit China or Japan?

If Koreans don’t learn to speak English properly in the next 5 to 10 years I am afraid they will lose out to their neighbours, which they are already doing. The World doesn’t need South korea for anything in particular or is there something Korea has that we all should have and don’t have already?

Gerard Light”

Thanks Gerard. I appreciate your comments, but I didn’t say Korea “will” surpass Japan. Plus, I admire the Japanese actually more than the Koreans in a lot of ways. I’m writing about Korea because I’m in Korea and know this society better than Japan. I have many GREAT Japanese friends, but honestly, the Japanese, in general don’t like the Koreans for reasons I can sometimes understand, but unfortunately, it would take a long time for them to accept me. Thus, my lack of understanding their culture or desire to learn more beyond what I know. At the same time, my good friends and I are going to create a version of the Korpedia.info website for the Japanese & hopefully, I’ll become as enlightened as you appear to be. 🙂

Also, I’m sorry that the article was titled something else. It may have made it appear different from my intentions. I wanted to just say instead of sending kids abroad, how about making the country a little more English friendly. That’s all…you seem to write as if I was making some bigger claim or set of claims. I just made a point of saying we need more “English friendly websites…” Not a big deal nor something that you seem to be very passionate about replying to and arguing otherwise. Entertaining, to say the least…

3 Comments

Filed under My writings, Random thoughts

3 responses to “Well the Korea Times decided to publish my editorial, but changed the title to “Long-Term Need for English”

  1. Oh, just to add…since it seems people are taking everything I say out of context, but I love Korea. I love Korea more than anything else…even with it’s faults. I like the Japanese and I like actually almost all cultures in one way or another. However, I like Korea more because I’m Korean by blood…it’s a little obvious that I do, don’t you think? However, I still try to stay objective about any culture.

  2. Alexis

    Gerard, what kind of research is suppose to convince anyone of what you posted?

    I’m an Economics major at UCLA and my entire class and several professors would have to disagree with you. Before any “One of the must be Korean! Propaganda!” fires out, none of them are.

    “Your notion that South Korea will somehow pass Japan, economically or in any other way in the next ten years or at any time in the future is absolutely absurd, and shows naivety of the highest level. South Korea will never beat the standard of living Japan enjoys!”

    Your misspelling of naiveté shows more of your “naivety” than the author’s. You don’t provide any facts or research links to back this up other than the assertion that it is “absurd” South Korea will surpass Japan in a decade, most likely fueled by your love for Japan. While I do agree that a decade is too short of a time for the South Korean economy to surpass that of the Japanese, it is entirely possibly that by 2030, South Korea’s economy will skyrocket and either come close/equal the standard of the Japanese or perhaps even surpass it. The impressive feat of becoming the 12th largest economy in the world within sixty eight years after 30 years of Japanese Occupation, WWII, and the Korean War should not be taken lightly. This astonishing rate (and I emphasize astonishing because there has been no other “third tier country” since S. Korea in modern world history to transition relatively peaceful and quickly from an agrarian to an entirely industrialized society) should be taken into heavy consideration when discussing S. Korea’s future in the 21st century. An analysis report by Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest global investment banks, states that the most recent analysis report by Goldman Sachs in 2007 shows that S. Korea will become the world’s 3rd richest country by 2025 with a GDP per capita of $52,000 and 25 years later, is to surpass all countries in the world except the United States to become the world’s 2nd richest country, with a GDP per capita of $81,000. (http://www.korea.net/news/news/NewsView.asp?serial_no=20051211008&part=104&SearchDay=, http://www.korea.net/news/News/LangView.asp?serial_no=20070126006&lang_no=1&part=104&SearchDay=) The Japanese economy on the other hand has only been experiencing a resurgence as a result of domestic consumption. The high price of the yen to protect local businesses has been backfiring since the economic recession of the 1990s, preventing their current national GDP from rising.

    “South korea is at the end of the day an unattractive country to visit. There is very little to see, English is not widely spoken
    and why would I want to come to korea? When I could visit China or Japan?”

    South Korea is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. I’m not sure where exactly you went but the countryside is incomparable with any other, entirely peaceful and tranquil, intact with a truly unique and ancient culture. It really does justify the Western nickname for the Korean peninsula as the “Land of the Morning Calm.” I recommend you to go during the Autumn because it really is breathtaking then. As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Korea has much to offer. Seoul is an exciting city that really is a blend of the ancient and the modern with great food, shopping, and nightlife. If you want more information, I suggest you open a tourist guide before making blind assumptions. If it’s not your taste after trying it, then by all means you don’t have to appreciate Korean culture. Note also that their tourism industry has been rapidly growing since 2000 as a result of the government’s heavy spending in this sector, and with the continuos rise of heavy foreign investment in S. Korea, tourism will naturally grow as S. Korea establishes a stronger international presence. As for the language barrier, when I visited China and Japan for an East Asia study program, I didn’t encounter a greater number of people who spoke English as well or fluenty than in S. Korea. I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove with the “Koreans don’t speak English” bit but considering that lingua francas change with time, I’m not exactly sure if this is a focal problem in the discussion of expanding economies.

    “If Koreans don’t learn to speak English properly in the next 5 to 10 years I am afraid they will lose out to their neighbours, which they are already doing. The World doesn’t need South korea for anything in particular or is there something Korea has that we all should have and don’t have already?”

    I’ve already discussed Korea’s capability to surpass both China and Japan economically. While logistically China will, one day or another, surpass both Korea and Japan as a result of the mere size of their country, surpassing Japan won’t be a major issue. The language barrier isn’t really a barrier since I’m not sure if English widely spoken fluently in any East Asian country. As for “What can S. Korea provide the world that we don’t already have?”, well couldn’t we say the same thing for any country? What can France provide us that we don’t already have? Or the U.K.? Or China? Or Japan? This question is absurd because in layman’s terms, while the originality of a product may be helpful, it’s the quality that determines whether it will sell.

    I suggest you actually research and become acquainted with economics and perhaps a little bit of history as well before jumping out with bold assertions that have no basis in fact.

  3. Impressive Alexis…simply impressive. Too bad Gerard probably won’t be back here… I’d love it if he did come back to read your comment though. Cheers!

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