Problems in Seoul, Korea book - Page 22

When I try and speak Italian I just cannot say the rolling ‘r-r-r—r’ sound that native Italians pronounce. My wife, on the other hand when speaking English, has problems saying the ‘O’ sound i.e. the difference between ‘pull’ and ‘pool’ or ‘full’ and ‘fool’. She just cannot do it. She understands the technique and where the tongue should be and where in the mouth she should speak from, but she just cannot do it. Koreans so often have a problem with difference between ‘L’ and ‘R’ and the difference between ‘P’ and ‘F’. Potentially ‘Poor’ could become ‘Fool’ for example.’

There can also be confusion with pairs of words such as:

  • erected and elected
  • loyal and royal
  • right and light
  • lace and race

Setting up a bank account can often be problematic in a new country. It was a nice surprise though when it was very easy to set-up a bank account in Korea without any difficulty, despite my lack of Korean. Not only was the account easy to set up, but within 10 minutes I had a With Korean students in Seoulcash card (card to withdraw money from the cash machines) given to me. In America or England, you normally have to wait a week or two for it to be sent in the post. In Seoul I had the card in my hand within minutes. If you go to a bank in Italy you could be waiting several weeks. After six years, yes six years, my wife’s degree certificate is now just ready from her university in Viterbo, Italy. And this is normal. Even crazier in Italy was a situation that happened a few months ago, involving my wife.

While we were staying for a while in Bristol, England, my wife’s Italian bankcard expired. She called her bank in Italy to ask for a new card to be issued and to be sent to her in England. The banks response was that she would need to go in person (face-to-face) to her exact branch in Italy and collect the card. The bank stated that they would not send it to England and they would not consider sending the card to her mother’s house in Italy. This is typical of bureaucracy in Italy, a country where such matters are never easy. Nothing is easy in business in Italy. In contrast, My English bank will issue me a new card and send it to any country in the world.

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