Terminology and language

Kacey

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How much of your instruction is in English? How much in Korean? If any is in Korean, how much Korean do you expect your students to know? How do you decide how much - if any - Korean to use when instructing?

My students learn tul names, how to count to ten, the Korean terms for the Tenets, basic technique names, and basic commands. This originally came from preparing students for all levels of competition - if you compete in a country where you don't know the language, but the commands are given in the language of the art, you can still compete and know what you are being told to do.

More recently, for me at least, I find that using Korean terminology forces my students to pay attention - the Korean doesn't come as easily as the English - and helps set the time of class apart from the rest of the day. I just have to be careful because one of my students is from Korea... I asked him to help me with my pronunciation, but then he (as a white belt) started yelling out corrections in class... :lol: Now I just ask him if I'm not sure, and if I was wrong during class he tells me later when it won't disrupt the class.
 

terryl965

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I'm with you Kacey all the basic, but in our mid to upper belts we tend to try to use as much as possible. The problem I have is punctuation, it is always wrong.
 

bluemtn

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We learned to count to 10, and some basic commands/ terminology.
 

aplonis

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I much prefer to use English for just about everything except the proper names of form sets. That is how I myself think of them.

And why not? What after all did those who transported arts from country to country do in the Orient itself? The very first thing they themselves did was develop their own terminology for the bulk of everything. Those who brought MA to Korea from Okinawa and Japan did not insist on Japanese-language terminology, now did they?

Okinawa once had their own language distinct from that of mainland Japan. But very few speak it there nowadays, I have read. How many terms for this 1,500 year old art are in that ancient dialect I could not say. But I expect they speak mostly modernesqe Japanese in those dojos. I quite remember that is what they did in the bars when I was there in the 70's.

Whatever arts came to Japan from China, these I would wager use Japanese pronounciations if not translations in those dojos in Japan. For a fact they use Japanese terms to discuss Buddhist doctrine, even Buddhist deities imported from China.

So looked at one way, using mostly native language is entirely in keeping with tradition. It is doing just exactly what they themselves did at home in the Orient. Here the native language is English. It isn't a cultural imperitive that we use it for everything, it's just natural to do so. We cannot say these arts are our own until we do so. And until we make these arts our own we are not following in the examples set by those countries from which we originally borrowed them. We are only borrowing still until we do so.

Or perhaps we could all agree to officialize terms in Esperanto. I'd be cool with that since I am fluent therein. But it would be equally impractical for the majority. Better I think is to be always simply adopting whatever native language that school/studio/dojang/dojo happens to find itself in. That is what the originators did, after all, is it not?
 

IcemanSK

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I tend to lean toward English, but I really do like more Korean. Not a lot, but I'd like to use the kicks & blocks in Korean. I think I don't simply because I tend to confuse m students with the English terms I use as it is. For example: I use the term "front stance" but my GM uses the term "square stance" for the same technique. I don't want to confuse them further by adding the Korean term as well.

I learned correct pronounication from my 1st instructor (a Korean) & from Korean friends, but I confuse students at my friend's school where he & his daughter say Korean words with California accents.
 

Laurentkd

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I tend to lean toward English, but I really do like more Korean. Not a lot, but I'd like to use the kicks & blocks in Korean. I think I don't simply because I tend to confuse m students with the English terms I use as it is. For example: I use the term "front stance" but my GM uses the term "square stance" for the same technique. I don't want to confuse them further by adding the Korean term as well.

I learned correct pronounication from my 1st instructor (a Korean) & from Korean friends, but I confuse students at my friend's school where he & his daughter say Korean words with California accents.

haha! I would like to hear Korean with a California accent!
Part of why my instructor does teach the korean for kicks, blocks,etc (especially to black belts) is so that when our Grandmaster (or any other visiting korean) comes in to teach a seminar or class they can use the korean term so we don't have issues with "front stance" "long stance" "forward stance" "square stance" etc. It doesn't solve all the language barrier issues, but it helps. And it shows we are trying which I think is cool in and of itself.
 

FearlessFreep

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haha! I would like to hear Korean with a California accent!

When I was in DC I used to go to a dojang where it was pretty much all Korean and then after practice go to a supermarket with all Spanish and I joked "Great, I'm speaking Spanish with a Korean accent"
 

terryl965

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haha! I would like to hear Korean with a California accent!

When I was in DC I used to go to a dojang where it was pretty much all Korean and then after practice go to a supermarket with all Spanish and I joked "Great, I'm speaking Spanish with a Korean accent"

I do that now, but the worst is going into the Asian market and saying something wrong and they look at you like you are a fool.
 

Xue Sheng

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When I took TKD all of the counting and much of the terminology was in Korean but I never thought anything of it and kind of expected it since that is where my teacher was from.
 

IcemanSK

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haha! I would like to hear Korean with a California accent!

The instructor's daughter (19) had never really heard correct pronounciation of Korean before. They did have a Korean student who's father said, "you say everything funny, but I know what you're trying to say."

Even tho I was there last weekend, I can't think of an example. I do remember the numbers sounded a bit off.:supcool:
 

jim777

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We use Korean for some things, but you can tell it's off in spots fairly easily (I'm just not the type to assume to correct an instructor ;) ). For example, the command to turn around or switch sides (from left front sdtance to right front stance) is listed in Jhoon Rhee's books and other places as "duiro dora", but in our class it is pronounced as "bo-ka-tay". Another would be the return to chunbi command at the end of a hyung, which again in Jhoon Rhee's books is "goman", but in our class is pronounced as "parole" (as in "out on" ;) ).

I think an issue like this arises when you learn the Korean your instructor taught you, but who knows where he learned and if he or she got it correct? Over time you end up with shouted sounds that bear little resemblanmce to actual words in any language but still hold power in your dojang. Those words are more Dojangese than Korean, really. I think we speak Dojangese :D

jim
 

igillman

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We count up to 10 in Korean, we use Korean names for the form and we use Korean names for the kicks and punches. If there are any White or Yellow belts in the class then we repeat the names in English. We also use Korean words for attention, start, stop and other basic commands.

FearlessFreap - If you think you have hassles with accents try this one...
I am English living in the U.S. and I spent 7 years in Texas. I think my Korean sounds "strange" to almost anyone especially since I am not spectacular with lanuguages. I learned Russian many years ago and whenever I think of something non-english I think of the Russian for it first. There is nothing more interesting than seeing the look on someones face when you say something in a mixture of Russian and Korean with an English accent and a slight Texas twang in Illinois :confused:
 

YoungMan

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I use primarily English when teaching, except for the basic commands (attention, bow, ready, turn around, form names).
If I am teaching a Korean student (one of my former students has several Koreans in his class), I will use Korean technique names if it helps them understand.
 
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Kacey

Kacey

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We use Korean for some things, but you can tell it's off in spots fairly easily (I'm just not the type to assume to correct an instructor ;) ). For example, the command to turn around or switch sides (from left front sdtance to right front stance) is listed in Jhoon Rhee's books and other places as "duiro dora", but in our class it is pronounced as "bo-ka-tay". Another would be the return to chunbi command at the end of a hyung, which again in Jhoon Rhee's books is "goman", but in our class is pronounced as "parole" (as in "out on" ;) ).

I think an issue like this arises when you learn the Korean your instructor taught you, but who knows where he learned and if he or she got it correct? Over time you end up with shouted sounds that bear little resemblanmce to actual words in any language but still hold power in your dojang. Those words are more Dojangese than Korean, really. I think we speak Dojangese :D

jim

Some are correct. I don't know about "bo-ka-tay", although I'll try to ask my student who is from Korea about it - although the reference book I use (A Martial Artist's Guide to Korean Terms) lists pang-hyang pa-kku-gi (which would be pretty close in terms of pronunciation) as "change direction", so that's a possibility.

Goman = stop
Paro = return (as in, return to the chun-bi, or ready stance, that you started in)

Paro is the command we always use at the end of a tul.
 

jim777

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Some are correct. I don't know about "bo-ka-tay", although I'll try to ask my student who is from Korea about it - although the reference book I use (A Martial Artist's Guide to Korean Terms) lists pang-hyang pa-kku-gi (which would be pretty close in terms of pronunciation) as "change direction", so that's a possibility.

Goman = stop
Paro = return (as in, return to the chun-bi, or ready stance, that you started in)

Paro is the command we always use at the end of a tul.

Cool, thanks Kasey :)
 

HelloKitty

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How much of your instruction is in English? How much in Korean? If any is in Korean, how much Korean do you expect your students to know? How do you decide how much - if any - Korean to use when instructing?
.

In my 1st school all the class, even the orders to move, to change guard, etc was in korean. All the kicks, the blocks. Except for some specific orders time to time.

In the two school I've been here in the US, the classes have been in english except when we count to 10 (in korean)...
 

TKDJUDO

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One of the masters at my school came from Korea about 3 years ago, and her english isn't really perfect. We usually count in korean, and she expresses the kicks in korean (i.e. Front Kick = Ap Chagi)

Other than that, we usually talk in English
 

LongTao2

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Seems that most of my training has been in the vernacular. Though ritual and other cutoms have been taught in Korean. Unless a particular Master is looking to strain our brains.:)
 

britcanbulldogtkd

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i like to use the Korean when possible the difficulty is that the students find it tough to understand my english because its english english not North american english if that makes sense So at times this causes great amusement
 
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