Hello! My name is Young, and I am your tutor!. Today, I’d like to answer the question “In Korea why do you have so many informal and formal ways of saying things?”
Hmm.. in order you to know this, we need to know some history about Korea.
From ancient times, Korea was called as 동방예의지국 meaning ‘the country of courteous people in the east’. Basically, Koreans regards ‘etiquette’ so much from long time ago. So thats why our language was influenced by that culture. You’re supposed to use 존댓말(which is formal speech) to older people or any strangers to show politness. And you can use 반말(which is informal speech) to friends or people you already know and feel comfortable, but it also depends on ages too. I use 반말 to my sister who is 11 years older than me. So in this case, ages dont matter but the relationship. and if you have friends who are a bit older than you, you can use 반말 too. it just depends on how close you are to that person.
Depending on the people, in some case, you must use 존댓말 for a person who is just a year older than you.. Its a little bit weird, right? And I can argue that this 반말 and 존댓말culture should be awared more. What I mean is. some people have this perception that it is extremely not polite to use informal speech to older people, but older people can use informal speech to younger people. But I think we must use formal speech no matter the age of an individual! even when older people talk to children. What do you think about it? Thanks for watching this video, and if you want to learn more with me please book the lesson! See you then!