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The Language of Hallyu: More than Polite

Publisher: , 2023
Link to online store *

The Language of Hallyu will re-examine the language of the Korean Wave by looking at popular K-content. In doing so, it will expose the meanings that get lost in translation, hidden under subtitles.

Over the past decade, hallyu (the Korean wave) has exploded in popularity around the globe. K-films, K-drama, and K-pop were once small subcultures, known mostly by Korea’s East and Southeast Asian neighbours and Korean diaspora. Now, K-content has entered the international mainstream. Consequently, interest in Korean language has grown, while interest in language learning in general has decreased. Many textbooks emphasise that Korean is a ‘polite’ language, but this book will highlight that this is not the case.

The Language of Hallyu examines popular K-content, including Parasite (2019), Minari (2020), Squid Game (2021), and Pachinko (2022). The author introduces language stylistics to explain how Koreans style their language to suit every occasion. She argues that they do this via a process of visual scanning and social tuning, whereby visual clues are assessed in tangent with an individual’s sociocultural awareness. The author concludes by highlighting the danger of the jondaemal/banmal (polite/casual speech) divide, demonstrating that Korean language is so much more than polite.

This book will be of interest to students and researchers in Korean language and culture, particularly those interested in linguistics and pragmatics.

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.