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You will provide a sociolinguistic profile of yourself and a parallel profile of an interviewee from a different language and/or cultural background. Your interviewee may be one of your classmates, a friend, family member or workmate.

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Korean and Australian languages sociolinguistic profile

Korean and Australian languages sociolinguistic profile

  1. Personal Sociolinguistic Background

Sociolinguistic Korean and Australian have considerable differences, I speak Korean which is a language rooted in different cultural ideologies. Speaking Korean affects my pronunciation when speaking in English due to many differences in sentence structure, verbs and grammar use among others. My Australian classmate sometimes hardly understands when I speak in English. My Korean sociolinguistic background evidences regional differences characterized by different native language. The Korean Hierarchical relationships also affect my language based on factors such as age, status, and power among others particularly in different grammar areas and the use of honorifics. Korean has numerous honorifics nouns, verbs, and adjectives allocated to superiors and elders.

Additionally, I often employ effusive expressions through the practice of exaggeration in reference to a modest situation using hyperbole. I am cultured in my language to appreciate in excesses. Most of my statement may appear confusing to my Australian classmate since they contain passive voice constructions that may be misperceived or appear like false information. Most of the times my Korean language makes it difficult to convey the adequate degree of assertiveness in dealing with my Australian classmate.

  1. Australian Classmate Sociolinguistic background

  1. What are the main features in Australian English that make it different from Korean?

English language has a number of linguistic features that are different from Korean; they include the English consonants, pronunciation differences that mark regional variations, usage of vocabularies, alphabets, and article use among other linguistic features (Pieper, 2011).

  1. What are the challenges that arise from these differences?

The English consonants are challenging, in English we stress syllable vowels which are not there in Korean. The differences in vowel system for instance are notable in the length of the vowels which varies and are applicable in stresses syllable in Australian English.

  1. Does the Australian accent affect you in any way?

My Australian accent is quickly recognizable and is stereotypical to Australians; I use British English which has distinctive features such as uttering sentences with increasing intonation making it sound like questions. In addition, my Australian accent can be described as a blend of accents and differs in features such as grammar, accent, vocabulary, pronunciation, and spelling (Pieper, 2011).

  1. Do you think speaking English affects your ability to communicate with others effectively?

Clearly, it is does because Australians unlike other people we do not have a culture which affects most people sociolinguistically like Koreans becoming part of their language and communication in general.

Therefore, As Koreans, we have certain cultural characteristics and we share cultural values that include high collectivism, high power distance, and increased face concerns which impact on our language. Some common differences between English and Korean are manifest in;

  • Differences in the vowel system seen in the vowel length with variations.

  • Differences in consonant system, some consonants are voiced while others are unvoiced.

  • The speaking pace is varied

  • Intonations and pitch also vary considerably

  • Differences in word order in a sentence; in English the subject is followed by a verb and then the object while in Korean the order is subject, verb, object, and verb. Therefore, the verb has to be placed at the end of a sentence when one is speaking in Korean.

  • Korean has subject and object markers while English does not have.

  • Korean lacks articles that specify grammatical definiteness when describing nouns which are prevalently used in English.

  1. Specific Linguistic Features

Being a Korean speaker is therefore significantly different from being an English speaker which has roots to almost each of the European languages. The primary difference is my writing of Korean and English is critical because the two languages totally have varied alphabets. In Australian English has been adapted and leveled giving Australians a particular dialect and can be historically traced from the European settlers. English speakers use prepositions as opposed to us who use postpositions which are suffixes used in their grammar immediately after noun. Additionally, my classmate applies articles such as the, an, and a that are also commonly used in English while my grammar lacks articles and I often confuse how the articles are applicable in English (Brown & Yeon, 2015). Apart from using the Korean language to communicate, it is also used to depict some behaviors such as a sign of respect unlike in English. Koreans believe in Confucianism and Buddhism among others connected to their traditional culture. Australian does not have a culture and have nothing unique to themselves unlike most nations globally who are attached to some cultural group.

  1. Causes of the Differences

My Korean language shares specific linguistic features with my classmates Australian and its linguistic affiliation has been explained by several theories (Wardhaugh, 2006). However, the long history of the encounter with the Chinese and Japanese languages makes it difficult to establish Korean’s linguistic affiliation. Korean language is distinguished from other languages such as English by specific linguistic features manifest in pronunciations due to regional differences and the usage of vocabularies in relation to ones background and dialect.

We have two dialects of the Korean Language, the Phyong’yang in Northern Korea and the Seoul in Southern Korea. Han’gul is the contemporary Korean writing system which is linked to the Korean culture (Pieper, 2011). The Korean verbs bear different forms to express equality, inferiority, or superiority in status of a particular speaker. Pronunciation issues are therefore evident are a major issue because the English language has some sounds that are not existent in Korean. The sounds greatly affect Koreans because they substitute them with other similar sounds.

Korean language consists of three primary vowel symbols of the alphabet representing the heaven, earth, and man. When these three symbols are combined they create the different vowel sounds constituting the Korean language inventory. There are five primary consonant shapes representing the shapes of the various speech organs when developing the sounds. They include the alveolar, bilabial, dental, velar, and glottal consonants. The Korean language is therefore formed through the variation of all these shapes representing different consonants. when consonants and vowels are combined in a left to right and top to bottom method, syllable blocks are created. Every separate block is a representation of a specific syllable and may sometimes a particular morpheme. Syllable blocks further forms lexical and morpheme items when combined.

The main differences that exist between English and Korean languages are in morphology or the structure of words and sentence structure. Hangul which is Korean alphabet consist of 14 consonants and 6 vowels that are described as simple. Phonologically, Korean language does not place a lot of importance in word stress, radically; this is different from Australian English. In addition, numerous English consonant sounds are non existent in Korean language. For instance English employs a strict order in sentence structure that comprises of subject-verb-object unlike Korean which uses subject-object-verb.

There are some differences in grammar as seen in verb and tense, Korean language successively adds the social link between the speaker and listener at the end of the verb. On the other hand, in English, there is wide use of auxiliaries. Additionally, adjectives in Korean also serve as verbs and are used to indicate tense. In some cases, nouns are also used as describing words or adjectives.

  1. Significance of the differences in Communication

Therefore, the differences in Korean and English language are very important in communication and this is noticeable and can potentially interfere with communication due to cultural and background influences. The hierarchical nature in Korean culture and language necessitates them to think in a status conscious approach and so is their communications. Australians on the other hand embrace equality and this is reflected in their communication without hierarchical thinking. Other communication differences in the two languages can also be attributed to age whereby communication age superiority plays a big role in communication and addressing others. Finally, while gender has very little impact on language use in Australia, gender in Korea greatly influences language use and tone and conveys particular meaning (Suh, Kyung-Hee, 2010). These differences can be attributed to regional differentiation and therefore different currents that affect language and communication in general. The different native languages also influence grammar, sentence structure including direct translation.

My Korean sociolinguistic background and my classmates English have considerable differences and some similarities that are unique in many aspects. These differences are different in pronunciations, sentence structure, grammar, use of articles, and intonations among others. Indeed, the differences also make communications in Korean and English vary considerably and may potentially interfere with it when used with little regard to these variations.


In Brown, L., & In Yeon, J. (2015). The Handbook of Korean linguistics.

Pieper, D. (2011). Han’gul for the Nation, the Nation for Han’gul: The Korean Language Movement, 19894-1945. Retrieved from http://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1449&context=etd

Suh, Kyung-Hee. (2010). A Contrastive Study of Compliment Responses of Korean, Chinese and English Speakers. Retrieved from http://builder.hufs.ac.kr/user/ibas/download/22_05.PDF

Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Retrieved from http://home.lu.lv/~pva/Sociolingvistika/1006648_82038_wardhaugh_r_an_introduction_t o_sociolinguistics.pdf