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Seoul

Seoul, South Korea
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when a pronunciation lesson goes awry...or is that 'a lie?' Seoul  South Korea

when a pronunciation lesson goes awry...or is that 'a lie?'

While down in the Seoul subway, this stopped me in my tracks: an advertisement-in-the-form-of-a-pronunciation-lesson. Look carefully in the bottom right of the image--yep, this is for the American car company, Chevrolet. Now look at the phonetic transcription underneath each Korean syllable: "sheh--voh--reh." HA!

Mimics and comedians get endless mileage (sometimes funny, sometimes racist) out of East Asians' L/R confusion when speaking English. It's not that Koreans and Japanese can't pronounce the different sounds for 'L' and 'R;' it's just that linguistically, those sounds are somewhat 'interchangeable' in those languages...(Thus, 'ramen' morphs occasionally into 'lah-men.')

If you're going to drive one of these imported cars in Korea, I'd say stick with "Chevy."