The Korea Herald

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[Land of Squid Game] Refusing gently

By Korea Herald

Published : March 14, 2023 - 13:18

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Koreans don't like to say “no” directly because they don't want to hurt the other person's feelings. They might give out some non-verbal cues to convey their refusal or disagreement. To avoid confrontation or rudeness, Korean conversations, as you might have seen in many K-dramas, are full of “Maybe...”, “I think it's possible that…” However, some foreigners who are accustomed to hearing a “no” that means “no” might be confused. They will likely want to hear clear, direct and factual statements.

Min Byoung-chul is an endowed chair professor at Chung-Ang University's Business School who is widely known as a multicultural educator and for his practical English teaching. This content is based on his book, “Land of Squid Game,” which can be purchased at major book stores. -- Ed.