Eri Yoshiyama



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Common English Grammar Mistakes in Korean and Japanese

by

Eri Yoshiyama

Research paper submitted to the
Department of Foreign Languages
of Kumamoto Gakuen University
in part fulfilment of the requirements
for the degree of
Bachelor of Arts
In

English
This research paper consists of approximately 1270 words


Supervisor: Judy Yoneoka

Kumamoto Gakuen University



ABSTRACT

Korean and Japanese are very similar in grammar style, and they show their

characteristics in English. For example, the pronunciation of their English is very different. But they have similar mistakes in their English grammar. This research paper is going to explain some similar problems of their English grammar. The usage of definite article and indefinite article, tense, plural and singular, copula verb “be”, mixing of country name and language name are common mistakes of their English grammar, will be analyzed using the results of texts and interviews.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1

CHAPTER 2  COMMON MISTAKES IN BOTH KOREAN AND JAPANESE ENGLISH 1
2.1. Usage of definite and indefinite articles 2

2.2 Tense (mistakes of present tense and past tense) 3

2.3. Mistakes of plural and singular 3

2.4. Mistakes of Copula verb "be" 4

2.5. Mixing of country name and language name 5
CHAPTER 3 INTERVIEW                        

3.1. Interview methods

3.2. Results                           6
CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY


CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION                   

In many countries, a lot of people learn English as a foreign language, and people are use it when they do business with foreigners, or when they use the Internet, or when they travel to other countries and so on. When we talk or communicate with people from other countries we often use English as a communication language, because it's one of the international language that most useful language in the world.


But each country has it's own style of English, with it's own characteristics. Korea and Japan are both EFL countries and they have very similar grammar style, so they have similar mistakes of English grammar.

The grammar of Korean is very similar to that of Japanesebut it is different from that of English. The word order of both Korean and Japanese is quite different from English. For this reason the speakers of both countries have a lot of similar problems in English grammar: According to the  Yoneoka and Arimoto (2000) Englishs of the World,

'Choice of preposition, usage of definite article and indefinite article are mostly different from standard English.

CHAPTER 2

COMMON MISTAKES IN BOTH KOREAN AND JAPANESE ENGLISH

In these examples, (Yonaoka and Arimoto 2000 Englishs of the World) Speaker 1 is Korean who studied in university and Speaker 2 is Japanese who teaches Japanese to foreign students in university.

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2.1. Usage of definite and indefinite articles

Speaker 1 omits the definite article and indefinite article but speaker 2 adds articles.

A lot of Korean and Japanese people mistake usage of definite article and indefinite article. Reasons for these mistakes are Korean and Japanese have no definite article and indefinite article in both language. So they confuse how to use these articles.
  (Speaker 1-Korean)

Missing of indefinite article ‘a’ and definite article ‘the’



  •   English is (+a) important language in Korea, because when we get a job, we need it.




  • Um, (+the) international atmosphere in my dormitory.




  •   I'm (+a) university student (-s) and 25 years old.


Speaker-Japanese

Adding of indefinite article ‘a’ and ‘an’



  • I like, aa, Chinese food or (-an) other countries' food better than Japanese food.




  •   My name is Hisako, and my work is teaching Japanese to (-a) foreign student(+s).

2
2.2. Tense (mistakes of present tense and past tense)

Speakers 1 and 2 both mistake past form and present form in the examples below.

(Speaker 1- Korean)


  • My native language is Korean, and I start(+ed) to learn English in middle school when I was 13 years old.

(Speaker 2-Japanese)




  • No, I don't think so...by the name of working they said (=say).






2.3. Mistakes of plural and singular

There are no plural and singular forms in Korean and Japanese grammar. So speakers of both languages are not used to use plural and singular forms. For this reason, they mistake plural and singular forms easily.


(Speaker 1-Korean)

  • I'm (+a) university student (-s) and 25 years old.

3

(Speaker 2 -Japanese)



  • My name is Hisako, and my work is teaching Japanese to (-a) foreign student(+s).




  • Today, especially in the countryside, I think nn, the situation is not so bad compared with other developed country (=countries), but still nn, the cityside we have very small apartment(+s), small room(+s).




  • Nu...they use a lot of slang(-s) and sometimes bad words and very short sentence(+s), so they can’t understand what the Japanese students said (=say).




  • My name is Hisako, and my work is teaching Japanese to (-a) foreign student(+s).


2.4. Mistakes of Copula verb "be"

(Speaker 1-Korean)



  • This is typical for people in Korea because it (=it’s) compulsory education.




  • Also, Korean and Japanese is language is (=are) very similar.

(Speaker 2-Japanese)



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  • And when I started to study English, my text book is (=was) all British English, but when I was (+a) senior high school student, gradually the English changed... uh, into American English.


2.5. Misses of country name and language name

Speakers may not understand well the differences of noun and adjective form of country name.

(Speaker 1-Korean)


  • America and England and Brazil and Chinese (=China) and Japan.

Mistake of noun and adjective form of country


  • (-So) we studied American English, because America(-n) is close to Korea in culture and industry.

(Speaker 2-Japanese)



  • Especially the Asian (-country) people can’t stand any more to eat Japanese...every (=all) other Asian countries: Bangladesh, Korean (=Korea), Chinese (=China), Myanmar, Vietnamese (=Vietnam), Thai (=Thailand), ...they’re not satisfied with the Japanese food.

Judy Y., Jun A. (2000), Englishs of the World

5

CHAPTER 3 INTERVIEW


3.1. Interview methods

I interviewed two Korean students, student A and B, to find some common mistakes in their English grammar, by asking some questions in

5

English. They answered orally in English. The questions asked were:



1. How long did you study English?

2. What kind of English did you study?

3. What kind of English class did you have?

4. Do you want to improve your English?

5. How do you want to improve your English?

6. Why do you want to study in America?



3.2. Results


There are some common mistakes in their answers for these questions as same as chapter2. They are:
Mistakes of definite article and indefinite article (=2.1.)

(Student A)

Read (-a) book or learn (-the) vocabulary.

6

Mistake of past tense form and mistakes of plural form (2.2. and 2.3.)

(Student A)

I study(+ed)English for six year(+s).


---NOTE--

Another interesting point from this interview was the answers of student A and B to question 5:


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(Student A) I wanna study abroad, in America.

(Student B) I want (+to) study in America.
There are two different answers for this question. In first answer, 'wanna' is not a mistake but this is an informal expression of American English. This could be said influence of American English.


CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION


As a result from analyzing the book and interview, we can find a lot of common mistakes in English grammar in Korean and Japanese. The most common mistakes of English grammar between Korean people and Japanese people are usage of definite article and indefinite article.

Not only them, but also other mistakes are related with grammar of both

7

languages, and the grammatical similarity of both languages causes similar mistakes in English grammar, as we saw in the chapter two and three. These mistakes are very difficult for Korean people and Japanese people to notice by themselves.



Shim suggests that grammartical "mistakes" may be more properly viewed as nativizations of English into Korean English.

.

Some other nativizations of English are noticed when English verb loanwords that are used as a nouns in Korea are simply transferred into an English sentence as a noun (e.g.,‘ to make a propose’ means ‘ to propose’) For now, these innovations and nativizations are considered to be 7



pragmatically incorrect or grammatically unacceptable. However, as more and more Korean used English for communication purpose, these expressions may become stabilized as long as they are understood by other speakers of English.
This opinion is important not only in the future of Korean English, but also Japanese English and other Englishes of the world.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Judy, Y., and Jun,A. (2000) Englishes of the World., Tokyo, Sanshusha


Shim Rosa Jinyoung,(1999) Codified Korean English: process, characteristics and consequence., in World Englishes Vol.18 No.2

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