Not-So-Subtle Asian Trait: Here’s How Koreans Unintentionally Offend Foreigners All The Time

“If you’re coming here for the first time, get ready…”

In a recent video, popular YouTubers The World of Dave and Korean Englishman Josh + Ollie discussed the “Shocking Korean Cultures and Customs for New Foreigners in Korea”.


For all three YouTubers, the Korean tendency to be direct in speech has been the most shocking. Dave commented that Koreans are extremely “verbal” in their opinions and will say what comes to their minds even when it comes to a person’s appearance — which is considered rude and discouraged in the US and the UK.

I haven’t seen them for 4 months… ‘Dave, how’ve you been? You’ve gained so much weight!’ I’ll be like…???

— Dave


Josh agreed and warned the newbies visiting Korea for the first time to be ready to hear all kinds of commentary — not only about their looks, but “all sorts of things” really.

If you’re coming here for the first time, get ready for people to tell you all sorts of things. If you have a spot on your face, they’ll be like ‘Oh you’ve got some trouble!’

— Josh


Dave, Josh, and Ollie did realize though, that these comments aren’t meant to carry any offense at all. This is true; For Koreans, more often than not, these comments stem from pure affection for the other person. It comes from interest, attention, and of course, care.

I learned very early on in Korea that people don’t take offense from it. So you shouldn’t be offended. It’s not meant in an offending way.

— Ollie


So the next time a Korean person calls out that pimple, or casually drops the weight talk, hold for a moment before taking offense. As rude as it can come off to be at first, there is a high chance that it is actually friendliness in disguise!

Watch the full video here: