Lee Da Hae Causes More Trouble

Hmm – there’s an interesting debate going on here about how Lee Da Hae‘s appearance on a Korean talk show has sparked controversy and scandal in the Philippines. Lee was asked by the hosts to speak English using various accents, and she did an American one (quite passable), a British one (weird), and a Filipino one. The Filipino one sounds the worst, and it’s because it’s just not a Filipino accent – however, it’s not too far off either. I think I can tell how she wanted it delivered, and yet she opened her mouth too wide and stressed on certain syllables the wrong way that made it bad.

She issued out an apology as well, saying she did not mean to offend her Filipino fans (since East of Eden is currently playing in the Philippines), and that she had meant to do a Southeast Asian accent.

Judge for yourself here. I think that what made the scandal REALLY bad were the reactions written on the screen when it was edited by the station.

So – here’s the kicker: do you think it’s offensive?

I personally don’t know how to feel about it. I will say right off that some Filipinos have bad English accents, especially based on where they’re coming from. Even Filipinos make fun of other Filipinos’ bad accents (and that just shows you the social hierarchy right there, and how much emphasis is placed on having the Manila English accent compared to, say, a Visayan English accent). Lee Da Hae’s Filipino accent is off, but she’s not completely at fault. After all, she’s still Korean, and her Korean accent tinges every other accent she’s mimicking; you could say that her Korean accent just made her Filipino accent worse.

There’s also that whole issue of many Koreans going to the Philippines to learn English. It becomes hypocritical of Koreans to make fun of the Filipino accent when they’re asking to be educated by those same Filipinos. So Korea – you’re pretty much setting up your own standard of English; you’re laughing at Lee Da Hae’s impersonation, and yet I’m sure many of you are learning the same accent from your Filipino English teacher. By choosing Filipinos as your English teachers, that means you also hold their English speaking skills in high regard – so why the mocking comments on the TV screen?

In the end – it’s two Asian countries mocking each other for their English accents, as if there’s a silly competition on who can speak English better. But who’s the judge? French accented English isn’t any better or worse than American accented English. British English isn’t even the dominant English-language used, and the language originated there! So I think that instead of feeling insulted, Filipinos should just point and laugh at Korean accented English too, and mimic them right back.

Here’s a new video challenge: a Filipino speaks English the way a Korean foreign student speaks it.

source: asianfanatics, youtube



14 thoughts on “Lee Da Hae Causes More Trouble

  1. okay…here’s a Filipino living in the Philippines trying to improve my English speaking skills (heck, even my writing needs a lot of improvement)..i find Lee Da Hae’s mimicking of the accent was not offensive at all but the manner the TV show conveyed her mimicry…honestly, i was slightly offended on how they showed it and like you, i find it hypocritical for them to mock our English speaking skills…really Korea? really?…and the proof of Koreans adapting our manner of speaking was Sandara Park…i recently watched 2ne1’s guesting at Win Win wherein she said that her English speaking style is that of Filipinos..so there…

    and for your challenge, i was kinda guilty about it numerous times because many of my classmates in different subjects were Koreans (as they like to populate my university) and kinda mimic their manner of speaking…hehehe

    • i was kinda curious what you were going to say about this… šŸ˜›

      i really don’t think she meant harm by it – i can see why it’s offensive and would cause outrage since it’s not a nice portrayal of Filipinos, but she’s just being earnest… earnestly bad…

      wait, so you mimic their manner of speaking?! LOL meh – everyone’s guilty of it one time or another. even americans make fun of the southern american accent all the time. heheeh! make that video!!! šŸ˜€

      • haha..right when i’m reading this, i had this sneaking suspicion that you’re writing this to hear my opinion…hahaha…

        as for lee da hae…i honestly laugh at her portrayal, kinda wrong but also right at the same time…hehe..well, you know that Filipinos are very defensive when it comes to their pride, even if certain situation doesn’t merit such patriotism…sigh!!!

        as for my mimicry, well, it was done in good spirit and for laughs…they are really my good friends…as for a video, nuh uh!!! i’ll stay away within a kilometer distance anyothing or anyone holding a camera…

  2. I was very curious about this topic that caught my attention via naver and cyworld on which philippine people are generalizing us korean of their racist word. Please dont mention us as a whole for just a one or two persons fault. And i dont see leeda’s statement wrong. Never she mentioned any philippine word coming on her mouth. Blame the host or the production for putting up philippine flag. I know philippine persons are good so dont take this seriously.

    • oh i’m sorry…if i offended you…but like i said, i have many korean friends here in my homeland (koreans are the number one tourist here)…and like i said, i’m not at all offended by lee da hae, but rather, i’m surprisingly amused with it…i actually blamed the production for editing it like that, but i’m not taking away that i feel a little, just a little bit, nudge on my “Filipino” pride on how the show conveyed the situation because i am trying my hardest to improve my English speaking skills, but then to be only mocked by it was just “hurtful”…

  3. Im just a .0000000001% of the entire koreans but i hope i can lighten up some minds of your countrymens^^. I met some philippine persons when i visit cebu last summer english is not problem with me.

  4. Hi guys,

    For me, Filipinos reaction to this is typical, how many times have WE whined when we think other nationalities mock us…But we also do that occasionally to other nationalities, right?

    I have nothing against with Lee da Hae, it’s the shows fault, and WE FILIPINOS just OVERREACT but we don’t hate too….we’re all Asian…

  5. I have taught Koreans how to speak English for more than two years. It wasn’t easy considering they have difficulty pronouncing a lot of simple English words. They pronounce L instead of R, B instead of V, P instead of F and constantly end their words with additional “e/y” sound giving an extra syllable to their words. And this is just on the pronunciation. Now they have a lot of grammar problems, listening problems, spelling problems… and we’re talking about university students and professionals here. We have our own “filipino” accent… But we can speak freely with any english speaking country in the world. and we can easily imitate their accent. That’s how good we are with languages… So to be made fun of by a people who come here to learn english from us is really shocking, and very insulting. Add to that an apology where this actress assumes that filipinos are stupid… that’s pretty much over the edge! “Philipine” was clearly heard in the tape, and a Philippine flag was shown… now she says she didn’t say anything about “Filipinos”… which is true. But the host did and he mentioned Filipino English teachers to be exact… Now either this girl is deaf(highly unlikely) or infinitely dumb that she can’t even understand her own language. Own up to you mistake Lee Da Hae and don’t make matters worse by treating me and my countrymen as idiots!!!

  6. She never insults Filipinos because they were never mentioned in the interview, it was KBS the inserted subtitles after the interview that gets her in trouble. Blame KBS, not the actress

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