Girl Has Tongue Operation to Speak Korean: Admirable or Absurd?

Living 2011/08/12 21:13:15
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Many of us have at least one good hobby we enjoy, whether it be pick-up games at your closest basketball court, playing guitar, or filling out Sudoku puzzles. And some of us take our hobbies more seriously than others.

Rhiannon Brooksbank–Jones is one of those super-serious hobbyists.

According to The Telegraph, the 19-year-old British student is so passionate about studying the Korean language she actually had an operation on her tongue to make it easier for her to pronounce it with a native accent.

She explained, "I'd been learning Korean for about two years, and my speaking level was high, but I was really struggling with particular sounds. It became apparent after a little while that I was having trouble with the Korean letter 'L' ... and that my tongue was too short ... The surgical procedure was my only option."

The surgery was a 15-minute operation called a "lingual frenectomy." Doctors made an incision in the flap of skin under her tongue (called the lingual frenulum) which essentially makes her tongue longer and more flexible.

Brooksbank-Jones says her operation was a success.

"My pronunciation was very 'foreign,'" she said, "but now I can speak with a native Korean accent."

She apparently plans to study Korean at the college level and eventually live in the country, though she has yet to visit.

Let's hope she likes it as much as she thinks she will. For her sake.
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Top Opinion

  • melody_K 2011/08/12 23:31:27 (edited)
    I wouldn't say 'admirable', but seems pretty harmless. It is not much different than other elective surgeries, and seems (maybe) to serve a better, or much of the same purpose.

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  • Izzy! 2012/02/08 23:38:22
    I think it's impressive that she would go through such great lengths to achieve her own goals. And I don't think we should judge her for sticking to her passion.
  • Jay98 2012/01/03 16:25:46
    the operation isn't going to reduce her ability to speak her native language. this is her passion and htis minor op will vastly improve her ability no doubt. people from east asai actually doo have a slightly different tongue to westerners. East Asain people have more elastic tendons in their tongues enabling them to pronounce Rs and Ls differently. Westerners have a larger voice box in general meaning they can make better Gs and Ks.

    There are also many other lesser known differences between races that most people don't know for example black people have better coordination and can follow patterns easier and white people generally have a larger bone structure and bodies that are more capable sustaining large amounts of fat. If you just looks at the sports that different countries have invented you can see the native race's strengths. sports are designed around what the body can do you see.
  • Joe 2011/09/18 20:18:15
    seriously what the f**k? if you are soo pasionate about something all u need and must do is to study and learn hard enough to achive your goal and not find the easy way out SO U CAN TELL ME OR ANY BODY THAT WHAT SHE DID IS ADMIRABLE BECAUSE LAST TIME CHECKED IT MEANS LAZINESS.
  • Izzy! Joe 2012/02/08 23:41:55
    Laziness? If you actually read the story you would see she physically COULDN'T. And you call that the easy way out? She was probably made fun of my more douche-bags like you! Just because she wouldn't give up.
  • shindogg 2011/09/13 01:07:33
    this is pathetic and ridiculous too. nobody should want to change their anatomy to be like somebody they werent born to be. its just fake and unnatural and should be criminal.
  • big lou from peru 2011/09/01 03:20:28
    big lou from peru
    did all of the koreans have there tongues cut to speek korean,HUH....jerk off,maybe she should have had her throats cut just to gurgle,huh,how's that
  • Erica Cecchetti 2011/08/25 19:11:51
    Erica Cecchetti
    Darn. I meant to click "Admirable".
    That's dedication, right there.
  • Erii 2011/08/23 16:07:39
    I don't see how this is even a question. Athletes do all sorts of crazy stuff, from steroids to massage therapy to even ballet to enhance their game, a lot of them end up being hurt badly because of this hobby. I don't see why that's okay and a simple surgery to inhance her linquistic skills is questionable.
  • Hales 2011/08/22 01:16:03
    Crazy, but hey, I'd be crazy enough to do the same if I can ever learn more Japanese.
  • iwontfo... Hales 2011/09/05 22:44:41
    i know right???!
  • Katelyn:D 2011/08/20 21:17:45
    this is on all kinds of levels of stupid
  • xy 2011/08/20 13:19:12
    I don't know what to say to this O_O wow
  • TheWhiteWolf 2011/08/20 10:15:10 (edited)
    Dudes, it wasn't like it was a major surgery. In case you missed it, it was only a very small incision underneath her tongue to help her speak the language better. Not necessarily 'admirable', but I can understand why she would do it.
  • Pamu 2011/08/20 09:43:08
    why to get permanently damaged for a small cause.all do not have to undergo such a risk to learn the language so it is idiotic to go for this option.
  • Izzy! Pamu 2012/02/08 23:43:46
    Such a risk? DUDE. It's a tiny incision. She's not "Risking" anything. Just saying.
  • Happy dog lover :) 2011/08/20 04:23:59
    Happy dog lover :)
    She just learn lol
  • sammy 2011/08/18 15:40:28
    What on earth should prompt someone to cut her tongue just for the sake of speaking a foreign language..Jst crazy.Keep going on cutting the whole of your tongue for another language```
  • cutey 2011/08/18 04:07:39
    Just weird
  • dimwit 2011/08/17 21:54:40
    Don't need your tongue clipped to be able to say:
    Ching-chong,chingy chong chong!!
  • mod pod dimwit 2011/08/17 22:40:58
    mod pod
    Racist dimwit. Ever heard someone speak Korean?
  • cutey mod pod 2011/08/18 04:08:13
  • mod pod cutey 2011/08/24 12:37:32
    mod pod
    Don't lol me, kid. It's a complicated language.
  • cutey mod pod 2011/08/25 23:56:39
    I'm not a kid im 20
  • mod pod cutey 2011/08/26 08:50:40
    mod pod
    It's an expression.
  • cutey mod pod 2011/08/29 22:09:12
    I don't care
  • mod pod cutey 2011/08/30 10:13:00
    mod pod
    Whatever. Just be a jerk about it then.
  • cutey mod pod 2011/09/02 03:14:50
    I apologize
  • mod pod cutey 2011/09/02 12:21:12
    mod pod
  • shindogg mod pod 2011/09/13 01:28:32
    thankfully not. anything that is illegible and undecipherable is unpleasant for me to see or hear. everybody in the world should speak english so everybody can understand each other without language barriers.
  • mod pod shindogg 2011/09/13 08:00:58
    mod pod
    haha! if only you knew. that's the way it always was- way back when, everyone in the world spoke hebrew (it may have been greek or roman though, so don't quote me on that). different languages were created to create frustration and an inability to communicate.
  • dimwit mod pod 2011/10/06 18:32:49
    Uhh, yeah. I had two different Korean men working for me for about four years.
    I was pretty sure I was the topic of their private conversations.
  • mimi 2011/08/17 21:51:25
  • loneyankee 2011/08/17 19:01:33
    some people havw WAAAAAAAY too much time on their hands
  • rcardon 2011/08/17 16:56:11
    I think it is admirable she would notice that kind of a difference and know how to fix it.
  • hudistunt 2011/08/17 13:57:25
    Dumb and really dumb and even dumber...
  • Babalejo 2011/08/17 13:41:06
    As an individual (linguist) who speaks 8 languages and teaches 5 of them I find that any human can achieve the pronunciation necessary by practice. What would this person do if she had to speak an African "click" language. I think I might have a nose operation to practice the nasal sounds in the French language. Yeah! right!
  • nefertari 2011/08/17 04:06:41
    Some people are never happy with what God gave them
  • lunatic 2011/08/17 02:28:10
    weird but ok
  • NYCbrit lunatic 2011/08/17 12:39:30
    My sentiments exactly. Whatever floats your boat as they say. No harm done.
  • Ole SGT Joe 2011/08/17 00:33:43
    Ole SGT Joe
    She went the extra mile to accomplish something she wanted very much - unlike most other people who sit and stare and say "I should have done this or I should have done that". Good for her...........
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