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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  • VT 2011/08/15 15:20:02
    I picked too soon, that's just a little over the top.
  • Mille peña 2011/08/15 15:18:25
    Mille peña
    who cares? Lol. Her husband in the future could maybe benefit from it.
  • PM Mille peña 2011/08/15 16:07:26
    LOL... dirty mind.
  • Mille peña PM 2011/08/16 05:02:15
    Mille peña
    Lol I know... I feel I'm the only one sometimes
  • lrb 2011/08/15 15:12:31
    Whatever floats your boat. I wouldn't have done it, but then I don't have a passion for the language.
  • TruXter 2011/08/15 15:10:48
    Just straight up stupid.
  • nana g 2011/08/15 15:01:04
    nana g
    This is the most stupid thing I ever heard of. I don't know what else to say.
  • NCISfanatic 2011/08/15 14:58:57 (edited)
    A pretty minor surgery. Not a big deal. If she spends 2 years working on something she is passionate about, nothing wrong having a very simple procedure done to help her improve her speech.
  • Philly B*star 2011/08/15 14:38:08
    Philly B*star
    Silly girl!!!
  • Lyndsay 2011/08/15 14:36:06
    Why can't she just learn the language?!
  • Kasa Lyndsay 2011/08/15 15:52:38
    Read the article. She knew it but had a heavy foreign accent because her tongue was too short to pronounce certain sounds. Due to the surgery to help lengthen her tongue, she can now speak it in a native dialect.
  • Linda Deaton 2011/08/15 14:31:08
    Linda Deaton
    As long as it doesn't hurt the way she talks in english.
  • joe 2011/08/15 14:26:42
    Strokes for folks. Strippers get boob jobs. Hollywood stars get all kinds of surgeries to give them selves an edge. Whats the difference?
  • katchan 2011/08/15 14:10:37
    But hey, it's her life :)
  • GridBurn 2011/08/15 14:02:02
    Domenico Maceri claims that some South Korean parents have their children undergo frenectomy "which lengthens the tongue by about one millimeter" in the belief they will pronounce English better.[1] Critics regard the surgery as unnecessary, as Koreans born in the United States have no trouble distinctly pronouncing /r/ and /l/.


    They do it to speak English, she does it to speak Korean... anyone else see that flaw in this logic.
  • Japanese Night Sakura 2011/08/15 13:55:17
    Japanese Night Sakura
    Absurd and downright ignorant! It has nothing to do with your tongue, but hard work and memorization like Japanese language, or any language for that matter.
  • Sittichai 2011/08/15 13:51:57
    I agree with poster Kari D - not "admirable" per se but certainly shows a level of seriousness and dedication on her part which is great, as is her intuition about her draw to the country and its culture.
  • Star 2011/08/15 13:48:48
    Umm...I am kinda Speechless on this Topic....Who came up with this???
  • Damn Sodahead 2011/08/15 13:48:26
  • Rudolph49 Damn So... 2011/08/15 14:47:16
    Roger that!
  • deborah sletten 2011/08/15 13:45:37
    deborah sletten
    Surgery is potentially dangerous. Fanciful elective surgery is an extreme adventure.
  • ToniFlippoIrelandPalmer 2011/08/15 13:43:45
    Funky decision since she has never even been there to know if she will really like it!
  • EdWhiteSpace 2011/08/15 13:40:44
    Her tongue was too short? LOL, lol No one in Korea has a tongue her size? Are they are race of super long tongued individuals? Hmmm...
  • samdan234 2011/08/15 13:40:42
    I particularly like the part that her toungh is now more flexible and longer...
  • Flora 2011/08/15 13:38:48
    Well, what's wrong with that? I'm Korean but I was born in America. Some words I speak a little funny, so what? I'm still half Korean.
  • Rob Sr. 2011/08/15 13:38:07
    Rob Sr.
    This shouldn't even merit discussion! We can do better.
  • Rob Sr. Rob Sr. 2011/08/15 13:42:54
    Rob Sr.
    I don't really believe she had this "operation" just to improve her liquistic skills.... Use your imagination!
  • Pieter Joubert 2011/08/15 13:38:04
    Pieter Joubert
    Now we need all conservatives to undergo brain operations to start speaking sense
  • Rob Sr. Pieter ... 2011/08/15 13:41:14
    Rob Sr.
    Well I think this is merely a matter of perspective on your part. You live your life... Don't force your set of values on mine.
  • Pieter ... Rob Sr. 2011/08/16 19:17:47
    Pieter Joubert
    Time for the op I mentioned, don't you think.??
  • PM Pieter ... 2011/08/15 16:10:51
  • Paige Kelly 2011/08/15 13:37:23
    Paige Kelly
    Seems a bit drastic to me. If I wanted to learn how to speak ANY language, I am a firm believer I could do it without re-arranging my tongue or any other body part!
  • sel_by_date_ 2011/08/15 13:36:54
    I wonder how she'd have found learning Japanese before the operation: It and Korean are pretty similar, AFAIK.

    Can anyone elnighten me?
  • Marbles sel_by_... 2011/08/15 13:43:04
    Er... not particularly. Japanese can be quite different from Korean.
  • Japanes... Marbles 2011/08/15 13:56:42
    Japanese Night Sakura
    Japanese and Korean are NOT similar. I speak both.
  • Damn So... sel_by_... 2011/08/15 13:51:44
  • tychipman 2011/08/15 13:30:43
    absurd because even koreans don't speak korean. They speak hungul
  • manicsq... tychipman 2011/08/15 13:59:58 (edited)
    Hungul is the their alphabet. Their language is Hangungmal, Chosŏnmal, or Goryeoin, depending on their geographic location. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
  • bob 2011/08/15 13:27:31
    bizzar is what bizzar does
  • Cliff 2011/08/15 13:23:48

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