반말

I recently switched to 반말 with someone, which has brought about an “issue” which I never had before: when we write together I can easily stay consistent and write casually, but when speaking I’ve caught myself inadvertently sneaking in 요’s here and there before correcting myself.

It could just be a matter of habit when it comes to actually speaking – especially since this time I’m the younger one  – since we’re pretty comfortable with each other.

The process of skipping honorifics has been a little different this time compared to the times I’ve “gone casual” with other people. Firstly, I don’t speak casually with that many people, secondly, I was always the older one on previous occasions, and thirdly, the other times we simply agreed to just skip formalities at some point. But this time it’s been more of a gradual thing. First one would test the waters by leaving out an ending or two, then the other would follow suit, but make sure to still throw in a polite wording here and there. When it was clear that none of us would call the other out on it, we went all in.

This way has been somewhat more nerve racking than the “how about we just speak comfortably?” approach since it added an element of “will I get away with it?”.

How about you guys? Have you transitioned to 반말 with someone? Did you agree verbally or tacitly and did it take a bit of getting used to suddenly being allowed to just speak to them casually?

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2 thoughts on “반말

  1. Archana

    I think I’ve only ever jumped straight into 반말 with the friends I’ve made through blogging. In every other situation, I’m usually the one to say 말 편하게 하셔도 돼요 if they’re older than me. If I’m speaking with someone younger, I usually continue with 존댓말 unless they explicitly say something…. Sometimes if they start calling me 언니/누나 I take it as a sign to go 반말 with them.

    Reply
    1. koreanlearner Post author

      It can be a bit of a game since even if one person can lower his/her words, that doesn’t mean that the other can as well. Thankfully there will be usually hints!

      Reply

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