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Section: Anime Plastic Surgery

Korean Tongue Surgery

Tongue in cheek? Heck no, this is entirely serious.

As we've written before, many Asian and especially South Korean students will go to great lengths to master pronunciation of the English language.

korean tongue surgery

But, here the word "length" is taken to a whole new level.

With the intent of helping an Asian speaker better enunciate certain sounds, a minor and quick operation known as lingual frenectomy has been devised to free up and lengthen the tongue by cutting through the frenulum, that thin band of soft tissue that connects the bottom surface of the tongue to the bottom bony surface of the mouth.

The idea is to increase mobility even though the newly freed tongue is only able to come forward about 1 extra millimeter (if even that) after the procedure. Some Korean parents apparently take in their young children for the operation to give them a head start on the competition in a very competitive society.

Once healed, the speaker is said to be better able to master pronunciation of the letters R and L.

Oh, yes, and there's another valuable benefit. Some say the procedure can improve on one's kissing skills.


There's just one little problem that a number of linguists as well as just plain ordinary folks have been quick to point out: People of Korean descent raised as children in English speaking countries have no trouble at all with English pronunciation.

The real problem for South Koreans, as for the Japanese and some others in East Asia, is that their native languages make little or no distinction between Ls and Rs and so their untrained ears and brain language centers find it harder to detect and reproduce this unfamiliar difference.

With the operation's main indication thereby debunked, the only remaining good reason for this form of childhood mutilation is to turn your helpless dear offspring into a better kisser and who-knows-what-else.

As one blogger aptly observed, the greatest danger to some children is their parents.

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