August 15, 2011 10:22
A teenage British K-pop fan has made headlines in the U.K. for undergoing an operation to lengthen her tongue so she can pronounce Korean better.
According to the Daily Mail on Aug. 12, Rhiannon Brooksbank-Jones of Nottingham had a lingual frenectomy to lenghten her shorter-than-average tongue by a centimeter and allow her to pronounce Korean words correctly. The operation cuts the frenulum that joins the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
Though Brooksbank-Jones had ankyloglossia from birth, had no problems pronouncing English. But she struggled with the "ㄹ" sound, which is somewhere between "l" and "r." The operation was a success and she is now happily pronouncing Korean sounds that were difficult for her.
Brooksbank-Jones, who fell in love with K-pop when a friend introduced her to it, has since become an ardent follower of Korean music and TV series, and even attends a Korean church and reads the Bible in Korean. Her dream is to find a job in Korea.
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