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Teenager has operation to lengthen tongue so she can speak perfect Korean

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tounge-tie-girlA 19-year-old girl has had surgery to lengthen her tongue so that she can speak perfect Korean.

Language student Rhiannon Brooksbank-Jones of Beeston, Nottingham, England, had so much trouble pronouncing some of the sounds crucial to correct Korean pronunciation that she chose to go under the knife.

The teenager, who wants to live and work in South Korea, was born with an unusually thick flap of skin joining the underside of her tongue to the floor of her mouth, a condition sometimes referred to as “tongue tie.”

But she refused to let the problem stand in the way of perfect Korean pronunciation and, after talking with her parents, underwent a 20-minute operation at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

Her tongue is now about half an inch longer than previously.

She said: “I’d been learning Korean for about two years, and my speaking level is now 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, which is very frequent and comes from a slightly higher place in the mouth than the english 'L' and that my tongue was too short.

“Some might say it’s extreme, but you could apply the same argument to plastic surgery.”


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