So I'm living in South Korea and nearly everyone who is conversational in English says "say to X" instead of "tell X." For some reason, they avoid using "tell X" or "told X" and they stick to "say to X" and "said to X" when making statements, which to me doesn't sound colloquial (and perhaps grammatically incorrect). Furthermore, they always feel the need to add "me" when using "say" or "said" when the statement was made to them.
"Say to John he needs to be here by 9:00 p.m." (instead of "tell John...")
"John said to me he loves me" (instead of "John said..." or "John told me...")
"John said to Alice he loves her " (instead of "John told Alice...")
They also use the "to" preposition in other instances when it is not necessary.
To me, "say/ said" should be used in statements only when quoting something that was said to the speaker. So adding "to me" to "say/said" is completely superfluous. Also, "say/said" shouldn't be used to quote something that wasn't said directly to the speaker.
Are the examples above grammatically correct but not colloquial? If not, what is the appropriate grammar rule to cite?
Thanks for the help.