Eat Your Kimchi

DICKS: Wrong English

DICKS - Wrong English thumb eyk

We know you want it. You love it. And we’re here to bring it. It’s time for more DICKS! In this episode we talk about a few loan words that are used in Korean. Sure they came from English, but they don’t necessarily mean the same thing in Korean. In fact, they can be used completely differently. There are so many of these, it would be impossible to cover them all, so we started with a few of the most common and the most perplexing. We call it Konglish (Korean + English). Some Konglish have completely different meanings, some have the same meaning but are incorrectly used, and some have origins we can only guess at. Check out the video to see which ones we cover, and if you’re curious about what other English words made it into the Korean lexicon, take a gander at our list below.

Non-existing words in English

아르바이트 (aka 알바) = part time job
오토바이 = motorcycle
컨닝 = cheating on a test
바바리 코드 = trench coat
오바이트 = throw up

Different meaning words

원룸 (one- room) = studio apartment
화이트 (white) = whiteout or correction fluid
올 A (all A) = straight A
린스 (rinse) = hair conditioner
원 샷 (one shot) = bottoms up
비닐백 (vinyl bag) = plastic bags
핸드폰( hand phone) =cell phone
리모콘 (remote-con) = remote control
개그맨 (gag man) = comedian
아이쇼핑(eye shopping) = window shopping
와이셔츠 (Y-shirt) = dress shirt
메이커(maker)= name brands

Even though I know that these words are wrong English, I just use them as is. No shame there. But what I cannot stand is corporate buzz words that are in English. Korean companies tend to throw English words on presentations, proposals, slogans or on their website about page.

“비전 (vision)” is not only a company’s vision but, it’s also used as an adjective. If it is describing a person it usually means someone ambitious, who has high achieving goals and takes initiative. When it is used in a sentence like, “that business has vision,” it means it will be a successful business in the future. Companies always put “글로벌 인재 (global individual)” as a description for what kinds of applicants they are seeking, but they actually don’t accept many people from around the globe. You’ll also hear “콘텐츠 (contents)” a lot to describe media or art. Oddly, it’s always pluralized. So icons like Mickey Mouse are a type of “Cultural Contents,” these YouTube videos are also “Contents,” and that fancy new iPhone app you just told your buddy to download? That’s “Contents” too. Basically the term “Contents” is misused left and right.

We couldn’t include every appropriated English word here, so if you think of any good ones we forgot, let us know in the comments below. Also, do other languages use the same loan words? And if anyone knows where in the world “one piece” came from, please tell us! We’re dying to know!