Avoiding Konglish
Avoiding Konglish
  • 승인 2003.10.01 00:00
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There are so many ways that a language grows, so when it is spoken in a country in which it is a second or foreign language, strange things happen to it. Konglish is a typical result of this type of language mutation. Konglish is a combination of English and Korean. The words that are used have a very different meaning when explained in written or spoken English. Even though an expression may be in fairly common use, if it does not have the same meaning among native speakers, it can interfere with clear communication. Here are some common Konglish expressions that students should avoid in their writing.
?"Senior"-This literally means an old person in English, so when you talk about meeting your "senior," it sounds like you are meeting a "senior citizen" (older person). English does not have age built into its language in the same way as Korean, and this makes for difficult translating from Korean to English. A better way to describe someone would be "an older friend from university," or as "a junior" if you are a freshman or sophomore.
?"Apart"-This literally means "not together"; however, in Konglish it means "apartment." When native speakers hear "Which apart do you live in?" sometimes we are confused. It is better to say, "I live in an apartment."
"Pharm"-When native speakers see the written word "pharm" right in the middle of a city, they wonder what it means. When we say the word "pharm," it sounds the same as "farm," which means a place where you grow vegetables or grain, or raise animals. This is not the same as the meaning of "pharmacy."
"Play with friends"-One of the most common Konglish mistakes occurs when students say they "played with their friends" the day before. Generally only children play with their friends. We would say we "met our friends" or we "hung out with some friends."
"I have a promise"-Another very common mistake is to say that you "have a promise" when you are meeting a friend. A promise means a statement that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen. In English we would say something like, "I had already planned to meet Sujin for coffee." We would not refer to this meeting as a promise.
"Hof"-"Hof" is a German word that has been incorporated into Korean. It means "bar" in German, so when you use this word in English, it is incorrect. Use the English word "bar" or "pub."
"Fighting"-Ewha University Fighting! When native speakers hear this, they may be a little distressed as it literally means that Ewha is fighting with someone or about something. "Fighting!" was used a lot at the time of the World Cup. A translation would be "Good luck!" or "Ewha spirit!" If your friend is getting ready to take a big exam, you would probably say, "Good luck!" If Ewha students are in a competition of some kind, we might shout, "Ewha spirit!" or "Go, Ewha!"
It is sometimes difficult to know what is acceptable use and what is not when Konglish has been in use for a long time. Sometimes speakers or writers do not know that an expression is indeed not current, good use of English. We hope that when you write essays, you will look carefully for Konglish and change it to English!

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