Thursday, October 22, 2009

Konglish

Konglish is an interesting variety of English used by Koreans. It bears many similarities to the English used in Japan. The word "Konglish" combines the words "Korean" and "English". In many cases, Koreans do not realize that they are using Konglish rather than standard English.

Konglish words are often very similar to English words. For example, the words "pine juice" and "hand phone" mean "pineapple juice" and "cell phone". In the first case the word "pineapple" is abbreviated and in the second the word "cell" is replaced by "hand". Another example of an abbreviation is "ballpen". This word means "ballpoint pen".

Many English plurals only have a singular form in Konglish. For example, "sunglasses" and "slippers" are "sunglass" and "slipper" in Konglish. This is understandable because Korean, although it has a plural marker, usually does not use it.

The word "hotchkiss" may be difficult for English speakers to understand. It is the Konglish word for "stapler" and in fact is the last name of E.H. Hotchkiss, an American company that was an early manufacturer of staplers. The meaning of the compound "golden time" may also be unclear to English speakers . It is "prime time" in standard English.

The words "back mirror" and "handle" are Konglish words which mean "rear view mirror" and "steering wheel". "Vinyl" means "plastic" and is also used in "vinyl house". In this case, it means "greenhouse". The expression "eye shopping" is the Konglish term for "window shopping".

Konglish can be described as a unique variety of English that is used by Korean speakers. Though many of the words used may be identifiable to English speakers, some undoubtedly are not.

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