An experience in class after teaching for a few days…
Class: Teacher! John cunning!
Me: I guess. He does seem pretty slick that, John.
Class: No, teacher! Cunning!
Me: Okay, but he’s not master spy or anything.
Then I got blank looks and more screams of Cunning!
So that was introduction to the wonderful world of Konglish. Med Magazine defines Konglish as:
Konglish can be broken down into four types: (1) words whose meanings have been altered; (2) words that have been fabricated to mean something entirely different from the borrowed word or phrase; (3) words in which the pronunciation has changed; (4) and words or phrases which have been abbreviated. Konglish also incorporates ‘pseudo loan-words’: English terms that are used by Koreans but only after making a direct translation from Korean to English. One of the more obvious examples is the word Konglish, which is formed by taking the initial syllable of Korean (Ko), removing the ‘E’ of English and then combining the remaining parts of the two words.
So here are some of the more interesting Konglish I have heard since being in Korea.
Hand Phone = Cell Phone
Refrigelater = Refrigerator
Salaryman = Businessman
Cunning = Cheating One
Manicure = Nail Polish
Service = Gratuity
Dutch Pay = Paying Dutch
Officetel = Office & Hotel
Just Do Me = Nike‘s Just Do It
Eye Shopping = Window Shopping
Orangee = Orange
Strangee = Strange
That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Do you have any funny Konglish words or sayings to add to the list?