Your Monthly Konglish: 1/2016

Korean stores/restaurants/vendors try their best to get the English correct, but sometimes I run across something (signage, product descriptions, menus, etc) that makes me pause, usually in confusion, or downright laugh.

Konglish (Korean + English) is technically English words/phrases that have been adapted into the Korean language/context that sometimes don’t make sense in English. For example, two days before Alex and I moved to Korea, we met up with his business school friend and his wife for dinner (both Korean and excellent English speakers). His friend mentioned the term “skinship” and would have continued talking about something else, if Alex and I hadn’t stopped him and asked what “skinship” was. “What? That’s not really a word? We use it all the time in Korea… and we always assumed it was an English word!” So, what is skinship (skin + [relation??? friend???]ship)? Physical contact (touching, holding hands, etc) between friends or a couple. And, after watching a few Korean dramas, I’ve heard the term used quite often!

So, while these pictures I’ve taken aren’t always of Konglish, I thought they were funny enough to share…

1).

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Found at our local bagel shop: a menu full of “cheese holes”

2).

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Not Konglish, but a graphic showing “up-skirt” photos are illegal and you can serve jail time. Yes, it’s a real thing. Girls here wear really short skirts and men take photos up their skirts (without their permission, of course).

3).

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Lots of Koreans can’t pronounce the letter “z” – saying the sound “gee” instead. So, I guess “amazing” and “amaging” are the same word!

4).

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Spotted: a girl wearing a cap that reads “beatbreak dumbass” – not sure what that means?

5).

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Would you wear a shirt that said “stalker” on it? Was it supposed to convey something positive?

6).

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Potty training for little boys… called a Booby?

7).

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Vienna fingerball… which looks like a corndog but it’s actually a “premium dessert”??

8).

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Can baskets be sensuous? 

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