Konglish (Korean: 콩글리시; RR: konggeullisi; [kʰoŋ.ɡɯl.li.ɕi]), more formally- Korean-style English (Korean: 한국어식 영어; Hanja: 韓國語式英語; RR: hangugeo-sik yeongeo; [han.ɡu.ɡʌ.ɕik̚ jʌŋ.ʌ]) is a style of English used by Korean speakers.
The name is a portmanteau of the names of the two languages and was first recorded earliest in 1975. Other less common terms are Korlish (recorded from 1988), Korenglish (1992), Korglish (2000) and Kinglish (2000).
Konglish has English loanwords that have been appropriated into Korean and are used in ways that are not readily understandable to native English speakers. A common example is the Korean term "hand phone" for the English "mobile phone." Konglish also has direct English loanwords, mistranslations from English to Korean, or pseudo-English words coined in Japan that came to Korean usage.
This list of Konglish terms generally contains Konglish terms not readily understandable to a native English speaker, similar to wasei-eigo terms in the Japanese language. Many Konglish terms were invented by Koreans through non-standard abbreviations or combinations of English words or by applying a new meaning or usage to a common English word.
- aggro - "action of asking to be attacked, large-scale trolling"
eogeuro (어그로 [ʌ.ɡɯ.ɾo]) < aggravation
- carry - "to single-handedly carry the failing project to a success"
kaeri (캐리 [kʰɛ.ɾi]) < carry
- di-ca – "digital camera"
dika (디카 [ti.kʰa]) < digital camera
- eye shopping - "window shopping"
ai-syoping (아이쇼핑 [a.i.ɕjo.pʰiŋ]) < eye + shopping
- hand phone – "mobile phone"
haendeupon (핸드폰 [hɛn.dɯ.pon]) < hand + phone
- hot dog – "corn dog"
hatdogeu (핫도그 [hat̚.t͈o.ɡɯ]) < hot + dog
- hunting – "searching for a date"
heonting (헌팅 [hʌn.tʰiŋ]) < hunting
- kick board – "kick scooter"
kik-bodeu (킥보드 [kʰik̚.p͈o.dɯ]) < kick + board
- manicure – "nail polish"
maenikyueo (매니큐어 [mɛ.ni.kʰju.ʌ]) < manicure
- meeting – "group blind date"
miting (미팅 [mi.tʰiŋ]) < meeting
- officetel – "an apartment that can also be used as an office"
opiseutel (오피스텔 [o.pʰi.sɯ.tʰel]) < office + hotel
- one shot – "bottoms up"
wonsyat (원샷 [wʌn.ɕjat̚]) < one + shot
- over – "overdo, exaggerate, be overdramatic"
obeo (오버 [o.bʌ]) < over
- overeat – "vomiting"
obaiteu (오바이트 [o.ba.i.tʰɯ]) < overeat
- padding – "padded down jacket/coat"
paeding (패딩 [pʰɛ.diŋ]) < padding
- panty stocking – "pantyhose"
paenti-staking (팬티스타킹 [pʰɛn.tʰi.sɯ.tʰa.kʰiŋ]) < panty + stocking
- poclain – "excavator"
pokeullein (포클레인 [pʰo.kʰɯl.le.in]) < Poclain
- pocket ball – "pool, pocket billiards"
poket-bol (포켓볼 [pʰo.kʰet̚.p͈ol]) < pocket + ball
- pop song – "English-language popular music"
pap-song (팝송 [pʰap̚.s͈oŋ]) < pop + song
- ribbon – "bow"
ribon (리본 [ɾi.bon]) < ribbon
- sel-ca – "selfie"
selka (셀카 [sel.kʰa]) < self + camera
- self – "self-service"
selpeu (셀프 [sel.pʰɯ]) < self
- sense – "tact, wit"
senseu (센스 [sen.s͈ɯ]) < sense
- sign pen – "marker pen"
sain-pen (사인펜 [sa.in.pʰen]) < sign + pen
- skin-scuba – "skin diving and scuba diving"
seukin-seukubeo (스킨스쿠버 [sɯ.kʰin.sɯ.kʰu.bʌ]) < skin + scuba
- soul food – "comfort food"
soul-pudeu (소울푸드 [so.ul.pʰu.dɯ]) < soul + food
- villa – "small-sized condominium"
billa (빌라 [pil.la]) < villa
- webtoon – "webcomic"
weptun (웹툰 [wep̚.tʰun]) < web + cartoon
Loanwords from Japan
Many loanwords entered into Korean from Japan, especially during the Japanese forced occupation, when the teaching and speaking of Korean was prohibited. Those Konglish words are loanwords from, and thus similar to, Wasei-eigo used in Japan.
A simple example would be how the meaning of the English word "cunning" changes when used in a Konglish sentence. In South Korea, keonning means cheating, as the loanword was adapted from Japanglish kanningu (カンニング), which means "cheating". Konglish words may or may not have a similar meaning to the original word when used, and a well-known brand name can become a generalized trademark and replace the general word: older Korean people tend to use the word babari ("Burberry") or babari-koteu ("Burberry coat"), which came from Japanese bābari-kōto (meaning "gabardine raincoat") to refer to all trench coats. Coates made by Burberry are called beobeori-koteu (버버리 코트), rather than babari-koteu in Korean (as the brand name, entered to Korean language directly from English, is Beobeori).
Compared to Japanese, both English and Korean have more vowels and permit more coda consonants. Oftentimes when Japanesized English words enter into the Korean language, the "original" English words from which the Japanglish words were derived are reverse-traced, and the words undergo de-Japanesization (sometimes with hypercorrection).
- ad-balloon – "aerial advertising balloon"
aedeu-beollun (애드벌룬 [ɛ.dɯ.bʌl.lun]) < ado-barūn (アドバルーン [a.do.ba.ɾɯ̃ːɴ]) < ad + balloon
- after service, A/S – "customer service", "warranty"
apeuteo seobiseu (애프터 서비스 [ɛ.pɯ.tʰʌ.sʌ.bi.sɯ]) < afutā-sābisu (アフターサービス [a.ɸɯ.taː.saːbi.sɯ]) < after + service
- apart – "apartment building"
apateu (아파트 [a.pʰa.tʰɯ]) < apāto (アパート [a.paː.to]) < apartment
- auto-bi – "motorcycle"
otobai (오토바이 [o.tʰo.ba.i]) < ōtobai (オートバイ [oː.to.ba.i]) < auto + bicycle
- back mirror – "rear-view mirror""
baegmireo (백미러 [pɛŋ.mi.ɾʌ]) < bakku-mirā (バックミラー [bak.kɯ.mi.ɾaː]) < back + mirror
- bond – "glue, adhesive""
bondeu (본드 [pon.dɯ]) < bondo (ボンド [bõn.do]) < bond
- Burberry coat – "trench coat"
babari-koteu (바바리코트 [pa.ba.ɾi.kʰo.tʰɯ]) < bābari-kōto (バーバリコート [baː.ba.ɾi.koː.to], "gabardine raincoat") < Burberry coat
- career woman – "a woman who works"
keorieo-umeon (커리어우먼 [kʰʌ.ɾi.ʌ.u.mʌn]) < kyaria-ūman (キャリアウーマン [kja.ɾi.a.ɯː.mãɴ]) < career + woman
- carrier – "suit case"
kaerieo (캐리어 [kʰɛ.ɾi.ʌ]) < kyarībaggu (キャリーバッグ [kja.ɾi.a.baɡ.ɡɯ]) < carrier + bag
- cider – "lemon-lime drink"
saida (사이다 [sa.i.da]) < saidā (サイダー [sa.i.daː]) < cider
- circle – "student's club"
seokeul (서클 [sʌ.kʰɯl]) < sākuru (サークル [saː.kɯ.ɾɯ]) < circle
- complex – "insecurity, sense of inferiority"
kompeullekseu (콤플렉스 [kʰom.pʰɯl.lek.s͈ɯ]) < conpurekkusu (コンプレックス [kõm.pɯ.ɾek.kɯ.sɯ]) < complex
- concent – "power sockets, outlets"
konsenteu (콘센트 [kʰon.sen.tʰɯl]) < konsento (コンセント [kõn.sẽn.to]) < consentric plug
- cunning – "cheating"
keoning (커닝 [kʰʌ.niŋ]) or keonning (컨닝 [kʰʌn.niŋ]) < kanningu (カンニング [kãn.nĩŋ.ɡɯ]) < cunning
- ero – "lewd"
ero (에로 [e.ɾo]) < ero (エロ [e.ɾo]) < erotic
- dash – "asking someone out, approaching, taking the initiative (in dating)"
daesi (대시 [tɛ.ɕi]) < dasshu (ダッシュ [daɕ.ɕɯ], "dashing, rushing") < dash
- fancy – "stationery"
paensi (팬시 [pʰɛn.ɕi]) < fanshī-shōhin (ファンシー商品 [ɸãɰ̃.ɕiː.ɕoː.hin]; "illustrated goods") < fancy + Japanese "goods"
- fighting – "Go go go!", "Good luck!", "You can do it!"
paiting (파이팅 [pʰa.i.tiŋ]) or hwaiting (화이팅 [hwa.i.tiŋ]) < faito (ファイト [ɸa.i.to]) < fight
- gag man – "comedian"
gaegeu-man (개그맨 [kɛ.ɡɯ.mɛn]) < gyagu-man (ギャグマン [ɡja.ɡɯ.mãɴ]) < gag + man
- gag woman – "comedian"
gaegeu-woman (개그우먼 [kɛ.ɡɯ.u.mʌn]) < gyagu-man (ギャグウーマン [ɡja.ɡɯ.ɯː.mãɴ]) < gag + woman
- glamour – "a buxom woman"
geullaemeo (글래머 [kɯl.lɛ.mʌ]) < guramā-gāru (グラマーガール [ɡɯ.ɾa.maː.ɡaː.ɾɯ]) < glamour + girl
- key holder – "keychain"
ki-holdeo (키홀더 [kʰi.hol.dʌ]) < kī-horudā (キーホルダー [kiː.ho.ɾɯ.daː]) < key + holder
- handle – "steering wheel"
haendeul (핸들 [hɛn.dɯl]) < handoru (ハンドル [hãn.do.ɾɯ]) < handle
- health club – "gym"
helseu-keulleop (헬스클럽 [hel.s͈ɯ.kʰɯl.lʌp̚]) < herusu-kurabu (ヘルスクラブ [he.ɾɯ.sɯ.kɯ.ɾa.bɯ]) < health + club
- hotchkiss – "stapler"
hochikiseu (호치키스 [ho.tɕʰi.kʰi.sɯ]) < hochikisu (ホチキス [ho.tɕi.ki.sɯ]) < American brand name E. H. Hotchkiss Company
- machine – "sewing machine"
mising (미싱 [mi.ɕiŋ]) < mishin (ミシン [mi.ɕĩɴ]) < machine
- mass-com – "mass media"
maeseukeom (매스컴 [mɛ.sɯ.kʌm]) < masukomi (マスコミ [ma.sɯ.ko.mi]) < mass + communication
- morning call – "wakeup call"
moning-kol (모닝콜 [mo.niŋ.kʰol]) < mōningu-kōru (モーニングコール [moː.nĩŋ.ɡɯ.koː.ɾɯ]) < morning + call
- one-piece – "dress"
wonpiseu (원피스 [wʌn.pʰi.sɯ]) < wanpīsu (ワンピース [ɰãm.piː.sɯ]) < one + piece
- one-room – "studio apartment"
wollum (원룸 [wʌl.lum]) < wanrūmumanshon (ワンルームマンション [ɰãɰ̃.ɾɯː.mɯ.mãɰ̃.ɕõɴ]) < one + room + mansion
- open car – "convertible"
opeun-ka (오픈카 [o.pʰɯn.kʰal]) < ōpun-kā (オープンカー [oː.pɯ̃ŋ.kaː]) < open + car
- remo-con – "remote control"
rimokeon (리모컨 [ɾi.mo.kʌn]) < rimokon (リモコン [ɾi.mo.kõɴ]) < remote + control
- report – "term paper"
ripoteu (리포트 [ɾi.pʰo.tʰɯ]) < repōto (リポート [ɾi.poː.to]) < report
- rinse – "hair conditioner"
rinseu (린스 [ɾin.s͈ɯ]) < rinsu (リンス [ɾĩn.sɯ]) < report
- running machine – "treadmill"
reoning-meosin (러닝머신 [ɾʌ.niŋ.mʌ.ɕin]) < ranningu-mashīn (ランニングマシーン [ɾãn.nĩŋ.ɡɯ.ma.ɕĩːɴ]) < running + machine
- service – "something that is free of charge"
seobiseu (서비스 [sʌ.bi.sɯ]) < sābisu (サービス [saː.bi.sɯ]) < service
- sharp – "mechanical pencil"
syapeu (샤프 [ɕja.pʰɯ]) < shāpupenshiru (シャープペンシル [ɕaː.pɯ.pẽɰ̃.ɕi.ɾɯ]) < sharp + pencil
- sign – "autograph"
sain (사인 [sa.in]) < sain (サイン [sa.ĩɴ]) < sign
- skinship – "physical contact"
seukinsip (스킨십 [sɯ.kʰin.ɕip̚]) < sukinshippu (スキンシップ [sɯ.kij̃.ɕip.pɯ]) < skin + -ship
- SNS – "social media"
eseu-en-eseu (에스엔에스 [e.sɯ.en.e.sɯ]) < esu-enu-esu (エスエヌエス [e.sɯ.e.nɯ.e.sɯ]) < social + networking + service
- stand - "desk lamp"
seutaendeu (스탠드 [sɯ.tʰɛn.dɯ]) < sutando (スタンド [sɯ.tãn.do]) < stand
- super – "corner shop"
syupeo (슈퍼 [ɕju.pʰʌ]) < sūpā (スーパー [sɯː.paː]) < supermarket
- talent - "televised drama actor"
taelleonteu (탤런트 [tʰɛl.lʌn.tʰɯ]) < tarento (タレント [ta.ɾẽn.to]) < talent
- tape cleaner - "lint remover"
teipeu keullineo (테이프 클리너 [tʰe.i.pʰɯ kʰɯl.li.nʌ]) < tēpu-kurīnā (テープクリーナー [teː.pɰ.kɰ.ɾiː.naː]) < tape + cleaner
- trump card - "playing cards"
teureompeu kadeu (트럼프 카드 [tʰɯ.ɾʌm.pʰɯ kʰa.dɯ]) < toranpu kādo (プレイング・カード [to.ɾam.pɯ kaː.do]) < trump + card
- two piece - "skirt or pants and a top"
tupiseu (투피스 [tʰu.pʰi.sɯ]) < tsūpīsu (ツーピース [tsɯː.piː.sɯ]) < two + piece
- vinyl house – "green house"
binil-hauseu (비닐하우스 [pi.nil.ha.u.sɯ]) < binīru-hausu (ビニールハウス [bi.niː.ɾɯ.ha.ɯ.sɯ]) < vinyl + house
- Y-shirt – "dress shirt"
wai-sheocheu (와이셔츠 [wa.i.ɕjʌ.tɕʰɯ]) < wai-shatsu (ワイシャツ [ɰa.i.ɕa.tsɯ])) < white shirt
Some foreign-origin words such as areubaiteu (아르바이트, [a.ɾɯ.ba.i.tʰɯ], "part-time"), a loanword from German Arbeit ([ˈar.baɪ̯t], "work"), are sometimes mistakenly considered as Konglish and are corrected into "accurate" English loanword forms such as pateutaim (파트타임, [pʰa.tʰɯ.tʰa.im]).
A trend in the naming of apartment buildings in Seoul is blending English words together because developers believe this will enhance the luxury brand image of the properties. Some examples of apartment names with blended English words include: Luxtige, Blesstige, Tristige and Forestige, XI; these words are combinations of luxury, bless, prestige, trinity, forest, extra and intelligence.
Misuse or corruption of the English language by Koreans learning English as a foreign language have also been referred to as Konglish. Using English words in daily conversation, advertising, and entertainment is seen as trendy and cool. However this use can often lead to misunderstandings due to problems with pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary.
Modern use of Konglish has already created a linguistic divide between North Korea and South Korea. North Korean defectors can have trouble integrating into South Korean society because much of the Konglish used there is not used in North Korea. This can lead to confusion, misunderstandings and delay in integration into the society. This is not the sole cause of the linguistic divide between the two nations as some Korean words are also used differently between the two countries. While Konglish problems exist between the North and South they also exist between the metropolitan and rural. Ahn Jung-hyo, a Korean-English translator who is the author of "A False English Dictionary," was noted for saying that improper use of Konglish in other countries is likely to bring shame to Korea. However, John Huer, a columnist for Korea Times, noted Konglish usage as one of his "10 Most Wonderful Things About Korea". He felt that it was both inventive and clever. After that article Huer criticized Koreans for their bad English and improper use of loanwords, though. Modern Konglish usage could even be viewed as art, yet there is a difference between a cultural use of a word like "Fighting!" and the bad grammar and vocabulary seen on signs, packages, and TV around Korea. Sebastian Harrisan has suggested that calling these kinds of things Konglish masks the problem with English education in Korea. The Korean government has been criticized by civic groups for their use of Konglish in slogans and focusing too much on English education. They feel that the heavy focus on English will damage the Korean language and doesn't benefit international competitiveness. In contrast, Jasper Kim, a law professor at Ewha Womans University, wrote that Konglish is necessary in a global context and that strict adherence to grammatical rules shouldn't trump getting the message across.
The spread of Konglish in the Korean language has been cited as a reason to increase Koreans' exposure to native English speakers, especially during their educational time. Koreans instructing others can lead to cementing errors into the language. Poor planning in the education system can result in unqualified Korean teachers being chosen to teach English with little or no time to prepare. These teachers end up using Konglish in the classroom. Even teachers who prepare may end up using official materials that contain numerous errors and Konglish. This can create a feeling of passiveness towards learning structurally and technically correct English. Students look to teachers as the example and if teachers are making mistakes, these are passed on to them. The issue of bad Konglish has been raised in relation to tourism. There is a concern that poor English on signs, brochures, websites, or in other media might cause tourists to find another destination. This is a concern not just in small or remote venues, but even major international locations like Incheon Airport. When the airport was first opened for business more than 49 signs were found to contain English errors. In addition to keeping away tourists, Konglish usage can lead to the breakdown of business deals. Misunderstandings might lead a foreign business partner to lose confidence in a Korean company. In 2010, a poll showed that 44% of local governments in South Korea used an English phrase in their marketing slogan. The slogans at the time included: Lucky Dongjak, Dynamic Busan, Yes Gumi, Colorful Daegu, Ulsan for You, Happy Suwon, New Start! Yesan, Super Pyeongtaek, Hi-Touch Gongju, Nice Jecheon and Just Sangju.
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