A lovely thing happens when you live overseas: you start to learn a new language. While some new words stick because of their funny sound, other words remain baffling.
While living in Korea, I’ve noticed that sometimes I can Konglish up my English and people understand me. Part of this is because a remarkable amount of Korean words are English, or a variation of English. Sometimes I’ll have to add a syllable at the end of a word, or omit an ‘r’ from a word, but there are ways to get my point across.
Below is a list of words that are the same in both English and Korean. I’ll include Korean pronunciation for the words that aren’t exactly the same. If you read this list aloud, you will have just spoken over 100 Korean words.
Roller Coaster (“rolla coasta”)
U-turn (“u- tuhn”)
Car Center (“cah- centah”)
Mouse (for a computer, not the animal)
Memory Card (“memory cah-duh”)
Instant (as in food)
See saw (“she saw”)
Hamburger (“ham bug ah”)
Hot sauce (“hot sau-suh”)
Ice cream (“ice-uh cream”)
Spoiler (for movies, not a car part. “spoilah”)
Jumper (as in sweater)
Clutch (as in a small purse)
Goal (as in soccer)
Phone (“pone” or “hand pone”)
Spring (like a coil, not the season)
Bus terminal (“bus-uh te-mee-nal”)
Also, there are some words that are a variety of English but mean something else.
What Koreans say: What Koreans mean:
Lotori Off ramp/ street exit
Maggie A specific type of river fish
Synchronize Synochronized swimming
Sharp Mechanical Pencil
Air con Air conditioning
Remote con Remote control
Punch Hole puncher
Jew Money Pocket
Naiggah (sounds racist…) I am
Now you can speak Korean too!