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What is Konglish?

Dictionary Features

Dictionary Definitions

Educational value

Book Vs Electronic Publication

A Learner Dictionary

Practicality





Konglish: "KOrean + eNGLISH"

Konglish, or loan words, enter Korean in one of five ways as:
1. Direct Loan Words.
2. Crossbred Vocabulary.
3. Condensed Expressions.
4. Replacement.
5. Pseudo Loan Words.

1. Direct Loan Words.
Loan words that enter the Korean language directly are used with the same semantic notion as in the language they came from. i.e. they refer to the same item, or have the same meaning. At times the pronunciation of the loan term is also the same, or similar, as in the two examples Chocolate  and, orchestra . In other cases the pronunciation of direct loan words can vary as in the word k'opi  (coffee) for example, which can then be confused with the English term "copy" meaning a duplicate.

2. Crossbred Vocabulary.
This kind of loan word is made by a combination of an English and Korean word, such as in the term bang-ul-tomato . In this case, "tomato" is the English word and bang-ul  is the Korean word. Together they form a Korean/English hybrid that actually means "cherry tomato", but when literally translated means 'bell-tomato'. Another example is binyl-bongtu , where "binyl" is the English word and bongtu  the Korean one. A literal translation of this term may be 'vinyl-envelope'; where as a translation would be "plastic bag".

3. Condensed Expressions.
Shortening the original English word or phrase makes these kinds of loan words. For example, the loan word remocon  comes from "REMOte CONtrol". Another example is remicon  that is made by compiling the first syllables from the term "REady-MIxed CONcrete".

4. Replacement.
These loan words are very interesting because Korean language doesnt need to use them at all. This type of loan word actually replaces the use of Korean words, especially in the language use of younger people. Examples include words like "parking", which often replaces the Sino-Korean term Ju-Cha , and "lighter" that has come to replace Korean terms such as pul .

5. Pseudo Loan Words.
These words are English words that are pronounced the same, or similar to the English word, but possess a different meaning and use in Korean. A common example is meeting  which represents a kind of party style group blind date for Koreans, rather than the English meaning of an assembling of people particularly for a business purpose. Pseudo loan words are also made, by representing concepts with English terminology, by creating new combinations of English words. For example the English word combination "over bite", perhaps originally from 'over eat', forms the loan o-bi-tu , which comes to mean "vomit".

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Dictionary Features

The Kent Konglish Dictionary(c) contains English and Korean Indexes of more than 2300 Terms.

2334 English and Korean Example Sentences.

Definition texts consisting of more than 75000 words.

Full Cross-Referencing of Terms under 30 Categories.

English and Korean language  Search Indexes.

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Dictionary Definitions

Dictionary definitions have been made learner friendly by the following:

Korean words (including Konglish, and spelt in English) are shown in italics  within definitions.

English words related to the meaning of a Konglish word are indicated by "double quotes".

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Educational Value

The Kent Konglish Dictionary(c) utilized as a teaching tool for South Korean students of English aims at developing the learner's use of English through their understanding of the way language is used within their own cultural environment, and in turn how these terms actually relate to English usage and culture.

The structure of the dictionary as a tool for lexical analysis, and vocabulary building, concurs with the statement of Bolinger who:
describes language learning as a continuum starting at the morpheme level with word formation rules, moving to word level and activiating phrase formation rules. ... When learning a language people may or may not store a morpheme as such, but they do store phrases. (Cited in Gitsaki, 1996: 2).

The terms stored in the dictionary are cross-referenced with other phrases and terms within the dictionary that hold similar semantic or lexical qualities. Their currency for English language learning is in the fact that they give special treatment to the cultural factors behind the South Korean language use of the loan term and provide a means whereby the item can be transferred back into English language use by the learner.

The dictionary also provides students with a means from which to avoid lexical errors produced by negative interference from the initial language (L1) by providing correct lexical distinctions of these terms. A collection of items that emphasize positive interference are also provided, that allow the student to incorporate the terms directly from L1 speech into English, with no or limited loss of meaning, and as such no or limited loss of communicative quality.

The Gitsaki document has been removed from the Internet.

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Book Vs Electronic
Publication

The functionality that exists for an electronic publication far outweighs the traditional book method of publication, in that the collation of data need not consume a large amount of physical space, and can also be easily, frequently and quickly updated.

Additionally, Perry has observed:
Information in a conventional printed dictionary is stored largely on one alphabetically arranged list of headwords. In contrast, electronic dictionaries, of whatever type, allow language information to be sotred on different lists, and accessed from multiple directions. (Electronic Learner Dictionaries: An overview of Recent Developments).

The previous statement also brings to the fore the use of electronic dictionaries designed specifically for the purposes of learning. These Electronic Learner Dictionaries (ELD) are dictionaries that have been designed specifically to teach lexical aspects of a given language. It is not a standard type of dictionary used mainly for the purposes of finding correct spelling, or meanings, of terms unknown.

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A Learner Dictionary

The Kent Konglish Dictionary(c) can be classified as a learner dictionary as it introduces South Koreans to aspects of their own vernacular, presented within the context of English in a manner that is simply understood and easily accessible, therefore making it easy to learn from.

Expansion of the dictionary to make it more a standardized learner dictionary has resulted in the provision of contextually related lexical items presented in the form of English sentences with links to semantically similar terms and phrases. This process goes one step further than communicative language teaching (CLT) by not only "using English to learn it (English) " (Howatt in Richards & Rogers, 1993: 66) but by using elements of English linguistic code found within the native vernacular of South Korea to impart the knowledge of cross-cultural communication skills in the English language to South Korean EFL students through the positive use of 'sociolinguistic interference'.

Richards, J. C., and Rogers, T. S., 1993. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching: A Description and Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Practicality

The benefit of the dictionary as a learning tool is that it provides a multi-layered system of retrieval based on classification, a multi-path system of retrieval from searches performed in English or Korean, and by matching search terms as they are typed.

A South Korean English language student, through the use of the dictionary, is then provided with the ability to learn how to utilize Konglish  lexical items effectively within cross-cultural communication in English language discourse. This is ultimately achieved through their initial knowledge of Konglish  terms found within the dictionary, and the recontextualization of such terms as English code by the provided example sentences, and definitions. A deeper understanding, and knowledge, relating to linguistic usage of the Konglish  lexus within the context of English is therefore easily afforded.

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