Facts About Korean
Korean is a language that doesn’t get a lot of attention from the world, but it’s a truly fascinating language! And a dynamic one. So if I’m going to discuss interesting language facts, Korean would actually be my first choice.
For example, the Koreans like to tinker with their language. All languages evolve, but basic infrastructural words like “no” tend to remain unaffected. But in Korea they’ve changed the official spelling of the word aniyo (no) twice in the last few years, first experimenting with anio and then reverting back to the traditional aniyo, confusing language students the world over. They also changed the spelling of the word for eat from meogeumnida to meokseumnida, thank you from gomawayo to gomaweoyo, and beautiful from areumdawayo to areumdaweoyo. I don’t know why they keep tinkering with their spelling like this, but they do!
Weird Tales of Korean
A disturbing dish you’ll find on Korean menus is bosintang, which translates as “dog soup”! What’s even more disturbing is that this dish is often referred to by a slang term, meongmeogtang, which means “bark bark soup”!
You can buy a Swiss Army Knife in Korea. Just ask for a maekgaibeo kal. The word maekgaibeo comes from the American television series McGyver. No, seriously. The character used the knife frequently in his adventures, and the Koreans just adopted his name for the term!
Oddities of Expression
A lot of Korean is very poetic. In English you say light a cigarette. In Korean you would say attach fire to a cigarette, which I think is simply a better way to say the same thought!
The Korean language has a lot of English loan words that they have made their own, like the word seobiseu, which comes from the English word service. But it no longer has the strict definition of the English word and has come to mean something extra you didn’t pay for. For example, if you order a meal and the restaurant brings you a free dessert, they would refer to it as a seobiseu.
As you can see, there’s a lot of imagination and fun in the Korean language!