More than 20 Korean words added to the Oxford English Dictionary

As the South Korean entertainment, beauty and food industry takes the world by storm, the dictionary is “riding the crest of the Korean wave”.

The Oxford English Dictionary has added 26 new Korean words with reference to food, fashion and entertainment in its latest edition amid the growing global popularity of South Korean culture.

“We are all riding the crest of the Korean wave, and this can be felt not only in film, music or fashion, but also in our language, as evidenced by some of the words and phrases of Korean origin included in the latest update of the Oxford English Dictionary, ”read a blog post by Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

The prefix K, meaning Korean, now figures prominently in the dictionary as the world now listens to K-pop – added to OED in 2016 – uses K cosmetics and watches K drama.

Among the new words appearing in the dictionary is “hallyu”, which roughly translates to “Korean wave” or “Korean pop culture wave”. The dictionary says the word is also “often as a modifier, as in hallyu infatuation, hallyu fan, hallyu star”.

For example, perhaps the most popular hallyu group is BTS, the world’s best-known K-pop group, while Netflix’s 2021 production “Squid Game” is now the world’s newest hallyu.

The dictionary also included words related to food. “Bulgogi”, “a dish of thin slices of beef or pork” and “banchan”, “a small side dish of vegetables, etc., served with rice” are among the new words of Korean origin added.

While updating the definition of ‘kimchi’, one of the most iconic Korean dishes, the dictionary has also added a specific type of kimchi, ‘dongchimi’, which is’ made with radish and usually also contains napa cabbage ”.

“The adoption and development of these Korean words in English also demonstrates how lexical innovation is no longer confined to traditional English centers in the UK and US,” the dictionary said.

“They show how Asians from different parts of the continent invent and exchange words in their own local contexts, then present those words to the rest of the English-speaking world…”

Perhaps “aegyo”, a word defining cutesy behavior which includes a cute voice, facial expressions or gestures, or “mukbang” – a live broadcast video, which features a person eating a large amount of food and s Speaking to the public are some of the good examples from these local contexts.

Some newly added words are not directly Korean words, but rather existing English words with new meanings.

‘Fight!’ – a statement that Koreans use as encouragement or support, or “skinship”, is a mixture of two English words, “skin” and “kinship” following the pattern of the Korean word “seukinsip” and the Japanese word “sukinshippu” .

In the Japanese and Korean context, it describes the close physical contact between parent and child or between lovers or friends that strengthen an emotional bond.

“South Korea is a country whose cultural and consumer products are in high demand in the region, and the way it sells these products to countries in Asia and beyond goes through the global lingua franca of English, “OED said.

“This is how a country where English is not a majority language, and where it does not play any official role, can have such an impact on modern English vocabulary.”

Source: TRT World


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