Friday, August 28, 2009

Some of my Favourite Konglish Fails:

If you're a foreigner living in Korea, chances are you have enjoyed the Asian phenomena known as "Effed Up English". Am I right? I know I have...

As my time in Korea gets shorter and shorter, this blog has turned from a "gotta inform newcomers" kind of thing, to a "gotta make sure I don't forget this" kind of thing. Sorry, I'm being selfish. I'll make it up to you all later... maybe. If I feel like it.

One of my favourite things about Korea is the hilarious tee shirts you randomly find with botched English written all over it. Some are grammatically incorrect, but cute all the same, while some are just plain offensive. The best part of this whole genre is, usually, that the wearer has *no idea* what their tee shirts say. English is just plain sexy- does it even matter?

I have a few shirts myself, that I just couldn't resist buying. One has a picture of an angel and a cat holding hands- very cutesy- on top, and on the bottom it has explicit gangsta rap lyrics. Very explicit. Another has a picture of doughnuts on the front with the words "Who am very delicious" written on it. On the back it says "dognut poisoning".

This phenomena is not just limited to tee shirts, though- oh no. If you've read some of my earliest posts (back when I was sent into giggling fits by any kind of broken English) you'll see restaurant signs, bar signs, even boxes full of "cacktail napkins". It never stops being funny.

My favourite these days, though, is something I've noticed my entire time in Korea, but never blogged about it or even said anything until recently. It's so perfect, so fitting, so obviously true, I can't believe the Korean people have gone through with it. Of course, I'm talking about the names of their gas stations.

There are one or two with regular names- like SK or GS or whatever- but I'm not interested in those. The gas stations I'm talking about are called "EnClean" (unclean) and S-Oil (soil). Who thought of these names? Did someone from Greenpeace infiltrate the Korean gas companies and name them as some lame act of revenge? Like, "the joke's on you guys, your gas stations are dirty", etc. etc.?

I'm just not sure how they could have knowingly given themselves such names. It's hilarious. I chuckle every time I pass a gas station. It's actually one of the first things I noticed when I was driving to Suwon from the airport on my first day in Korea. "Why would they make themselves sound like dirt?", I remember thinking...

Maybe they just aren't in denial about what they're doing to the environment...

That's my weekly rant. Thanks for reading! Here's one of the worst tee shirts found yet. My friend Michelle found this guy at a palace in Seoul and he had no idea what it meant. Could a shirt possibly be more inherently racist? I think not.


Sofia said...

That really made me LOL.

Helena said...

Cracking up at "dognut poisoning".