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Commonly misunderstood English words
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Make a boyfriend absolutely is a translation error. If you've ever talked to a single girl, or browsed a Korean social network, you'll see all kinds of girls using "만들고 싶어요" or some variation of that for talking about getting a boyfriend.



Not disputing that, I was saying if they come across 'make friends' in English first (which they probably do as their elementary school won't teach them about girlfriends/boyfriends) then the error could be said to be an overgeneralising one rather than a translation one.
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Triban



Joined: 14 Jul 2009
Location: Suwon Station

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taylormade wrote:
If you are sick they say, "Oh you are so poor."


That comes from the literal translation of 불쌍하다 which means "to pity". It irks me too, my friend said it all the time and would never correct himself.

While if you say "I'm sorry" like most English speakers(미안하다) that literally means you did something wrong you should apologize for. If you said this, which I have repeatedly, they would say something along the lines of "Why are you sorry?! Did you make me sick?"

Also, when Koreans say "cheer up!" for everything. They mean "화이팅..."
Ex.) Man I'm almost done with work!

Cheer up!

...dude, I'm not sad...what?
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Mr. BlackCat



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Location: Insert witty remark HERE

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll chime in about famous.

In my experience, Koreans completely overuse/misuse the word. You can link as many articles as you want, but as a native speaker since birth I know when something sounds wrong. Famous is used when popular, well known or known for, would work better. Don't worry, this isn't an insult to Koreans. They're speaking a second language. I don't know why some people take offense to simply pointing out differences in languages or difficulties when learning either.

I will say though, that the overuse of this word becomes tiresome. Every little village in Korea is "famous" for some type of food, every temple is "famous", every Korean who has ever been in front of a camera is "famous". More often than not, Koreans will tell me the person we see is a "famous singer" or the temple we visit is a "famous temple". It's not famous if you can't tell me his/its name without looking it up. I would say it has something to do with language, but why not say he's a 'singer' or it's just a 'temple'. That's my mini rant.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
will say though, that the overuse of this word becomes tiresome. Every little village in Korea is "famous" for some type of food, every temple is "famous", every Korean who has ever been in front of a camera is "famous". More often than not, Koreans will tell me the person we see is a "famous singer" or the temple we visit is a "famous temple". It's not famous if you can't tell me his/its name without looking it up. I would say it has something to do with language, but why not say he's a 'singer' or it's just a 'temple'. That's my mini rant.


Coupled with this is the fixed phrase they learn 'famous all over the world' which they apply a bit too liberally to anyone or anything someone outside Korea may have heard of. Actually finally nowadays they're using it in the correct context when they talk about PSY.
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gforce645



Joined: 02 May 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comfortable and convenient I always hear being mixed up.

"The subway is very close, it is very comfortable."

Expect is always misused as well.

"I will play baseball this weekend. I very expect."

I think they mean they are excited about it.

So many others I'll get to later.
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nicwr2002



Joined: 17 Aug 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: I got one Reply with quote

My students often say, "Teacher I feel Hard today." When they mean stressed or tired.
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fermentation



Joined: 22 Jun 2009

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: I got one Reply with quote

nicwr2002 wrote:
My students often say, "Teacher I feel Hard today." When they mean stressed or tired.


Then you wink at them say, "I can help you with that."
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figshdg



Joined: 01 May 2012

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that prepare is often used in an incorrect manner.
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le-paul



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Location: dans la chambre

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

arbeit - to mean pt work
good - to mean im finished
pervert (beyontae) to mean just about everything (im amazed that such small children bandy the word pervert about).
time - to mean wait, please. im sure this came from a song a few years back and just stuck
and of course... nice to meet you!
Mad
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gforce645



Joined: 02 May 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I will go to the home 2 hours later." XX

"I will go home in 2 hours" OK

"I will go home 2 hours from now" OK
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EZE wrote:
Shut up! My previous boss held a meeting to tell the foreign staff this an extremely vulgar insult and parents were calling in about a teacher or teachers using this type of dirty language.

In English-speaking countries, it's a forceful or impolite way to say "be quiet."


I've never used this with a child. Not a student, and not my own child. I can't say it is vulgar, but it is rude, IMO. I wouldn't say it to a coworker either. I would say it with friends in a joking manner though. If my daughter came home from school and told me the teacher used that language with her, you bet I'd have an issue with it.


As for so-so, I've heard it used back home as well. It' doesn't sound at all out of the ordinary for me. Reminds me of comme ci, comme ca.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gforce645 wrote:
Comfortable and convenient I always hear being mixed up.

"The subway is very close, it is very comfortable."

Expect is always misused as well.

"I will play baseball this weekend. I very expect."

I think they mean they are excited about it.

So many others I'll get to later.


That's all basic translation issues at heart.

Convenient and comfortable come from the same basic Korean root 편 (pyeon). I'm sure someone more proficient can explain in greater detail if there are any differences.

Expect comes from 기대하다 (gi-de-ha-da) and what they mean is "look forward to." That's more of an oddity in English about how "expect", "look forward to" and "anticipate" are used.

I do agree with the person who said that English is a screwed up language at times.

One issue that hit me recently was how "office" is used in English. Some Koreans think it refers to the entire company only and not to an individual room with a person or people in it.
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Mr. BlackCat



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Location: Insert witty remark HERE

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Busy

I hear Koreans using this word a lot yet I very rarely actually see them be busy. They must completely misunderstand the proper meaning of the word. Same with work, study and respect.

Very Happy
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jpe



Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Location: Seoul, SK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that situation Particularly when "it" or "that" would suffice.

Today one of my student asked me "What does your cup contain?" I guess that's not technically wrong, but it is weird as hell.

I agree on the "two years later" thing, even with advanced students, but again it's more the fault of English than anything else....why do we say "a little later", or just "later" but not "[specific duration of time] later"?

"My body is sick"

"I wanna lose my weight"

"marry with..."[/b]
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jpe



Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Location: Seoul, SK

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zyzyfer wrote:


One issue that hit me recently was how "office" is used in English. Some Koreans think it refers to the entire company only and not to an individual room with a person or people in it.


Actually I find the opposite more often -- Koreans always say "I go to my company at 9am", instead of "I go to my office" or "I go to work". I try to explain to them that the company is kind of an abstract thing not a specific place.
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