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Commonly misunderstood English words
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoy. Kdef: have a sexual relationship with someone for pleasure without commitment. Edef: derive pleasure or happiness from something.

Embarrassed. Kdef: an uncomfortable feeling you get when you don't know what to do or say. Similar to 'confused'. Edef: the desire to disappear from view when you realize you've done or said something foolish.

Confused. Kdef: an uncomfortable feeling you get when you don't know what to do or say. Similar to 'embarrassed'. Edef: unsure whether you understand something or not, or having two ideas mixed up.

Not sure if 'enjoy' in its ordinary English sense is actually misunderstood by Koreans but the way its used here can certainly confuse English speakers.

There's also overlap between 'embarrassed' and 'confused' in English as in with the expression 'covered in confusion', but the Korean and English usages generally differ.
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T-J



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Location: Seoul EunpyungGu Yonshinnae

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I believe Dung on your list refers to the Korean word 똥 and not to the English word dung. These are false cognates and therefore should not be included on your list.
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b-class rambler



Joined: 25 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another possibility for the list occurred to me today - time.

As in when Koreans will often say "Time" or even "Time, time" in situations where most English speakers I know would say "just a moment", "give me a minute", "hold on" etc.

I've never come across any native English speaker who would use "time" in this way and presume there aren't any who would. Or are there?
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Decided my 'enjoy' definition is not quite right.

Enjoy. Kdef: to do something for the purpose of pleasure only, especially have a sexual relationship. Edef: to derive pleasure of happiness from something.

Event. Kdef: a promotional sales event, or any time when you do something special in order to make an occasion. Edef1: an occurrence or happening. Edef2: a social gathering or activity.

Not sure about the inclusion of 'time'. It reminds me of Bilbo Baggins saying 'Time! Time!' in the game of riddles with Gollum.

Re 'dung': I think when Koreans use it to English speakers it's with the expectation that it will be understood because they know it exists in English. The fact that it sounds like the Korean word just makes it easy for them to remember - and easy to forget that it doesn't have quite the same meaning.
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understand. Kdef: to accept someone's excuse for something. Eg: "I was upset when I swore at you, due to trouble at home. Please understand me." Similar to the English "be understanding" as in "I spoke to her about the problem and she was very understanding". Edef: to comprehend the reason for something.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

T-J wrote:

I believe Dung on your list refers to the Korean word 똥 and not to the English word dung. These are false cognates and therefore should not be included on your list.


I've always wondered if there was any direct relation between the two. TJ, being as versed as you are, do you know where (when?) the Korean 똥 came from?

Does it predate Western influence?


Privateer wrote:
Understand. Kdef: to accept someone's excuse for something. Eg: "I was upset when I swore at you, due to trouble at home. Please understand me." Similar to the English "be understanding" as in "I spoke to her about the problem and she was very understanding". Edef: to comprehend the reason for something.


Not sure I agree with you on this one.

"I understood his point."

"I know it's hard to understand, but I think his heart was in the right place."

Now grammatically there might be some wiggle there, but the intent seems very much applicable to your Kdef.
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ It's subtle but I think there's a difference between the ordinary way a native speaker uses the English word 'understand' and the ordinary way a Korean uses it.

Most often a NES will use it to say whether they've grasped a concept or not, as in 'I'm not sure I understand' or 'Only 3 people in the world understand Einstein's theory of relativity'. In my experience, students rarely use it in this sense, and usually only when classroom English is the focus of a lesson, so I'm actually teaching them to use it that way.

We also commonly use it in the broader sense of empathizing with another person or knowing why they behave as they do, as in 'No one understands me!' or 'I just don't understand her!'. I suppose students at higher levels might use it this way sometimes.

It can also be used in a plea of extenuating circumstances, as in 'You've got to understand my situation, Bob. There's no way I can meet that deadline with half my team off sick!'. This is the way students most often use it, except they'll use it with only the thinnest excuse: e.g. '(I'm always late because) it takes one hour to get here from my house. Please understand me'. This has always struck me as a bit off because there's (often) nothing particularly hard to *understand* about either the circumstances *or* the reason for the behaviour. There's no information in the excuse that puts the situation in a new light; nor does the student have the tortured soul of an artist, requiring the right key to unlock. No, the student is usually just asking you to go soft on them.

You could say this is just a cultural thing, or an indication of lack of respect for conversational English classes, but the fact remains that this is a misuse of the word 'understand', probably based on the way 이해하다 is used.
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toby99



Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Location: Dong-Incheon-by-the-sea, South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really misunderstood per se, but Koreans use 'OST' whereas westerners use 'soundtrack', although OST is used correctly.
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b-class rambler



Joined: 25 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:

Not sure about the inclusion of 'time'. It reminds me of Bilbo Baggins saying 'Time! Time!' in the game of riddles with Gollum.


You might be right that that's where it came from.


But is there any other evidence of native speaker use besides Bilbo Baggins?

There might be. But in nearly 2 decades in East Asia, working with all English speaking nationalities I don't recall ever hearing any native speaker use it with the same context and meaning as in Korea, and I certainly didn't ever come across it in my home country.

Of course, I've heard people say "Time" to mean time up/out of time etc, as in what pub landlords would say to indicate supping up time at the bar. Or similarly the tennis umpire signalling the end of the players' break. But that's different. In Korea, it's used to ask for a delay and means 'hang on a minute', 'give me a moment' or even 'I'm not quite ready yet'.


Last edited by b-class rambler on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Corea wrote:
T-J wrote:

I believe Dung on your list refers to the Korean word 똥 and not to the English word dung. These are false cognates and therefore should not be included on your list.


I've always wondered if there was any direct relation between the two. TJ, being as versed as you are, do you know where (when?) the Korean 똥 came from?

I thought 똥 and dung were the same thing. So how are they different?

Both are words for excrement or manure. Although I rarely use the word dung unlike that s-world.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
^ It's subtle but I think there's a difference between the ordinary way a native speaker uses the English word 'understand' and the ordinary way a Korean uses it.

Most often a NES will use it to say whether they've grasped a concept or not, as in 'I'm not sure I understand' or 'Only 3 people in the world understand Einstein's theory of relativity'. In my experience, students rarely use it in this sense, and usually only when classroom English is the focus of a lesson, so I'm actually teaching them to use it that way.

We also commonly use it in the broader sense of empathizing with another person or knowing why they behave as they do, as in 'No one understands me!' or 'I just don't understand her!'. I suppose students at higher levels might use it this way sometimes.

It can also be used in a plea of extenuating circumstances, as in 'You've got to understand my situation, Bob. There's no way I can meet that deadline with half my team off sick!'. This is the way students most often use it, except they'll use it with only the thinnest excuse: e.g. '(I'm always late because) it takes one hour to get here from my house. Please understand me'. This has always struck me as a bit off because there's (often) nothing particularly hard to *understand* about either the circumstances *or* the reason for the behaviour. There's no information in the excuse that puts the situation in a new light; nor does the student have the tortured soul of an artist, requiring the right key to unlock. No, the student is usually just asking you to go soft on them.

You could say this is just a cultural thing, or an indication of lack of respect for conversational English classes, but the fact remains that this is a misuse of the word 'understand', probably based on the way 이해하다 is used.


Sorry, man. But that last paragraph shows to me exactly why is isn't being misused. Now, you may not like their excuse. Or you may feel a "lack of respect for English conversation classes", but the meaning seems to match up with both K and E definitions.


'You've got to understand my situation, Bob. There's no way I can meet that deadline with half my team off sick!'.

Now, that's a much better statement than "Please understand me", but the definition is the same.

"I'm late for the meeting because I was busy. Please understand me."

"Please understand that the reason I was late for the meeting is because of all that work you gave me this morning."

Now, you can argue that the sentence formation is better in the second one, OK. But to say that one definition is WRONG, and the other RIGHT - that doesn't make sense. They are both using "understand" in the same way - one just explained/positioned better than the other.
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SoylaMBPolymath



Joined: 21 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Why" instead of "What"...

Ex: I walked into the teacher's office looking for my keys to the English room and the Korean English teacher peered at me from her desk and asked, "Why?" when I think she meant "What?". (As in 'What are you looking for?')

I often hear the teachers ask students, "왜" when they are inquiring with them about things, so I assume that this is an instance where direct translation is simply a bit confusing to me, but I attempted to explain to one of my CT's that you would never say, "Why are you looking for?" or "Why can I do for you?" or "Why do you want?" You would say, "Why are you looking for X?" or "Why can't I do that?" or "Why do you want X?"
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

b-class rambler wrote:
Privateer wrote:

Not sure about the inclusion of 'time'. It reminds me of Bilbo Baggins saying 'Time! Time!' in the game of riddles with Gollum.


You might be right that that's where it came from.


I'm not saying that's where it came from (Koreans reading Tolkien?!) but just illustrating that it's not entirely unnatural. In fact, now that I think about it, Bilbo only said it because he was too petrified to get more than 2 words out.

Tell you what, you win, let's put 'time' in the list.

Captain Corea wrote:
Now, you can argue that the sentence formation is better in the second one, OK. But to say that one definition is WRONG, and the other RIGHT - that doesn't make sense. They are both using "understand" in the same way - one just explained/positioned better than the other.


Ok, maybe I'm being too picky. I'd like to get a concordancer and show students that the phrase 'Please understand me' is really not used the way they use it, and a simple 'Sorry' in that situation would go down much better.

How about this?

Please understand me. Kdef: please accept my excuse or behaviour. Edef: The title of a book by David Keirsey.
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Individualist. Kdef: one who does what they want without regard to society or other individuals. Similar to 'selfish'. Edef: one who sets their own goals and relies on themself to achieve them, irrespective of whether they conform to social norms, but respecting other individuals' rights.

Friendly. Kdef: a word describing behaviour between friends. Edef: a word describing welcoming and sociable behaviour to all and sundry, particularly those who are not yet one's friends.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friend. Kdef: a close acquaintance one's own age, or nearly. Edef: a close acquaintance of any age.
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