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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Korean Shorts

Everyone who has been in Korea long enough to check out a McDonald’s menu knows quite a few English words are spelled out phonetically in Hangul. Some even profess that’s a great way to learn how to read and pronounce the Korean alphabet. But have you ever noticed that some words just don’t get completely translated, or Hangulized, but are shortened from the original English word? One of the more common words that got lopped off is “aircon,” with the trailing “ditioner” left off.

It’s an interesting exercise in international communications to first use the full English word in speaking to a Korean. Then switch to the shortened Hangulized form. Most Koreans will immediately recognize the word. For example, say “airconditioner” and watch a Korean’s confused expression. Then say the shortened form and watch the face brighten in recognition and even exclaim “Ahhhh, ah ah…Air Con! OK OK OK.”

This fictitious dairy is meant as a primer for those words that are half-baked, half-formed or otherwise unknown to Koreans should you attempt to use them in their original English form.

Monday: While watching the TV, the batteries in my remotecon[trol] seemed to have died. I walked around the corner to the super[market] to pick up a fresh pack.

Tuesday: For lunch today, I was really in the mood for a ham and cheese sand[wich]. The local super[market] didn’t have any decent cheese, so I decided it was about time to drive downtown and see what the department store might have. My car tire had a punc[ture] and I had to change it out with the spare. That was frustrating, but what really got me was that when I took it in to have the punc[ture] fixed, the service man told me I had several other problems with my car. My car’s aircon[ditioning] was smelly and he said I needed a new filt[er]. He also said my [trans]mission oil was brown and needed changing.

Wednesday: I think I have a cold. I need to go the super[market] and buy more tiss[ue]

Thursday: I decided I would play some computer games today. I played Sudden[Attack] and then Maple[Story] for a couple hours before toddling off for a nap.

Friday: My current apart[ment] is very noisy. I think I might start looking for a new place. Maybe a vil[la] where its quieter.

Saturday: Some friends and I decided to head up GyeongJu for a sightseeing trip. I took my Di[gital]Ca[mera] and got some nice pictures.

Sunday: I was good on my diet this week so I treated myself to a little choco[late]

Got some Korean shorts of your own to share? Post them in the comments section so we all can learn how better to communicate