Korean is a language spoken by over 75 million people globally, and currently sits at the 14th most spoken language in the world. As their economy continues to grow and as we see an influx of Korean pop culture, it's no surprise that there has been a consistent rise in the demand for learning how to speak this language.
Not only is it seeing a rise in language learning, but online agencies, social media companies and websites are seeing a greater demand for the need to translate their work to Korean in order to reach this target audience.
We’ll discuss why it’s important to note the arrival of these words in the English language and how we can make room for them.
Rising demand in learning Korean
Korea has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years, and the number of people studying the language at universities is growing rapidly as well. Learning this language could help with your travel plans, since it will allow you to communicate more effectively in a country where English is much less commonly spoken.
It’s not only travel that has inspired more people to learn Korean, but the latest Netflix series, Squid Game, has sparked a huge interest in the language. Since its release, there’s been a 76% increase in learners keen on integrating this language into their studies in the UK alone. Currently, Duolingo has reported 7.9 million people using the online platform to learn the Korean language.
Making room for Korean words in the Oxford Dictionary
Korean words are quickly making their way into the everyday English language. To acknowledge the predominance of some of these words, the Oxford Dictionary has added 26 commonly used Korean words to it’s latest edition.
Korean words added to Oxford English Dictionary
What we experience in pop culture often translates into everyday life and wider culture. This is why it’s no surprise that things like Squid Game, K-Pop groups like Bangtan Boys (BTS) and Korean beauty trends have been influencing our language trends here in the UK.
The Oxford Dictionary is the most trusted free online dictionary, and these latest additions demonstrate the fact that the Korean language is tickling everyone’s fancy. Below you’ll find the 26 latest additions that you could add to your own dialect, or to your branding in international markets.
Aegyo: Cuteness or charm
Banchan: Korean vegetable side dish
Bulgogi: Korean thin slices of beef or pork
Chimaek: Korean-style restaurant
Daebak: Something lucrative or desirable
Dongchimi: Type of kimchi
Fighting: Expressing encouragement
Galbi: Beef short ribs
Hallyu: Increase in international interest in South Korea
Hanbok: A traditional Korean costume
Japchae: A Korean dish with cellophane noodles
K-: Forming nouns relating to South Korea (e.g K-pop)
K-drama: South Korean TV drama series
Konglish: Mixture of Korean and English
Korean wave: Rise of South Korean culture
Manhwa: A Korean genre of cartoons and comic books
Mukbang: A video where someone eats large amounts of food
Noona: A respectful address to a boy’s or man’s elder sister
Oppa: A respectful address to a girl’s or woman’s elder brother
PC bang: multiple computer terminals providing access to the internet
Samgyeopsal: Thinly sliced pork belly
Skinship: Physical contact between a parent and child
Tang soo do: A Korean martial art
Trot: A genre of Korean popular music
Unni: A respectful address to a girl’s or woman’s elder sister
Words we no longer need in the Oxford English Dictionary
While an online dictionary doesn’t hold the same constraints as a paperback copy, it’s not to say that we can store a collection of words no matter how redundant and intrusive they may be.
To keep the credibility, worth, and significance of a dictionary, there are certain obsolete words we should consider removing to make room for the recent Korean words showing greater importance in culture.
Crapulous: Caused by the effects of alcohol
Snollygoster: Someone who has intelligence but is unprincipled
Cockalorum: A small man with a big opinion of himself
Mugwump: A person who remains independent from party politics
Vomitorium: Entrance and exit passages in ancient Roman theatres
Widdershins: To go counterclockwise
Brouhaha: A noisy and overexcited reaction to something
Collywobbles: Stomach pain
Bumbershoot: An umbrella
Lollygag: Spend time aimlessly
Flibbertigibbet: A frivolous or excessively talkative person
Wabbit: Exhausted or unwell
Quire: Four sheets of paper folded to form eight leaves
Ratoon: A new shoot at the base of a crop plant
Yarborough: A hand of cards with no card above a nine
Bloviate: To talk at length in an empty way
Absquatulate: To leave abruptly
Donnybrook: A heated argument
Nincompoop: A foolish or stupid person
Bindlestiff: A tramp
YOLO: Acronym for “you only live once”
Adorbs: Cute or adorable
Weak sauce: Of a poor or disappointing quality
Doohickey: A small object or gadget
Jackalope: A mythical animal depicted as a hare or rabbit with horns
How Jublo can help
Our Korean translation services cover a myriad of sectors, including: IT and digital (including websites and online marketing), Legal, Travel and tourism and Marketing and PR. Whether you're adapting internal communication documents or entire websites, we have experience in it all. Let's have a chat to discuss your project and how we can help.