Linguistically, Korea is a wonderful place. One of my favourite things about Korea is the Englishisms. Not Konglish, but Englishisms – where people use English to express themselves in a Korean way that doesn’t really work out and which many a native English speaker titters at the miscommunication. It’s usually quite innocent and harmless, and anyone with a brain in their head knows that the exact same happens when people try use Asian writing to look cool in ‘the west’. There is a huge amount of this in Korea and it would seem more and more appears as the days go by. Of course, this has been commented on many times before on many other blogs/websites/complaint columns/bars and there’s probably a fair few of you who are already yawning and clicking to the next page already…
Well just hold on one minute.
As a grown man within the reach of my thirties grasp (not there yet, but getting there – Iarnród Éireann) I still like to titter at many of these isms. The best ones are the sexually suggestive isms, especially the kind of sexually suggestive ism that only a thirteen or fourteen year old boy would find remotely funny.
Let me give you an example:
United International Pictures… or if you look at the logo it reads jip …when I was fourteen I found this hilarious because jip was a word we used for sperm, especially after … well you can use your imagination to work out what I mean. Many the introduction a film included this hilarity for me at the age of fourteen. And if truth be told, I still laugh.
But that’s not obviously Korean or even Korea related. I just thought I’d prepare you for the hilarities ahead.
Most of the stuff that makes me laugh is often implemented with innocence and some attempt at cleverness. Of course, the people who thought this up should really have got a giddy, sexually inexperienced but overly eager fourteen year old boy to do the proof reading. For example, not so long ago I was working in a small hagwon in a building full of other hagwons. Next door to the hagwon I was working in was a hagwon called Shakespeare Essay, where you obviously learned how to write an essay like William Shakespeare, the famous essay writer. The clever clods thought it would be appropriate to put up a slogan on the front of the school: To come, or not to come. Every day I worked there I made it my business to take it completely out of context and titter n’ snicker my way through the first two or three classes, and by then it was time for a toilet break and I could head out and renew my internal guffawing. “To come, or not to come”, yes that is the question…
I hope that’s not a dust weevil I hear tumbling in the blogosphere…
Another classic case. This morning, herself was watching home shopping as is her wont, and the theme tune has some English-Korean mix of lyrical marvelousness. While I rarely listen to what these people are singing, my ears do tend to perk up when there’s English involved. This morning was another perfect example where a fourteen year-old boy who was gradually learing about sex and all the terminology that goes with it would have been taken to an emergency room from laughing too much. The lyric in question? “Honey, honey, come, come, come”.
You can read the translated lyrics translated to English here – http://www.popgasa.com/2011/08/girls-day-honey-honey-women-of-our-home.html, where you will see there is a tentative connection between the chorus and the verses. I have a lot of respect for Koreans and the more I learn about them the more I recognise the humanity within them, and it’s because of this respect I strongly believe that somewhere deep in the bowels of whatever girl group factory that vomited out this song there is a songwriter pissing himself laughing after releasing lyrics like this. Because, in fairness, I am and I want to laugh with this guy (or girl)!
So in honour of my never-dying fourteen year-old perverted mind, I’m going add a new irregular segment to If I Had A Minute To Spare called, The Fourteen Year-Old Boy’s Mind Strikes Again (or something like that – it might change if I think up something cleverer).
Needless to say the first thing to be covered is cute and convenient. It may well have been staring you in the face for a long time (it was for me). It actually is so harmless that no one could ever consider anything so cute and child friendly in any way perverted or sexually explicit. The picture below is the guilty item: