“Can somebody please tell me why they could not consult the services of a single English editor before printing out 46 million T-Shirts that say ‘Be the Reds’ on it???”

– Anonymous

Fighting! Night(tuh)!  Talent(tuh)…and so so many more…

As an American, you can’t help but laugh at some of the ways the English language gets contorted, distorted and mutated here.  It’s like they hear a catchy new word and then they just go ahead and make up their own definition for it.  Or they’ll take a word they feel is too long and cut it right down the middle without taking any regard as to how it will actually affect the rest of its meaning.

Now as a Korean-American, I can empathize.  I can see where some of these words are coming from.  Koreans like short, efficient, powerful words that pack a punch when you say them.  They don’t care about changing its meaning.  It’s not meant to be a translation but rather a new word.  It becomes a new Korean word.  It’s not a health club…its a health (or healsuh)!  To add the word club would confuse the poor guys as it has already been twisted into its own whole separate meaning.

“We Koreans hate long words.  It gives us headache!” says Mr. Kim, 44 yo office manager,   “Just look in my Korean dictionary and tell me what you see.  Most Korean words are 1 – 2 syllables long. Yankee words just too long!”

My favorite of these words as of late is toast.  Toast is not just only toast.  Oh, it’s so more than that.  Toast is yet another victim of the Korean slaughterization of the English language.  Toast is the simplified way of saying greasy American breakfast sandwich.  It’s just egg, vegetables, spam and cheese all grilled on buttered bread and served in a paper cup. 

Toast!  I love that name.  I bet it has to be some lazy beauracrat who sits in a government office all day, like the FDA that comes up with these names.  I can just see the conversation of how it all came about.  When breakfast sandwiches first came to Korea.  It was probably some American entreprenuer talking to him like this:

American (as he hands the Korean the breakfast sandwich):  And here we have a type of breakfast food Americans like to eat in the morning…

Korean (as he takes a bite into it):  Mmmm…this is very delicious!  Our people will love it.  What do you call it?

American:  We call it a Toasted Breakfast Sandwich with egg, chee….

Korean:  Whoa!  Stop!  Wait a minute here!  That’s too much.  You are giving me a headache.  The name is way too long.  We’re going to stop right here.  We’ll just call it Toast, ok?

American:  But toast is jus…

Korean:  Shh!  Zip it! It’s Toast!

When I get back to the States I’m gonna start a toast stand on the corner of Western and Wilshire.  I’ll just need a greasy grill and a greasier Mexican.  Who’s with me?

26 thoughts on “

  1. that toast looks yummy! now i’m hungry
    i wonder why korea doesnt have halloween? i missed halloween when i was in korea 2 yrs ago too. geesh its already been 2 yrs since i was in korea.

  2. Whats wrong with engrish? Im very goodest at writing engrish.
    Anyhow i wish i can… Next year im moving to Cali for good so wish me luck. :)

  3. you won’t have any “toast” left to sell..cuz i’ll eat them all~~  puhahaha
    btw, if you have “cy” then “il chon shin chung hae~”mine is same as my SN or  my MSN thingy
    oh, another btw…did u find Costco yet?or… did u find all the ingredients for rice krispy treats?actually… i think imma go get one now… YUMMY~!!!!!

  4. dude, i used to live on the corner of western and wilshire. ahh, those were the days. i joke that koreatown prepared me for my move to korea. they don’t have as many mexicans here though.

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