Seoul, Korea & education & English learning - Pg 19

Living in Seoul, Korea by Paul Symonds - Konglish abbreviations

There is a love in Konglish for abbreviating words. The words make sense to Koreans themselves, but when used in front of an English speaker, the abbreviated words can be confusing. When talking for example, about soccer and using the expression ‘DMF’, even for the most avid soccer fan, it can be Korean girlshard to know what this means. ‘What on earth is DMF?’ I wondered when this expression was used by a student in one of our classes.

I love soccer (English football) so much that I am even an Official Member of the England Supporters Club, yet on hearing the expression DMF, I was confused. On further investigation, I was to learn that this expression means Defensive Midfielder.

A day later, in a conversation class, a Samsung employee started talking about A/S. “What is A/S?” I asked puzzled: ‘After-sales service’ was the answer. In American or British English the expressions ‘technical support’ or ‘customer service’ would be used. The most baffling abbreviation though, was in a discussion about movies with a teenage student. He said his favourite movies were ‘S/F’ movies.

I had to think for a while but I was still stumped. I had to ask the student what an S/F movie is - Science Fiction came the reply. I have to admit that it sounds obvious now I know what S/F means, but when you never ever hear S/F used, you are unlikely to know. The expression ‘Sci-Fi’ in English is equally confusing for Koreans. Other Konglish abbreviations I commonly heard include:

  • CC = Campus couple
  • CCC = Campus Couple Cutter (Cutter means someone who splits the couple up)
  • QC = Quality controller
  • MC = TV presenter (in addition to the English meaning of Master of ceremony and in some rappers/musicians names)

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