Extra! Korea

October 29, 2010

Hilarious Mistake

Filed under: hilarious mistake, humor — extrakorea @ 12:28 pm

First of all, I want to say that I was not laughing at my students. Making mistakes is a normal part of learning, especially a language. Even children who will later become native speakers make mistakes (albeit logical ones, e.g. “Mommy, yesterday I goed to Disneyland.”). Also, learning English is very difficult for Korean speakers, as Korean is for English speakers.

My students were talking about Superstar K, which is similar to the American TV program American Idol. They were comparing and contrasting the winner, Huh Gak, with the runner-up, John Park.

Huh Gak can sing many kind of music, because his voice has wide range. On the other hand, John Park is suitable for Negro music like jazz and R&B because he is good at sing to the rhythm.

After laughing out loud (I couldn’t help it!), I apologized and told them that they shouldn’t say “Negro.”

Them: Why not?

Me: “Negro” is an old-fashioned word. Also, some people don’t like it.

Them: What should we say? “Black people’s music”?

Me: Umm … How about “music invented by African-Americans”?

Them: OK.

October 28, 2010

Hilarious video of 2PM fan

Filed under: humor, music, rapid cultural change, youth — extrakorea @ 1:30 am

Recently, the boy band 2PM had a meet-and-autograph event with fans, and one young lady was happy to meet them. Really, really, really happy.

October 8, 2010

godam baby

Filed under: advertising, humor — extrakorea @ 1:13 am

(from List of the Day)

Why did we have this godam baby?

I don’t know if the following is from Korea or not, but it sure looks like something that you would see here.

July 16, 2010

Those inadvertently funny “English” slogans

Filed under: humor, languages — extrakorea @ 4:44 am

This is a bit of an old article, and I’m not sure if it’s been posted before by another blogger (I don’t think so), but it sure is worth the read, largely because of the interviews with two experts on Korea, Michael “Trod Underfoot by Samsung” Breen and Tom Coyner.

He [Breen] said the Dongjak district of Seoul tags itself “Lucky Dongjak,” but his first thought on reading that was, “Where’s the casino?”

“If Dongjak’s main industry were gambling, that would work well. But as it isn’t, I can’t quite see what it’s for,” Breen said. “Similarly, what can we make of Namwon, City of Love?”

He pointed out that the main mistake local governments make is to copy others. He said the effect of Dynamic Busan copied from Dynamic Korea and Yes Gumi copied from Yes Tokyo is to say, “We are not original.”

Coyner offers analysis.

Tom Coyner, president of Soft Landing Korea, said the strange use of English may possibly be due to it being categorized into three target consumption groups; domestic, international and foreign tourist.

“In the category of domestic consumption, the use and misuse of English is of little consideration to the local marketers who come up with these catch phrases.”

Coyner claimed the primary consideration in the category is how the English words resonate with the local population who may have a fundamental but inadequate grasp of the language, as seen from Super Pyeongtaek and Hi-Touch Gongju.

“There can be linguistic or pedagogic connections between certain English words and corresponding Korean words, cultural points, etc. that are totally lost on most native English speakers,” he noted.

Coyner said such examples are not only found in product advertising, building names, but also with local government promotions of towns and provinces.

He believes the most controversial of the three is for international consumption.

The management consultant said often prestigious and expensive international specialists are employed, but the specialists are overruled by the bureaucratic desire to “localize” the international expertise.

“This may be done out of a desire by local bureaucrats to privately boast that they came up with the final slogan,” he said.

Coyner claimed, if not out and out weird, the choice of English words associated with a place’s slogan often seem rather arbitrary, such as Colorful Daegu, Ulsan for You, Happy Suwon, and Nice Jecheon.

He said, sometimes, punctuation is hoped to make the difference ― particularly when employing an exclamation mark as in “New Start! Yesan.”

As for foreign tourist consumption, he said while these examples were attempts to be helpful, they were made without asking foreigners to review signage or even checking a dictionary before ordering the signs to be made.

And the coup de grace:

“When wrong, at best they can be humorous, and at worst, they may convey a sense that the country is made up of yokels.”

(emphasis mine)

Is anyone (in a position of influence) listening? Frankly, I wouldn’t hold my breath. The desire to brag to one’s friends in the same bureaucracy, “That’s my slogan!” probably outweighs any concern about making one’s country look like a bunch of yokels.

February 18, 2010

Oy vey! K-pop schmucks sing schlock called “Mazeltov”

Filed under: humor, languages, music — extrakorea @ 2:07 pm

After massacring the English language through Konglish, K-pop is evidently moving onto other languages, since a boy band named ZE:A (no, I don’t know how it’s pronounced either) sings a song called “Mazeltov.”

I just threw up my bagels and shmeer. Those schmucks have some chutzpah to sing schlock like that. Oy vey.

February 17, 2010

Updates on pop star’s epic FAIL at English

Filed under: celebrities, humor, languages, technology — extrakorea @ 1:15 pm

We have updates on a pop star’s recent epic FAIL at English.
First, you can see all four parts of the episode with English sub-titles (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four)
Second, we have a screen capture. Show it to your students who are overly dependent on their electronic dictionaries and who think that said dictionaries are infallible. Tell them, “Don’t become like this.”

And guess what? At the very end of Part Four, we learn that they’re going to go to register at an English hogwon (private education institute). The hilarity may have only begun.


I was right.

February 14, 2010

Pop star’s English FAIL: “I want to kiss you and take a dump on your chest.”

Filed under: celebrities, humor, languages, technology — extrakorea @ 11:44 am

First, some background information: Jo Kwon, of the boy band 2AM, and Ga-in, of the girl group the Brown Eyed Girls, are playing the role of a couple on the reality show “We Got Married.” Such couples are given various challenges that they have to overcome. Today’s challenge was the fearful and difficult task of … meeting a foreigner.
When they first see the foreigner, an Afghanistani student, through their electronic peephole, they’re thrown into a panic. They slowly begin to get more comfortable, mostly because Kwon uses his iPhone to look up conversation questions. When Kwon goes out to buy some snacks for their guest, Ga-in tries her hand at iConversation, resulting in her telling him, “I want to kiss you and take a dump on your chest.” That’s some epic FAIL right there. You have to wonder who wrote or proofread those dictionary entries? The fun starts around 4:00 of Part 1 and continues into Part 2.

February 10, 2010

Grog McKnockin

Filed under: humor — extrakorea @ 1:25 pm

I noticed this in the comments section of a post about something that I’ve blogged about, the ongoing scandal regarding the leaking of the SAT test.

It sounds crazy… until you put it into perspective by remembering that, in some countries, Jose is blowing away Juan for selling him a dime bag of bunk and LeRoy is blowing away Jamal for wearing the wrong colors and Grog McKnockin is beating Winston Thortan-Hill to death with his pint mug for having the wrong football jersey on.

Grog McKnockin. If I were to get a sock-puppet, which I wouldn’t because I believe that’s deceitful, I would take the name Grog McKnockin. Either that or Hornswoggle.

January 30, 2010

Girls’ Generations’ “Oh!” has been buffalaxed

Filed under: humor, music — extrakorea @ 12:22 pm

You might recall this previous post in which I mentioned a YouTube user named “jeaok” who buffalaxes Korean pop videos. That is, he writes subtitles not based upon real translations but on what they sound like to him. His latest video features the already-a-hit song “Oh!” by Girls’ Generation.

I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more Asian Poses.

And I could never tell that the chorus that these girls were supposed to be singing was “Bo Peep.”

January 28, 2010

Making a K-Pop Group: Choosing a Name

Filed under: humor, music — extrakorea @ 1:59 pm

You’re a big music company in Korea. Years ago, you held auditions, and chose your trainees. After years of training, your singing/dancing group is ready to debut. But wait, what will you call them? Fortunately, names for K-Pop groups are so formulaic that we’ve been able to boil it down to a science. Under each category are examples of real names of real K-Pop artists. Then either choose a new name or make one up by following the examples. It’s easy.

Three-letter Acronyms that Spell Words


g.o.d., H.O.T.

New Names:

d.o.g., h.a.t., b.u.g.

Combinations of abbreviations and acronyms


Fin.K.L (Fine Killing Liberty), Baby V.O.X. (Baby Voices of Xpression)

New Name:

K.Thx. (Okay. Thanks)



HAM, Egg

New Names:

Toast, Cereal. Combine with HAM and Egg to form supergroup Breakfast.



Super Junior, Wonder Girls

New Names:

Ultra Cheesy, Super Spam

Numbers Mixing Letters and Numerals


2NE1 (“twenty-one”), Se7en, 8Eight

New Names:

9ine, 10en, 6ixty-6ix, etc. When you get into the high double digits, it starts to get a little sticky.



After School, 4Minute, 2AM, 2PM

New Names:

Fortnight, Behind Schedule



Kara, T-ara

New Names:

Bara, Cara (not to be confused with Kara), Dara, Fara, Gara, etc. As long there remain letters in the alphabet, there will still be possibilities.

Natural Phenomenon

Rain, Big Bang, Rainbow

New Names:

Earthquake, Global Warming, Gravitational Singularity, Cosmic Expansion

Girls, Girls, Girls


Wonder Girls, Girls’ Generation

New Names:

School Girls, Girls for Pedos

Leftover Scrabble Pieces


F.cuz, ZE:A, MBLAQ

New Names:

Just grab some letters and toss them down. Don’t worry if it’s unpronounceable. Hire PR people to tell the public how to say it.

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