1st Edition

Korean Wave in World Englishes The Linguistic Impact of Korea's Popular Culture

    130 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the linguistic impact of the Korean Wave on World Englishes, demonstrating that the K-Wave is not only a phenomenon of popular culture, but also language.

    The "Korean Wave" is a neologism that was coined during the 1990s that includes K-pop, K-dramas, K-film, K-food, and K-beauty, and in recent years it has peaked in global popularity. This book intends to show how social media phenomena have facilitated the growth of Korea’s cultural influence globally and enabled a number of Korean origin words to settle in varieties of Englishes. This in turn has globalised Korean origin words and revolutionised the English language through an active and collaborative process of lexical migration. Korean origin words such as oppa (older brother) are no longer bound solely to Korean-speaking contexts. The study focuses primarily on media content, particularly social media, corroborated by case studies to examine how linguistic innovation has been engendered by the Korean Wave.

    Suitable for students and researchers of Korean linguistics, Korean culture, Korean popular culture, and translation studies, this book is the first detailed study of the global linguistic impact of the Korean Wave.


    A Note on Korean Romanisation

    1. Introduction

    Twenty-Six Korean words in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

    Birth of Hallyu Words – Translingual Words

    2. Translation: The Real K-Drama?

    Korean-English Translation Troubles

    Translating the ‘Untranslatable’

    ‘Manufactured Cuteness’: Translating Aegyo

    Actual Brother or Boyfriend? The Kinship Question

    Squid Game’s Subtitles Shambles?

    Fan Translators at the Core of K-Pop


    3. "Gomawo Pretty Unnie Saranghae!"

    Note on Korean Romanisation

    International Fandom and Korean Language Collide 

    Categorising Fandom Lexicon

    Words of Korean Origin in General Usage

    The Global Oppa

    Other Korean Words

    Korean Terms from the Korean K-Pop Fandom

    Internet Vernacular and Fandom Culture

    K-Pop Fandom Vernacular


    4. Korean Food Words: Chimaek, Mukbang, and Beyond

    Korean Food Words in the OED

    New Korean Food Words

    Sound Footage and the Influence of K-dramas and K-film

    Romanisation of Korean Food Words


    5. "Where Clean Nature and Healthy Beauty Coexist Happily"

    The Mythology of K-Beauty: The Junction of Nature and Science

    Pure Ingredients from Jeju Island: Innisfree

    Beauty Influencers Influencing Language

    K-Beauty Glossaries: Deciphering the Lexicon

    Essences, Ampoules, and Serums: Unfamiliar Englishes

    Koreanised Englishes

    Translating Beauty


    6. Discussion




    Brittany Khedun-Burgoine is a DPhil student in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford, UK. She has presented her research at several international conferences including the International Association for World Englishes, the Asian Association for Lexicography, and the Sociolinguistics Symposium. Her current research explores the global anglophone K-Pop fandom’s creative use of Korean words to create new and individualised meanings.

    Jieun Kiaer is a Professor of Korean Linguistics at the University of Oxford, UK. She is the Series Editor for Routledge Studies in East Asian Translation and publishes widely on lexical interaction between East Asian languages and Englishes. Her recent publications include The History of English Loanwords in Korean (2014), Translingual Words: An East Asian Lexical Encounter with English (Routledge 2018), and Delicious Words: East Asian Food Words in English (Routledge 2020). She is also acting as a Korean consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary (2021–). 

    "Korean Wave in World Englishes provides an innovative analysis of the effect of Korean popular cultures on the English language. It offers new insight into the Korean Wave and its linguistic impact on World Englishes. Readers learn how a new influx of Korean words is making the English language "more diverse and beautiful". This book is highly recommended for readers who are interested in Korean Studies, the Korean Wave, the diversification of the English language, and lexicography."

    Hyejeong Ahn (PhD), Senior Lecturer, Language and Literacy Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne