Monday, September 12, 2005

Very Korean 3 - 고소하다.백수.쭉쭉빵빵.방콕

고소하다 (go-so-ha-da)
(맛이나 냄새가) 볶은 참깨나 땅콩의 것과 같다 (a taste or smell) like roasted sesame or peanuts
(USAGE: Koreans traditionally seem to think this is deliciousness incarnate)
It can also mean something like "Serves you right!"

Searching for something entirely unrelated on Korean web browser 'Naver', I happened across a page (or, more precisely, many pages) on current Korean buzz words, yu-haeng-eo. (Link at bottom of post.) There's a LOT of information there, so may I recommend that you start at the end - page 107 at the last count - as you're more likely to come across words you've already been using.
한국 웹 브라우저인 <네이버>를 사용해 관계가 없는 걸 찾으면서 한국어의 유행어.신조어에 대한 페이지 (보다, 몇 페이지)를 마주쳤다. 거기 정보는 많는데 벌써 써 오는 단어를 마주칠 가능성이 훨씬 높으니까 난 끝(지금은 107쪽)까지 시작하도록 권한다.

I also hope that, by translating some of these, I can help those Koreans out there who are learning English find a way to express their everyday thoughts in English.
이렇게 이들 중 일부를 번역함으로써 영어를 배우는 한국인들은 자기의 일상 생각을 영어로 표현하게 도와 주기도 바란다.
Some examples / 예:

백수 (baek-su)
A jobless person. As this is a fairly informal term, perhaps it would be useful to translate it as "I'm between jobs." or "I'm out of work." The female equivalent is 백조, baek-jo, which also means 'a swan'.

쭉쭉빵빵 (jjuk-jjuk bbang-bbang)
A student with a perfect/ideal body. Tall and slender with long limbs and full-bosomed.
Eg. 내 걸프렌드는 쭉쭉빵빵이야. (My girlfriend's seriously hot.)

방콕 (bang-kok)
Nothing to do with the Thai capital, this is a person who lives walled up in their room (방에 콕 쳐박혀 사는 사람); or the situation itself of being walled up at home.
Eg. 너 방학동안 방콕했지. (You stayed cooped up at home all through the holidays, then.)

히키코모리(引きこもり) (hi-ki-ko-mo-ri)
In Japanese, this is when a person confines themselves to their room, withdrawing from the real world into their own cocoon. It is a recent Japanese term, defined by the Japanese Ministry of Health as "an individual who refuses to leave their parent's house, and isolates themselves away from society and family in a single room for at period exceeding six months, though many such youths remain in isolation for a span of years, or in rare cases, decades." They avoid family, sleep in the daytime and, like owls, wake at night and watch the TV and video, or surf the Internet. For food they will often search out food made by their family or often instant meals. They have no job. [Probably best expressed in English as "acute social withdrawal".]
Eg. 지난 한해동안 히키코모리로 폐인생활을 했다. (During the last cold snap I lived a castaway's life, shut away from the world.)

Link - click <유행어,신조어>.

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