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Spelling variations of translingual Korean English words

What have K–pop and K–wave to do with English today?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2019


The present study explores spelling variations of translingual words of Korean origin which are used in the English context across the globe. Four sets of English-language databases including the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the CNN website, Google Search and Google Trends were employed to locate and examine examples of such words. Variations in the spelling of Korean-origin words listed in the OED and on the CNN website were examined and compared with examples from the official Romanization of the Korean language published by the National Institute of Korean Language (NIKL). The popularity and frequency of use of these words was investigated using Google Search and Google Trends. The findings suggest that there are several English spelling variations of Korean-origin words and that amongst such variations, the OED spelling variation is the most overwhelmingly popular version used by Google and by the CNN website. This finding is discussed in the context of spreading popularity of Korean pop culture.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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