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The English language freely borrows words from many languages; this is a process which has been well documented by several studies, particularly in the field of contact linguistics. However, an investigation into the massive influence that the widespread, popular, and global use of the Internet has had on the development of language calls for consistent and frequent empirical enquiry. The rapid growth in the number and diversity of Internet users from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and the increasing popularity and influence of Asian cultures and languages on the English language, is currently occurring at an unprecedented level. This study employs several data collection methods to demonstrate the arbitrary transnational journey of a few selected culinary terms that showcase the flexible adaptation and creation processes through which these new additions to the English language have passed. We do this by using two common culinary terms, both of which have been adapted to describe Asian dishes, as an example.
The English language is a global lingua franca that has itself been experiencing rapid change. This change can be attributed mainly to easy access to the internet worldwide and the popular use of social media. Frequent and common online communication amongst multilingual speakers mediated in English has naturally generated a diverse semiotic repertoire. As a result, new words are constantly and rapidly evolving on online platforms across language boundaries where there is little linguistic authority in place. The forms of many new words in English are becoming more hybridised and complex than ever before and the origins of these words are often difficult to trace because of their simultaneous and multitrajectory pathways.
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.
With the change of linguistic, cultural and ethnic landscapes, multilingual, multicultural and multi-ethnic realities are increasing globally. In the case of the UK, the 2011 Census showed that the Asian or Asian British ethnic group category had one of the largest increases since 2001, with a third of the foreign-born population of the UK (2.4 million) now identifying as Asian British (Office for National Statistics, 2013). It is not surprising then, given the aforementioned demographic situation, to see many Asian-origin words in the English language. East Asian words are now entering into the English lexicon with unprecedented speed as a consequence of increased contact between East Asia and the English-speaking world.
The English language as a symbolic resource holds more notable cultural and social significance in South Korea than any other foreign language. In the current trend of globalisation, proficient English skills have been identified by the government as a critical resource for the country's survival, and developing these skills has been a major priority in all areas. A number of elite universities and sought-after conglomerates such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai have policies which noticeably favour and recruit students with high English proficiency levels (Lee, 2006: 67). In particular, scores achieved in the international proficiency tests such as the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), in preference to scores gained in other English tests, have become a major determining factor in gaining employment and promotion. According to the Samsung Economic Research Institute between 2004 and 2005, 102,340 Koreans sat for TOEFL. Koreans represented 18.5% of the total 554,942 people taking the test worldwide and they spend 700 billion Won (approximately US$700 million) a year on tests to evaluate their English proficiency.
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