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Self-study Lessons > Korean > Beginner/Intermediate >

Some words from other languages

by Ryu JungYop

There is a ton of Korean words from English. Usually, north Korean language has tendency to create its own vocabulary when foreign words come to. On the contrary, lots of south Korean words are created from sounds of English words. Wow!!

  • computer : 컴퓨터 [kom pu toe]
  • mouse : 마우스 [m a u s]
  • monitor : 모니터 [mo ni toe]
  • ice cream : 아이스크림[a i s k rim]
  • elevator : 엘리베이터[el li be i teo]
  • camera : 카메라[ka mae la]
  • microphone, MIC : 마이크[ma i k]
  • CD : 시디[si di]
  • DVD : 디비디[di vi di]
  • date : 데이트[de i t]
  • coffee : 커피 [keo pi]
  • cola : 콜라 [kol la]
  • cider : 사이다 [sa i da]
  • McDonald : 맥도날드[maek do nal d]
  • Burger King : 버거킹[beo geo king]
  • Starbucks : 스타벅스[stabeoks]
  • donuts : 도너츠[do neo chu]
  • pizza : 피자[pi ja]
  • spaghetti : 스파게티 [spageti]
  • hamburger : 햄버거 [haembeogeo]
  • bagel : 베이글 [beigul]
  • sandwich : 샌드위치 [saen d wi chi]
  • France : 프랑스 [pu lang su]
  • Paris : 파리 [Pa li]
  • Sri Lanka : 쓰리랑카 [ssu li lang ka]
  • India : 인도 [in do]
  • Philliphine : 필리핀 [pil li pin]
  • Brazil : 브라질 [Bu la jil]
  • Singapore : 싱가포르 [sing ga po ru]
  • Turkey : 터키[teo ki]
  • Sony : 소니[so ni]
  • Toyota : 도요타 [do yo ta]
  • Nintendo : 닌텐도[nin ten do]


1. Most of countries are called in the same way with common saying.

EX> Brazil, Singapore, Turkey etc...

2. Some brands doing business and franchizing in Korea are called in the original name.

EX> Sony...

3. Foods originated not in Korea are called in the original.

EX> Pizza, Cola ....

- Conclusion

Anything invented, created or made not in Korea is being used with its original sound using all over the world.

At this point, you may have a question how you guess where words from. I would like to give an answer understanding Korean cultural things is the best way to improve your Korean. I think any other language is NEVER understood without understanding its own culture

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