English is everywhere in Korea. It is more often than not heard in K-Pop songs and on Korean television and radio. It is heavily featured in advertising campaigns and on shop fronts. Sometimes this overt use of English leads me to wonder how far away from home I really am. This debate goes back and forth in my mind until I jump into a taxi and request my destination. This the where the fine line between English and Konglish becomes glaringly obvious.
Our first night fending for ourselves in Korea resulted in a Konglish crash course. My boyfriend attempts to hail a taxi and make his way to the hotel in which I was temporarily staying,
A flurry of Korean then follows. He repeats his request again to no avail. In a flash of what can only be called genius he tried one more time,
And they were off. Within three or four minutes of formula one inspired driving he arrived outside my hotel room with a basic diploma in Konglish to his name.Four months and hundreds of taxi rides later we canclaim to have earned an undergraduate degree in combining Korean and English into our staple form of comminucation. At least in taxis and when buying ‘i-sa-ker-ream,’ it is a must.