Korea Fighting!

Estimado Seoul Searcher,  ¿Por qué siempre dicen coreanos “Fighting!”?  -Isabel Gutiérrez, Mexico

Break out my Castellano skills that I learned in high school but quickly forgot because I had no reason to speak Spanish.

Dear Seoul Searcher, Why do Koreans always say “Fighting!”?

It’s a way to wish someone luck.  It’s also Konglish.  Konglish is English words that are used in Korean but aren’t used the same way in English.

Korea Fighting!

Doosan Bears Fighting!

Mom, housework Fighting!

Son, at school, Fighting!

Dad, hard at work, Fighting!

Brother, potty training, Fighting!

Fighting sounds bad though.  I wouldn’t tell someone to get into a fight if I wanted them to have good luck!

I think it has something to do with the struggle to succeed.  My hometown Washington Redskins have a song that they sing whenever they score a touchdown.  One of the phrases in the lyrics of the song is “Fight on, Fight on, till you have won, sons of Washington!”  It’s appropriate in games of a physical nature.  This “fighting” phrase came into the Korean lexicon very very recently.  I’d say probably within the last 5 years or so, because nobody was saying that in the 1990’s.  Interestingly, there’s no f in Korean, so it always comes out as 화이팅 (Hwaiting).

Isabel might actually be surprised that some Spanish words have made their way into the Korean lexicon.  Recently the world Olé has been popping up everywhere.  It’s used in situations where people are happy and excited about something. Unfortunately when Koreans say it they put the emphasis on the O rather than the le so it sounds like OHle, instead of ohLE.  It also works as a clever pun, as 올레 also means Come on! and it is the marketing slogan for a cell phone company.  They unfortunately spell it Olleh though, because I guess they don’t care about how things are spelled in Spanish.  Olleh is also Hello, but backwards. Click to view the commercial!

So Konglish is KOrean and eNGLISH.

Spanish + Korean is what?  ¿Kospañol?



8 Responses to “Korea Fighting!”

  1. Do you know Hinglish? i live in delhi. Every day i hear Hinglish. first floor called ground floor. movie is cinema. corn is maize. aprtment is flat. like thise style.And i can’t undersatand their pronunciation well. car is pronouned Kkar. also they mix english and hindi. for example, wating karo! karo is imperative sentence.
    anyway, -glish exist all not English-speaking country. because we can’t understand English-speaking people’s all emotion, culture. and so on.

    • The Seoul Searcher Says:

      HAHAHAHAHA Hyunji, “ground floor”, “cinema”, “maize”, and “flat” none of that is Hinglish. It’s British English!!!!

      I guess you, like me are a speaker of Standard English American English!

    • Yeah lol SS is right. I live in Malaysia and they use the words like “ground floor” “cinema” “flat”. It confused me at first as well but I got used to it

  2. I already got used to say in my lexicon Fighting

    • Hahaha! It’s almost part of my vocabulary too! I live in Italy and of course no one knows it… I have to spread it!
      화이팅! 😀
      Ah! We don’t say Italenglish! 😦

      • The Seoul Searcher Says:

        I’m not sure that many Italian words (besides food) have made their way into English.

        I’ll list all the ones that most English speakers probably know or use. Excuse my spelling, because I’ve never ever studied Italian in my life.

        Mamma Mia

        Bacca ma goula! (must be my family only)

  3. Emm Fighting came from Fighting Korea?lol and with Konglish, ended up as Korea Fighting? I kept on thinking about this topic cause I bet we picked it up from somewhere but I wasn’t sure lol

  4. Haha
    I thought ‘fighting’ was an Enlgish word for the first time 🙂 but nobody understood when I said to foreigners! They said they used ‘go’ instead of ‘fighting’.

    Fighting, Korea (X)
    Go, Korea (O)

    I wonder who made that Konglish 🙂

    I like the word, ‘fighting’, though!

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