Quiz: What’s the similarity between the words Cafe, RSVP, Bazaar, and Tattoo?
Have you figured it out?
These four words are examples of foreign loan words – words a language has borrowed from another: cafe and RSVP from French; bazaar from Arabic; tattoo from Polynesian.
South Korean has tons of loan words, too. So much, in fact, that North Korean refugees who have defected into South Korea have difficulty communicating with South Koreans. Divided by 70 years of separation, North Korea has preserved the original state of the Korean language since then, thanks to the isolationist policy of the Kim regime’s dictatorship, while South Korea saw rapid industrialization and globalization that allowed foreign loan words (like ice cream, TV, cafe, chicken) to naturally influence their language.
This app does an amazing job in attempting to bridge the two Koreans together by translating “South” Korean into “North” Korean and vice versa. Though there is more work to be done, this is a great first step in the right direction.