Cultural Americanization In Korea

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Hearing Koreans speak English-loaned words can be a startling experience. Termed ‘loanwords’, almost 12,600 Korean words have been borrowed from English (Young-Mee Cho). In addition to the integration of English into the Korean language itself, the increasing emphasis in Korean societies and school systems on citizens learning English provides evidence of cultural Americanization in South Korea. Allies in WWII and the Korean war, America and South Korea have had close military, economic, and political relations for almost seventy five years. America’s assistance in the establishment of the Republic of Korea and involved participation and support in the Korean war was the impetus for the gradual Americanization of South Korean Culture.
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As previously mentioned, there is a significant figure of English loanwords in the Korean language. Out of the approximated 5% of total loanwords in Korean, roughly 90% of them are derived from English (Cho). Since contact with America, just under 12,600 modern terms like ‘shower’, ‘computer’, and ‘ice cream’ have been integrated directly into the Korean language from English (Cho). From a personal account, Korean graphic designer Ran Park observed that “the local language had changed” (Margaret Rhodes) in South Korea, as she visited her hometown after five years of foreign study. Park described that significantly more “‘[p]eople had started using English words as if they were Korean’” (Rhodes). This trend is not a new development, but an existing inclination from the beginning of American-Korean contact. In addition to English gradually altering the Korean language, Koreans are learning English in an increasingly ubiquitous manner. Influenced by America and other world powers, “[t]here is a significant focus on English education in the South Korean public and private school systems” (Paul Z. Jambor); the…show more content…
From 1910 to 1945, Korea had been under the “oppressive” and “ruthless” (Bae-Ho Hahn) control of Japan. Foreign intervention took place as the allied powers worked with the provisional Korean government to fight Japan in WWII (Hahn). Due to this foreign intervention, “Korean people have been in contact with many foreign countries and have borrowed from them thousands of words, the majority of which are English.” (Cho). In an act to “prevent any single power’s domination of Korea” (Hahn), the allied powers issued the General Order No. 1 that “provided for Japanese forces north of … the 38th parallel … to surrender to the Soviets and those south of that line to the Americans” (Hahn). This created two regions in Korea. Following this, a temporary commission of elected UN members were called to set up a Korean legislature and “establish a [Korean] government” (Hahn). Unlike American forces in the South, the USSR “barred the Temporary Commission from entering the northern zone” (Hahn). America participated heavily in setting up the new South Korean government. By American aid, a National Assembly was constructed, which then led to the creation of a Korean constitution and the election of a president (Hahn). This finally led to “the Republic of Korea[‘s] … inaugurat[ion]” (Hahn), the official title of South Korea. After the destruction of WWII, Korean society

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