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The Portrayal of Korea in an English-English Dictionary

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2004, 12(2), pp.1-28
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Kyung Suk Kim 1

1경기대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the sentences relevant to Korea which were found in a search of an English-English dictionary to see how they portray Korea. One hundred nineteen sentences were obtained from the CD-ROM version of Collins-Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners (2001) and they were judged as to whether they present positive, neutral, or negative images. The majority of the sentences (73/119) have neutral portrayals. Among the remaining sentences, 12 are positive and 34 are negative. When the data are sub-categorized into three groups, it becomes obvious what the positive and negative sentences in the data reflect in general. Nine positive sentences out of the total 12 positive ones are relevant to the activities/people of the Republic of Korea. Twenty-four of the negative sentences include the generic expressions of Korea referring to both South and North Korea (e.g., Korean peninsula or Koreans) or phrases referring to North Korea more explicitly. When we look more closely at the negative sentences, it is found that they are mostly related to the political tension or military conflicts between South and North, which happened quite a while ago and which we have fully recovered from. In order to prevent those sentences from leaving a potentially bad imprint on the users of the dictionary, we need to give feedback to the publisher about the results of this line of research and ask them to replace the sentences with positive/neutral sentences when they update the dictionary.

Citation status

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