Fashion Before Spellcheck: 12 Ways Korea Wears English

The Korean Wave has hit countries all over the world. People are obsessed with Korean music, soap operas and beauty products, and there’s no signs of slowing down any time soon. Many people ask me what it’s like to live here, and I wanted to share something a little more on the lighter side.

One of the first things you notice when you arrive in South Korea is the English.
Lol nah, not the helpful kind to help you navigate some of the most populated cities in the world, but English on clothing.

Unfortunately, English is cool, but spellcheck isn’t.

Here’s a running compilation my teacher friends and I have put together.
Photos were taken in stores, on strangers and on our own students.

(Send me more!)

12) Random words

11) White women

My students wear hoodies with pictures of them. Tells you a lot about beauty standards.

10) Lyrics, name mistakes or strange… phrases

9) Personal philosophies or expressions

8) Other… languages?…

Nice try.

7) Anything that says “USA”

It’s not just clothes. The worship of America is brightly displayed across people’s chests, phone cases, backpacks and even pillowcases.

6) Grammar practice

5) Appreciating nature

It’s a picture of Lake Louise, in the Canadian Rockies, but a poor attempt to describe the Arctic as “The White Nature.”


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4) Sometimes there’s good advice

3) or legitimate art

Okay, positive points for Banksy.

2) but usually they’re just weird

1) or… very inappropriate

Leave a comment below if you’ve also seen some weird English, or have any photos to add!

5 thoughts on “Fashion Before Spellcheck: 12 Ways Korea Wears English

  1. Good sample of all the absurdity of the South Korean t-shirt world 🙂 There’s actually a thread on Waygook, about 50 pages now of all the ridiculousness of English on clothes here dating back a few years

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