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The term Konglish generally refers to Korean-accented English or English marked by lexical, collocational, and grammatical L2 errors by Korean learners of English. The term is often used by Koreans or those in Korea to refer to accented, ungrammatical, or awkward English spoken or written by Koreans. As such, it can be pejorative or sometimes humorous.

The term Konglish is also used, e.g., on Internet sites, to refer to English words, or words derived from English, that are used in Korean -- that is, English-Korean loanwords. This includes macaronic or hybrid English-Korean words. Using the term Konglish for such terms is inappropriate, as Konglish can have a negative connotation. These borrowings show linguistic creativity and innovation, and follow similar patterns as in other languages, e.g., when English borrows words from other languages with altered meanings.

These words or word blends (portmanteaus) have entered Korean, often with different meanings than the original English. However, Koreans learners may often be unaware of the fact that the Konglish words have different meanings or usages than the original English words, or that the Konglish word is a purely Korean invention and does not exist in English. A famous example is the Korean word 화아팅 'hwaiting', from the English word fighting; in Korean, it is used as a cheer, like "go team" or "be strong" or "good luck" - which are rather different from the original English meaning.