All posts tagged: linguistics

Korean Dictionary Reverts to Homophobic State

The 1999 Edition of Standard Korean Unabridged Dictionary, published by NIKL Image source: Emily Singh In November 2012, the Standard Korean Unabridged Dictionary, published by the National Institute of Korean Language(NIKL), re-defined five words: 사랑 (love) 애정 (love) 연애 (dating, courtship) 연인 (meaning ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ without referring to specific gender) 애인 (meaning ‘lover’ without referring to specific gender) All five words were changed to gender-neutral definitions. For instance, ‘love’ was re-defined from a feeling of attraction towards a member of the opposite sex to a feeling of attraction between two people. Likewise, lover was redefined as two people who are attracted to each other, as opposed to a female and male person who are attracted to each other. Many members of the LGBT community rejoiced at this small change, which would allow them to talk about themselves and their feelings free from heterosexuality-based words. However, barely a year later, in January 2014, Christian advocacy groups (technically, Protestant) lobbied into reverting these newly defined words to their original state. Such religious advocacy groups have been backing anti-LGBT movements in many different forms – When dramas with LGBT characters are televised, …