Konglish / 콩글리시

오토바이 … 자동 자전거?

More Janglish! If you put together the English words “automatic” (or “automobile”) and “bicycle” you get … nothing.

Instead, try using “motorcycle” or, though much less common, “motorbike.” The key is to drop the “auto” part and use the word “motor” along with the word “cycle” (a reduced form of “bicycle”). “Motorcycle” is also both a noun and a verb, so it’s okay to say, “I like to motorcycle on nice fall weekends,” or, “Is motorcycling dangerous?”

People will also use the word “bike” to mean “motorcycle.” Keep in mind that, even among native English speakers, this can be confusing, since “bike” also means “bicycle.” If you say “bike,” people will only know whether you mean “motorcycle” or “bicycle” from the context of the situation or conversation.

Excerpted from 콩글리시 to English (Konglish to English), my most recent book, available now in Apple’s iTunes bookstore.


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