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Difficulty in Using Cosmetics Because of the Difficult English Terms

Difficulty in Using Cosmetics Because of the Difficult English Terms

Posted October. 08, 2003 22:51,   


A certain housewife, Kim (54) recently received a cosmetic set used for preventing aging, called ‘pore tightening silky serums’. However, she has left it on the drawer because she has no idea about how to or when to use it. Ms. Kim said, “There are many English terms in the instructions. It is better for me to meet a sales clerk in person and to get instructions on how to use it.”

The younger generation, although more familiar with English in comparison, can also only roughly guess the meaning of the terms, so consequently they are in a similar situation.

Most names of cosmetics are in English such as ‘Transitive Hydrating Face Gel,’ ‘Repair Whitening Treatment,’ and ‘Clear Cleansing Form’ without any explanations.

Instructions also use English terms even for tone, base, treatment and liquid, which can be easily translated into Korean.

Sentences contain English expressions, too. The expressions of ‘providing the feeling of silky’ ‘natural treatment with natural base’ ‘protecting skin resilience and care for wrinkle……’ are hard to understand without English knowledge.

Kim Mun-oh, a National Language Korean researcher who published a report of ‘A Study on the Condition of Sentences in Instructions’ at the end of the last year said, “Difficult terms are used in medicines because of habitual practice, and in cosmetics because of feminine vanity,” and, “The industry and academy should try to change the English terms into Korean, cooperating together.”