Konglish by Jana Sim


This book is about the differences between how language is observed and interpreted. My focus is on three languages which are Korean, English and Konglish (Korean + English), which is the term used for English words in a Korean context or words made from a combination of Korean and English as a sublanguage.

There are short, humorous stories in each language that I have personally experienced based on the differences of the languages and how they function in different cultures. How Korean appears to English speakers and how English appears to Korean speakers is different and sometimes led to funny mistakes and experiences causing misinterpretation or confusion.

When the book is closed, the word KONGLISH appears on the front, combined from the words Korean and English which can be seen in full once the book is opened. Two laser cut volvelles in the middle of the book which appears once all the pages are read. The wheels have mixture of both Korean and English alphabets.

The book will be very different depending on what language you are able to speak. If you only speak English, the Korean side will be seen as exotic shapes and patterns and vice versa. If you understand both languages, you will be able to compare the two sides, understand both sides of my stories.

Artist Bio

Jana Sim came to USA in September 2002. After earning her BFA in painting from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Sim relocated to Chicago and entered MFA book and paper program at Columbia College Chicago. Sim’s works can be divided into two themes where one is the Korean doors which represent the memories of childhood and past, the reminiscence. The other theme is about the difficulties she faces living as an International Student and the cultural differences between Korea and the United States. Sim started exhibitions from 2006 and her book art works are at numerous exhibitions in the US.