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Korea, U.S., Japan, China have neologism synonyms

Posted March. 21, 2017 07:11,   

Updated March. 21, 2017 07:17

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Korea, U.S., Japan, China have neologism synonyms
The Millennial Generation (Millennials) in the U.S., Satori Generation in Japan, and Danshengou Generation in China are neologisms and they have similar meaning to the “n-Po” generation in Korea.

Neologisms reflecting a harsh reality of the youth are increasing across the world as global economic growth has failed to pick up from the sluggish pace.

Millennials are typically considered as people who were born from 1981 to 2000. They are called as a sad generation as they had to suffer from mass discharge and unemployment due to the financial crisis of the U.S. in 2007 when they started their careers.

The Satori Generation of Japan can be interpreted as the "enlightened generation." The term mirrors the portrait of young Japanese people who give up on an employment or a romantic relationship without ideals, ambition or hope. Before the Satori Generation, there was the “Yutori Generation" (room to maneuver) in the early 2000. The Yutori Generation is those who are educated under relaxed education policies and they are helpless and vulnerable in general.

In China, the term Danshengou Generation is similarly used to name those of n-Po Generation in Korea. Danshengou is a combination of a single person and dog and it is self-depreciating word that appears among young people who have trouble having relationship with someone. Also, Fuerdai and Qiongerdai similar to Geumsujeo (silver spoon) and Heuksujeo (scrapper) in Korea are popular neologisms.

Some neologisms reflect the recent social and political situations. For example, the woke generation that applies a new political correctness (PC) movement since Donald Trump was elected as the president of the U.S. became popular. ‘Woke’ is the past form of a verb "wake (become awake and conscious)" and the woke generation refers to people who are socially-minded and actively support political issues such as human rights of minority, women, and African Americans. It is similar to Korean term Kkaesimin (awakened citizens).

In China, the number of Ditou generation, similar to Korea’s Smombie (Smart phone zombie) is increasing. The Smombie is young people who lower their heads and stare at their smart phones only. Pinyin generation is often used to express young people who still live with their parents, even though they are old enough to stand on their feet.



Won-Mo Yu onemore@donga.com