Thursday, September 30, 2010

영어 Hint of the Day (비지너스) #14: Achievement: 생각보다 더 어려운 단어가 이다. 왜? 이 불어그 읽으보세요.

The word achievement is often used incorrectly by native Korean speakers.  This is a sentence that was published in the Korea Herald on September 29, 2009:

(x)  “The order is the first achievement since we acquired the European unit of Superior Essex last year,” said LS Cable Chief Executive Officer Sohn Jong-ho in the statement.

The word “achievement” is troubling in this sentence.  It sounds like a very nice, important word.  I find that the use of this word is frequently accompanied by errors.  First, the “order” is NOT the “achievement.”  Receiving the order would be the achievement.   In my view, even this revision doesn’t make the sentence sound quite right.  Achievement would imply that something has been completed:  receiving an order from a very important customer is certainly commendable, but it does not mean that the job has been completed.  Perhaps, then, this could be used as an alternative:

(o)  “Receiving this order is an important first step as we integrate the European unit of  Superior Essex, which LS Cable acquired last year.”

The reason for this level of specificity?  Foreign investors are scanning the internet, as they look for investment opportunities.  Potential clients are looking at the internet to find additional information about vendors.  As a result, these small “sound bites” can be invaluable tools.  However, when these short statements contain errors, then often, it causes more harm than anything else.


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