After more than a year of posting daily examples of awkward English found mainly on Korean signs, clothing, and packaging, this blog post (part 1 of 2) highlights the most common English copywriting errors Koreans tend to make.
When native speakers make an error, it's usually labelled a typo or a simple mistake. But non-native speakers are not extended the same courtesy. Instead, it is assumed they were ignorant of the rules. Regardless of the reason, too many errors in your writing is never good.
Error-free copy alone isn't enough to be effective. Neither is engaging copy full of typos. You need engaging, error-free copy to establish trust, keep people reading, and have them follow your call to action. I use English and Korean examples to demonstrate this point.
Getting people to open your emails is challenging. Once opened, the chances they'll click on your call to action (CTA) decrease with every red flag—from suspicious email addresses to poor grammar and punctuation.
What happens when an English proofreader in Korea, who rails against people for not consulting native speakers to assist with proofreading, doesn't follow his own advice? He gets a wake-up call!
It wasn't until I did some real thinking about where my fascination for funny signs came from. Even I didn't realize how far back my interest in these signs extended.
Typical examples of poor English on Korean product labels and signs.