“Wow, this phone is so cool”

A Korean movie shows a mother giving her teenaged daughter a new mobile phone. She examines the manual and exclaims:

Wow, this phone is so cool!


I can take pictures, too.

The movie is 아이엔지 (a-i-en-ji, …ing, as in the English present participle) (review, video, hopefully time-stamped to that part, 19:20 if not), released in 2003. These days, a mobile phone which also takes pictures wouldn’t be commented on.


6 thoughts on ““Wow, this phone is so cool”

  1. I finally watched the entire “…ing” movie, and the phone scene didn’t strike me as odd or anachronistic, but more that both the mother and daughter had been leading fairly insulated lives, so the features of the new phone were relatively novel to each of them.

    I wondered, by the way, since I don’t understand Korean well enough to catch it from the spoken dialogue, about the “sacks / sex” confusion. Were the actual English words used, or some similar Korean words that had the same property relative to one another?


  2. I noticed the same thing about sacks/sex and first assumed that it was a more plausible pun in Korean which they had to find an English rendering of, but on replaying, I could hear that she said 나 (색스/섹스) 하고 싶어요. When I played it for my wife I covered the subtitles, and she instantly said ‘make love’. She’s never heard of ‘sacks’ to mean clothes, but eventually thought of 쌕 (ssaek), which is Konglish for a old-shoulder backpack or bumbag (probably from German rucksack) (image search https://www.google.com/search?q=%EC%8C%95&rlz=1C5CHFA_enAU819AU819&sxsrf=AOaemvJe5oZY9TQP7nzLbHxaTvRYRoMqqQ:1643142889986&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiW6Zai4M31AhUESGwGHesPAE4Q_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1440&bih=666&dpr=2) (백팩 is also used)
    None of my Facebook friends has seen/heard of/used ‘sacks’ to mean ‘clothes’, but some mentioned actual clothes made out of actual sacks (see also ‘sackcloth and ashes’), a women disparaging a friend’s compliment about her dress with ‘this old sack?! and “a sack suit (one with a loose-fitting jacket) or a sack dress (loose-fitting too)” (dictionary.com also spells this ‘sacque’.


  3. So what you’re suggesting comes down to this: that the spoken Korean most likely was “sex” (섹스) without any confusion expected, and therefore the English subtitlers introduced an element of misapprehension into the story which wasn’t in the actual dialog. Unless what she was asking for were cloth containers to hold sundry other items… but then why not “가방”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My understanding is that she really did say/mean ‘sacks’, based on: 1) how and where she said it 2) how she reacted to his reaction 3) the next scene shows them shopping and 4) he says ‘who calls them sacks these days’. (There’s no sex in the rest of the movie, in fact, not even a kiss.)
      Note also that she says 하고 싶어요 (do) and not 사고 (buy).


      • A Facebook friend suggested that it means 쌕 = backpack, which is an established usage, and not 색 (however spelled) = clothes. I may have been misled by the fact that they’re walking through a clothing department. *She is wearing a different backpack than before* and he is wearing one which may be old or new. If so, the scriptwriter and director may have made that clearer by showing him holding or looking at it, or them in outdoors/accessories department.


  4. Pingback: Hello camera | Never Pure and Rarely Simple

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