빌라(Villa or Apartment?) – Konglish Words #9

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With Explanation

There once was a Korean student who was studying in US and he applied for a scholarship. He was qualified for everything and he almost won it, but he failed. He wanted to know why he couldn't get it and realized that it was because he wrote that he lived in villa. You might think that he is really rich if he has a villa, but the Konglish word, 빌라, has really different meaning.

In English, villa means a really luxurious house. They are usually located in quiet and beautiful suburban area. In Konglish, you should not think these dream houses. 빌라 is usually a multiplex house or a small apartment in Korea. In addition, these 빌라s are not located in quiet suburban area, they are located in urban area, sometimes they are near subway stations. If a subway station is near your house, it is easy to commute, so many Koreans prefer that. Because of that, being near to subway stations is usually emphasized in 빌라 advertisements.

In the beginning, we talked about the poor student who used the word, villa, wrongly and lost his scholarship. He tried to say he lived in an ordinary house. To say the real expensive villa in English, Koreans use the word, 별장.

I said 빌라 indicates small apartments. They got this name, because they tried to show the goodness of their houses. Sometimes, there are small but good houses called 빌라 in Korean. To emphasize its goodness, they are called 고급 빌라. 고급 meaning high level or high class is added in front of 빌라.

Examples

몇 군데 돌아봤는데, 역 근처 빌라가 제일 나은 것 같다.
I visited some places. I think the small apartment near subway station is the best.

신축 빌라에 가 봤는데, 내부가 꽤 고급스러웠다.
I visited the newly-built small apartment, the inside was really luxurious.

조그만 빌라보다는 그냥 넓은 아파트가 나은 것 같아.
I think spacious apartment is better than small one.