The English prefix "un-" has an interesting, versatile use case. "Unschooling", for example, means education, but not in the way most people think of it: no teachers, grades, curriculum, etc.

I find this prefix useful for discussing well-known subjects, but in a way most people don't think about. So I'd like to say things like "unmarketing," and "unbusiness." These aren't real English words, but convey a specific idea. Especially in comparisons like "traditional" marketing vs "unmarketing."

Is there a similar Korean prefix? The prefix should not have a negative sentiment; it should be neutral or positive.

  • Well, I'm not even sure what "unmarketing" means. Is it the act of ruining a brand so that it's no longer marketable?
    – jick
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 3:35
  • @jick No. If I use the term "unmarketing," it's usually followed by an explanation of how it's different. If I don't say "unmarketing," the problem is people have all these assumptions about marketing that are not true for the marketing I wish to discuss. The "unschooling" link has a detailed description. If you compare it to traditional "schooling," you can get a sense of how "unmarketing" is different from "marketing."
    – Leftium
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 3:40
  • Some options you should consider are 탈-(de-), 반-(anti-), 무-/비-(a-/non-), and 역-(inverse).
    – Absol
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


You could do that in Korean, the same way as English, but not sure if it’ll make much sense without a further explanation.

So it's basically learning, but not in the way you would in school (hence "un-"), right?

"탈- (de-)" and "무- (a-)" to prefix a noun, "비- (in-/un-)" to prefix an adjective, could be used to directly translate such new terms. And also "-식 (-way)" and "-적 (-ic/-ish)," too. My try for "unschooling" is "탈학교적 학습," that is, "deschooled learning?"

But usually they simply just transliterate the terms (e.g. "언스쿨링," which is currently in use to refer to "unschooling"), not translating them, because some might find those neologisms obscure and translating them further obscures the meaning, unless it becomes a widespread term.

By the way, this is the Japanese Wikipedia page for “unschooling.” They’re also going by the transliteration “Ansukūringgu” and suggesting the possible translations, “반학교 교육” (“반-” anti-, “학교” school, “교육” education.) and “비학교 교육” (“비-” in-/un-, ….). You could also do this in Korean.

Japanese Wikipedia — Unschooling

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