"No smoking". "금연".
In English, what does that imply? Aren't there other ways to say it? "Smoking a cigarette is not allowed here", "Please do not smoke in this vicinity" or "Your disgusting cancer sticks piss Matthew the f*** off" are all acceptable ways of conveying this simple message, right? Korea is not different....except that practically every guy over the age of nine smokes.
Korean's anti-smoking campaigns (금연 운동) is certainly just cutting its teeth, but curiously child-centered ads can be seen everywhere including this one in 부산:
해운대 해수욕장 금연
(lit. Haeundae Beach No Smoking)
How cute. I either want a cigarette or a cartoon. Can't decide.
and this poorly translated clipart which made me and my coworkers laugh:
(lit. Smoke, don't you come out)
This is clearly a cut and paste job into an automated translator but it's still really cute to ponder. It's as if the sign is telling the smoke (not cigarette smoke but smoke from a wood burning fire) to not rise. "You! Smoke! Don't you come out!"
But my personal favorite thus far is the one that I snapped in the men's room of the Catholic church in 목동. I like it because it uses 절대 which is a fun word and it's a double negative which is perfectly fine in Korean:
절대금연 - 흡연장소를 이용해주세요!!
(lit. Never No Smoking - Please use the (designated) smoking area)