K-Culture: Fun Korean Words

It’s an understatement to say learning a foreign language is difficult. One should be creative on finding ways to make learning easier and fun. Thankfully, for Korean language students, they can easily turn to the country’s mainstream media and presto they have a reference on how to sound like a local.

Since this is the last part for K-Culture’s Korean language series, I compiled some words and phrases that can easily be remembered and are fun to learn. Kaja!

Mimetic Words

Korean mimetic words are taught in advance hangeul classes but I personally find these words amusing.

방글방글 (banggeul-banggeul) – to smile brightly.
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반짝반짝 (banjjak-banjjak) – K-Pop fans love singing this words along on Girls Generation’s Gee which actually means glittering or sparkling.

두근두근 (dugeun-dugeun) – This word is used to describe the pit-a-pat of your heart when you saw the person you like. Listen to how cute Apink sound while singing Bubibu which contains this word.

하루하루 (haru-haru) – Every single day. Although, 하루하루 and 매일매일 (maeil-maeil) have the same meaning, the 하루하루 can’t be used as an adverb.

말랑말랑 (mal-lang-mal-lang) – When you eat Korean rice cakes you probably want a word that can describe its chewiness. Well,  말랑말랑 is the word you are looking for.

따끈따끈 (ttaggeun-ttaggeun) – This onomatopoeic word describes the feeling of warmth.

Random Words from Pop Culture

Veteran fans of Korean drama and K-pop have been familiarized with these Korean words because of its recurrent use in dialogues and songs.

바보처럼 (babo cheorom) – Like a fool. Yep, I got this from that 2AM nunmul-inducing ballad.

보고싶어 (bogoshipo) – I miss you. (No explanation needed).

다시 (dashi) – Again. It has the same meaning with the word 또 (Ddo) but these two words differ in their usage. Basically, 또 is attached to a noun and has a lighter connotation than 다시.

돌아와 (dorawa) – Come back. Casually dropping Infinite’s debut song, Come Back Again.

기다리다 (gidarida) – Waiting.

꿈 (kkoom ) – Dream.
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거짓말 (kojimal) – Lies
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마음 (maeum) – mind, heart, or feeling. This word doesn’t literally means the biological heart. The Korean word for it is 가슴 (Gaseum).

몰라 (mol-la ) – Don’t know
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눈물 (nunmul) – Tears
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A Fun Way to Learn Korean

Studying, in general, can be tedious at times. I was lucky that when I attended a formal class in hangeul, my 선생님 (teacher) use different exercises to avoid boredom during her lessons. One of her ways that really helped was playing K-Pop songs related to the topic we were studying. So, I’m sharing my top five K-Pop songs you could listen to learn some Korean phrases.

1. Lovelyz – Hi. You could repeatedly hear the word 안녕 (Annyeong) throughout the song. Take note though that 안녕 is the casual form of the more formal ways to say hello like 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo); 안녕하십니까 (annyeonghasimnikka), 안녕하십니다 (annyeonghasimnida) and 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo).

2. IKON – #WYD (오늘 모해). A group of cute boys asking you what are you doing today would probably help a lot to make you remember this basic Korean phrase.

3. Got7 – Stop stop it. The word 하지마 (hajima) in the song’s chorus means don’t do it or stop it depending on the context. Take note that 지마 (jima) means don’t and placing it after a verb makes it negative.

4. Taeyang – Eyes, Nose, Lips. Listening to Taeyang sing how he misses your every facial features might help on remembering the translation of the words 눈 (nun), 코 (ko), 입 (ip).

5. 4Minute – Whatcha Doin Today. This catchy song is the perfect tune to practice Korean words 오늘 (oneul) , 이따 (itta), and 주말 (jumal) which means today, later, and weekend respectively.

This would be the last part for K-Culture’s Hangeul series. Included below are the previous lessons and references from Korean Language sites for further details on the usage of words and phrases in this article.
<< K-Culture: Terms of Endearment
<< K-Culture: Lesson 8 – Korean Slang
<< K-Culture: Lesson 7 – Speech Levels

<< K-Culture: Lesson 2 – Korean Kinship Terms

References: (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)

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