If you’re an avid K-drama watcher (or K-popper), you have most likely picked up on a lot of Korean words and lingo, and can maybe even carry a conversation or two. The best part about K-dramas is that there are a lot of repetitive words, especially when dealing with the theme of love.
Here are just 10 Korean phrases and words that any K-drama fan should know! Sooner or later, you might not even need any subtitles. Wouldn’t that be grand?!
1. Annyeonghaseyo – Hello
Even non K-drama fans know this Korean word by now! Maybe it’s because they hear their K-drama-obsessed friends say it all the time, have Korean friends of their own, or travelled to Korea yourself and have picked up a word or two. The casual version of this, as we all know, is “annyeong.”
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2. Oppa – An older brother to a younger woman
Traditionally, the Korean phrase “Oppa” is what women call their older brothers. But thanks to Oppa Gangnam style song, the term is popularly used nowadays to also pertain to a close guy friend, brother. All under the condition that these men are older than the speaker.
A similar Korean phrase you should know is “hyeong,” which is what younger men call older brothers or older men.
3. Sa-rang-hae – I love you
“Saranghae” is obviously one of the most common Korean phrases that are used in K-dramas because it wouldn’t be a K-drama at all if none of the characters fell in love.
“Saranghae” is the iconic phrase translating to “I love you.” Which famous K-drama do you think had the most iconic “saranghae” confession?
4. Bogo sipeo – I miss you
Speaking of common Korean phrases, one of the most popular in K-dramas is also “bogo sipeo.”
This is an informal way of saying “I miss you” and is normally saved for the nearest and dearest of the person speaking. Meanwhile, Koreans use the longer version, “bogo sipeoyo,” when talking to ordinary acquaintances.
5. Gamsahabnida – Thank you
Because Koreans are usually polite and respectful, you’ll hear “gamsahabnida” over and over again in every K-drama you watch. “Gomawo,” on the other hand, is used when thanking a close friend or someone close in age.
If you ask us, this is the one Korean phrase you should never forget when travelling to South Korea.
6. Aigo – Oh dear\OMG
Finally, “aigo” is a Korean phrase used to express shock, frustration, confusion, and disappointment. So, you can bet that there are a plethora of scenes in K-dramas where characters suddenly blurt this out in the heat of the moment.
7. Joahae – I like you
Always takes our leading Oppa or unnie some guts and a couple of episodes into the series before they can say “Joahae”. We’re always at the edge of our seats waiting for what’s going to come next.
When talking to older people or those not close to you, remember to add “yo.” So, when K-drama characters admit they like someone older than them, you might hear “joahaeyo” instead.
8. Mi-ahn-hae – I’m sorry
Outside of our love of K-dramas, it’s still very useful to know about the Korean phrases for “I’m sorry” in case we encounter any problems in our travels in South Korea. “Mianhae” is the informal way to apologise.
9. Jinjja – Really
“Jinjja” is the informal Korean word for saying “really,” so this is used when talking to close friends or someone close in age to the speaker. On the other hand, “jinjjayo” is used when speaking to older people or a stranger.
10. Hajima – Don’t do that/Stop it
In K-dramas, the meaning of “hajima” would be easy to figure out even without subtitles since characters always say this when they’re getting pissed.
These popular Korean phrases and terms that we always hear in K-dramas are easy enough to remember, right? Once you get used to them, you can even start incorporating this new vocabulary in your everyday conversations with your K-drama-obsessed friends.