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Korean Words and Phrases #1 (in Dramas)

Updated on May 27, 2013

Because there are lots of Korean dramas famous almost worldwide, there are also lots of people who are trying to learn Korean language as well as some basic words and phrases. Personally, watching Korean dramas is really helpful for my Korean language study. I learned lots of words and expressions from dramas that I didn't learn or even read from the lesson materials that I use when studying the said language.

In this article, I would like to share some of those words, phrases, and expressions that I learned from watching Korean dramas. ^^

Korean Dramas 2012
Korean Dramas 2012 | Source
Traditional Family
Traditional Family

Korean Family Terms

  • Grandfather is translated as 할아버지(ha-ra-beo-ji) in Korean

  • Grandmother means 할머니 (hal-meo-ni) in Korean

  • Dad - 아빠 (a-ppa)

  • Father - 아버지 (a-beo-ji) It sounds more respectful and used in formal situations, also, if one is not close with his own father. Used in company setting, for instance.

  • Mom - 엄마(eom-ma)

  • Mother - 어머니 (eom-meo-ni) Again, used in formal situations, like introducing your mom to someone, for example.

  • Older brother - (hyeong) But it is used only by males. It can be used between real brothers or close friends.

>>> 형님 (hyung-nim) - formal of hyung and used between men with a slightly formal relationship (i.e., brothers-in-law). Gangsters also use this to address their bosses and superiors.

  • Older brother - 오빠 (o-ppa) used by a girl to an older brother. It can also be used to address a girl’s boyfriend if he is older than her. Most Korean men like girls to call them this way. ^^

  • Older sister - 누나 (nu-na) It is used by a male to an older female. Again, can be used between blood siblings or merely people who are close friends.

49 Days (South Korean Drama, 2011)
49 Days (South Korean Drama, 2011) | Source
  • older sister - 언니 (eon-ni) Only use this word if you are female. Gays use this to address women older than them.

--> I maybe heard this word so many times before but I just noticed it and knew its meaning while watching 49 days. In this drama, Shin Ji Hyun (Nam Gyu Ri) always addresses Song Yi Kyung (Lee Yo Won) who is actually older than her 언니 (eon-ni).

  • Younger sibling - 동생 (dong-saeng) Unlike 오빠 (o-ppa), 누나 (noona), and 언니 (eon-ni) , this one applies to both genders.

Other Korean Endearments???

  • Senior - 선배 (seon-bae)

>>> 선배님 (seon-bae-nim) same as the previous one but this is more polite.

  • Mrs. - 아줌마 (a-jum-ma). a married woman or a woman who is old enough to get married. It can be used for a close friend of the family or a stranger such as a seller in the market.

>>>아주머니 (a-ju-mo-ni) is like the previous one but more formal than that.

  • Mr. - 아저씨refers to a married man or a man who is old enough to get married.

I Miss You (South Korean Drama, 2013)
I Miss You (South Korean Drama, 2013) | Source
  • sweetheart/boyfriend/girlfriend - 애인(Ae-in)

--> I heard this endearment first form the Korean drama "I Miss You". It sounds cute especially because in this drama, the main actor (Park Yoo Cheon) addresses the mother of his beloved 애인(Ae-in) which is also translated as 'lover'. Sweet, right?? ^^

  • honey - 자기야 (ja-gi-ya) Mostly used by a boyfriend or a girlfriend

  • honey - 여보 (yeo-bo) Mostly used by married couples

Boys over Flowers (South Korean Drama, 2009)
Boys over Flowers (South Korean Drama, 2009) | Source

Things to Describe People

  • Flower boy - 꽃미남 (kkoch-mi-nam) In Korea, boys who look pretty like girls are called “flower boys”.

  • Someone who is too proud of himself is called 잘난척 (jal-nan-cheok) but can be pronounced as <ja-lang-cheok> . He is someone who thinks “I am handsome. I am good. I am smart.” And so on! Are you? ^^

  • a player, a guy who dates all the girls or simply a 'playboy' is called 바람둥이 (pa-ram-dung-i) '

  • Bad guy - 나쁜 남자 (na-ppeun nam-ja)

The Innocent Man (South Korean Drama, 2013)
The Innocent Man (South Korean Drama, 2013) | Source
  • Nice guy or Good guy is called 착한남자 (chak-han nam-ja)

  • Bad girl is translated as 나쁜 여자 (na-ppeun yeo-ja)

  • Gold-digger is translated as 꽃뱀 ('Kkot-baem') which literally means 'snake woman'.

  • a materialistic Korean girl who spends most of her time shopping and buying cosmetics is referred to as 김치걸(kimchi-geol)

Rooftop Prince (2012 South Korean Drama)
Rooftop Prince (2012 South Korean Drama) | Source
  • foolish, stupid, or jerk - 멍청이(meong-cheong-ee)

--> In the 2012 South Korean Drama "Rooftop Prince", I repeatedly heard this word so I searched for its meaning and... tada! Another vocabulary from a drama! ^^

  • idiot, stupid, or fool - 바보 (ba-bo)

--> I don't know why but I really found it cute when Korean stars say this! Hahaha! ^^


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