South Korea in the Perspective of a Filipino Expatriate

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Common Words/Phrases in Kpop Songs



You can't help but fall in love to Kpop songs in any genre because of the beat and the soul that the Korean singers are putting into their respective music. Despite the language barrier, Korean songs were able to penetrate to the youth in different part of the world because of several aspects like the influence of the singer and the emotion that you can feel when listening to the song. I have big respect to Korean music because every song is a masterpiece. Whether it is a ballad, hip hop, RnB or Kpop Rock, the enthusiasm and the energy of the singer are very apparent in their songs. Here in Korea, before a singer will debut, he or she will undergo intensive training from the chosen company. It usually takes them 3 years or more to train before they can debut as a solo or as a member of a band or group. That is why when a new Korean song comes out, it will surely rake appreciation not only among the Koreans but also the Kpop fanatics which really do exist all over the globe.

What better way to appreciate a Korean song is to understand the language. You may be swayed by the melody of a Kpop song but I am pretty sure you will appreciate it more if you know what the lyrics mean. In this day and age, you can just easily search the meaning of the song online and in a few click, you can definitely understand it. But for random Korean song, you might want to have the ability to understand it. I could not walk you though the whole Korean language tutorials but hopefully these common words/phrases will help you understand the context of the song. I will share to you some that you can hear most often in a Korean song.

1. SARANGHAE (사랑해

Most, if not all, Korean songs revolve around the concept of LOVE. And what is a love song without mentioning the word LOVE or the Phrase I Love You. Saranghae, as the name of this blog suggests, means "I love you" and it is in the context of informality. Usually, you will say this to people close to you or same age as you or younger than you. Other forms of the phrase "I Love you" are Saranghamnida, Saranghaeyo, or Sarangeul convey the same meaning but in different levels of formality. For as long you hear one of these words in a song, it simply means that it is just saying I Love You.

2. BABO CHEOROM (바보처럼)

I don't know why I always hear this phrase in Kpop especially in love song . Babo Cheorom means "Like a Fool". Babo(바보) means FOOL while Cheorom(처럼) means LIKE or SAME.

The word Cheorom(처럼)  is always associated with a noun. So if you will put a noun and followed by the word Cheorom, it means "Like that NOUN" or "Same as that NOUN".

Babo(바보) is also often used in colloquial conversations especially if you want to call someone a fool or stupid.

So next time you hear Babo Cheorom in a Korean song, that means he is like a fool or the singer is calling somebody Like a Fool.

3. BOGO SHIPO (보고싶어)

One of the most common phrases in Kpop, like all the songs have this phrase and that is without any exaggeration, is BOGO SHIPO which means I MISS YOU.

Let's try to break it down so you can use the parts of this phrase to create other Korean words or phrases.

BOGO SHIPO is a combination of two words BO(보) + GOSHIPO (고싶어). BO() comes from the word BODA (보다) which means "TO SEE" and GOSHIPO (고싶어) is an expression which means "I WANT TO". So litreally, BOGOSHIPO simple means "I Want to See You" and if you want to see somebody that only translates to "I MISS YOU".

Any verb that you will attach to this expression "GOSHIPO" would make it mean that you want to do that verb.

For example, the word GA(가) which means GO, if you will attach GOSHIPO to GA, it will result to GAGOSHIPO which means "I Want To Go". Aside from BOGOSHIPO, this GOSHIPO expression also often comes out in Korean songs. If you hear it next time, that would only mean that he or she wants to do the verb or the action.

4. KOJIMAL (거짓말)

In love and in war, there's always a LIE. KOJIMAL simple means a LIE and you can often hear this in a break up song. It sounds negative but whether we like it or not, dishonesty is inevitable in a relationship. So expect to hear this word in most of the break up and a not so happy ending songs.

5. HAENGBOK (행복)

Let's spread some positivity. Not all Korean songs are all about sadness or disappointments. Some are simply about HAPPINESS, that is why the word HAENGBOK (행복) often appears in the lyrics. It means Happy or Happiness and  a love song is not without this word.


I hope you learned something from this article and hopefully this could give you a better understanding of your favorite Korean song.

No comments:

Post a Comment