Want to learn some of the most essential Korean phrases used in dramas and movies? If so, this is for you. I will present these phrases in informal language, or 반말.
If you’re just starting to learn Korean, there are probably some phrases you want to learn. Like “Hello,” How are you,” “I really can’t speak Korean at all,” “What on earth did you just say,” and as many people like to look up first, swearwords. Continue reading
Well, between being sick for a week and then being extremely busy, I’ve been too swamped to post anything lately. So what could possibly drive me to write a post?
Have you heard his latest single? Joah? It’s become my anthem since I bought it on iTunes last Saturday, and I have no regrets about keeping it on repeat along with K.Will’s Love Blossom and Standing Egg’s 사랑한대 ft. Windy. Jay Park’s song came just in time to herald some sunnier days and the hopefully imminent arrival of true spring – not to mention the allure of summer… Continue reading
Have you been using Google Translate to figure out if you said something correctly? Or have you been getting lazy and just typing out everything in English, checking it a couple times by translating it back and forth with Google, and then sending off a message to your language partner? Bad idea. Not an awful idea, because Google Translate is definitely helpful. But it’s also dangerous, because it throws a word back at you and you really don’t know if that word means what it’s supposed to mean in the context that you put it in. I’m speaking from experience.
Naver’s online dictionary is awesome. Yes, go ahead and use Google Translate to check things if you must (guilty, I use it sometimes, too) but don’t get dependent on it. There are lots of other online resources that work much, much better. Naver Dictionary is a prime example.
I love Naver Dictionary, henceforth titled as Endic (English Dictionary, which is the version I use because hey, English is my native language…although you wouldn’t think it if you actually heard me trying to talk coherently in real life – learning Japanese, Korean, and Spanish has severely messed with my ability to do the words flowing nicely together thing) for many reasons. Here are some of them.
- You can type in either a Korean or English word and get tons of results
- Words/meanings? Synonyms? Antonyms? Idioms? All of these pop up when you type in just a single word
- Contextual examples. That’s right. They have specific references to actual news sources on the web or elsewhere with the context of the word explained, highlighted, with neon signs blinking around it and a giant Pororo dancing on top of it (well no but you get the idea)
- Many of the results have audio – go ahead and listen to what you’re reading
- Teaching yourself Korean and have hardly any vocabulary to flaunt? You can view Korean word lists for 7th through 12th graders by clicking on them on the right side bar or by searching specifically a grade’s curriculum
- Search by importance of words, by a specific subject/field (ie philosophy, literature, history, religion…)
- After you search, it usually comes up with similar words that you might want to check out
- You can make a Naver account and save words that you look up automatically to as many different vocabulary lists as you want
- You can also view a history of the words you’ve looked up in case you tend to forget the word you just learned (now that’s annoying)
Endic is pretty fantastic. But it is a little tricky to navigate at first, so give it some time. You’ll love it once you do.
Two of my favorite words in Korean are 하지마 (hajima) and 가자마 (kajima). They are both common words in everyday 반말 (banmal) or informal language, and they appear in just about every K-pop song.
하지마 (hajima) usually is translated as “Don’t do it”. 하 (ha) comes from the verb 하다 (hada) which means “to do.” 지마 (jima) is part of a negative conjugation where the speaker asks or orders someone else to not do something.
하 (ha) = “(you) do”
지마 (jima) = “don’t”
= “Don’t do it”
Note that the Korean word for “you” is omitted. The person you’re talking to is implied by context.
Likewise, 가지마 (kajima) uses the conjugation of 지마 (jima). 가 (ka) comes from 가다 (kada) which is the verb meaning “to go.”
가 (ka) = “(you) go”
지마 (jima) = “don’t”
= “Don’t go.”
These phrases are commonly used in dramas where someone orders someone else not to do something or to go somewhere.
Person 1: 집에 가. (Jib-e ka.) “I’m going home.”
Person 2: 집에 가지마! (Jib-e kajima!) “Don’t go home!”
Person 1: 그래. (Keurae.) “Okay.”
That just about sums up GD & T.O.P.’s ‘Don’t Go Home’ song. Can you guess the Korean name of that song? 네. (Ne.) It’s 집에 가지마 (jib-e kajima).
Here’s an example using “Don’t do it.”
Person 1: 야…난…널… (Ya…Nan…Neol…) “Hey…I…to you…”
Person 2: 뭐? 야! 하지마! 하지마! (Mweo? YA! Hajima! Hajima!) “What? HEY! Don’t do (say) it! Don’t!”
Person 1: 사랑해. (Saranghae.) “I love you.”
Person 2: 하지마! 난 니가 싫어.. 넌 못생겼어. (Hajima! Nan niga sirheo. Neon mot saengyeosseo.) “Don’t! I hate you. You’re ugly.”
How about some song examples in K-pop where hajima or kajima are used very obviously?
Monster by Big Bang
Don’t Go Home/Jibe Kajima by GD & T.O.P.,
Stop It by B.A.P.
A/N: Revised April 9, 2018, as the previous version was written years ago when I barely knew any Korean; I previously (and mistakenly) told readers that these sentences can also mean “I don’t do it”. That was incorrect. 하지마 and 가지마 are both commands/requests to another person to not do something. An exception may occur in the form of a question in some situations, such as when someone teases someone else. The would-be teaser might ask, “하지마?” Effectively, they’re saying to the other person, “(Are you telling me) don’t do it?”